Last updated on January 6th, 2020
Are your carpets dirty and/or stained? Maybe you have kids that like to stomp through the rooms with muddy shoes. Maybe you have a dog that likes to go to the bathroom in the house. Lucky for you, we tested and reviewed some of the best carpet cleaners for home use so you don’t have to!
Either way though, you don’t want those kinds of stains to linger in your carpets. That’s why these awesome home carpet shampooers/cleaners were created! Now we can all have one for ourselves and clean our carpets whenever we want.
The thing about carpets is that people are moving away from having carpets in their houses. Have you noticed more and more people are installing wood floors and taking out the carpets? It’s because carpets get dirty way too fast and nobody wants to clean them, or simply don’t have time to clean them.
Even if your carpets aren’t dirty to the blind eye, trust me when I say this, your carpets are dirty, very dirty. But for those of you who still have carpets, an at-home carpet shampooer is a must-have if you care about the cleanliness of your home. They can do wonders for your house.
Think about dust, for example, dust lives in your carpets and it all floats around the house as well. When you regularly shampoo your carpets, the dust will be minimal.
So you see, there are so many benefits of investing in a carpet shampooer. My wife and I recently got one and we spent a whole weekend shampooing the house and it just feels much cleaner. In addition, it makes the house smell “cleaner” as well. Kinda weird how that works.
What Is Carpet Cleaning?
Carpet cleaning is a way of cleaning your carpets for appearance. The process of carpet cleaning typically removes stains, dirt, and allergens. The purpose of carpet cleaning is not only to make your carpets look better but also to make your carpets last longer.
In addition, carpet cleaning also has many health benefits well. Do you ever notice any dust sitting on your furniture from time to time? Well, that same dust is also in your carpets, but on a much larger scale.
Simply vacuuming your carpets do not get rid of all the dust that sits in the fibers of your carpets, which is not healthy for your household, especially if you have kids running around.
This is where carpet cleaners come into play. Carpet cleaners will be able to provide your carpets with a deep clean, usually by hot water extraction or dry cleaning.
These methods will suck that dust and tiny dirt particles out of your carpets with ease. Once this is done, you can finally enjoy a clean and fresh house with no dust in the carpets! This process should be done at least once every 6-8 months at the minimum.
How Does The Cleaning Process Work?
The main method of choice for cleaning carpets these days is called hot water extraction and we’ll explain it in detail below. There are other methods as well but they don’t even compare to hot water extraction.
These other methods (we won’t talk about) will leave residue on the carpet from leftover cleaning solutions that weren’t sucked up up the machine. Overall, hot water extraction is the absolute best method when it comes to cleaning carpets and removing stains.
Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)
The hot water extraction method uses equipment that sprays hot water and detergent on the carpet and at the same time, the water and detergent are being extracted back into the machine.
Most residential machines use this method. You will see a bucket on the machine that holds the dirty water. This is where the detergent and water get sucked into after being sprayed and brushed by your machine.
Hot water extraction usually begins with a preconditioning method. Cleaning agents such as ammonia (for synthetic carpets) or acidic solutions (for wool carpets) get sprayed into the carpet while the machine agitates the cleaning agents into the carpet with a grooming brush.
Once the scrubbing process is finished, a pressurized cleaning tool passes over the surface to rinse out all the cleaning agents and residue. This is the typical process for most carpet cleaning machines on the market. The types of machines can also be rented from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot (it’s quite expensive for 1-time use though).
What Kind Of Stains Will Carpet Cleaners Remove?
Carpet cleaners can remove all kinds of stains and we’ll list the most common types of stains later on. Carpet cleaners remove more than just stains. As stated above in previous sections, it’s important to have clean carpets in your house especially f you have kids and pets.
Think of all the dander, dead skin cells, and dust mites that are currently living in your carpets on a daily basis. You don’t see this stuff to the visual eye, but it’s there! All of this junk can be harmful to breathe into your body after long periods of time, which is very unhealthy.
Cleaning your carpets on a regular basis (once every 3 months) will make sure all of this junk is removed from your carpet fibers and keep your house clean. In addition, it will keep your house smelling fresh as well.
Now we’ll get to the types of stains that carpet cleaners can lift away. It’s important to remember that even though most stains can be removed, carpet cleaners are not magic wands. They aren’t going to remove EVERY type of stain.
If you have a stain that runs very deep to the point where it’s gotten below your carpet and into the sub-floor, chances are you will have a very hard time removing that kind of stain.
List Of Stains That Carpet Cleaners Can Usually Remove
- Cat & Dog Urine – Most urine stains can be cleaned as long as it is cleaned in a timely manner.
- Coffee Stains – Most coffee stains can be extracted with multiple passes over the stained area.
- Dark Juices – Cranberry and grape juice can be extracted out of carpets as long as it doesn’t get into the sub-floor.
- Mud & Dirt – Mud and dirt can usually be lifted away with ease, as long as it is dried and not wet. If it’s wet, you might smear it.
- Old Stains – If you live in a rental and have dirt stains from previous tenants, you can usually remove them with a few passes.
Is There Anything That Carpet Cleaners Can’t Remove?
To simplify this answer, yes, there are a few types of stains and/or smells that we tested on white carpet and could not get out no matter what we tried! We even tried multiple passes for 20 minutes and the smells would not go away.
The first thing we tried was gasoline. We took a 4′ by 4′ piece of carpet and poured 3 cups of gasoline onto the carpet before trying to extract it out. The carpet cleaners had no problem removing the gasoline itself, but the smell would not go away. Even 3 days after we did our testing, the smell was still lingering pretty bad. If you have a gasoline incident for any kind of reason “inside the house”, chances are that it has gotten into the sub-floor and you will need new carpets.
Next, we tried bleach. We kind of already knew that bleach wasn’t going to come out, but we wanted to give it a try. We did the same thing with bleach, except we only poured 1 cup of it onto the white carpet before extracting it out. The same thing happened with the gasoline except it wasn’t the smell we had a problem with. The issue we had was that the bleach soaked right through the sub-floor within minutes of pouring it onto the carpet. You can only guess what happened here, 3 days later we had a bright stain on the carpet from the bleach that was brighter than the shade of the cream-white carpet we used.
Are Carpet Cleaners Worth The Money?
In our opinion, carpet cleaners are definitely worth the money. Not just because they can lift away stains either. We mostly like them because of how clean you can make your household.
When we cut out a 6-year piece of carpet from a normal household with 2 kids that had no stains, we were disgusted to see how dirty the water was after cleaning what looked like a “clean” carpet to the eye.
Really though, you may think your carpets look clean, but they really aren’t. The amount of dirt, skin cells and dust mites that are in your carpet that you can’t see is quite disgusting. You don’t realize it until after you clean it.
After this review, we each kept one of these carpet cleaners and we’ll all be cleaning our carpets in our homes at least once every 3-4 months.
If you’re thinking about buying a carpet cleaner, stop thinking about it and just do it! You will not be disappointed because you will be living in a much cleaner environment afterward. Yeah, it’s a hassle to do, but it’s definitely worth it.
Top 5 Best Carpet Cleaners For Home Use
The carpet cleaners below are the five carpet cleaners that we tested for this review. Our favorite was this first one, the Bissell Big Clean. It’s more of a commercial carpet cleaner, but you can buy it and use it for residential use as well.
Our next favorite was the Hoover Power Scrub Elite which is #3 on our list. We loved the Hoover so much mainly because of how lightweight it was for it’s size. Overall, if you’re looking for a great carpet cleaner that will clean your carpets, all five of these will do the job with no problem.
1. Bissell Big Green
This one was our absolute favorite, which is why we named it number 1 and was the absolute best carpet cleaners that we tested.
The BISSELL Big Green Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaner achieves a whole new level of clean by out-cleaning the leading rental carpet cleaner. Powerful motors, an extra-large PowerBrush to pull out deeply embedded dirt, and powerful suction are just a few features that make this deep cleaner stand out from the rest. Two simple tanks keep the clean and dirty water separated for easy cleanup and fewer trips to the sink.
Made of durable, high-quality materials for a sturdy, anti-tip design, this machine is a powerful, robust piece of workmanship from top to bottom. Plus, the included 2X Professional Deep Cleaning Formula contains Scotchgard protection to help protect the carpet from future stains.
- Extra-large DirtLifter PowerBrush for deep scrubbing action.
- Heavy-duty suction power aids in fast drying time.
- Cleans on both the forward and backward pass for reduced cleaning time.
- Two large tanks for full-room cleaning.
- Includes a trial-size BISSELL professional cleaning formula.
- It has a power cord length of 25 feet.
- Come with a 5-year limited warranty.
2. Hoover Power Scrub
Help extend the life of your carpet with the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner. This carpet cleaner is designed to clean many carpeted and fabric surfaces in and around your home.
Make cleaning a breeze with spill-free tanks that are easy to access, easy to fill, empty and clean. The Power Scrub Deluxe features a spin-scrub multiple brush system, a rinse option, automatic detergent mixing, a Dual V Nozzle for more efficient cleaning and forced heated air for faster drying time. The carpet cleaner has an extensive reach of 20 feet which extends room-to-room without the hassle of unplugging.
- This carpet cleaner is lightweight and weighs only 19 lbs.
- It has an easy-to-fill tank system which is super easy to empty without a mess.
- It comes with a multiple brush system only from Hoover. Counter-rotating brushes spin, not roll, for constant carpet contact. Brushes are removable for easy cleaning.
- This carpet cleaner has an 8-foot ready-to-use hose and upholstery tool to deep clean stairs and hard-to-reach areas.
- The Dual V Nozzle provides equal suction to clean surfaces quickly and evenly.
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3. Hoover Power Scrub Elite (Best Performance)
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner was designed for improved cleaning performance and superior drying. It features two modes, Deep Clean and Quick Clean, to help you tackle all of your cleaning needs.
Deep Clean Mode powerfully removes embedded dirt and stains for whole-home cleaning, while Quick Clean Mode with HeatForce speeds up drying to allow carpets to dry in less than 45 minutes – getting you back on your floors faster.
Hoover’s Antimicrobial SpinScrub Brush System helps prevent odors and bacteria from forming in the tool when you are tacking the toughest pet messes and Wash/Rinse Mode removes solution-residue to deliver a powerful clean.
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner was created with active families in mind, now you can clean easier, so you can get back to what matters most.
- Perfect for a rapid surface clean of rugs, entryways and living rooms as your carpets will dry in less than 45 minutes.
- Lifts and removes embedded dirt and stains.
- Applies hot air directly to the area you are cleaning, resulting in faster drying.
- It has a patented brush system that rotates to gently tackle the toughest dirt, without damaging your carpet. It’s treated with antimicrobial materials to help prevent odor and bacteria forming in the tool.
4. Bissell ProHeat 2X
Just like you, we love our pets, but, eventually, every pet makes a mess. Whether it’s tracked-in mud, food spills, or even accidents, the Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet Pro handles tough pet messes thanks to the exclusive pet pro-clean-up system. The system includes clean shot pretreated to remove spots and stains; the 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool to remove pet hair, stains, and odors from upholstery; a trial size of Bissell professional pet urine Eliminator + Oxy; and an EZ clean brush roll cover to make maintenance of the machine easy.
In addition, the deep clean mode offers powerful cleaning to out clean the leading rental, and carpets dry in about an hour with express clean mode. All of this cleaning power comes in a lightweight and maneuverable machine with a low-profile foot that gets under furniture. With the Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet Pro, you have everything you need to take on tough pet messes.
- Bissell’s best deep cleaning system for pet messes includes Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Formula, 2-in-1 Upholstery Tool, CleanShot Pretreater, and EZ Clean Brush Roll Cover.
- CleanShot Pretreater attacks and removes pet spots and stains.
- Cleans multiple surface types: carpet, low pile carpet, stairs, and upholstery.
- Tank Capacity: 1 Gallon.
- The 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool removes pet hair, stains, and odors from upholstery.
- Carpets dry in about an hour with Express Clean Mode and 25-foot power cord, 8-foot hose.
5. Hoover PowerDash
Hoover’s brand new PowerSpin Pet Brush Roll provides a powerful clean for high traffic areas and small spaces. The easy-to-use compact and lightweight design makes it perfect to clean & store anywhere.
If you’re looking for a simple, lightweight solution to shampoo and clean your carpets, this is the carpet cleaner you’re going to want.
- Has 2x more cleaning power than the leading lightweight carpet cleaner.
- The power-spin pet brush roll delivers powerful carpet cleaning with protection.
- It has heat force power which delivers faster drying for any space.
- Easy-to-use design for efficient cleaning and storage.
- Good for high traffic areas and small spaces.
Overall, we absolutely loved the Hoover Power Scrub Elite from #3 on our list. All of these carpet cleaners did an efficient job of removing stains and cleaning. But the Hoover Elite was superior in overall performance. The Bissell Big Green carpet cleaner at #1 was great as well, however that carpet cleaner isn’t as maneuverable as the others, but it cleans very well.
Do you any questions or concerns about any of these carpet cleaners? If you do, feel free to leave us a comment below. Or, if you would rather get in touch with us directly, feel free to use our contact form on our contact page and we will respond to your email in a timely manner.
Which brand of carpet shampooers do you trust the most? How often do you wait before shampooing your carpets?