What is a Carpet Cleaner?
In our review, we found that most carpet cleaners are dry steam cleaners or traditional wet vacuum cleaners. A carpet cleaner, not to be confused with a regular vacuum, is a multi-purpose utility vacuum that digs deep into your carpet to pull out the dirt and grease.
While a regular vacuum cleaner really only uses suction to remove dirt, a carpet cleaner uses “dry” steam in order to pull dirt and grime from your carpet fibers. While some carpet cleaners are called steam vacuums, others may use a different method to clean the carpet. Most homes typically have a vacuum and a carpet cleaner.
The regular vacuum can pick up light dirt, while the carpet cleaner would be used once or twice a month depending on how much traffic you have in your home. For light-colored carpets, a carpet cleaner can be a godsend with its ability to clean dark stains and pet odors from your fibers.
What Types of Carpet Cleaners are There?
Some homeowners opt to pay hundreds of dollars twice a year to professionally clean their carpets, and some of these cleaners use the same equipment that you could purchase. However, a professional-grade steam cleaning company likely uses an industrial steam cleaner.
With a traditional steam cleaner for the home, you’ll be able to fit these in your utility closet or garage until you need to use them. There are several types to choose from, including:
Upright, Traditional Carpet Cleaners
Our review found that these are the best types of cleaners for fast, convenient cleaning. These are the most recognized types of steam cleaners because these are the models you see by Hoover, Bissell, and other steam vacuum brands. These cleaners feature a cylindrical design and typically work well to remove most steams. These are rated for the removal of most grease, dust mites, allergens, and pet odors as well.
These have a water tank at the bottom that produces dry steam and a compartment for the cleaner liquid, which usually pushes out of the front like foam. Some models have more attachments, so that you are able to clean grout and hardwood floors as well.
Rental Steam Cleaners
You can typically find these at any grocery or hardware store. When we review these carpet cleaners, we find that the rentals tend to have worn out motors, so you should be careful when purchasing these rentals. They come in different sizes depending on the tank and area you want to cover. While these are upright vacuums, they typically have more suction strength and use a dry steam method to clean your carpet.
This term also applies to the cylindrical carpet cleaner. These are bulky and typically take up more space in your utility closet. However, these are the most efficient and well-known models for carpet cleaning. With the larger size models, you can fill the water tank once and clean most of your carpets without having to empty and refill the tank.
The best part about this model is that it’s easy to use as it moves just like a traditional vacuum cleaner, except you’ll be able to visibly see your carpet fluff up and look brand new after a couple passes from this steam cleaner.
Stick-Style Vapor Steam Cleaner
While these have been around for awhile, many people avoid them because of their design as it feels like it would be more work, but actually, these vacuums work just as nicely as upright vacuums. However, they are a bit harder to store due to their horizontal tank and long hose. The main distinction between the cylindrical, upright style and this one is that the tank will remain stationary as you move forward with the cleaner hose and attachment.
It can be a bit more cumbersome if you don’t want to deal with a hose and cord. These steam cleaners typically do have a bit more suction than upright vacuums, and they cost a bit more. You can also use these steam cleaners to easily clean hardwood floors and tile in your kitchen or bathroom.
Handheld Steam Cleaners
Also called a stick style vacuum, these are some of the best cleaners for suction power. There are also convenient, handheld carpet cleaners that work for cleaning furniture and high ceilings due to their extension attachments. While these can be difficult for moving around the house since the motor and tank is separate from the handheld brush, you will likely get pet stains and wine stains out of your carpets with ease using the best brand products.
How Does a Carpet Cleaner Work?
When you’re looking for the best cleaner, you want a machine with a powerful cyclone motor and dual brushes. With a typical upright carpet cleaner, you’ll use water heated past its boiling point to induce steam pressure through your cleaner’s brush.
This vapor when combined with a cleaner liquid will heat up and loosen the dirt in your carpet, then the vacuum will extract all of the dirty water into a separate tank. The power of your vacuum power is key to getting a great clean.
The Big Carpet Cleaner Buyer’s Guide
What are five things to avoid when buying a carpet cleaner?
Want to get the best carpet cleaning machine? Most of the carpet cleaners you find online today will have reviews, and the number one rule is that you always read through the best and worst reviews to see what you’re getting into.
With the best cleaner, you’ll never have to worry about refilling a tank or a dying motor, and these brands typically provide a warranty just in case. There are a few problems to avoid depending on the size of your home and how you like to clean.
1) Upright or Handheld
There is a certain level of convenience that you get with an upright, cylindrical vacuum that you won’t get with a handheld vacuum. Conversely, handheld stick-style vacuums tend to have more suction power. If you have a larger home, however, it might take forever to move even the best handheld cleaner through each room, rather than just using the upright just like a vacuum.
2) Dry Steam vs Extraction Cleaners
Professional steam cleaners always argue over what is the “best” type of cleaner. While dry vapor cleaners achieve much higher heat levels, they don’t really suck out any grease and dirt like the best extraction cleaner.
If you don’t want to treat your carpets with any type of cleaning liquid, then you’re looking for a dry steam or vapor cleaner. These don’t require you to use a liquid, and they don’t work the same as carpet cleaners that use suction to extract dirt and grease. You should read specifications to determine what type of heat and steam are used to clean before buying.
3) You’ll Still Need a Dry Vacuum
The best carpet cleaner still wouldn’t be able to get through a mound of cat hair properly. Regular vacuums are still necessary to suck out bigger particles in your carpets. You always should vacuum your carpet with a traditional vacuum before using a wet carpet cleaner, as you won’t get the carpet clean enough with just the steam cleaner.
4. Pick a Large Tank Size
If you plan on cleaning your entire home in one pass, then you’ll want to have a much larger tank, which should hold at least 1 to 2 gallons of water. With a smaller tank, you will have to empty and refill to keep your cleaner going.
5. Finally, It Doesn’t Work on All Stains
An upright, residential carpet cleaner will be able to clean out most minor stains, aside from deep muddy dirt, wine, and ink. These may be possible with higher suction models and the right cleaning liquids. If you are looking to remove pet odors, then you may want to use a carpet pre-treatment beforehand.
How can consumers themselves test a carpet cleaner before or immediate after purchase?
Most of the best vacuum shops allow you to test out the merchandise beforehand. You can also rent a professional-grade steam cleaner to see how it will work in your home and on your carpet. Testing at a local vacuum shop is probably your best bet to see how they work in-person. These shops typically do repairs and sell multiple brands or they refurbish vacuums, so customers are allowed to test different cleaners to see which one will work.
If you order online, you should purchase from a store that offers a 30-day money back guarantee or at least a short trial window so that you can easily return the cleaner if it doesn’t work for your stain. You can also typically search any model of steam cleaner or carpet cleaner online and find a demonstration video. These are helpful to see what will work with different stains.
Best Carpet Cleaner Brands
From the lowest cost brand to high-quality, professional-grade manufacturers, these are some of the top brands for carpet cleaners right now.
Everyone knows the Bissell brand because of its historic reputation for affordable yet powerful vacuum cleaners. You can find a variety of different steam cleaners, carpet cleaners, and vacuums are sold by this American brand. The most well-known carpet cleaner product from Bissell is the DeepClean Deluxe Pet and the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine. Both of these cover large areas of carpets, clean up stains from pets, and offer great attachments for cleaning upholstery and furniture as well.
While McCulloch doesn’t have multiple carpet cleaners on the market, their quality is renowned thanks to their flagship carpet cleaning product, the Heavy Duty Vapor Steam Cleaner. This magnificent carpet cleaner has a superior level of clean that will shock you. With its handheld style and large body, it is a bit difficult to move around with this cleaner, but it does provide one of the cleanest results. Customers also stated that this vacuum was able to get out extremely tough stains, and there are multiple video testimonials that show this vacuum in action.
The Hoover brand is probably one of the most recognizable in America due to its roots in 1950s convenience cleaning for the modern household. Their steam cleaners are mostly handheld models that provide ton of heat and suction.
There are several upright carpet cleaners that have proven to be powerful allies in the fight against household grime, including the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe and the Hoover Smartwash Cleaner.
One of the most affordable brands on the market, Shark makes a decent number of steam cleaners, carpet cleaners, steam mops, and handheld cleaners. In fact, the great thing about this brand is its versatility. You can find any style of carpet cleaner for a relatively low price. The Shark Sonic Duo is known for its quickness and lightness, while the Sharp APEX DuoClean is known for its power.
Other Brands to Try
Some of the other popular carpet cleaning brands include:
One of the best brands Reliable in our review because of its high-powered handheld models. You can typically find these are a little bit pricier, but they come with more attachments.
This brand Sienna is relatively new, but it has one of the best cleaners available on the market for residential use due to its high amperage and large tank. It’s called the Sienna Luna Plus.
This carpet cleaner Steamfast is the best for convenient cleaning, especially if you have pets. However, they’re not the most convenient to store, and you may not enjoy the handheld brush. However, in our review, we found that these vacuums have some of the best ratings from customers.
When you review a Dyson, you definitely have to take in the design and price point. Dyson carpet cleaners are definitely top-of-the-line for convenience, but in our review, we found that not every model truly has the same power. The Dyson V8 is the latest model, and it’s probably the best upright handheld vacuum cleaner on the market.
[tab] Known for its bright color and amazing strength, the Vapamore MR-100 Primo is a handheld vacuum that can quickly clean your carpets. Customers have said this vacuum is the best for high carpet and attachments, as you’ll be able to give your upholstery the best clean using the extension attachments. For this review, we found that it also included a lifetime warranty.
Review of Interesting Facts and Features of Carpet Cleaners
- Carpet cleaning machines are descendants of steam machines that used to clean grease and oil from railways, ships, car and truck engines, and power station machines.
- Some carpet cleaners can heat the water up to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vapor steam cleaners actually use an internal boiler to create these high temperatures, which turns water into a fine, dry mist that quickly evaporates as it heats up and cleans your carpet fibers.
- Carpets typically need to be vacuumed and groomed before you use a steam cleaner. Most professional cleaners use a carpet rake to loosen up dirt and gather pet hair.
Review the Size and Weight
There are a variety of sizes and shapes with these cleaners. You should look at the weight and overall size before purchasing to know how it will handle when you’re trying to clean your home.
The dimensions and overall weight will also determine where you store a vacuum. With lightweight, upright models, you may not always get the same suction and heating power as with a handheld cleaner that has a separate tank and motor.
Pick the Right Attachments
There are a few brush attachments that are included with most cleaners. These allow you to reach higher or attach heavily bristled brushes to your hose, giving you the ability to clean furniture and other upholstery with ease.
The Right Water Tank Size
You can only clean based on the amount of clean water you have to produce steam and heat. With smaller cleaners, you may have to spend more time refilling the tank as you move from room to room. Larger tanks over 1 gallon will allow you to keep going and spend less time at the sink cleaning out your tanks. This is a good point to compare different models if you are trying to get the most value.
How Do You Clean a Carpet Cleaner?
While our review mainly focuses on the quality of the clean, you also should be able to easily take apart the best vacuum cleaner and put it back together easily. The main way to prevent issues is by vacuuming your carpets first with a separate, traditional cleaner and raking up any excess pet hair.
Depending on whether you are using a dry vape cleaner or a suction cleaner, you’ll still need to rinse out the tanks for both of these. So do the best vacuum cleaners still have clogging problems? Our review found that many of the top carpet cleaners will need the brush cleaned regularly, and you’ll always clean out the tank before proceeding with your next clean.
Hair and debris also gets trapped in the brush, whether it’s at the end of the hose or the bottom of your upright cleaner. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the plate and clean out the brush periodically, especially if you have long-haired pets. Finally, if your vacuum has a HEPA filter, you can typically remove these and wash in the washer machine to clean if it is reusable.
FAQs About Carpet Cleaners
How much is it to rent a carpet cleaner?
You can find most carpet cleaners are available to rent at grocery stores, department stores, and hardware shops. Some places where you can rent them include:
- Home Depot
- Local vacuum shops
The cost depends on the tank size and type. For a modern carpet cleaner with a large tank, you are typically looking at between $45 and $95 per day depending on the store and region. Wal-Mart typically has the lowest price on these rentals.
What is the best carpet cleaner?
There are so many brands and types of carpet cleaning vacuums out there that it’s hard to say which one is truly the best. However, we can provide the profile of a top-notch carpet cleaner with the best features.
- Upright, high-powered carpet cleaner models
- Multiple brush attachments for upholstery, hardwood floors, extension cleaning & more
- Easy to setup and easy to use
- Pre-treatment options
- Dual cleaning brushes
- Heats up to 300-degrees Fahrenheit
- High amperage (Over 6 amps)
- HEPA filtration
- High-powered cyclone
When looking for the best carpet cleaning brands, power, customer satisfaction, and the ability to clean stains are the most prominent features to look for. You may also have to trade some convenience for fastidiousness if you want the best model for suction and power, which would be a handheld model.
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