Best Carpet Cleaners in 2020

Most people don’t think about how high-maintenance a carpet truly is. Sure, they look neat and all, but debris that gets trapped in the fibers is more than a pain in the neck to remove. Instead of hiring an expensive cleaning service, with the right carpet cleaner, you can do it on your own any day of the week. Below, you’ll find our top picks of the best carpet cleaner made specifically to remove wine stains, old food debris, and pet leavings from carpets and rugs.

Best Carpet Cleaning Machines


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Carpet Cleaner | Bestsellers


SaleBestseller No. 1
Hoover FH50700 PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet...
2X MORE CLEANING POWER than the competitive lightweight carpet cleaner*; POWERSPIN PET BRUSH ROLL: Delivers powerful carpet cleaning with protection
SaleBestseller No. 2
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
Clean powerfully. Remove tough stains and pet messes.; Remove embedded dirt. Four-row dirt lifter power brush and powerful suction.

Carpet Cleaners Buying Guide

In this brief guide, we’ll show you how to find the best carpet cleaner for your home. But first, let’s go over the basics.

What is a Carpet Cleaner?

Many people might think of a carpet cleaner as a vacuum cleaner, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Carpet cleaners use the power of heated water and shampoo to wash, scrub, dissolve stains, and rinse carpets, leaving not just their surfaces sparkly clean but also the roots of the carpet fibers.

Pro Tip. After using a carpet cleaner, you’ll want to go over the area with the vacuum feature to suction out as much moisture as possible. You can also sun-dry your carpets and rugs outside to eliminate moist spots and prevent mold growth.

Why Should I Get a Carpet Cleaner?

If you live in a spacious home with lots of carpets, you already know the challenges of maintaining clean carpets. A carpet cleaner is a home appliance that simplifies the task of cleaning, scrubbing, shampooing, and rinsing, without needing to hire costly professional carpet cleaning services.

Carpet Cleaners

Did You Know. The longer you let a particularly dirty stain to stay in your carpets, the harder it will be to remove later on? Ideally, you’ll want to address the problem as soon as it arises. Also, the sooner you use a carpet cleaner on a dirty spot, the less shampoo you’ll need to remove it completely.

Carpet Cleaner vs. Steam Cleaner

So, if you’re wondering whether the chemical-free sanitizing power of steam is ideal for removing debris from your carpets, they can be. However, steam-cleaning your carpets should not be a part of your regular carpet maintenance routine.

Steam is great for sanitizing and removing sticky objects from carpet fibers, such as dried gum and old pet food. However, the high temperature of steam can cause synthetic carpet fibers to wrinkle and become hardened after they’ve dried. You run the risk of this happening while using a steam-only solution since it can take time for the steam to reach the roots.

Pro Tip. Feel free to give your carpets a final blast of steam after using a carpet cleaner. Steam will help in killing surface bacteria that survived the initial deep clean.

Important Carpet Cleaner Features

Carpet cleaners come with a wide range of features. The following will describe what the most crucial features are in carpet cleaners and how they will affect the tool’s performance.

Best Carpet Cleaners

Suction

The air-watt rating of a carpet cleaner denotes how well it sucks up water and debris. The higher the air watt rating, the more efficient the appliance is. Even so, the suction power is not the only key factor in a carpet cleaner’s cleaning capacity.

Cleaning Direction(s)

Some carpet cleaner models can only move in one direction while cleaning while others work similarly to a vacuum cleaner (push and pull). Single-direction carpet cleaners tend to be bulkier and deliver a much higher air watt rating, but it can be inconvenient to relocate furniture in order to make way for the tool. We recommend sticking to a push-and-pull carpet cleaner for the convenience.

Brushes

The stiffer and quicker the brushes spin, the cleaner the end result. Some models come with single-active brushes while other can dual-active brushes that spin in opposite directions. The latter is ideal for extremely dirty carpets that need the extra aggressiveness of bi-directional scrubbing to get the job done thoroughly. You can also find carpet cleaners with side brushes to ease the arduous task of cleaning edges.

Caution. Just because a carpet cleaner delivers a mega-powerful suction and comes with all sorts of brushes with stiff bristles doesn’t make it the ideal option for your particular carpet. For instance, wool carpets or decorative carpets require a more delicate touch to remove debris without pulling out the fibers.

Attachments

Tools simplify the work of washing and also allow you to clean your furniture and stairs. The most popular kits in some of the best carpet cleaners are specifically made for cleaning the tapestry and stairs. All of these tools are generally three-sided and broad; some come with a button that shoots out a wide fan of cleaning solution to loosen more debris before introducing high-pressure suction.

Bissell 1548F
Bissell 1548F

FYI. Pet hair can be a pain to remove, even with a high-pressure carpet cleaner. If you have pets who shed like crazy, try and find a pet-friendly carpet cleaner with a powered brush attachment to remove pet fur from carpet fibers.

Cleaning Width

The width of the carpet cleaner’s floor head must also be taken into account. A carpet cleaner with a 12-inch nozzle lip or wider will help clean more debris with every pass, thereby reducing the number of passes needed to clean extra-wide carpets. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, try and find the widest nozzle possible.

Heated Drying

Some carpet cleaner models come with a built-in dryer that delivers heated air over a newly washed carpet. The heated air assists in quickening drying times, which is a must-have feature for those with wall-to-wall carpets.

Carpet Cleaning

For Your Carpet’s Safety. Just make sure you keep the tool moving continuously, otherwise the heated air may actually end up causing irreparable/costly damage to your delicate carpets. Even though the risk of such an occurrence is incredibly low, you heat-dry a single spot on your carpet for more than 10 to 20 seconds at a time.

Water Tank

Many manufacturers are now equipping their carpet cleaners with user-friendly water tanks. Most are transparent, so the remaining water and suds level is easy to see. Some tanks can hold larger quantities of water and shampoo to reduce the frequency of refilling and mixing the cleaning solution. If you need to clean wide surface areas, a larger water tank—more than one gallon—would be ideal.

Upright vs. Spot Cleaning

Carpet cleaners can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The common of which are upright models that come with full-sized motors, deliver high-pressure suction, and wider nozzles to get the job done effectively in fewer passes.

However, it would be impractical to whip out an upright every time your pet leaves a tiny surprise on your carpeting. Instead, for localized dirty spots on your carpets, consider using a spot cleaner. These compact devices remove tiny stains much more quickly while using less energy, water, and elbow grease.

Best Carpet Cleaner

Weight

This has more to do with the overall convenience of using a carpet cleaner that it does with the appliance’s performance. A lighter tool is generally easier to lift and move up and down different floors. Plus, they’re a lot easier to push and pull, meaning that you can complete your carpet-cleaning duties in less time.

FYI. The size of the tank can affect the carpet cleaner’s weight. When transporting the tool up and down stairs, make sure you empty out the tanks to make it easier to carry. When cleaning stairs, make use of the cleaning attachments and suction hose, or you can consider using a compact, well-balanced spot cleaner.

FAQs

Is buying a carpet cleaner cheaper than hiring a professional service?

Yes, it is. Even though shampooing carpets isn’t a part of regular carpet maintenance, the cost of hiring professional services can add up to more than the cost of a carpet cleaner, shampoo, and water and energy bills. Simply put, the upfront cost of a carpet cleaner and the operation costs of supplies is much less than that of a professional carpet cleaner (on average).

How often do I need to shampoo my carpets?

It depends on how often you drop food and how often your pets leave happy little surprises. Cleaning your carpets thoroughly will ensure that the color doesn’t fade over time, and that mold and bacteria doesn’t grow in moist spots hidden just below the surface. In general, professional carpet cleaners recommend shampooing carpets every 6 or 12 months, but you should deep-clean them every time there’s a stinky mess.

How do I clean urine?

First and foremost, you should NOT use warm water, steam, or heated air to remove urine stains. You should first go over the area with cold water and a urine-removing shampoo. This will completely eradicate any residual urine crystals that may have dried up and become embedded in your carpet’s fibers. We recommend going over the area twice or three times with cold water and shampoo before introducing steam and blasting it dry with heated air.

Can I use vinegar in a carpet cleaner?

It’s possible, but we wouldn’t recommend it. There’s no telling how the vinegar will react to the plastic tank or delicate system of pipes and hoses that spray the cleaning solution on carpets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid voiding the warranty.

Carpet Cleaners

Our Recommended Carpet Cleaners

Best of the Best!
Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Budget Option
Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner...
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
Bissell 86T3
Bissell 15489
Bissell 2085
1.75 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path Width
25 ft. Cord
25 lbs
1 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path
22 ft. Cord
18 lbs
0.50 gal. Capacity
9.5" Cleaning Path Width
20 ft. Cord
11 lbs
The Bissell Big Green Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaner achieves a whole new level of clean by out-cleaning the leading rental carpet cleaner.
Get your carpets clean with the ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet. This carpet cleaner outcleans the leading rental machine and is half the weight, giving you the convenience to clean your carpets whenever you want!
The Bissell TurboClean Power Brush is the convenient upright carpet cleaner for pet owners with small spaces to help bring area rugs and carpets back to life.
Best of the Best!
Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner...
Bissell 86T3
1.75 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path Width
25 ft. Cord
25 lbs
The Bissell Big Green Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaner achieves a whole new level of clean by out-cleaning the leading rental carpet cleaner.
Carpet Cleaner for Pets
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
Bissell 15489
1 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path
22 ft. Cord
18 lbs
Get your carpets clean with the ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet. This carpet cleaner outcleans the leading rental machine and is half the weight, giving you the convenience to clean your carpets whenever you want!
Budget Option
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
Bissell 2085
0.50 gal. Capacity
9.5" Cleaning Path Width
20 ft. Cord
11 lbs
The Bissell TurboClean Power Brush is the convenient upright carpet cleaner for pet owners with small spaces to help bring area rugs and carpets back to life.


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Last update on 2020-10-23 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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