Unfortunately, accidents happen, even with house-trained pups and potty-trained toddlers – an “oops” is part and parcel of having children and pets. From food and juice stains to poops and pees, it doesn’t take long before your shabby chic carpets are more shabby than chic and your house smells like old Macdonald’s farm.
But there’s good news. Saying hello to a new addition doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to clean, fresh smelling carpets. There are loads of powerful carpet cleaners available that’ll breathe new life into your rugs and carpets, and remove those awful odors, pee and poop stains, and any other unpleasant marks. So what do you do? Pull up all the carpeting and cover your sofas with plastic? No, you get a state-of-the-art carpet cleaner.
The question, however, is how do you choose one? Is it all about size and suction? What about the price? And the type of stains? What about houses that have carpets as well as floors? Will a cleaner work?
Carpet Cleaners for Pets
No matter how adorable they are, pets leave smells and stains wherever they go. Throw kids into the mix, and you have a potential disaster. Carpet cleaners for pets, unlike standard vacuum cleaners, have all the necessary components and parts to get rid of the toughest marks.
A pet carpet cleaner is a hybrid between a vacuum and a steam cleaner. A vacuum isn’t able to lift a pet’s dander and fine hair that gets embedded in carpet and furniture fibers, but a pet cleaner with a strong brush can. Carpet cleaners combine a powerful brushing action with a suction to agitate and move pet hair, while the steam works to lift and remove stains.
The Best Carpet Cleaner Brands, According to Us
There are a lot of makes and models available on the market, which can make choosing the right one seem like a daunting task. We’ve handpicked six of the best carpet cleaner brands that’ll make your buying decision an easy one.
Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet Full Sized Carpet Cleaner
The Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet Carpet Cleaner is an upright model that can handle pretty much anything your pets, or kids, throw your way. The cleaner has a pet hair collection basket that gathers fine dander and hair and prevents it clogging up the machine. The dual rotation Powerbrushes provide a deep clean and the biodegradable detergents are good for the environment, as well as your family. The heatwave technology keeps the water and soap solution warm for the best cleaning results.
We like that the cleaner has adjustable settings so you can choose a normal or light clean, or when it’s needed, heavy cleaning, and you can set it to suit the type of surface that needs to be cleaned. There are a number of accessories that also make cleaning quick and convenient, like the EdgeSweep brushes that can reach into the corners. Specially designed to remove pet hair and urine stains, the Bissell DeepClean features a 4-row dirt lifter power brush that penetrates deep into your carpets to loosen the most stubborn dirt and stains. Rotating brushes, as well as a robust suction, work together to remove embedded dirt.
Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
If you’ve got a few rugs around the house or small areas that are carpeted, then this is the perfect cleaner for you. The Bissell SpotClean is a compact machine that cleans up spills around the house. It only weighs 17 pounds, but the suction is powerful enough to keep your house clean and stain-free.
The Bissell portable cleaner comes with two separate brushes, a 22-foot cord, and a four-foot hose to get into those hard-to-reach-nooks and crannies. The tanks are a good size, even when you compare them to larger cleaners, and they’re easy to refill and clean. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a cleaner that’s lightweight, simple to operate and has all the accessories you need.
Hoover Power Scrub Pet Carpet Cleaner
The Hoover Power Scrub Pet Carpet Cleaner uses a SpinScrub Brush System that is able to get all the fibers fresh and clean. It lifts stains, removes any residue and dries the area using heated air. The Power cleaner comes with a whole lot of accessories as well as an eight-foot hose for those hard-to-reach areas.
Weighing 18 pounds, it’s one of the lightest upright cleaners available, and it includes three different attachments for the various surfaces in your home. There is also a turbo brush and medium and large suction tools. At a mere 18 pounds, the Hoover FH50150 is one of the lightest upright cleaners available on the market today. The multi-directional brush cleans from all angles while the DualV Nozzle Technology provides the same amount of suction to clean surfaces evenly.
The Hoover Power Scrub Pet Cleaner has different cleaning modes including the quick clean, deep clean and a wash/rinse mode. The Antimicrobial SpinScrub® Brush System tackles tough dirt without wearing out your carpets and a larger tank means you don’t have to refill it as often.
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner is easily one of the best on the market at the moment. The steam cleaner is powerful, versatile and well-priced and will clean almost anything, from carpeting and furniture to kitchen appliances, your outdoor grill, and your car. What sets it apart from other steam cleaners is the number of attachments it comes with, 18 to be exact, including a floor mop, jet nozzle, squeegee, five utility brushes, and a scrub pad.
You can use the McCulloch to steam your mattress, freshen upholstery and curtains and even clean the patio and car. With 1500 watts of steaming power there isn’t much it can’t clean. And it’s very well-priced.
Hoover Power Scrub Elite + 32oz PetPlus Pet Stain
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite eliminates pet odors and stains, even in high traffic areas. It also gets rid of dander and stubborn hair embedded deep in the carpet fibers. There are three cleaning modes including quick cleaning, deep cleaning, and a rinse mode. If you’re in a hurry, the ‘quick clean’ mode has a heat force that dries the area in as little as 45 minutes and if you want to remove any soapy residue, just rinse with water.
The tank is a good size, which means you don’t have to refill it all the time and the Antimicrobial SpinScrub Brush System gets rid bacteria and odors. This is the perfect choice for homes that have large carpeted areas.
Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution
The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution is precisely that, a revolution in cleaning. The professional-grade cleaner works on all types of stains and comes with the two cleaning modes. The Express Clean mode gives a lighter clean and carpets are dry in approximately 45 minutes. The Deep Clean mode, on the other hand, gets rid of tougher stains and embedded dander and fur, but your carpets will take longer to dry.
The Bissell ProHeat makes use of Heatwave Technology which keeps the water hot while it’s cleaning. This helps get rid of stubborn stains and stops bacteria and allergens growing. The two-tank water system keeps the dirty water separate from the clean water, and the one-gallon tank means you don’t have to constantly refill it. There are accessories to clean carpets, furniture as well as stairs.
How to Choose a Carpet Cleaner
There are a few features that’ll make using a carpet cleaner easier and get the job done quicker, especially if it’s for cleaning up with pets in the home. These are the most important factors to keep in mind when buying a carpet cleaner.
Carpet cleaners come with different modes, which usually include an easy or light mode, a deep cleaning one, and a rinse mode. The rinse mode runs clean water through the machine and is handy for when you’ve cleaned your carpets or furniture and want to get rid of excess water or cleaning solution.
The wider the cleaning path, the more cleaning gets done in less time. This saves time and ensures more gets done with less effort. Of course, if the area you’re cleaning is small, a wide cleaning path is going to be more of a hassle than a convenience.
Built-in Water heater
A carpet cleaner with a built-in heater will keep the water hot throughout the cleaning process. This means even the most stubborn stains and pet hair will be removed.
It can take between six and eight hours for your carpets or furniture to dry, which can be an inconvenience. However, newer models come with heated driers that speed up the drying time.
Different Water Tanks
Usually, carpet cleaners come with one or two tanks. With dual tank systems, clean water is kept in one container, and the dirty water in another. Whereas single tank machines have a ‘bladder’ that keeps the clean and dirty water separate. Both work the same way, and it comes down to your personal preference.
The Size of the Water Tank
The larger the tank, the less refilling and emptying you have to do. Most cleaners come with a one-gallon container, but the deep cleaning machines often come with tanks that can hold as much as 2.5 gallons of water.
The Weight of the Carpet Cleaner
The weight of the cleaner refers to how light or heavy it is for you to carry or push around. Also, keep in mind it’ll weigh more when you add water. On average, carpet cleaners are about 14 pounds, with some a little lighter, and others slightly heavier.
The Length of the Hose and Cords
The length of the hose, while it won’t affect the performance, will make cleaning stairs or furniture easier. Most hoses are around eight and a half feet. The power cord, on the other hand, can be between 10” and 30”. The longer it is, the easier it is to move around the house when you’re cleaning.
Tools and Accessories
Most carpet cleaners come with a variety of tools and accessories for more specialized cleaning. The included attachments allow you to clean different surfaces like furniture, hard floors, carpets and even curtains.
Warranties can always be tricky, so make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not. If the cleaner you buy comes with a specific cleaning solution and you use something else, you could void the warranty. In most cases, labor and parts are covered for one year, but always be sure to check.
A few other considerations when buying a carpet cleaner include what you’ll be cleaning, how big an area and whether you have space. Ask yourself if:
You need a deep cleaning machine?
Depending on the nature of the stains, you might want to consider a cleaner that can reach deep into the fibers. Some machines are better suited to this than others, so make sure you know what type of dirt and debris you’re going to be tackling. Also, if you don’t have a lot of carpets, you won’t need a heavy-duty machine.
You’ll be cleaning furniture?
Carpet cleaners can also be used for upholstery and furniture. While some are all-purpose, other models come with different accessories and brushes to lift dander and fur off furniture. Make sure you know what accessories come with the cleaner you choose.
You have a big house with a lot of carpets?
No matter how big your house and how many carpets you have, there are domestic cleaners that will do the job. You don’t have to hire industrial machines or hire a carpet cleaning service every time there’s a spill or a mess.
Space is limited?
If you live in an apartment or condo and space is limited you can buy compact carpet cleaners that can be stored easily. Also, for homes with small carpeted areas, some lightweight models are easy to maneuver. Stairs? No problem. The portable models can be carried from one room to another easily.
Carpet Cleaner FAQ’S
There are some frequently asked questions when it comes to carpet cleaners. If you have any that we’ve maybe missed, please get in touch so we can assist. Here are a few of the most common.
Isn’t it easier to just hire a carpet cleaning service?
It probably is less hassle for you to hire a carpet cleaning service but it’s going to cost you quite a bit. Carpet cleaning services can charge as much as $70 per room, or by the square foot and the cost quickly climbs. Plus you have to book an appointment and make sure somebody’s home.
Carpet cleaners for homes have come a long way, and are easy and convenient to use. For example, many have separate tanks to stop the dirty water mixing with the clean, and there are even models that mix the detergent, so you get the perfect ratio every time.
They are also cost-effective compared to the carpet cleaning services.
What kind of carpet cleaner should I buy?
The type of carpet cleaner you buy will depend on the size of your home and how much of it is carpeted. Ideally, you want a steamer that will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Make sure the cleaning path is wide enough to cover the necessary areas, and that it can clean backward and forward.
How long does a carpet cleaner take to dry?
Remember the days when you weren’t allowed to walk on a freshly cleaned carpet for at least 24 hours? Not anymore. Cleaners have built-in drying components that ensure the carpet dries quickly while others use extraction power. There are also steamers that push hot air out the head to speed up the drying time.
Will a carpet cleaner remove stubborn stains?
Residential carpet cleaners can remove stains if they have the right brush. Make sure the brush is able to scrub from all angles and reach into the fibers. A spinning-type brush is also a good option as it reaches deep into the carpet and stops stains reappearing when it dries.
There you have it! Our top six picks of the very best carpet cleaners available to buy, along with a buying guide and the most frequently asked questions.
Steam cleaners have come a long way since the 70s and 80s and depending on the different types of attachments, you can clean pretty much everything. We use ours to get rid of pet hair and stains, as well as general dirt and grime, but they’re great for disinfecting kitchens and bathrooms, removing grout stains, killing dust mites from mattresses and bedding, and cleaning your car.
In our opinion, a carpet cleaner will reduce odors, remove those messy stains and ease allergies. A normal vacuum cleaner will help to an extent, but it won’t give your carpets the deep clean they need. It’s a no-brainer having one in your home if you have pets.