The Top 10 Best Carpet Cleaners of 2015 & 2016

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Carpet Cleaners: Questions & Answers

Why should I buy a carpet cleaner as opposed to renting one?

In the past, most people rented carpet cleaners when they needed to give their house a really deep clean. However, having your own has several advantages. For one, you are very likely to save money in the long-run, especially if you find yourself frequently needing a carpet cleaner to deal with pet stains and other surprises. There are a lot of affordable carpet washer machines out there, so buying one for a set price and then getting to use it whenever you want saves you that rental fee.

It is also a lot more convenient to have access to a carpet cleaner whenever you want it, and not have to be limited to 24-hours or however long the rental place lets you have it. You can clean whenever you get the chance without having to plan ahead. You also can get the exact brand you want instead of choosing from whatever selection the rental offers.

How many amps should a carpet cleaner have?

Carpet cleaners run by electricity use amps to measure power. Since carpet washers have to do really deep cleaning, it’s important to have a strong motor. 10-12 amps is a good range if you really want to get out set-in stains from pets or dirt. The most powerful machines can also include horsepower, so you know you’re getting a very powerful stain-removal system.

What tank size should I go for?

Carpet cleaners work by using clean water on carpets to remove dirt and stains, and then sucking the dirty water backup in the tank. The size of the tank determines how long you can clean before having to refill with clean water and empty out the dirty. If you want to clean your whole house on just one tank of clean water, you’ll need a pretty big water tank. You also should note that a bigger water tank means the machine will weigh more. 1-2 gallons is common for most decent-sized cleaners. How fast you go through the water depends on how bad your carpets are.

What’s the difference between carpet cleaner with a two-tank system and a one-tank system?

Carpet cleaners come with either two tanks or one tank with a bladder to separate out the clean water from the dirty. Two tanks are considered more hygienic since the dirty and clean water are completely divided, and it’s easier to pour out just the dirty water. Most one tank designs also have separate compartments, but the clean water is kept within a bladder bag while the waste water fills up around the bag. The benefit of one-tank systems is that you have to deal with just one tank. Most users however find the one-tank bladder system unhygienic and inconvenient, making two-tank systems more popular.

How do carpet cleaning machines keep water warm?

Most carpet cleaners do not directly heat the water they use, but many tanks are able to keep hot water warm through certain technology, like Heatwave. You fill the tank with hot water from the tap, and hot air produced by the motor keeps the water at a good temperature for more thorough, effective cleaning and stain-removal.

How important are the brushes?

A carpet cleaner’s brushes work with warm water to work out stains and ground-in dirt. Without good brushes, the dirt and stains won’t come out, and you’ll be fruitlessly rubbing your carpet. Good brushes include DirtLifter and PowerBrushes, which are made of 6 rows of stiff bristles designed for really thick carpets with heavy grime. SpinScrub technology and its six brushes provide up to 20% more effectiveness because the brushes spin in multiple directions, surrounding every carpet fiber.

What kind of attachments do they come with?

When you are cleaning your carpet, you might also want to clean your upholstery and stairs. Accessories like a SpinScrub Hand Power tool are great for cleaning couches, armchairs, and stairs, while stair-specific tools and EdgeSweep brushes are ideal for cleaning corners and around baseboards.

How heavy are these appliances?

Carpet cleaning machines are pretty heavy-duty cleaning tools, so they can be pretty heavy. If they have a big tank, you also have to factor in the weight of your clean and dirty water. 20 pounds is considered light for a carpet cleaner, while some of the larger ones can weigh as much as 40 pounds.

How long will it take a carpet cleaner to dry my carpet?

Carpet cleaners dry carpets by pulling up the dirty water with a nozzle, but getting the carpet completely dry is difficult for most carpet cleaners. Look for powerful suction features (like Surround Suction) and forced heated air from the motor to help dry out soggy carpet quickly. For your carpet to feel bone-dry, expect to wait a minimum of four hours after washing. Sometimes you have to wait a whole weekend before your carpet is no longer damp, so think about the suction and motor power before choosing a cleaner.

What detergent features should I look for in a carpet washer?

Carpet cleaners house detergent in addition to water, so the combination of soap and warm water quickly dissolves dirt and stains. Many machines have special detergent features, like an automatic detergent system that perfectly mixes the right amount of detergent per water level, so you don’t have to experiment. CleanSurge and Cleanshot triggers are meant for work on extra hard-to-remove stains, and let you shoot out extra bursts of soap directly on the stain for more effective cleaning. Many come with generous samples of cleaning solutions, so you can save a little money by choosing one of those.

What features should I look for in a carpet-cleaner nozzle?

The carpet cleaner’s nozzle is where the clean water comes out, and where dirty water gets suctioned back up. Nozzle designs like wide, double-chambered mouths and Dual V nozzles help speed up the cleaning process because they provide a wide cleaning radius and focused suction for faster drying.

Can I use them on hard floors?

Carpet cleaners, while designed primarily for carpets, can also sometimes be used on hard floors. Machines with different scrub modes allow for use on both carpet and hard floors with pads for protection. You usually get to adjust the scrubbing speed based on the surface you’re working on, and many carpet cleaning machines have cleaning modes specifically for sucking up spills on hard surfaces without rubbing them in.

How much do carpet cleaners cost?

Carpet cleaners come in a wide range of prices, with some very affordable ones beginning at $100-200. Hoover makes several very reasonably-priced carpet cleaners. The more expensive ones can cost upwards of $500-$600, and are meant for carpets that have a lot of pet stains and other residue that needs really powerful scrubbing action. More expensive carpet washers also tend to have larger tanks and extra attachments for furniture and stairs. Bissell and Rug Doctor are both pricier brands characterized by powerful motors and big tanks.

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