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What are the best carpet cleaners?

Updated on February 12, 2017
Wine stains are the most common reason for needing a carpet cleaner.
Wine stains are the most common reason for needing a carpet cleaner.

Why might you need to clean your carpet?

There are a lot of reasons that you may need to use a carpet cleaner. One of the biggest reasons that people use them is that they have spilt liquid on their carpet such as red wine or cola that is extremely difficult to remove. There are a variety of spray products on the market, but these reduce the severity of the stain, but don’t actually remove it. By using a carpet cleaner, it can successfully extract the stain, and depending on the model, dry the carpet at the same time. You could also try and clean an entire carpet using a spray device. However, you would spend hours and possibly days doing this depending on the size of your property.

It is also an extremely common tool used for those that are nearing the end of a rental agreement. It isn’t uncommon for people in rented properties to perhaps not take the best care of the carpets. The problem that this presents with is that since all rental properties require a deposit to cover any damage, it means that if the carpets are excessively dirty then the deposit will be lost. It isn’t uncommon for the landlord to keep all of the deposit to compensate for the time needed to have the carpet professionally cleaned. Therefore, buying a carpet cleaner that you can use time and again will be extremely useful since the cost of one would be a lot less than you losing your deposit.

Carpet cleaning shouldn't be a one time affair

One thing that many people are unaware of is that everyone should be cleaning their carpets. Whilst vacuuming does help to remove dust and minor dirt from the fibres, over time it needs to be cleaned properly. This is especially true if you have pets that cast hair since the bacteria that lingers can penetrate into the carpet fibres.

As an additional benefit, there are many carpet cleaners on the market now that have numerous attachments with them. What this allows you to do is to do spot removal for stains, such as red wine mentioned above. This is much more economical to do then having to clean a whole carpet. These attachments are also great for cleaning car seats. Much like a carpet, over time car seats can become extremely dirty and filled with bacteria. It is therefore important that these are cleaned every 3-6 months to ensure that they are as fresh as possible.

There are a variety of carpet cleaners that are available on the market as well as them having a wide difference in their purchase price. Since the majority of people won’t be using these cleaners for use Monday to Friday in terms of a business, there’s no need to spend in excess of $400-$500 on a unit. Also, it is more economical to buy a carpet cleaner rather than rent one since you'll be using it numerous times through the year.

The handheld option

For those that live in a property that has a lot of wooden floors and only a few rugs, a spot removal system would be a good choice. These are really cheap to run since they use less power and because they’re generally used for lightweight tasks, they’re a lot smaller and therefore take up less space than a full carpet cleaner. One great example of a spot carpet cleaner is the Bissell SpotClean Professional. This is an amazing spot cleaner that has a lot of features packed into such a small device. One of its best features is not only the length of the hose, but also the length of the cable. This may not appear to be a huge deal, but with both of these being rather long, it is ideal for taking outside. This in turn makes it a great way to clean the carpets and seats in your car.

A word of warning though is that the device is not waterproof and therefore it shouldn’t be used outside in situations whereby it could rain soon since this poses a severe health hazard. The unit also boasts a rather large tank for such a small device. The tank is able to hold 0.75 gallons (or 3.4 litres if you prefer). The benefit of this is that it means you can clean for longer without having to empty the tank. This is great if you’re short on time since you won’t have to stop as often to make sure the tank is empty before starting back up again. Included in the box is a 6 inch stair tool that allows you to clean stairs and larger surface areas extremely easily, and quickly. This means the unit is burning for less time and therefore saving on energy. There is also a tough stain tool included in the box. This is an ideal way to lift harder to remove stains, as well as using it on the car as mentioned above. One word of advice though when using any carpet cleaner (not just this one) is that you should never use it on the roof liner inside the car. Even on expensive car models, these roof liners are often held in with an extremely thin layer of glue. The suction power of these devices can permanently damage the glue which would cause the liner to sag and ultimately require it to be replaced which can be extremely costly.

Regardless, the SpotClean Professional is an amazing device and will fit a variety of people’s needs. Since an array of liquid cleaners can be used with it, you’re never shoehorned into using it for just one purpose.

The full sized option

If it is the case that you live in a property that is heavily populated with carpets, it wouldn’t be a great idea to opt for a spot cleaner. As mentioned above, it is important to be cleaning your carpets during the year. If it was the case that you wished to do that, you’d be kept busy for an extremely long period of time due to fact that a spot cleaner would take far too long to carry out this task.

Thankfully, there are larger devices that are available to carry out this task instead. One of the best upright carpet cleaners currently available is from Hoover. As a vacuum brand with an excellent reputation, you’re guaranteed an excellent level of not only customer support but also servicing should the worse happen with your device with an included 2 year warranty.

The Hoover Max Extract Pro is the ultimate carpet cleaner at a low price. This is a full upright unit, not unlike a vacuum cleaner. One of its biggest selling points is the fact that it has two tanks included in it. What this means is that the dirt that is extracted from the carpet goes into one tank, and the fresh water with the cleaning solution is kept in another.

One of the most important aspects of cleaning anything, be it leather, car paint or carpets is that you should always start on the least aggressive option of cleaning first. The reason for this is that automatically going for the most aggressive cleaning option will undoubtedly remove the dirt/stains, but it can also cause damage to product. Whilst you can’t use the Max Extract Pro to clean leather and car paint, the principle remains. You have to employ the most gentle cleaning method first before working through the stages should a gentler action not work.

Thankfully, this carpet cleaner has a variety of settings included in it for this very purpose. The benefit of this is that it can allow you to do a maintenance carpet clean (as mentioned above) on the lowest setting without worrying about damaging the carpet/rug/car seats. If it is the case you have a really bad stain, you would then be able to use the more aggressive methods to take these stains out when you’re cleaning the carpet. This isn’t an option that is seen on many other carpet cleaners, and by investing a little bit more in one that has this feature, it can save you in having to replace the carpet should you use one that’s too tough on the carpets.

Linked to this cleaning technology is the fact that the Max Extract Pro has a feature dubbed SpinScrub77. This allows the bristles to surround the fibres in the carpet which allows the dirt to be encapsulated and removed from the carpet. Thankfully there is a heating mechanism in it as well which helps to shorten the amount of time needed for the carpet to dry, without it causing any damage to the carpet itself. As an added bonus, this carpet cleaner can also be used on hard floors, as well as the fact that your cleaning time is reduced greatly when using it.

The reason for this is that it has an option on it called AutoRinse. What this means is that when you’re going forward with the carpet clear the cleaning detergent is put into the carpet and then sucked up almost instantly. When you move it back, it rinses the carpet with the rinse water before sucking it back up again. This can cut down your carpet cleaning time by nearly half. You do of course also get a hand held tool in the box as well so that you can use this carpet cleaner on car seats, cushions and also stairs. This is due to the fact that it would be tricky to use this cleaner on these items otherwise.


There are numerous carpet cleaners available online. However, after extensive hours researching these devices it is clear that these two cleaners are the cream of the crop not only in terms of cleaning power and ease of use, but also in terms of cost effectiveness.


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