The Best Carpet Cleaners

Staff author Sabine Heinlein has been a journalist for greater than twenty years. She obsesses over issues like how one can take away cat drool from velvet couches and hairballs from heirloom rugs.

For this information, we’ve executed the next:

  • We’ve examined carpet cleaners since 2018, together with six new fashions in 2023.
  • We spent greater than 40 hours researching carpet cleaners, scouring the web sites of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and The Carpet and Rug Institute for steerage and recommendation.
  • We spoke with an expert rug cleaner, the supervisor of a carpet retailer, and an engineer who designs carpet cleaners, in addition to with representatives from carpet cleaner corporations.
  • We analyzed hundreds of buyer critiques with FindOurView, which makes use of synthetic intelligence to establish vital themes and points, and we polled real-life homeowners of carpet cleaners.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

If you want ice cream and are clumsy (like me!), or you’ve got kids, pets, and plenty of rugs or carpeting, a carpet cleaner generally is a sport changer.

“There’s no carpet that’s 100% stain-proof,” stated Jeffrey Iqbal, the supervisor at Carpet City in Queens, New York, the place we purchased our check carpet. By partaking in sure habits—akin to not carrying sneakers in the home, vacuuming frequently, and cleansing up spills promptly (both by hand or with a conveyable carpet cleaner)—you’ll be able to reduce down on how usually it’s important to clear your rugs and carpets. Eventually, nonetheless, you will want a carpet cleaner to deal with set-in stains, clinging odors, and widespread dinginess.

Deep-cleaning carpets and rugs may enhance the well being and security of those that reside in your house. Rugs and carpets entice air air pollution. “Once they attain a sure degree [of dirtiness], they’re now not trapping these particles,” stated Ali Hafezi Mashhadi, vp of Babash Rug Services. “They launch them again into the air when you stroll on them.”

Before you select a carpet cleaner, take a look at your carpet label(s) to ensure the carpets can deal with the water-based extraction-cleaning technique most of those cleaners use.

Also often known as carpet shampooers, most carpet cleaners spray heat water blended with cleansing answer on the carpet. When you move the machine backwards and forwards, a motorized brush massages and agitates the stain, suction extracts dust and water, and airflow funnels it into the dirty-water tank. Many carpet cleaners even have heating components that maintain the cleansing answer heat and assist dry the carpet.

Carpet cleaners are typically referred to as “carpet steamers,” however most fashions don’t really use steam. The Bissell HydroSteam was the one residential carpet cleaner we discovered that used steam, along with water, to focus on sticky goo, like slime and caramel, in accordance with Bissell engineer Ryan Alt.

You can lease a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner from Home Depot or Walmart (normally for round $40 a day). But rental carpet cleaners are typically heftier than the fashions we advocate.

Whether you purchase or lease a carpet cleaner, know that you just’re unlikely to match the cleansing energy of an expert carpet-cleaning service. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that you’ve got your carpets professionally cleaned each 12 to 18 months; this will get carpets cleaner than any store-bought or rented machine and reduces the danger of by chance ruining rugs. If you’ve got an heirloom rug, it’s at all times wiser to take it to an expert, Ali Hafezi Mashhadi stated. “Do not wash silk rugs with these machines!” he warned.

In our most up-to-date spherical of testing, we tried six carpet cleaners. Here’s how we evaluated them:

Cleaning efficiency: We divided a 12-by-9-foot white polyester carpet into six columns (one for every carpet cleaner) and 6 rows (for one or two substances every). Then we dirty it with a carpet’s worst enemies: oils (chocolate ice cream, caramel syrup), dyes (Gatorade, Coke, and Fanta), tannins (pink wine), and bodily fluids (urine). Using a spoon and a scouring brush, we labored yard dust, Nutella, slime, and peanut butter deep into the fibers.

We let the muck dry over a weekend, after which we ran every carpet cleaner up and down one stain column, taking as many passes as mandatory to scrub the carpet as a lot as attainable. After a 24-hour drying time, we in contrast the outcomes, taking note of the severity of any leftover stains and the carpet’s texture and look.

We thought soda could be a breeze to get out—till we tried radioactive-orange Fanta, which not one of the cleaners may do away with fully. Photo: Marki Williams

A good carpet cleaner removes soil and most typical family stains with out a lot effort, however solely a wonderful one conquers the hardest stains. All of the carpet cleaners we examined removed Coke, urine, and blue Gatorade stains. But their performances diverse after they confronted chocolate ice cream with caramel syrup and peanut butter and Nutella. (Also, unhealthy information for thirsty mother and father of thirsty kids: None of the machines have been capable of fully take away pink wine or bright-orange Fanta.)

We additionally famous when a machine smeared a substance, making it bleed into a good bigger space.

Drying time and carpet look: A superb carpet cleaner shouldn’t go away the carpet saturated with water and cleaning soap. Depending on the carpet’s thickness and materials, and on room temperature, it ought to absolutely dry inside two to 12 hours. Some cleaners characteristic a dry mode, which, along with extracting water, blows heat air on the carpet to hurry drying.

We allowed the check space to dry for 2 hours after which felt how damp the carpet remained, rechecking periodically. After 20 hours, we checked the dryness and visually inspected the carpet, in search of fibers that have been refreshed and even, moderately than chewed up.

Comfort and maneuverability: We famous whether or not the machine’s wheels rolled easily, its weight was distributed evenly, and whether or not it may simply transfer into corners, round obstacles, and over thresholds. We assessed whether or not the deal with was snug to carry for a whole cleansing session, in addition to whether or not the machine felt heavy or awkward to make use of. (Most fashions now weigh lower than 20 kilos, with water including one other 4 to eight kilos.)

Finally, we used the SPLnFFT app to measure every machine’s noise degree.

Design and operation: We paid consideration to how handy it was to fill and clear the tanks; how straightforward it was to seek out and press energy buttons; and whether or not we needed to maintain and launch a set off to function the machine (this may be uncomfortable throughout lengthy cleansing classes).

We checked whether or not the machines’ hoses and hand instruments simply and securely snapped on and off, and we thought of how straightforward it was to take away and change brush rolls on the cleaner head.

When relevant, we assessed the mannequin’s digital show and tried to attach the machine to Wi-Fi.

Leakiness: Leakiness is a typical grievance with carpet cleaners, and all the fashions we examined leaked to some extent. We noticed how a lot every mannequin leaked when it was shut off.

Cleaning attachments: We examined their hoses and attachable cleansing instruments on our white carpet’s peanut-butter-and-Nutella stains.

Gentleness and flexibility: Despite warnings from specialists, we determined to check our choose, the Tineco Carpet One Smart, on heirloom wool rugs.

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our choose

Tineco Carpet One Smart Carpet Cleaner

The greatest carpet cleaner

This mannequin operated extra easily, tackled frequent family stains higher, and left the carpet drier than all of its rivals.

Buying Options

With its nifty design, clean operation, and superior cleansing (and drying) skill, the Tineco Carpet One Smart Carpet Cleaner was the clear winner.

It’s a wonderful cleaner. The Tineco Carpet One Smart effortlessly eliminated Coke, blue Gatorade, and urine. It took this machine fewer passes to take away ground-in yard dust than it took rivals. This mannequin additionally excelled in tackling the oily, sticky stains that thwarted most rivals. This was the one carpet cleaner we examined that nearly fully cleaned up chocolate ice cream with caramel syrup and peanut butter (although it did take many passes on its Max mode).

The solely foes this machine couldn’t vanquish have been pink wine and the neon slime we floor into the carpet. (Hardly any of the carpet cleaners we examined may deal with each father or mother’s worst nightmare.)

It has 4 helpful cleansing modes. The Tineco Carpet One Smart’s 4 cleansing modes—which may be set utilizing a button on the machine’s deal with or through the app—remove among the guesswork. Auto mode mechanically adjusts cleansing energy to soil severity, whereas Max mode provides the machine an additional enhance. Attachment mode permits you to use a hose software connected to the principle cleansing head, and it successfully removes Nutella and peanut butter.

In Dry mode, which extracts water whereas blowing air, this cleaner dried the carpet sooner than another machine we tried. The Tineco Carpet One Smart additionally left the carpet smoother and extra revitalized than its rivals.

We didn’t see any main variations within the design and efficiency of the hose and attachment instruments we examined. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It’s snug, handy, and straightforward to function. The Tineco Carpet One Smart was sooner and simpler to assemble than any of its rivals—it took us lower than 5 minutes to set it up and begin cleansing. The machine’s weight (round 22 kilos) is about common, however its clean wheels and user-friendly design made it simpler to push and pull than another mannequin we examined. It rolled over thresholds and round obstacles extra nimbly than its rivals. In addition, its brush roll mechanically shuts off when the deal with is pushed absolutely upright, defending the carpet from injury.

While most different fashions have a cumbersome, 1-gallon water tank, the Tineco Carpet One Smart has a half-gallon tank—offering loads of water for a small cleansing session whereas lowering heft. The clean- and dirty-water tanks have carrying handles, making them simpler to empty, refill, and scrub than rivals’ tanks. (And the caps are connected to the tanks, in order that they gained’t get misplaced.)

The Tineco Carpet One Smart was considerably quieter than different fashions we tried: While cleansing, it emitted a low hum moderately than a deafening roar.

The cleaner heads have a detachable cowl, making it straightforward to scrub the housing and brush roll. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It’s helpfully high-tech. The Tineco Carpet One Smart’s LED display shows the cleansing mode, Wi-Fi connectivity standing, and upkeep reminders. The display’s dirt-monitoring loop, which adjustments from pink to blue as soil is faraway from the carpet, was notably helpful after we have been cleansing darkish or patterned rugs. The display additionally signifies the carpet’s dryness degree when the cleaner is working Dry mode.

You can hold the twine on a hook (situated on the deal with). This is a pleasant characteristic since it could forestall you from tripping or working over the twine. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Tineco Carpet One Smart additionally has voice prompts to provide you with a warning when the machine is powering down or malfunctioning, or when the water tank must be emptied or a brush roll untangled. We discovered these prompts useful if a bit too chatty; the voice characteristic may be disabled.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

  • It’s a bit leaky. It’s regular for carpet cleaners to launch some residual water from the cleaner head after shutoff (maintain an outdated towel helpful). The Tineco Carpet One Smart typically leaked lower than different fashions we examined. But we discovered the laborious means that it could leak violently if you happen to don’t correctly safe the comb roll cowl of the cleaner head after eradicating it for cleansing.
  • It’s straightforward to combine up buttons and pedals. During testing, we stored mixing up the facility and cleaning-mode buttons, due to their proximity. Our testers additionally tended to by chance step on the more-prominent dirty-water-tank launch pedal as an alternative of the recline pedal. But these mishaps are straightforward to keep away from with follow.
  • Its Wi-Fi connectivity and app are iffy. The Tineco Carpet One Smart can hook up with Wi-Fi, permitting you to activate the machine and choose cleansing modes utilizing an app. But after three hours of attempting—with the assistance of a customer support rep, two testers, an IT specialist, and a community engineer—we decided that our testing unit was incapable of connecting to our 2.4 GHz community and, thus, to the cellular app. (The machine typically can’t join to five GHz networks.) Luckily, this concern doesn’t influence cleansing efficiency, since all the machine’s capabilities may be managed with its buttons.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Budget choose

Bissell ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner

Good cleaner, much less handy

This mannequin cleans almost in addition to our high choose, and it prices much less. But it’s extra awkward to make use of, and it didn’t go away the carpet as dry and refreshed.

Buying Options

The Bissell ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner isn’t fairly as stellar as our high choose, however it nonetheless outperformed most carpet cleaners we examined. It’s an excellent possibility if you wish to get monetary savings and are keen to surrender some cleansing efficiency and comfort.

It’s an awesome cleaner, particularly for pink wine. In our exams, this mannequin eliminated urine, Coke, blue Gatorade, yard dust, and peanut butter in addition to our high choose. (It outperformed some pricier Bissell fashions in cleansing up peanut butter and Nutella). Notably, it was the one machine we examined that eliminated many of the pink wine stain. But it lagged behind our high choose when confronted with chocolate ice cream and caramel syrup, leaving a major stain.

It’s an honest (however slower) dryer. The Bissell ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet dried our check carpet sooner and extra absolutely than most different fashions we examined. But it took considerably longer than our high choose.

It left the cleaned carpet in decently clean and revitalized situation. Though the carpet appeared roughed up in some areas, the carpet fiber smoothed out when vacuumed and walked on.

It’s gentle (however a bit clunky). Despite its unwieldy look, the ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet is, at 17½ kilos, one of many lightest fashions we examined. We didn’t have a lot hassle passing it over bumps within the carpet or transferring it from laborious surfaces to rugs. But its wheels don’t maneuver fairly as easily as these of our high choose, and its deal with isn’t as snug to carry.

The ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner has two brush rolls, however it didn’t work any higher than the Tineco Carpet One Smart, which has only one. The cowl may be eliminated for straightforward cleansing. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It has three reasonably helpful cleansing modes. The Bissell ProWarmth 2x Revolution Pet has three cleansing modes: Max, Deep Clean, and Express. We weren’t capable of inform the distinction between Max and Deep Clean (in accordance with the guide, Deep Clean is “for greatest cleansing efficiency,” and Max Clean is “for the dirtiest carpets”). The Express Clean mode, which makes use of much less water, gives a lighter clear and a shorter dry time. (Ryan Alt, a product improvement engineer at Bissell, instructed us this mode is designed to present the carpet “a pleasant little refresh.”)

The ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner comes with two almost an identical hose instruments. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It can be utilized as a spot cleaner. This mannequin comes with an 8-foot hose, a pet software, and a 6-inch stair software to take away small stains from couches, mattresses, and automobile interiors. By comparability, the Tineco Carpet One Smart comes with only one software, and its hose is a foot shorter (this didn’t influence cleansing efficiency in our testing).

Pressing and releasing the set off to manage the spraying and extraction of answer may be cumbersome. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

But it may be uncomfortable and awkward to function. The mannequin’s energy and mode switches are inconveniently situated on reverse sides of the machine, as an alternative of near the deal with or on the again of the carpet cleaner.

The ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet requires you to carry and launch its set off, relying on whether or not you wish to spray cleansing answer or extract soiled water, and this may be tiresome. And this machine doesn’t shut off mechanically when the deal with is positioned upright, like our high choose does.

Its tank is inconvenient. The tank’s screw caps aren’t connected, to allow them to simply be misplaced. The clean-water tank has an uneven backside and slanted opening, which we discovered more durable to align with the tap.

Unlike the Tineco Carpet One Smart’s cap, which is latched to its tank (proper), the ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet’s screw cap (left) is unattached and will simply be misplaced. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It’s noisy. Most carpet cleaners make noise, however this machine’s sound was notably grating compared with that of the Tineco Carpet One Smart. (And it’s sure to drown out any severe speak about slime you might wish to have together with your youngster.)

It’s leaky. After shutoff, this machine leaked greater than the Tineco Carpet One Smart however lower than a few of its rivals.

Two manufacturers dominate the carpet-cleaner class: Bissell and Hoover. In our testing, most of those machines labored properly on frequent family stains like soil, urine, and most sodas. But they struggled with more durable challenges like peanut butter, chocolate ice cream, and caramel syrup.

Bissell carpet cleaners

In addition to the Bissell ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet, our finances choose, we examined the Revolution HydroSteam Pet and the ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Pro Plus.

The Revolution Hydrosteam Pet was the one one which removed no less than among the dried-on slime (a typical downside in US households, in accordance with Bissell engineer Ryan Alt). This mannequin got here in second on chocolate ice cream and caramel, however it made wine stains bleed, exacerbating the issue.

In our exams, the Bissell ProWarmth 2X Revolution Pet Pro Plus didn’t carry out any higher than our finances choose, however it’s normally about $100 extra.

Hoover carpet cleaners

We examined Hoover’s SmartWash PET Complete Automatic and the PowerDash Pet Advanced carpet cleaners. Neither of those cleaned higher than our picks, and each left the carpet wetter than their rivals did.

Rinse and dry the tanks: Read the guide rigorously. Manufacturers normally advocate emptying each tanks after every use, which is annoying as a result of you might find yourself wasting your formulation. But tanks are likely to leak, and mineral buildup shall be rather a lot worse if you happen to don’t clear and dry them.

Rinse the comb heads, nozzles, suction gate, and filter after every use: After eradicating fiber clumps and hair tangles from contained in the cleaner head, run these components, in addition to the filter, beneath heat water. Let them dry utterly earlier than reassembling.

Vacuum usually: To keep away from having to interrupt out your carpet cleaner too usually, be certain to hoover your flooring and furnishings no less than as soon as per week. Avoid carrying sneakers in the home, and clear your canines’ paws earlier than letting them in. Routine vacuuming could make the distinction between cleansing your carpets twice a 12 months and as soon as each different 12 months.

Avoid utilizing sure substances in carpeted areas: If you share your house with babies or clumsy, irresponsible adults, ban Fanta, pink wine, caramel syrup, slime, and pink Gatorade from carpeted areas. In our exams, not one of the cleaners have been capable of take away the slime, wine, and Fanta, they usually all struggled with the syrup and pink Gatorade.

Maybe. Professional rug cleaners use particular chemical substances and machines to reduce bleeding and reduce down on drying time. Like most carpet-cleaner producers, professionals advise in opposition to utilizing a house carpet cleaner on heirloom rugs. Though it’s attainable to scrub some wool rugs with house carpet cleaners, a easy spot check doesn’t assure colorfastness. Rug makers usually use various kinds of yarn and dye throughout the identical rug, stated Ali Hafezi Mashhadi of Babash Rug Services.

We examined the Tineco Carpet One Smart on Persian and Nepalese wool rugs and have been happy with the outcomes. But your outcomes might fluctuate. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

I made a decision to take the danger and clear my Nepalese, Afghan, and Iranian wool rugs with our high choose, the Tineco Carpet One Smart Carpet Cleaner. Here’s how I did it.

  • To reduce drying time and keep away from any mould and micro organism progress on the rugs, I selected a sizzling, dry day.
  • I checked every rug’s colorfastness in a number of spots.
  • Then I used chilly water and solely half of the advisable formulation.
  • I checked every rug’s look and really feel after the primary cleansing stroke and regularly thereafter.
  • I handed the machine backwards and forwards till the soiled water had gone from darkish grey to beige.
  • I used the machine’s Dry mode solely briefly and relied on the solar to do many of the air-drying.

After drying for lower than three hours, the rugs seemed considerably brighter and smelled brisker than earlier than.

Tyler Wells Lynch wrote an earlier model of this information. This article was edited by Courtney Schley and Ingrid Skjong.

What’s the distinction between a steam cleaner, a spot cleaner, and an upright carpet cleaner?

Upright carpet cleaners are to not be confused with transportable carpet and fabric (or spot) cleaners, which work in a similar way (by meting out and extracting answer) however are designed for contained spills. Portable spot cleaners are smaller and largely lack motorized brushes.

Steam mops, alternatively, are designed for naked flooring, whereas steam cleaners take away greasy dust and cussed stains from strong surfaces.

Do I’ve to organize something earlier than cleansing my carpets?

  • Move furnishings out of the way in which so the house you’re attempting to scrub is accessible.
  • Vacuum completely. “Vacuuming up the pet hair beforehand makes the deep cleaner rather a lot higher at its job, since you don’t have the hair clogging issues up,” stated Bissell engineer Ryan Alt.
  • Make certain you’ve got the suitable cleansing formulation readily available.
  • Have a towel prepared for leaks.
  1. Ryan Alt, senior product improvement engineer at Bissell, Zoom interview, April 11, 2023

  2. Ali Hafezi Mashhadi, vp of Babash Rug Services, Canoga Park, California, telephone interview, April 27, 2023

  3. Jeffrey Iqbal, supervisor at Carpet City, Queens, New York, in-person interview, April 17, 2023

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