Best Carpet Cleaners of 2019

By Kealia Reynolds

In this 2018 guide to the best carpet cleaners you’ll learn about the best carpet cleaning devices, cleaning solutions, and homemade DIY remedies to keep your carpets fresh and clean.

Top 5 carpet cleaners: devices

Carpet extractors—also known as steam cleaners—are electrically powered machines that use hot water converted into steam, some form of detergent or cleaning solution, a scrubbing brush, and the power of suction to extract dirt and debris to clean carpets. They’re best used to clean wall-to-wall carpeting—so be very careful if you plan to clean any area rugs with an extractor.

Extractors are available for purchase or rental. If you’re in the market for your own, here are our top five choices.

1. Hoover MaxExtract 60 Pressure Pro FH50220

This product is great for cleaning multiple types and styles of carpets, including berber. The smart water tank system makes emptying, cleaning, and refilling water simple. The SteamVac is excellent at extracting water or liquids from carpets and the heated cleaning technology helps your carpets dry quickly upon cleaning.

One potential flaw is that the SteamVac does not have multiple brush speeds—making it slightly more difficult to clean a variety of stains. Suggested retail price is $249.99 but online retailers have it listed between $125–$142.99.

2. BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet Carpet Cleaner 36Z9

A dozen rotating brushes work in unison to give your carpets a deep clean. The DeepClean is efficient, keeping water hot during cleaning and removing water from the carpet as you clean. The upholstery hose attachment allows you to steam clean furniture as well as your carpets. This model comes with a pet hair collection basket and is an excellent choice for anyone with pets at home.

One piece of advice from those that own the appliance and have pets at home—remove all of the visible pet hair on your carpets first to prevent the risk of clogging when using the steam cleaner. Suggested retail price is $299.99 but online retailers have it listed between $228–$257.99.

3. Dirt Devil Enhance FD50110

This compact appliance makes our list as the best choice for apartment or small space dwellers. The Enhance is lightweight and uses high velocity suction to remove stains. With two water tanks to keep the clean water and dirty water separate, the Enhance is well designed and comes in at a reasonable price.

Due to the lightweight design, the Enhance does not come with any accessories and has small water tank capacity. You’ll also need to let your carpets dry for up to four hours after use. Online prices ranges from $109.99 to $149.99.

4. BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere Portable Carpet Cleaner

The most portable option, the SpotClean Anywhere weighs just 9.2 pounds and is extremely compact. Because the removable water tank is small—just 37 ounces—plan to use only on spot-cleaning jobs, not on full wall-to-wall carpeting. The SpotClean Anywhere comes with three specialty tools to combat stains in narrow crevices, nooks, and tough stains that are difficult to remove. Retail price is $179.33.

5. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

The spill-free, easy-to-clean tanks are a popular feature of this scrubbing machine. The counter rotating brushes spin during cleaning and can be removed from the appliance for easy cleaning. As with many Hoover steam cleaners, the Power Scrub is equipped with the fast dry technology so there’s limited wait time for carpets to dry.

Retail price is $179.99 but the appliance is available from online retailers for $129.99–$216.98.

Carpet cleaning device rentals

Many home improvement stores and even some big box stores now offer a rental program for carpet extractors and steam cleaners. If investing in your own equipment isn’t in the cards, or if you have space considerations in your home, consider renting a steam cleaner.

Expect a rental rate of $20–$30 per day for carpet extractors and steam cleaners. You’ll still need to purchase your own carpet cleaning detergent—and make sure you use the recommended or required cleaner for the machines. If you use your own cleaning solution and the machine breaks, you’ll be responsible for covering the cost of repairing or replacing the machine.

Best carpet cleaners

All steam cleaners use carpet cleaning solutions and detergents. Cleaning your carpets requires both an excellent steam cleaning appliance and a high quality carpet cleaner. Here’s our list of the three best carpet cleaners on the market.

1. Hoover Platinum Collection Pet Plus Carpet and Upholstery Detergent

You don’t have to spend $15 on a carpet cleaner, but it’s worth an extra few dollars to get this high quality product. This detergent will work with most carpet extractors and has a mild linen fragrance to leave your room smelling fresh.

2. BISSELL Deep Clean Pro 2X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Formula

Looking for a high quality, biodegradable product? Look no further than the Deep Clean Pro 2X. The cleaner will work with any BISSELL product and most other carpet extractors as long as you follow the instructions on using the concentrated formula.

3. Resolve Carpet Steam Cleaner Solution

This low-foaming solution is designed for use in almost every machine. The highly concentrated solution means that you’ll be able to use less product per clean to get the same results.

Best spot cleaners

Searching for a spot cleaner to get rid of spills and pet accidents? Here are the top three spot cleaners to keep your carpets fresh and spotless.

1. Sunny & Honey Professional Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator

An excellent choice for spot-cleaning pet messes, Sunny & Honey is safe for pets and children and gets rid of odors with its fresh scent.

2. Simple Green

An all-purpose cleaner without harmful or dangerous chemicals, Simple Green can be used on washable surfaces like counters, carpets, and painted surfaces. It’s also safe to use around children and pets.

3. Weiman Carpet Cleaner

This product works quickly to dissolve stains and leaves behind a fresh scent. It includes an oxygen ingredient to lighten stains. This is an excellent cleaner for stains from red wine or tomato sauce.

Best DIY carpet cleaners

If you want to try some fast and easy solutions for your carpet messes, try these simple homemade remedies for carpet stains.

  • Vinegar, water, and essential oils—Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, and six drops of your favorite essential oil for spot cleaning. You can add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide or dish soap for a stronger mixture. If using with a carpet extractor, create enough of the mixture to fill the water tank using the same ratios.
  • Windex—Spray the affected area with Windex and then blot the area with an old towel or rag to soak up the solution. For a deeper stain, repeat the process two or three times. Note: you may want to test Windex on a small part of the carpet that’s less noticeable to ensure this solution will not discolor your carpet.
  • Club soda—Club soda contains carbon dioxide—and occasionally salt—which dilute stains and make it easier to extract the stain material, whether red wine, sauce, coffee, or something else. Speed is essential—pour club soda on a stain as soon as it occurs and blot it dry with a clean, dry towel.
  • Hydrogen peroxide—Tough stain? Hydrogen peroxide is a great choice to combat blood stains, berry stains, chocolate smears, or coffee spills—and won’t change the color of your carpeting. Simply blot the stain with hydrogen peroxide repeatedly until the stain has lifted.

Best organic and eco-friendly carpet cleaners

If you’re seeking an organic and eco-friendly option, try these three organic carpet cleaning options for a safer carpet cleaning experience.

1. 7-IN-1 Carpet Care

This environmentally friendly product is non-toxic and biodegradable and contains no phosphates or solvents. It’s safe for children and pets.

2. Biokleen Carpet and Rug Shampoo

This plant-based solution contains extracts of citrus and grapefruit seed and has enzymes that remove dirt. It’s gentle on carpet, has no artificial fragrance or color, and doesn’t give off fumes.

3. Naturally It’s Clean Carpet Stain Eraser

This lemon-scented, plant- and enzyme-based spot cleaning formula breaks down food messes and pet stains in your carpet.

Carpet cleaning tips

Follow these quick carpet cleaning tips for removing stains:

  • Remove tough stains quickly—The longer you wait to remove stains, the harder they’ll be to get out.
  • Blot, don’t scrubScrubbing can damage your carpet and permeate the stain deeper into the fabric.
  • Never apply heat—Heat may cause the stain to permanently damage your carpet.

Professional cleaning options

For stubborn stains that just won’t come out, call a professional carpet cleaning service like Stanley Steemer. These experienced professionals have specialized equipment and techniques to make your carpets look their best. Select a company approved by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)—these companies are required to have liability insurance and are held to a standard of professionalism and quality customer service.

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