Buyers Guide

How To Choose a Carpet Cleaner: The Buying Guide

hoover power scrub feature

    Most of us believe that using the vacuum cleaner is perfect for apartment floor cleaning, including the carpets, the rugs and upholstery, but it is not true at all. Actually, the dirt, the soil, food stains, bacteria, coffee drops, or color stains will penetrate deep inside the carpet fibers that make the vacuum unable to reach and remove them completely. As recommended by professionals, we should at least clean the carpet twice a year. However in case you have a lot of adorable pets, or you have some kids and their play ground is on the carpet, I personally recommend you to clean this area more often (normally cleaning once a month at least). Nowadays, the carpet cleaner machine is more affordable that we could buy one for regular home use. In this guide we will cover several factors that you should consider before going to buy any carpet cleaning machine for regular home use.

1. Design: Upright Carpet Deep Cleaner vs. Canister Carpet Cleaner

    They are two most common designs of the carpet cleaning machine and each type will have its own advantages. Upright Carpet Cleaners are best suited for large areas and whole rooms, while portable spot cleaners specialize in stairs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more. Apart from the cleaning surface targeted purposes of 2 designs, here I briefly put some other features to contrast between them.

 Upright Carpet Deep Cleaner


Canister Carpet Cleaner

  •  Easy for us to clean the whole room.
  • Some people prefer to “see” the carpet cleaner in front of their eyes.
  • With the multi-surface feature, the model is adjusted to clean various materials such as, carpet, car interior, upholstery, sealed bare floors and so on.
  • Specialized pet models let you remove pet stains easily.
  • Price: more expensive than the canister designs (ranging from approx. 200 bucks up to 600 bucks). Warranty time is shorter too (1-3 years generally).
  • More designs, options and features to choose
  • Lighter weight, in  compared with its counterpart design
  • Design to fit with the stairs
  • Easy to use and to store
  • Can work on multiple surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Especially when we need to move quite a lot during cleaning or we have to clean many narrow areas.
  • Some designs are cordless: you can hold and clean in a sufficient amount of time (over 15 minutes).
  • Generally cheaper (60 bucks up to 150 bucks) and warranty time last longer than the upright model (some models have the warranty time up to 5 years.)

Fewer options to choose from.

   Even the Upright Carpet Deep Cleaner costs us a little bit much more; it is the design which gives us nearly professional cleaning capacity. Therefore, they are nowadays the best choice of many home owners who require their carpets clean, bright and soft.

2. Rinsing mode

   This is another important feature you should look after for. Briefly explains,

 Rinsing Only modeManual rinsing mode
After washing the carpet with detergents, the carpet need to be rinsed with clean water only. With Rinsing Mode, you can easily turn the carpet cleaner into rinsing function, cleaning formulas will not be added to the fresh water tank and you can then clean the carpet, without refilling the water tank.You must pour the mix (detergent+ water) out of the water tank, then add the fresh water into the tank again to process rinsing mode.

   Some people consider this is a very crucial feature because it could save time and labor, whilst it is optional to others. However, you should never forget to look after for this function, as the more convenient our machine is, the more time we could save and enjoy other blissful activities.

3. Cleaning row width

   This show how wide is your cleaning path could take. For example, Bissell brand offers 6 cleaning rows, 10 cleaning rows or 12 cleaning rows so you could choose the cleaning row width suitable for your cleaning area (each cleaning row is equal to 1 inch) . On the other hand, Hoover only provide 2 options: 11.25 inches cleaning row width or 13.00 inches row width. Of course the bigger will save time, but price is generally more expensive. Normally, users will go after for either 12 cleaning rows (from Bissell brand), while for Hoover’s machines users felt comfortable with any option.

4. In-built Water Heater or Heatwave Technology

Obviously, the warm cleaning water facilitates deep cleaning process better than cool water. Therefore, some manufacturers have incorporated this function into recent carpet cleaner models. On the contrary, if the machine does not have this function, you must manually add the hot water into the tank yourself. Therefore, this could be an outweigh function we should also look after.

5. Fast drying by heating or surrounding suction

It would normally take half of a sunny day for our carpet to dry completely. Thanks to the fast drying features, the drying time now is only 3-5 hours if you use the carpet cleaner with this function.

6. Water tank mode: single tank or dual tank

Dual tank contains 2 sub-tanks that store clean water and dirty water separately. This is more convenient for us to clean, setup, refill the water separately. On the contrary, the single tank only uses a membrane to split the clean and dirty water. This is sometimes convenient but some people feel confusing when setup and cleaning, because the dirt could be splattered all the time.

7. Water Tank Size

The bigger the water tank size, the heavier the machine could be when it is filled completely. For a normal home owner, the water tank capacity in the range of ¾ gallon to 1 gallon will suffice every room cleaning demand. Commercial carpet cleaners will have the water tank as big as 2 gallons, which eventually help us to clean bigger area, but may leave your carpet “dampened” and consume more detergents. Thinking carefully your cleaning area will help you to choose the most efficient carpet cleaners based on water tank size.

8. Equipment Weight

The carpet cleaning machine weight is also a dynamic factor. Some light-weighted one is only at 5.8 kilograms, but some others are peaked at nearly 15.0 kilograms. Considering your carpet cleaning routines (cleaning the carpet on the ground floor or cleaning the carpet on multiple flooring house, cleaning the upholstery every week for your salons/ studios/ shops or just for occasionally clean the house once a month), pick the machine with appropriate weight to save your energy and labor.

9. Cord Reach/ Hose Reach

Again, these values could have wide range of length. Hoses can be around 2-3 meters and cord could be around 5-10 meters generally.

Think of your cleaning surface and position to choose the suited one. As a general rule, the more complex, narrow area needed to be clean, the longer the cord/ the hose should be. Then, you do not need to customize the machine every time you move.

10.  Hand tools

Basic hand tools are attached in your buying package. You will normally get these stuffs along with the machine: upholstery tool, spin scrubbing tool. These will definitely help when you need to clean for specific furniture or narrow areas. However, not all the models will have these items so you should check accordingly.

11.  Warranty

It is varied, but the minimum warranty is 12 months generally, providing that you are using the equipment under the using manual instruction. Some models provide the product warrant time span up to 2-5 years. As expected, the longer the warranty time, the product price will be higher. For household use, 2 years warranty will be better. Also, this will only works for those you buy from good brands such as Bissell or Hoover because their post selling service is better than the one you order from a strange brand or from China.

12.  Product Cost

With hundreds of available products in the market, you can expect the price from 50 bucks up to 500 bucks. Here is a quick comparison of the product price for each models.

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13. Product Review from the public

Narrow down the models that fit with your demands, then you should go to eBay, Amazon or other likewise websites to glance a few reviews about your chosen models is the practical way to see which one could work best for you.

To save your time of doing research, here is the Top Rated Carpet Cleaning Machine 2015 that features best selling machines with benefits and thousands customer reviews.

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