The 6 Best Carpet Cleaning Machines for Fresh Floors

By Corrie Pelc


On most days, a vacuum does a fine job cleaning the carpeting in your home. But sometimes you need something with a bit more cleaning oomph. Maybe you have some ground-in dirt from trodding feet that just won’t lift out with the vacuum. Or perhaps you noticed a wine stain from your last dinner party that you need extra help getting out.


For these reasons as well as others, sometimes you need a carpet cleaning machine to give your carpeting and rugs the deep clean they need and deserve. A home carpet cleaning machine is able to dig deep into a carpet’s fibers to pull out dirt, grime, bacteria, and scents that an everyday vacuum cleaner can’t normally get to. And with regular deep cleanings, you’ll end up extending the life of your carpeting and making normal vacuuming that much easier.


This guide will take you through the best carpet cleaners on the market right now.

carpet cleaning machine nozzle cleaning white carpet
carpet cleaning machine nozzle cleaning white carpet

Top Picks

How to Buy a Carpet Cleaning Machine

When purchasing a home carpet cleaning machine, there are a few things to consider:

  • Upright or Portable? Carpet cleaners generally come in two types. An upright machine looks pretty much like a standard vacuum cleaner and acts the same way, too. The only difference is instead of a tank to hold dry dirt, it has a water tank on board. Portable cleaners are generally smaller and lightweight, making them easier to go up and down stairs with. However, they may not have the same larger tank capacity as an upright one.
  • Cleaning Solution: Carpet cleaning machines require hot water and a cleaning solution to be placed in the machine. This is what is used to clean the carpet when you run the machine over it. Some cleaning machines apply the cleaner through a spray mechanism, while others pre-mix the cleaner in the tank and the carpet cleaner applies it as you roll over the carpeting.
  • Brushes and Accessories: Most of today’s carpet cleaning machines use roller brushes that move the carpet fibers around, helping draw up embedded dirt and grime and pushing the cleaning solution down further into the carpeting. And some will come with special attachments for getting into crevices or cleaning upholstery, making them more versatile cleaning machines.


Test Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Carpet Cleaning Machines

Here’s a rundown of the test factors we used when deciding on the best carpet cleaning machines for this year:

  • Price: How will this carpet cleaner fit in the user’s budget?
  • Type: Is this carpet cleaning machine upright or is it portable?
  • Weight: How much does the carpet cleaning machine weigh?
  • Power: Is the carpet cleaning machine corded or cordless?
  • Water Tank Size: How large the water tank is will determine how frequently the user will need to refill it during cleaning. Most residential carpet cleaning machines will have water tanks of 0.5 to one gallon, while more professional carpet cleaning machines have larger tanks.
  • Number of Water Tanks: Some carpet cleaning machines have one water tank, while others have dual tanks — one for clean water and the other for dirty water.
  • Cleaning Solution: Does the carpet cleaner pre-mix the solution and apply it or does the user need to spray the solution on the carpeting?
  • Flooring Type: Can this carpet cleaner be only used on carpeting or can it be used to clean other types of flooring?
  • Included Accessories: What types of accessories — such as brushes and crevice tools — does the carpet cleaning machine come with?
  • Warranty: Does the manufacturer back the performance of its product?


Let’s take a look now at our list of the best carpet cleaning machines out there right now.

Best Upright Carpet Cleaning Machine: Hoover FH52000 Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

Type: Upright Weight: 18.9 pounds Power: 22-foot cord Water Tank Size: Half-gallon dirty water tank and 1-gallon clean water tank Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Pre-mixed Flooring Type: Carpet, area rugs, and upholstery Included Accessories: 2-in-1 pet tool, 12-foot hose, accessory storage bag, and cleaning solution sample bottle Warranty: 2-year warranty

One issue homeowners usually have with carpet cleaning machines is the fear that they will leave their carpets damp for hours. That's certainly not the case with the Hoover FH52000 Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner. This home carpet cleaning machine uses a special technology that automatically transitions from washing to drying depending on how you're pushing the machine; when pushed forward, it washes, and when pulled back, it dries the area. And if you need extra drying action, the cleaner includes a dry-only button. This carpet cleaner uses a dual water tank system, auto-mixes the cleaning solution for you, and comes with a brush roll designed to remove deeply embedded dirt from your carpet. The Hoover FH52000 Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner also comes with a 2-in-1 tool for eliminating stains and spots from carpeting, area rugs, and upholstery.

Pros

  • Special technology automatically transitions from washing to drying depending on how you're pushing the machine
  • Dual water tank system
  • Pre-mixes cleaning solution for you

Cons

  • Might be a bit heavy for some to push around and carry up stairs

Best Carpet Cleaning Machine for Stains: Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

Type: Portable Weight: 13 pounds Power: 20-foot cord Water Tank Size: 0.75 Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Spray trigger Flooring Type: Carpeting, area rugs, auto interiors, and upholstery Included Accessories: 5-foot hose, 3-inch tough stain tool, 6-inch stair tool, and cleaning solution sample bottle Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

If you constantly have spots and stains you need to get out of your carpeting, then you'll want to invest in the Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner. This 13-pound portable carpet cleaner is designed to tackle stains on carpeting, area rugs, car interiors, and upholstery. The cleaner features a rather sizable 0.75-gallon water tank that is also a dual-tank system, so dirty water is collected separately. The cleaner's 20-foot electric cord and carry handle make it easily maneuverable around the house. The cleaning solution is added directly into the machine and dispensed via a spray trigger, and the machine comes with a five-foot hose and two specialized cleaning tools to help ensure that stains are a thing of the past.

Pros

  • Designed to tackle stains on carpeting, area rugs, car interiors, and upholstery
  • 20-foot electric cord and carrying handle make it easy to move around
  • Comes with 5-foot hose and two specialized cleaning tools

Cons

  • Just meant for spot treatments — too small for cleaning whole rugs

Best Portable Carpet Cleaning Machine: Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Clean

Type: Portable Weight: 4.6 pounds Power: None Water Tank Size: 8 ounces Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Spray trigger Flooring Type: Carpeting, area rugs, upholstery, stairs, and car interiors Included Accessories: Two cleaning formula sample bottles Warranty: 2-year warranty

If you like the idea of a cordless home carpet cleaning machine for eliminating quick messes, then the Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner is for you! For under $100, this cordless portable carpet cleaner allows you to easily remove stains anytime, anywhere. Simply load it up with Bissell's special cleaning formula that comes pre-mixed. Then use the machine to spray the cleaner, scrub the spot with its built-in scrubber, and suction up the grime into the dirty water tank. The cleaner's lithium battery charges up fully in only four hours and provides up to 15 minutes of cleaning time. And the Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner is backed by a two-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Under $100
  • Cordless so you can use it anywhere
  • Quick and easy to use

Cons

  • Has to be charged up to use
  • Requires specialized cleaning formula

Best Carpet Cleaning Machine for Pets: Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Car

Type: Upright Weight: 17.5 pounds Power: 25-foot cord Water Tank Size: 1 gallon Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Pre-mix Flooring Type: Carpet, area rugs, and upholstery Included Accessories: 3-inch tough stain tool, 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool, 8-foot hose, and cleaning solutions Warranty: 5-year limited warranty

Anyone with fur babies knows pet hair can be a real pain to clean up. Thankfully the pet lovers at Bissell have your back with their Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner. Featuring more than 19,000 reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this upright carpet cleaning machine was designed to tackle the toughest pet stains and odors (even including skunk smells). The machine's powerful rotating brushes get deep down into carpeting to drag up any dirt and pet hair embedded in there. If there's an extra-tough stain you need to remove, the machine features a CleanShot pretreater button to provide a concentrated hit of cleaning solution where you need it. And the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner even has an Express Clean Mode that will dry your cleaned carpets in about 30 minutes.

Pros

  • Designed to tackle the toughest pet stains and odors
  • Features CleanShot pretreater button for tougher stains and an Express Clean Mode for sped-up drying time
  • 5-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Pricey

Best Budget Carpet Cleaning Machine: Hoover FH50700 PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner

Type: Upright Weight: 12.5 pounds Power: 20-foot cord Water Tank Size: 0.5 gallons Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Spray trigger Flooring Type: Carpet and area rugs Included Accessories: Nozzle cleanout tool and cleaning solution sample bottle Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

If you want to invest in an upright home carpet cleaning machine but don't want to break the bank, check out the Hoover FH50700 PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner. With almost 58,000 ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, you really can't go wrong with this top pick for under $100. At only 12.5 pounds, this lightweight upright cleaner is easy to move around the home. The cleaner features a 0.5-gallon clean water tank and a dirty water tank, and the cleaning solution is easily sprayed where you need it by a spray trigger on the handle. The cleaner's antimicrobial-treated brush roll helps eliminate and prevent odors. And the Hoover FH50700 PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner uses the company's Heatforce technology to quickly dry carpet after cleaning.

Pros

  • Under $100
  • Lightweight and compact for easy maneuverability and storage
  • Antimicrobial-treated brush roll helps eliminate and prevent odors

Cons

  • Smaller water tank means more refilling when cleaning a larger area
  • Power cord is a bit short

Best Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaning Machine: Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner

Type: Upright Weight: 41 pounds Power: 25-foot cord Water Tank Size: 1.75 gallons Number of Water Tanks: 2 Cleaning Solution: Pre-mix Flooring Type: Carpeting and upholstery Included Accessories: 9-foot hose and 6-inch tough stain tool Warranty: 2-year warranty

For those with large carpeted areas to clean and a large budget, the Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner will get you a deep, professional clean throughout your home. This carpet cleaner means business, featuring an XL DirtLifter PowerBrush with eight rows of bristles that penetrate deep into carpeting to loosen up and expel embedded grime. The cleaner comes with a dual-tank system, keeping clean and dirty water separate. The large clean water tank holds up to 1.75 gallons of water, which means you'll be able to clean for longer before needing to refill. In addition to its brush roller, the Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner also comes with a six-inch tough stain tool and a nine-foot hose for reaching every area you need to.

Pros

  • Provides a professional-grade clean
  • XL DirtLifter PowerBrush has eight rows of bristles
  • 1.75-gallon clean water tank

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very heavy

Carpet Cleaning Machine Care Tips

There’s no doubting that a home carpet cleaning machine is an investment. Here are some tips to ensure you get the most mileage out of your machine.


Read the Manual

The best way to learn about your carpet cleaning machine is to take a few minutes to thoroughly read through the owner’s manual. It will not only instruct you how to use your machine properly and safely but will give you plenty of care tips to ensure it stays running for many years to come.


Keep Nozzles and Brushes Clean

The brushes and tools you use with your carpet cleaner will inevitably get built up with hair or other debris. Many nozzles and brushes can also be detached from the machine, so they can be run under the sink to help with the cleaning process. Check your owner’s manual for information on how to do that.


Use the Right Cleaning Solution

You’ll notice that most carpet cleaning machines highly recommend you use the company’s brand of carpet cleaning solution. This is because most times, the machine and the solution were both designed to be used together. Using a separate carpeting cleaning solution may be problematic for your machine and can sometimes void your warranty, so make sure to use the right cleaning solution every time.


Store It Properly

Make sure the carpet cleaning machine is unplugged and fully dry before storing. And make a note to store it somewhere where it doesn’t get too cold, like outside or in a vehicle, as water left inside the water tank can freeze.


Do you have a carpet cleaning machine that you love? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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