The more carpet you have and the more dirt it's exposed to, the more likely it is that buying your own carpet cleaner will be a worthwhile investment says ConsumerReports.org. |
There are basically only two main types of carpet cleaners for home use. Because these two carpet cleaners have different functions, it can be very convenient to have both. Each type has a purpose therefore they can both be used to effect a carpet cleaning. You would use a compact portable carpet spot cleaner to remove stains as they happen, which can delay a full carpet cleaning to a more convenient time. When the whole carpet needs cleaning, you would use an upright carpet steam cleaner. With both in the home, you can use the portable unit to concentrate on stains, while you do the entire carpet with an upright carpet cleaner.
The main difference between a compact portable spot cleaner and a handheld unit - you can place a portable spot cleaner down on a stain, to which it can effect a scrub and they also have more features. A handheld spot cleaner is smaller with limited features and you have to hold it and direct the cleaning, which can be tedious. Both of these spot cleaners can be handy in their own right; it's sometimes difficult to decide which would be better and price often rules.
Some other factors to keep in mind when shopping for a carpet cleaner:
Tank size: A cleaner with a large tank will require fewer refills than a small carpet cleaner; on the other hand, a big water tank will make the carpet cleaner heavier and harder to push when full. Some models have two separate tanks for clean and dirty water, while others use a double-tank design with only one part to remove and refill. Users say the latter design makes refilling easier, but it also cuts down on the tank's capacity. Tools and attachments: Most models have handheld attachments for cleaning upholstery, stairs and narrow spaces. Some uprights also come with an attachment for cleaning bare floors. Convenience features: Think about your personal needs and which of these features will be most important for you. One feature many users appreciate is an automatic soap dispenser, which automatically mixes the correct amount of detergent with water. Other features that may be useful include an internal water heater, powered brushes to scrub out dirt, indicator lights to tell you when the tank needs emptying or refilling, and a tank shutoff that cuts off the machine's suction when the dirty-water tank is full. Cord and hose length: Cord lengths range from 15 feet on portable models to 30 feet for some large uprights. Hose lengths typically range between 5 and 8 feet, Cleaning agents: Most manufacturers recommend using their brand of cleaner for optimum performance, but they are usually expensive. Some users say cleansers or even a simple mixture of water and white vinegar make good substitutes, but keep in mind that using a cleaner other than what the manufacturer recommends may void your warranty. Try before you buy: Look for a store where trial models are available so you can test out your chosen machine before laying down your money. Though a basic carpet cleaner will often be adequate for those with limited carpets or the budget shopper, additional tools and features can make a carpet cleaner more versatile, than merely for cleaning carpets.
Built-in spot cleaning - you can spray cleaning solution on spots; must have a separate solution compartment Powered hand tool - rotating brushes and solution spray for cleaning home and auto/rv upholstery Enhanced number of rotating floor brushes, rows - more effective Enhanced power Wider path design - get the job done more quickly Easy to fill/remove water tanks and to clean them after carpet cleaning Enhanced suction for better water/dirt removal
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