A number of years ago, I'd purchased a home carpet cleaner. I used it at my condo a number of times, but eventually it was no longer effective. I tried cleaning it out and getting things back to working order, but it simply was not meant to be. At the time I had a cat with long, thick hair. No matter how much I vacuumed before using the machine, it got clogged. I think there was just too much hair. The machine didn't survive the move.
Time For A New Home Carpet Cleaner
I'd been looking for a replacement machine for a few years but never found one. Instead I either cleaned by hand or had them done professionally. About a year ago, I saw a deal on Woot for a Hoover Power Scrub machine.
I'd seen some deals pop up before, but never pulled the trigger. The price seemed too high or the reviews indicated that they weren't all that. I wasn't interested in something that wouldn't last.
When I looked at the Amazon reviews for the Hoover machine, many people were impressed. By looking on Amazon, I saw that the Woot deal was virtually unbeatable.
I figured why not, and jumped on it.
And I absolutely love it!
I can't remember much about the old machine, not even the model or type. However, I do remember that it was heavy…and that was before you added water to it. The Hoover is very lightweight standing alone, not much heavier than our Dyson vacuum. Adding water does make it heavier, of course. Still, it's very manageable.
Easy To Use
The machine is easy to use. There are two tanks. One has clean water plus solution and the other holds dirty water. There's a knob that lets you choose to dispense cleaner or just water. A lever on the handle controls the spray and the suction. Once the tank is full, you'll hear the motor change pitch. This means it's time to empty the dirty tank and fill up the water tank.
It Cleans Great
We've now used the machine in every room in our house as well as the staircases (attaching the hose tool is very easy as well). The results have been nothing short of spectacular! Well, I say that because the water continues to come out very dirty, meaning that it's lifting a lot of dirt from the carpets. It has a lot of suction. The carpets end up damp after cleaning and dry quickly. Having a fan blow on them speeds up this process further.
Our Approach To Cleaning
One thing that I've learned is that leaving soap or other cleaning solution in a carpet after cleaning is a terrible thing. The reasoning is simple: Soap, by its very nature, is meant to attract dirt. During the process of cleaning, that's great, but if it's left behind after cleaning, it will attract dirt to the carpets, making the carpets get dirty faster.
So, after reading a lot of other recommendations and just by learning, I now use a diluted cleaning solution (about half water and half of solution after mixing). For the first pass, we have it set to Clean, which dispenses water and solution. Then, I do multiple passes (3-4) squarely on rinse, then do a couple more passes only to suction up what is left.
Tip: An easy way to tell if too much soap has been used is to skip the cleaning solution altogether. Keep an eye on your dirty bucket as it fills up. Besides the dirty water, look for soap suds. If you see them, that means that it's pulling soap from last time you cleaned or had your carpets cleaned, and you need to either use less soap or rinse better, and maybe both.
We love the machine but there are a couple of quirks that I've learned to deal with. There's a small float in the dirty water bucket that rises as the water fills up. Once it rises to the fill line, it cuts off the suction and the motor changes pitch to let you know it's full. This works great except that I've found that if you run the machine into something or run it over a hard surface, it can jostle the float enough to make it rise when the tank is not yet full. The only way to ‘clear' it is to turn the machine off, wait for it to drop down, and start it over again. This can get annoying.
It also has a very short cord. I prefer to plug a vacuum or carpet cleaning machine into a plug not located in the room that you're cleaning, as this makes it easier to clean without the cord being in the way. The cord here is so short that this is virtually impossible in all but the smallest of rooms. I am thinking of adding a heavy gauge extension cord to the back of the machine, I just need to see if it will wind that up as well.
We love the machine and it's gotten a lot of use. We've cleaned every room in the house at least once, and my in-laws borrowed it and cleaned practically their whole house as well. I hope it lasts a long time, but I think we've probably gotten more use from it in the year we've had it than many people do in several years, so I will look at it from a usage standpoint when it's all said and done.
Our carpet cleaner gets a workout. We keep our windows and doors open, so I know that we get a lot of outside dust and such. We also have two kids that tramp dirt in and out. Plus, there's the cat that often gets hairballs and such. Keeping carpets cleaned is a rarity, but I'm glad we have our machine to stay ahead of the battle!
Readers, do you own a carpet cleaning machine and if so, how does it stack up?