Updated: November 2017

Carpet Extractor Reviews:

If you have carpet in your home, you have no doubt heard admonitions along the following lines: "Carpets are disgusting! They trap dirt, dust, mold, and allergens! They are one big pet hair magnet! You don't let your child actually play on that dirty thing, do you?" Those with bare floors tend to think they have the cleaner homes, but recent studies suggest that air quality is actually better in homes with carpet. On a bare floor, when you walk, dust is disturbed and sent into the breathing zone; with a carpet, it is kept out of circulation. This does mean that while it isn't going into your lungs, it is staying in your carpet. Once in a while, a thorough cleaning is in order. Regular vacuuming helps keep your carpet clean and fresh, but a deep, power clean helps preserve its usable life and keep it from harboring dust and other enemies. A high quality carpet extractor can help give you that deep clean so you can smugly inquire whether your friends with wood floors actually let their children play with those dust bunnies.
carpet extractors

What is a Carpet Extractor? - A regular vacuum is designed to remove loose dirt and debris from your carpet. It is important to vacuum a few times a week in high traffic areas. But even with routine care, it is inevitable that dust, mud, spills, and more can get ground into your carpet. It is then out of reach of your regular vacuum. A carpet shampooer sprays a foaming agent onto the carpet and then massages it in with spinning brushes. Carpet extractors, on the other hand, injects the cleaning solution and then extracts the dirty cleaner back out. The benefit of the extractor is that you are left with a clean, dry carpet instead of having to wait hours before you can walk on it. Extractors save time, and they save money in the long run. Buy or Rent a Carpet Extractor? - A carpet cleaner rental can be a great solution if you need a quick, deep clean for your rugs. Is this the most cost-effective method though? It usually costs about $25 to $35 per day, not including cleaning chemicals. Experts recommend getting your carpet cleaned thoroughly every 12 to 18 months, so the expense is not huge. But, according to many forums, rental cleaners typically don't have the power necessary to do a really deep clean. If you have pets, smoke, or need a more frequent power clean, buying a machine of your own may be a better bet. If you buy a $600 carpet cleaning machine, for instance, it would take only 20 uses before it paid for itself (at a rate of $30 a day). You can find rentals at Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, and other big box stores and home stores. If you decide to buy, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

*Upright or compact carpet extractors. Uprights are clunkier but they can cover more carpet space. If you have a smaller area, you can opt for a compact extractor, which maneuvers and stores more easily.

*Tank size. A larger tank needs to be refilled more often, but it also makes the extractor more cumbersome and harder to push when full. A smaller tank will need to be refilled more often. Models with two separate tanks for dirty and clean water may need to be refilled less often than tank-in-tank models.

*Features and accessories. Do you want an automatic soap dispenser? An internal water heater, indicator light, or powered brushes? Do you want attachments for cleaning stairs or other small spaces? Extra features drive up the price but may help you keep a cleaner, fresher carpet.

*Long cord and hose. It's just much more convenient!

*Cost of cleaning agents. Many carpet extractors are designed to use with proprietary cleaning agents. If you use an off-brand, it may void your warranty. So either choose a machine that accepts generics or factor the cost of cleaners into your decision.

Just a few more words about carpet cleaning extractors before we take a look at some top picks. One, even if the word "steam" is in the name, doesn't mean they use steam. In fact, they do not. And some carpet warranties may become void if you use particular carpet cleaners on them, so make sure to check before you buy. Carpet Extractor Reviews - Amazon.com and Consumersearch.com provide quite a few in depth reviews of carpet extractors. The owner comments posted to Amazon are the best source we could find with actual consumers leaving their feedback and opinions on specific brands. Consumer Reports does testing of carpet cleaners, but not specifically on "extractors". We suggest you browse the best selling carpet extractors here.

Best Carpet Extractors:

According to ConsumerSearch, the top carpet cleaning machine is the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge F5914-900, which they say works better and costs less than other extractors on the market. The Clean Surge is powered by a 12 amp motor and features five spinning and scrubbing brushes for carpet, upholstery, and bare floors, stain removing power, brush rotation indicator, 8-foot hose, Tool Mode, removable brushes, heated drying, dual tanks, no belt design, and a one-year warranty. The Clean Surge feature helps you power out tough stains with just a push of the button. The Surge Clean is light and easy to maneuver, which is a much-appreciated feature for most consumers. Others note that the Hoover is slower than commercial machines but gives just as thorough a cleaning as the more pricy version. You can find the Hoover for $140 on Amazon. About.HomeParents named the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner, 86T3, as their favorite carpet extractor. Bissell is a leading name in the carpet cleaning equipment industry, and you'll find several of their models top the pack. The Big Green "outcleans" the leading rental carpet cleaner and its rotating DirtLifter PowerBrushes supply great power to get that ground-in dirt out. It cleans on both forward and backwards passes, which saves time, and it dries 30 times faster than commercial cleaners. Features include long hose, flow indicator, two gallon dual tanks, canister design, and rotating high pressure brush with 40 high pressure jets. The Big Green can be used for extracting and dry and wet vacuuming. Many reviewers say that the Big Green is better than the Hoover Clean Surge - and it should be. It costs $550. If you can fit it into your budget, the Big Green will repay you with sparkling floors. The Bissell Little Green is a favorite of ConsumerSearch and consumers alike. At $75, it is a whole lot less expensive than its big brother. The trade-off is a tiny little hose and nozzle. The Little Green is great for auto detailing, area rugs, and other small surfaces. Both Hoover and Bissell are leading names in the carpet extractor industry and will probably be your best bet for an affordable home carpet cleaning machine. Industrial models can cost over $1000 (check out the Electrolux Sanitaire Commercial Canister Carpet Cleaner/Extractor); professional cleanings can cost hundreds or thousands; and rentals can add up over time. When you buy your own, you'll quickly realize the savings. Get that carpet back into showroom shape.