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  • Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping Institute

The Best Carpet Cleaners to Buy in 2019

If your home has lots of wall-to-wall carpeting that gets lots of traffic and stains, you're gonna want a carpet cleaner. Owning a machine is less costly over time compared to renting or hiring a professional to come by. Plus, you’ll have the machine on-hand to tackle stains the minute they happen. The good news: Most come with attachments to clean small areas and small bottles of detergents to get you started. You're going to want to professionally deep clean your carpets every 12-18 months, according to most carpet manufacturers (and some even require it to uphold the carpet’s warranty!) Rolling up your sleeves and doing so will give your carpets new life and give you the satisfaction of a super clean home.

Our Cleaning Lab’s top pick is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner. It can clean everything from light to heavy soil and the double brush rolls help draw even the deepest dirt out of carpets. If you need to clean in a hurry, fear not: The Express Clean Mode had our test carpets clean and dry in only about one hour, one of the reasons it earned our Good Housekeeping Seal. And because the clean and dirty water tanks are stacked (rather than side-by-side or front-to-back), the appliance has a slim design and low profile that’s easy to maneuver under furniture and to store. We’re all about less bulk!

A few things to keep in your back pocket as you consider this and other models:

Before You Buy a Carpet-Cleaning Machine

  • Consider the machine's weight. Carpet cleaners are much heavier to push and more cumbersome to use than traditional vacuum cleaners. And once you add water, they weigh even more.

  • Look for special features, like edge cleaning, rotating brushes, a heater, and attachments. Depending on your needs, they may be worth the money.

  • Read over the machine's warranty (many manufacturers post this information on their websites). While you're at it, check your carpet's warranty to make sure you're not using a product that will void it.

Before You Rent a Carpet-Cleaning Machine

  • Remember to factor in the cost of the cleaning solution. It doesn't come with the machine rental, and you'll have to purchase it separately.

  • The machine is probably not brand-new and may not be in the best condition.

  • Think about convenience: You'll need to lug the rental home and return it to the store when you're done.

How to Get the Most Out of a Carpet-Cleaning Machine

  • Before deep-cleaning your carpets, vacuum the area thoroughly to pick up any loose dirt. When cleaning the entire floor, move furniture out of the way.

  • For pieces that are too heavy to move, place aluminum foil or wax paper under the legs. This prevents wood finishes from staining the carpet as it dries.

  • Begin cleaning at the farthest point from the doorway and work back toward it so you can step out when you're done.

  • Never close up a room with a wet, newly cleaned carpet; it slows down drying time and can promote mold growth. Instead, keep the air circulating by opening the doors and windows.

  • Once the carpet is dry, vacuum once more to pick up any remaining soil.

The Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab evaluates carpet cleaning machines for how well they clean pre-soiled carpet panels, how much moisture they put down (or how long the carpets take to dry), and how easy they are to assemble, use, and store. We’ll test any attachments on upholstered furniture. Stains are applied to carpet swatches for any machines that claim to remove them. Because we know that not all households have the same carpet cleaning needs, you’ll read more on our Bissell full-size pick below, along with other recommendations from our cleaning experts for those with pets, area rugs, or limited storage space.

Check out the full article here to discover which vacuum fits you better:

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