If you’re a proud owner of an area rug, those small rugs that you put on the steps of stairs, or any sort of carpet, you probably already know how tough these can be to clean.
Indeed, it’s all fun and games while you’re walking around it merrily, but have your pet do its number two on it or spill a glass of Chardonnay on it, and you’ll see just how rough the cleaning part can be.
The good news is, rug owners have slowly but surely caught up on just how annoying this cleaning process can be, so they’ve devised special machines you can use to take care of these quickly and easily.
In this article, we’re going to talk about rug cleaner machines, wirecutter carpet cleaners reviews, and we’ll describe to you how they operate and why they are so popular. Also, we’ve prepared a list of the 6 most popular rug cleaner products currently on the market, so you can have a clearer idea of what to look for. In case you aren’t experienced with these types of contraptions, we’ve also developed a short buyer’s guide, so you can get acquainted with the different properties and parameters you should pay attention to when buying these.
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Best Rug Cleaner Machines
“Drinks spill, kids and pets get sick—messes are inevitable. But a portable carpet and upholstery cleaner can make cleanup less of a disgusting hassle. We scoured hundreds of reviews to get information on the reliability of various models. And we tested six cleaners by staining a white rug with chili, wine, and chocolate—in addition to some real-life kid and pet accidents. The first model we recommend to most people is the Bissell Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner 1400B. “____The Wirecutter Team
Top 6 Wirecutter Best Carpet Cleaner, Steam cleaner & Rug Cleaning Machines
1. Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner – Corded , Black
|Item Weight||9.65 Pounds|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||8.25 x 17.25 x 12.5 inches|
Not every pet mess calls for a full-size carpet cleaning machine. Use BISSELL® Little Green® portable upholstery and carpet cleaner to spray, scrub and lift away those smaller messes, like dirt and stains, from all types of surfaces. It has powerful suction to easily remove dirty paw prints from carpets and stairs, plus it works on car interiors, too! Little Green® portable deep cleaner is lightweight, so you can use it almost anywhere. And this machine doesn’t just clean up after pets, it helps save them! BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation® and its mission to help save homeless pets. When you buy a BISSELL® product, you help save pets, too. We’re proud to design products that help make pet messes, odors, and pet homelessness disappear.
What’s in the box?
Spot & Stain with Febreze Freshness includes a bright and refreshing spring scent to fill your home during the cleaning process.
HydroRinse Self-Cleaning Tool
Easily rinse out your machine’s hose after each use.
3″ Tough Stain Tool
Scrubs and suctions away tough stains on carpet, upholstery and auto interiors.
Every Purchase Saves Pets
BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
2. SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology
|Model Name||BISSELL SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8A|
|Surface Recommendation||Surface Type: Carpet; Upholstery; Auto; Stairs; Low Pile Carpet|
With the appearance of an oversized motorcycle helmet with a hose stuck to it, this rug cleaner from Bissell is a mighty rug-based dirt-tackling contraption that can take care of even the most stubborn stains.
Thanks to its versatile design, this rug cleaner can be used on other surfaces, too. In fact, no matter how tough the stain in question happens to be, this thing can remove stains from upholstery, and carpets, so you won’t have to buy an additional cleaner for tackling the stains on these types of surfaces.
With just the push of a button, Bissell SpotBot Pet delivers hands-free spot and stain removal on carpets and area rugs. Equipped with two preset cleaning cycles, this easy-to-use portable carpet cleaner automatically sprays, brushes, and suctions to remove both surface pet stains and tough, set-in stains. Its unique cleaning foot with DeepReach Technology delivers water and cleaning formula deep into carpet fibers and gently scrubs for permanent pet-stain removal when used with Bissell Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost Formula.
- Hands Free Spot and Stain Removal with a push of a button.
- 2 Preset Cleaning Cycles that automatically spray, brush and suction.
- DeepReach Technology delivers formula deep into carpet fibers.
- On-board hose and Tough Stain Tool.
In order to help you reach all sorts of areas, no matter how awkwardly-positioned they are (such as stairs), the folks at Bissell equipped this thing with a long hose, so all you have to do is unwind it and go to work cleaning up whatever it is you want to take care of.
In the department of the cleaning solutions used in combination with this cleaner, the folks at Bissell recommend their special formula that comes complete with a Bissell sticker on it. Also, this chemical solution is particularly aimed at pet owners because it apparently does a wonderful job of removing pet urine. Of course, there are other cleaning solutions on offer other than this one, so you can choose the one that fits your current needs in the best way.
Hands Free Spot & Stain Removal
When pet stains happen, Bissell SpotBot is ready. Easily fill the clean tank with the solution and warm water, set the machine on the stain, push a button, and walk away.
SpotBot does the work for you. Select from two preset cleaning cycles to automatically spray, scrub, and suction away that pet stain.
SpotBot has a compact design that’s easy to carry and conveniently store for quick use.
Portable Cleaning Features
Delivers water and cleaning formula deep into carpet fibers and gently scrubs to loosen and permanently remove pet stains and odors.**Permanently removes tough pet stains when used with Bissell Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost Formula.
|Hose & Tool|
Need to clean upholstery, auto interiors, or stairs? Bissell SpotBot Pet is equipped with an onboard hose and tool to clean stains on hard-to-clean soft surfaces.
|Bissell 2X Pet Stain & Odor Formula|
Specially designed for compact carpet cleaners to loosen and remove pet stains and soils. Contains odor control technology to neutralize pet odors and help prevent your pet from re-soiling the same area. Search and order Bissell model 74R7 to stock up on the formula.
|Bissell Pet Oxy Boost Formula|
This formula enhancer is designed to add to your tank along with formula. The oxygen in the formula enhancer creates a reaction with the stain on contact to remove tough pet stains and odors like pet urine, vomit, blood, and skunk odors—guaranteed. Search and order Bissell model 1613A to stock up on the formula.
- Easy to carry around
- Comes with a flexible hose
- Powerful suction
- Works on carpets and upholstery too
- Takes care of a variety of stains
- A large tank
- Comes with a special stair tool
- Some users complained about the quality of the hose
- The hose is not covered by the warranty
3. Hoover Power Dash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner Review
|Item Weight||12.5 Pounds|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||15.25 x 10.13 x 43.5 inches|
|Type of Cleaning||Upright Compact|
|Surface Type||Carpet & Area Rugs|
|Above Floor Cleaning||–|
|Weight||< 13 Pounds|
|Tank Size||0.5 Gallons|
|Cord Length||20 Feet|
|Brush System||Brush Roll|
Packing a mighty cleaning punch that is at least twice as hard as many of its competitors, this model from Hoover represents a great vacuum cleaner for all sorts of stains. In particular, the manufacturers claim that his thing works best on pet-related messes, so if you have a pet, you may want to get this model for your carpet cleaning needs.
The secret of this model’s success against pet messes, so to speak, would be its mighty Power Spin brush roll. As you push the vacuum cleaner over the area you want to clean, this brush roll penetrates deep into the fibers of your rug or carpet and extracts the dirt and whatever pollutants may be hiding in there.
As far as the actual cleaning process is concerned, the deal is fairly straightforward – the water in the tank is sprinkled over the area you plan to go over and then the brush penetrates the fibers as we said above. To facilitate the drying process, the folks at Hoover also built in a little heater, which projects the heat onto the area in front of it and so ensures the carpet or rug below is going to dry faster.
- 2 times more cleaning power than many of the competitor models
- Lightweight design
- Power spin brush roll
- Excellent for taking care of pet-related messes
- Comes with a heater for easier drying of the carpet after cleaning
- Dual tank system
- Removable nozzle
- Doesn’t come with any attachments
- The water tank could have been a bit larger
4. Bissell Big Green Carpet Cleaner Machine Review
If you’re looking for an attractive-looking professional carpet-cleaning contraption coming from the Bissell company, this model can be just the thing for you. What makes this model so attractive would certainly be its powerful brush roll, which can penetrate deep into the fibers of your carpet. Also, its bristles are sturdy, so they won’t wear in time.
Other than the powerful brush, this professional carpet cleaner machine also possesses excellent suction, so you can rest assured that this thing will facilitate the drying process after you’ve passed a certain section. In fact, the manufacturers recommend you should perform an additional backward pass so that the patch of carpet or rug below you’ve just cleaned can dry even faster.
In order to ensure you’ll be able to use this thing throughout your house without re-plugging it all the time, the folks at Bissell installed a long, 25-foot cord, so you can rest assured you will be able to reach every nook and cranny of the room you’re in with ease.
- A powerful dirt lifter brush
- Works best with a special Bissell cleaning formula
- A long, 25-foot cord
- 9-foot hose
- Comes with a special tool for tough stains
- 5-year warranty
- Some users reported some issues with the flow indicators
- Some users have complained about leakage issues
5. Hoover Smart Wash Automatic Carpet Cleaner Review
Featuring an innovative piece of cleaning and drying technology that works for hand in hand, this automatic carpet cleaner coming from Hoover can be an excellent solution for folks who want to do a good job of cleaning their carpets – and do it quickly.
The technology we’re talking about is simple enough – you push to clean the part of your carpet you’ve ‘targeted‘, and then pull back to dry it off. This is an efficient way of completing both the cleaning and drying process in one. So, if you have guests coming soon, but you’ve forgotten to clean up your living room, for example, having one of these Hoover models on your side can be a great way to tackle the problem quickly.
It’s not only the cleaning and the drying that’s automated on this model. In fact, the folks at Hoover made the solution and water mixer also automatic. So, all you need to do is pour some chemical solution into the tank, and you can rest assured that this thing will spray just the right amount of it onto the carpet as you’re rolling across it back and forth.
- Automatic push-and-pull cleaning and drying technology
- Automatic cleaning solution mixer
- Fast drying thanks to the Heat Force technology
- Powerful and flexible brushes
- Come with an accessory storage bag
- Pet tool
- A free sample bottle of the cleaning solution
- The cord could have been longer
- A bit expensive
6. Rug Doctor FlexClean Floor Cleaner Review
If you need an easy-to-maneuver cleaning contraption that sort of looks like a vacuum cleaner, handles like your ordinary vacuum cleaner, but is designed to treat rugs, in particular, this model from Rug Doctor can be just the contraption you were looking for. Thanks to its intuitive steering, you can move this thing wherever you like with ease, and pick up all the pieces of dirt along the way.
Thanks to its mighty rotary brush that looks as if it’s about to attack the rug rather than deep clean it, you can rest assured that this Rug Doctor vacuum cleaner can get your carpets as well as hard surfaces rid of a wide variety of stains and other impurities. Whether we’re talking about liquid messes, old stains that have dried up, and are now tough to remove, or pet messes, this all-in-one floor cleaner will be able to take care of it.
- Lightweight design
- Easy to maneuver around thanks to flexible steering
- Works on a wide variety of different stains
- Can take care of both rugs and hard floors
- A single cleaning solution works on all surfaces and for all types of messes
- Accessories are sold separately
- Some users reported that their rug machine wouldn’t spray water after a couple of uses
Best Rug Cleaner Machine – A Short Buying Guide
Arguably the most important part of a rug cleaner would be its brush.
The thing is, rugs, and any sort of carpeted surfaces with long hairs need a brush in order to remove all the stains from their fibers. Whether the stains are old or new, these brushes are there to go deep into the fibers and take out whatever they come across there.
So, if you want to buy a sturdy and powerful rug cleaner, make sure to check its brush and the quality of the brush bristles first. It doesn’t matter what sort of engine this contraption uses – as long as the rotary brush is tough enough, you can rest assured that the cleaner you bought will have a good chance of successfully cleaning whatever surface you’ve set your sights on cleaning. (These brushes work just as well on hard surfaces, for the record.)
2. Hose Length
In the world of rug cleaning machines, there are two types of designs when the way the dirt particles are actually sucked up: 1) models with a hose and 2) models without a hose.
Now, if you want to purchase a model with a hose (which offers you more reach and easier handling), a parameter you might want to look into would be the length of the hose, because it will determine how far out you can reach without having to re-plug or move the machine itself.
The good thing about hosed models is that they usually come with different attachments, too. So, this automatically gives you more options to work with and allows you to clean more different areas. Also, you can clean stair carpets and other surfaces that are high up with ease if you have a cleaner with a hose.
3. The Cleaning Formula
Almost, as a rule, many manufacturers of rug-cleaning machines also produce their own special kind of chemical cleaning solution.
Now, the purpose of these cleaning solutions varies. For example, there are some manufacturers who produce a separate cleaning solution for different types of mess. So, there are cleaning solutions for pet stains, old stains, liquid stains, various solutions with added fragrances, and so on and so forth.
On the other hand, there are some rug machine producers who simply come up with only one multi-purpose solution and then sell it together with their rug cleaner.
So, if you want to tackle a specific type of stain (for example, pet stains), you may want to get a model where you can find it written in the description that it is designed specifically for pet stains.
4. Drying Feature
An increasing number of rug machines nowadays come with a special inbuilt heater that heats the surface you’ve just passed over and so dries it off quicker than it would have dried itself off in time.
This can be a great feature for someone who doesn’t have much time to let their rugs dry. For example, professional carpet cleaners may benefit from this option because they can do their job more quickly and efficiently.
The way this works on many models is that you clean the rug as you drag the machine across it and you dry it by dragging it toward you – or backward. No matter the mechanism, however, an inbuilt dry-off feature can be of great use to someone looking for a rug cleaner that can do the job well and who doesn’t like to wait around for the rugs to dry off too much.
The more parts a machine has, the likelihood for it to break down at some point in the near future goes up. Rug cleaners aren’t any different, although there are some brands out there that are well-known for their high-quality rug cleaning machines.
So, if you are not sure what brand to go with, (because you are a first-time buyer, for example) you may want to opt for a model that comes with a warranty. This way, even if something does go wrong down the line, you can simply resort to the warranty instead of having to buy spare parts or buy a new rug machine altogether.
All in all, rug machines represent probably the best way to clean dirty rugs without calling in the professionals to take care of it for you. The important thing to remember with these machines is that as long as you pick a machine with a strong rotary brush, a mighty chemical solution, and a decent motor, you can rest assured that you’ll have success in cleaning your carpets with it.
Throw in a couple of accessories and perhaps a hose, if the model is hosed, and you’ve got yourself a decent cleaning companion you can count on when a cleaning chore presents its ugly head before you. We hope you found this article helpful and we wish you all the best with purchasing your optimal rug machine.