Do you remember when the only way to deep-clean your carpets was to hire a professional who lugged around huge pieces of equipment? Pepperidge Farm remembers, and they also remember that you would have to pay an arm and a leg to hire professional cleaners. All that has changed with the introduction of snazzy, more affordable carpet cleaners with less hassle and superior performance to their ancient predecessors.
Among the numerous producers releasing new models seemingly every year, you’ll find that they boast awesome quality, user-friendliness, and a number of different features that are second to none. But how do we find the diamond in the haystack? You could spend countless hours on research, or you can check out our picks of the top five deep cleaning machines to date.
Top 5 Best Deep Cleaning Machines
5. Bissell ProHeat 2x 15651
Don’t be surprised to see Bissell’s deep cleaning machines dominate this list since the company specializes in creating some of the world’s best carpet cleaners, both for commercial and residential use. The 15651 is a great tool that works as either an upright for carpet cleaning or a portable unit for upholstery and other higher-up surfaces.
Bissell’s own HeatWave technology system keeps the water at a constant temperature for optimal cleaning performance until the very last drip. To make cleaning even easier, the 15651 comes with a long 6-foot hose and two spot-cleaning tools (stain remover and crevice tool). Combine these with the powerful suction and your carpets will dry in hardly any time at all.
4. Bissell ProHeat 2x 1986
Another of Bissell’s ProHeat 2x beasts is the 1986 model that we wholeheartedly recommend for our readers with messy pets. Dealing with pet stains, odors, and fallen fur is a task that not many carpet cleaners are up to, making the 1986 quite unique in a sense. Best of all, it does so without the brush roll getting clogged in the process.
The 1986 is also one of the most versatile carpet cleaners available with its detachable cleaning pod for spot-cleaning on higher-up surfaces. In addition, HeatWave technology serves to keep the tankful of water at a constant temperature for consistent cleaning throughout the carpet-cleaning cycle.
3. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner
The Rug Doctor is the only non-Bissell product to grace out list. What sets this apart from so many other eh-performance carpet cleaners is the dual oscillating cross-action brushes that scrub deeper in carpeting without removing the fibers. Compared to most machines out there, the Rug Doctor is able to deliver up to 75% more suction, resulting in quicker drying of medium-pile carpeting (4 hours at most).
For high foot-traffic areas, crank up the power to Super Boost mode to remove deeply ingrained or even old stains in an instant. There is no detachable module for portability or improved maneuverability, but it does come with a massive almost-8-foot hose and an upholstery cleaning tool for spot-work.
2. Bissell BigGreen BG10
Now let’s take a look at some of the best Bissell carpet cleaners made for commercial use. The BigGreen BG10 is a heavy-duty deep cleaning machine that holds onto several gallons of water (both dirty and clean water tanks) and has a 10-inch clearing path for quicker cleaning of wall-to-wall carpeting.
Its two-motor design is the secret behind the BG10’s magnificent carpet-cleaning abilities. The best thing is its forward and backward cleaning, reducing the amount of time spent making 180° turns to clean extremely stubborn stains. The 25-foot power cord allows you to move across large spaces without unplugging and re-plugging the machine into a new outlet every so often. Sadly, a suction hose and cleaning tools aren’t included in the box (you’ll have to purchase them separately).
1. Bissell BigGreen 86T3
And finally, we have another deep cleaning machine by Bissell made for commercial use, though your home’s floors could definitely benefit from its stunning cleaning ability. The 86T3 in size, shape, and color is almost identical to the BG10. In fact, they both perform identically in terms of speed and carpet cleaning.
The main difference is the 86T3 uses an extra-large DirtLifter PowerBrush that digs deeper than any of the previous deep cleaning machines. It also comes with a 9-foot hose and a stubborn stain removing tool to concentrate on stains on upholstery and stair carpeting. For the toughest carpet stains, users can activate Heavy-Duty Deep Clean mode to increase water usage and suction power.
Deep Cleaning Machine Buying Guide
Even though you can rent a deep cleaning machine or even hire a professional cleaner, the costs of doing so will add up over time. The prices of modern deep cleaning machines have dropped considerably in recent times, and maintaining one has never been easier. So if you’d like your very own machine, consider the following features and specs.
Suction Power and Drying Time
The way a deep cleaning machine works is by spraying your carpets with water and solution (possible even a pre-carpet treater) before brushing/scrubbing them. It also sucks up the water-and-soap mixture to leave your carpets looking, smelling, and feeling as fresh as ever. To get the most out of your deep cleaning machine, it should have a powerful suction that picks up most of the water, reducing the length of time required for your carpet to fully dry. The models we’ve picked as our favorites leave your carpets feeling dry to the touch only about 4 hours after cleaning.
Deep cleaning machines use two tanks – a clean water tank and a dirty water tank – to store water. To be able to cover a wider area of your carpet, the tanks need to be able to hold as much water as possible. Ideally, you’ll want anything over half a gallon of storage capacity, but you can go beyond the one-gallon mark if you’d like. All of the Bissell models (except for the 15651) have at least one-gallon tanks.
The cleaning width of a deep cleaning machine refers to the width of the brush. A wider brush will help you cover larger areas with fewer passes, whereas a narrow cleaning width will allow you to maneuver the machine more easily around furniture. Choose whichever works best for your home’s layout.
Even though carpet cleaners are still relatively bulky, at least compared to upright vacuum cleaners, they are a lot smaller than ever before. The obvious benefit of a smaller machine is easier storage – you won’t need to re-do your closet space to keep the tool hidden form view when not in use.
Since upright deep cleaning machines get around on wheels, the weight of the tool isn’t nearly as important as its size. That is, unless the machine can convert into a portable handheld model with a detachable pod (like the 15651, for instance), then pod’s weight will determine how easy it will be to clean upholstery and other higher-up surfaces. Thankfully, these pods, even with water in them, aren’t that heavy and shouldn’t cause fatigue.
Lastly, take a look at whatever cleaning tools come with the machine. Attachments and hoses aren’t necessary for carpet cleaning, but when working on upholstery, it’s a lot easier to clean with an upholstery brush. Some models come with specific cleaning tools made for carpeted steps and car carpets, but these are typically sold separately.
1. Can I use a deep cleaning machine on bare floors?
Under no circumstances should you ever use a deep cleaning machine on bare floors. You could give it a go as some users have tried, but these machines aren’t made to clean, vacuum, or buff tiles, laminate, or floorboards. The brush(es) will most likely cause irreparable damage on bare floors.
2. How do I get rid of pet odors?
Even deep cleaning machines made specifically for pet owners (like the Bissell 1986) can’t do a thing against pet odors and stains without the right detergent or cleaning solution. Alas, only you can decide which cleaning solution works best through trial and error. Or you can skip all the headache by using the included Pet Stain & Odor Antibacterial Carpet Formula that comes with the 1986 a go.
3. Can I use cool water in my deep cleaning machine?
The one thing every deep cleaning machine has in common is that they can use water of any temperature. However, to truly get your carpets as clean as they were the day you bought them, you need to use hot water (between 100° and 150°F). The dissolving power of hot water is what will help the machine break up any dirt clumps or crumbs and make it easier for the machine to suction up. Cold water is fine if you’d like to give your carpeting a light shampooing.
Deep cleaning machines have come a long way from being owned and used exclusively by professional cleaners to being found in many households across the country. If you feel the need to do your own deep carpet cleaning, then there’s no better way than to invest in your very own deep cleaning machine. In this article, we’ve provided you with a list of our favorite five machines that perform admirably at keeping your carpets looking and feeling fresh. We’ve also provided a brief guide on how you can find your own deep cleaning machine if none of these models are available in your region.