Whether your home is plagued with pet hair, subject to tough and stubborn stains created by children and family life, or simply lined with cream and pale carpets which are a nightmare to keep clean, investing in a powerful and effective carpet cleaner can be a real lifesaver when it comes to keeping on top of the aesthetics of the home.

A good carpet cleaner is designed to keep your home looking and smelling refreshed and clean even after the most damaging spillages, with some of the best models boasting stain removal features which – when actioned quickly – can even lift stains that have become ingrained in the fibres of the carpet.

How do carpet cleaners work?

The essence of a good carpet cleaner combines a motorised brush with a tank of water and shampoo which is gentle enough for carpet and upholstery but effective enough that it will tackle stains and leave your home looking as good as new.

Prior to using your carpet cleaner, you will need to vacuum the floor first as carpet cleaners are not designed to pick up debris or dust. The carpet cleaner itself works by spraying shampoo and water onto the carpet, scrubbing at it with rotating brushes, and then sucking the dirty water back up into a separate tank.

Some of the high-end models have a dual function in that they can be used both for dry vacuuming and carpet cleaning – however, those that offer both functions rarely do both jobs perfectly and so it is unlikely that you will want to lean on your carpet cleaner as your sole vacuum.

When it comes to using your carpet cleaning machine, there are a few key things you need to remember:

  •  Every inch of an area should be covered methodically and slowly, to avoid streaks being left behind.
  •  Don’t over-saturate an area of carpet with too much shampoo or water.
  •  Always test the shampoo on a small patch of the carpet before moving right into the centre of the room – just in case it causes discolouration.
  •  When the carpet is dry, run over it with a vacuum cleaner to ensure the pile is all uniformly point in the same direction again.
  •  Carpet cleaners can be bulky and difficult to store – if you don’t think you will use them regularly, consider hiring one a couple of times a year, or else call in your local professional cleaning company to do the job for you. This may sound like an expense, but if it saves you the cost of buying and storing a carpet cleaner, it may be worth it.

What to look for in a good carpet cleaner

Before you settle on a carpet cleaner, it is useful to understand exactly how regularly you think you are going to use it – for example, if your home is regularly impacted by pet hair or stains created by children and family life, spending a little more on a high-quality model may be a worthwhile purchase.

Alongside the main functionality of each carpet cleaner, which can be explored thoroughly through reviews and testimonials of previous buyers, the other functions to look out for include:

  •  The quick-dry mode uses less water and thus makes the entire process of cleaning and drying the carpet much quicker and easier.
  •  Auto-mix tool which mixes the water and shampoo together automatically.
  •  Detergent spray function sprays a detergent or shampoo directly onto the stain to set in and start working prior to the clean.
  •  Dry vacuuming – one to look out for, as it is rarely as effective as a real vacuum cleaner.
  •  A water tank heater to keep the clean water at its optimum temperature for cleaning.
  •  A crevice tool for getting into tight spaces and corners.
  •  Hard floor tool – another thing to watch out for, as these are rarely able to be used on all types of flooring, and so you need to be extra careful of what kinds of surfaces these can be used on.

Where to find your perfect carpet cleaner

It is important that when you find your perfect carpet cleaner, you consider and look for the features which fit in with your lifestyle. This could be the size and bulkiness of the carpet cleaner, or it could mean understanding and selecting your perfect model based on its additional features.

Whatever it is, do your research in advance and if in doubt about how useful a carpet cleaner will be for you, consider hiring one in when you need it, or else bring in a professional cleaning company to do the job for you.

As a starting point, our top recommended brands to explore include: