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Old 02-18-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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What's a good carpet cleaning machine to buy?

We have small children and pets.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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Kids & dogs here too. And unfortunately, very light (not quite white) carpeting. A choice made before we had children & pets obviously.

We bought a Bissell carpet cleaner about 10 years ago, and it works pretty well. I'm always amazed how dirty the water is after using it. We call it the wow factor (if you ever saw that episode of Everybody Loves Ray you'll know what I'm talking about).

Keeping the carpet vacuumed well helps a lot, we got a Shark vac a few months ago and that thing works great.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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While I don't have kids or pets, this has worked great for me on almost white carpet.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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I think the main question isn't how much grime you see in the water, but how much water is left in the carpet.

We have a rug doctor at work, it seems to do a good job, but i'd like the carpet to be dryer after use.

I'm fine with it regularly at work, where the carpet is glued on concrete, I'm not sure of the product at home with a pad under plush carpet, where I'd be concerned about moisture setting in the pad.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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If you want decent results, find a small used commercial machine made by Windsor, NSS, Crusader, or any number of other professional grade manufacturers. Do you want a spotter, a tank-hose-wand machine, or a small self-contained extractor? There are some deals around, check out those craigshelper sites and business auctions, usually ebay sucks. You'll want something new enough that parts are still available, some of the older units might be hard to find parts for. The other half of the equation is to select and properly mix the appropriate chemicals for the job, you'll have better results if you get them from from a commercial Janitorial supply who will sell at retail. Johnson/Diversey, Spartan, and Ramsey among many others make good chemicals. Improper mixing of low-grade store bought chemicals give poor results and promote rapid resoiling.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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WalMart sells a Hoover-built product called the Steamvac Silver. I don't know anything about recent Hoover products, but this one gets terrific reviews online. We bought one for $140 and so far so pulls a ton of dirt out of the carpet and the carpet dries pretty quickly afterward, and it is very easy to clean.

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Old 02-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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I have an older version of the Hoover SteamVac that is probably a good 12 years old or so. Friends of mine who have a Bissell proHeat borrow it. It works better than the Bissell according to them. I am certainly happy with it. The key to quick carpet drying is to go over the area again without dispensing solution just to suction any residual solution out of the carpet.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
While I don't have kids or pets, this has worked great for me on almost white carpet.
We have had white carpet and 4 cats for about 10 years. The Bissell Pro Heat 2 keeps it looking like new.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Buy a used rental unit from Home depot that has been cleaned and maintained realy well, They are made by Kent and are pretty much bullet proof for usual home use.
Make sure the brush rolls easy, the gasket around the tank is in good shape and the pump and vacume work well and it will serve you for may years.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Trust me.

Hard surface floors too.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:38 AM   #11
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We have a remanufactured rug doc. So far so good.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #12
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Start with the best vacuum cleaner you can afford.

They all seem to do an Ok job. I now own a Bissell and I like the drive brushes on it. They seem much more powerful than my previous hoover. Think about if your going to use it in the car or on furniture and check out the attachments that come with it. Oh yea ... I always crank up the AC and turn on ceiling fans when cleaning a carpet.
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:52 PM   #13
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How much do your re-manufactured Rug Doctors or Carpet Expresses go for down in the U.S.? Where do you get them? Ebay always seems to be a rip off.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:18 PM   #14
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I used to clean carpets for a living. I still have my Castex machine. It is a self contained unit. I have used it for 15 years now. I think I paid $1700 for it new. It has come in handy even though I haven't cleaned professionally in 12 years. I have used it for churches and friends whenever needed. You can't go wrong with a good commercial unit.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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I've inquired about buying a second hand commercial unit and I've asked people in the know about this. For one the cost is prohibitive and they suggested that it might be a unit on it's last legs and you really wouldn't know what you're getting. Finding parts might be a hassle especially up here in Canada - especially since shipping costs from the U.S. have suddenly skyrocketed. Another person relayed another opinion passed on to him by a pro and that was owners are now likely to over-use the machine and the carpets tend to take a bit of a thrashing as a result and wear out prematurely.
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