Easy-to-use carpet cleaners that pull up dirt and stains

Keep your floors immaculate.

carpet cleaner
It doesn’t have to be a big production.DepositPhotos

Living rooms and bedrooms with soft, plush carpet sound luxurious. But what about upkeep? No one wants their flooring to provide a historical record of the dog “incident” in September or the coffee spill last Wednesday. With a good carpet cleaning machine, you can enjoy walking around in your socks on an everyday basis, instead of just resigning yourself to an annual industrial-strength deep cleaning from a local service. Here are our top choices.

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner

Be prepared for poop.Amazon

If you are a pet owner in a small apartment, the PowerDash is a great tool to have in your cleaning arsenal. This machine weighs under 13 pounds, yet still covers a 10-inch-wide path through your carpet to pull up dirt and stains. The water tank separates dirty water from clean, and has a half gallon capacity ideally suited to occasional messes or carpet at entrance ways. An antimicrobial brush roll at the front of the machine works to thoroughly annihilate animal detritus from places where you also put your bare feet. The 20-foot cord gives you ample slack to move around within an average-size room. Use it with water, shampoo, or other cleaning solutions depending on the level of cat-astrophe.

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner

Foster puppies without looking like you foster puppies.Amazon

This comprehensive machine offers a range of solutions for carpets embedded with dirt, hair, and grime. Remove deep imprints from muddy shoes and paws in Max Clean mode, which leverages two rows of rotating brushes. Get ready for company in about 30 minutes when you use the fast-drying Express Clean mode. The water tank has a capacity of a gallon so you can clean a larger surface area without having to stop for refills. A built-in pretreater makes it easy to attack tough spills, and the machine comes with samples of two of Bissell’s cleaning formulas designed to get rid of pet urine, odors, and bacteria. A 2-in-1 upholstery tool saves you time by vacuuming up pet hair in dry mode, and removing stains and odors in wet mode.

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Family Pack Vacuum

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Family Pack Vacuum

Transform grey carpets back to cream-colored.Amazon

If you live in a large home with wall-to-wall carpet, run an Airbnb, or have a few rental properties, consider adding this heavy-duty machine to your garage instead of hiring someone to do your deep cleaning. It weighs 55 pounds and comes with a 3.9-gallon tank, so it’s not for spot cleaning. Its bristles and suction work with a pair of cleaning solutions to keep well-traveled carpet spotless. The handheld upholstery tool allows you to take advantage of the Rug Doctor’s horsepower on harder-to-reach surfaces like corners, chair cushions, and even mattresses.

Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

Great for surprises left behind the couch.Amazon

For an affordable and flexible carpet cleaner, consider the Bissell SpotClean. With a ¾-gallon tank, it falls right between the Hoover PowerDash and the Bissell ProHeat 1986 in terms of capacity, and weighs just 13 pounds for easy portability. If you find yourself cleaning stairs, upholstery, and areas underneath or behind furniture just as much as open areas of carpet, the 5-foot-long hose and 22-inch cord offers a distinct advantage over an upright model. Use the stain trapper tool with your cleaning solution of choice to isolate, treat, and remove messes without spreading them further.