Why Buy a Carpet Cleaner When You Can Rent One?
Sure, you can find carpet cleaner rentals in most grocery and hardware stores, but the process is a pain. First, there is the rental cost, which isn’t too expensive. However, the low advertised price doesn’t pertain to larger rental machines, and the money you’ll spend doesn’t stop there.

Many stores require you to put down a deposit in addition to the rental price. You also need a form of identification and a credit card, which will be charged if you accidentally damage the cleaner.

These carpet cleaners are also hefty and large, so you must have a vehicle that is big enough to transport the machine back and forth to the store. Plus, you can’t immediately address stains before they set in like you can when you own a carpet cleaner. For all the trouble you have to go through, you only get to rent the cleaner for a day or two.

Carpet Cleaning Seems Difficult – Isn’t It Easier to Hire a Carpet Cleaning Service?
A carpet cleaning service will certainly save you time and effort, but it won’t save you money. If you think renting a carpet cleaner is cost-prohibitive, the price of hiring a carpet cleaning service is much higher. You can expect to spend as much as $75 per room unless the company charges by the square foot.

Either way, you can easily shell out half a grand to get your carpets professionally cleaned, and you have to deal with scheduling an appointment, making sure someone is at home while the technician is cleaning and watching strangers traipse through your home.
Residential carpet cleaners are easier than ever to use. Many of them have a divided tank or two tanks to keep the dirty water from contaminating the clean water. A lot of tanks also have a specially designed spout to prevent spills when you pour the water. There are also some models that actually mix the detergent, so you get the perfect water-to-formula ratio every time.

I’m Short on Storage Space – Where Would I Even Keep a Carpet Cleaner?
No matter how much storage space you have in your house, there is a carpet cleaner out there that is compact enough to fit. The best home carpet cleaner for you is one that is slim instead of boxy. In the product description, the manufacturer will list the shampooer’s dimensions, so you’ll know for sure whether you have room for that particular model.

Some cleaners even have a folding handle that cuts the height of the carpet cleaner in half when not in use.
Aren’t Carpet Cleaners Heavy? I Don’t Know If I Can Push One.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to push and maneuver a carpet cleaner. You can find cleaners that weigh 30 pounds or less. Some even weigh under 20 pounds. To help you push it, you’ll want the handle to be ergonomically designed. Look for a handle that is wide enough for both hands like a horizontally looped or T-bar handle. Ones with rubber grips or a vertical loop also make it easier for you to move the carpet shampooer across the floor.

My House Is Large – What Kind of Carpet Cleaner Should I Buy?
Obviously, your house has carpet; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this guide. If your home is large or almost every living space is covered in carpet, the goal is to find a carpet cleaner that can do the job fast. The shampooer’s cleaning path should be wide to get as much of the floor scrubbed as possible in one pass.

A machine that can clean forward and backward also helps. The tank’s size matters too. The greater the tank’s capacity, the fewer the breaks you’ll need to take to refill and dump the water.
How Fast Does the Carpet Dry?
Long gone are the days when you had to steer clear of a freshly shampooed carpet for 24 hours. Manufacturers equip many carpet cleaners with components that quicken the drying time. Quite a few cleaners rely solely on extraction power. If the cleaner’s suction is strong enough, extraction drying works fine.

An even faster way to dry a carpet is by applying heat. Some models force hot air out of the cleaner head to shorten the amount of time it takes to dry a carpet to just a couple of hours.

Can Home Carpet Cleaners Remove Stubborn Stains?
Carpet cleaners for home use can completely eliminate stains if they have a brush made for the job. If stains are a big concern, look for a carpet cleaner with a brush that scrubs from all angles. This type of brush can clean every part of stained carpet fibers. Another excellent brush for stain removal is a spinning one that reaches deep into the fibers of your carpet, which prevents stains from reappearing when the carpet dries.

Besides the brush, features like a heating element that keeps the tank’s water warm will help the cleaner release stains. As far as cleaning formulas go, use a highly-concentrated solution that has oxygen boosters.
What If My House Has Carpeted Stairs?
Cleaning a set of stairs can be a challenge. To tackle this task, you need a carpet cleaner with a smartly placed lifting handle. If the cleaner has multiple lifting handles, that’s even better. The length of the power cord is also important because if it’s too short, you’ll have to stop shampooing to switch outlets. For efficiency, there are a couple of features that will make cleaning carpeted stairs easier.

A stretchable hose means less lifting and lugging, and then there are the attachments. Ideally, the shampooer should come with a crevice tool for edge cleaning and a wide stair tool for treads and risers.

What Features Are Important for Cleaning Messes Made by Pets and Children?
Hair and odors are the two biggest issues faced by pet owners. If you have pets, you need a carpet cleaner with a basket. Situated within the tank, this removable basket catches hair before it reaches the bottom of the reservoir, so you don’t inadvertently clog the machine.

Multiple-row bristle brushes are great for lifting hair, and odor-eliminating enzyme formulas can remove unpleasant smells.

Although you never know what kind of mess your child will make from one day to the next, spilled drinks, ground-in dirt and general grime are way up on the list. When you’re comparison shopping, pay special attention to any carpet cleaner that lets you spray extra spurts of cleaning solution. You’ll also appreciate cleaners with side brushes that clean dirt from baseboards.