Whether it’s dirt from muddy paws and shoes or spills from coffee and red wine, our mats take a beating over time.
And if it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned a high-traffic area of your home, a quick vacuum probably won’t be enough.
As Consumer Reports explains, a good carpet cleaner can help bring old carpet back to life.
The CR test is tough, and so is the wear and tear on your carpets at home.
The testers replicate heavy foot traffic by spreading a measured amount of red clay on a light-colored carpet, then spraying it with water.
The clay is embedded in the mat with a 40 pound iron roller and allowed to dry overnight.
The testers make eight passes to clean the carpet, then eight passes to vacuum up the solution.
So which carpet cleaners are worthy enough to work on your carpet?
The Hoover PowerDash Pet FH50700 for around $100 is a CR Best Buy.
It does a very good job of wicking moisture away from the carpet after cleaning, reducing drying time.
What if you have area rugs and want to clean stains, including upholstery?
CR tested two portable cleaners made by Bissel — the Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner for $110 and the Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet Cleaner for $120, a similar machine that includes a tool for stairs.
The machines were compared to two Resolve fabric cleaning sprays.
Resolve Stain Remover Carpet Cleaner for $7 and Resolve Upholstery & Multi-Fabric for $5 cleaned stains from chairs, carpets and car upholstery.
The machines also came up against spraying carpet samples with eight stubborn stains.
In the end, both Bissell models did a better job than the Resolve sprays.
And keep in mind that in many cases a cleaned spot will stand out if you don’t clean the whole area, and these machines make it easy.
So if carpeting is your heart, one of these helpers could become your new best friend.
Also, carpet cleaner manufacturers usually suggest that you vacuum up debris before using a carpet cleaner.
This way, you don’t wet a rug with excess dirt, which creates a bigger mess.
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