Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

Does anyone know which store bought carpet cleaning machine works best and easiest on cat messes? I need to tackle my carpeting and the cats have been bad. I have CFS and need a simple, quick and effective method.


Buttercup admits it: "We're guilty!"

By IceyPink1 from Alta Loma, CA

January 14, 20110 found this helpful

I have a Bissell Pro Heat. I don't recall the exact model, but it's an upright. They have one marketed for pet owners. I don't know why or what makes it better than the non-"pet" models.

Carpet cleaning is still no fun, but the upright is *much* easier than the old canister carpet cleaner my mom used to have. The weight of the machine does the work for you. It's like a big, heavy vacuum cleaner. With the canister, YOU have to apply the pressure to help squeeze/extract the liquid. I don't get a backache using the upright.

Since you're dealing with messes from your cats, also consider an enzymatic cleaner. It helps to break down the biological messes so that the cats don't come back to that same spot. Enzymatic cleaners can be found at pet supply stores, or even stores like Wal-Mart.

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

I just bought the Bissell ProHeat 2 brush upright model. It's better than the 1 brush model. The button for the heat keeps the water hot and carpets dry really fast...always best to vacuum about an hour after it dries to make carpets very fluffy. It has a "pet attachment" to extract those stubborn hairs, stains and it comes with 2 solutions: one is for heavy traffic stains and a cleaner which is their "Pet Stain and Odor" bottle (also comes with a 'pet stain eraser' attachment). (These solutions found at Walmart). I actually got my Bissell cleaner at Ollies on sale for $150 just this week (Walmart sells for $279) you might check there at Ollies if you have one, and do it right away! (Just went on sale Thurs Jan 13th). I believe Bissell might have coupons on their website. I have a long-haired big cat and this machine does a beautiful job and the carpets smell really great! I recommend buying the best model so you will always have it for years and years and can clean/refresh your carpets whenever you want.

On the box it says it has Scotchguard-it cleans and protects in one easy step, and the unit also has Microban anti-microbial product protection helps prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew in the unit. You can do your furniture as well....very worthwhile as compared to always having to call professional cleaners each and every time!

EDITING to add: the unit has choices for heavy traffic, normal clean, light clean or water rinse, and the ProHeat 2X will adjust the right amount of cleaning solution to mix with the heated water to fit your cleaning need. Also follow the instructions: move unit in a slow motion. People often have problems because they may not be following the directions carefully. This unit is like "self-propelled" and easy to use with my bad back and arthritis. Good luck! (Pets :D What we don't do for them.)

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

We have a Hoover upright, but the thing that really works on stains: pet, food, ink, coffee , blood, grease, cosmetics, rust, even wine, is a product called Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover. My husband got it at Lowe's or Home Depot and it is great! You spray it on a stain and wait a few minutes, then blot by hand or go over the spot with your shampooer. (I usually put a little of it in the water reservoir as well.) My father-in-law spilled a whole glass of red wine on the carpet on Thanksgiving and you can't even tell where it happened!

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

If kitty is messing et outside his litter box it maybe time to see your vet. If the litter is kept clean, perhaps there are health issues here? Does the cat cry when going to the bathroom? If a cat feels pain when going it may pee. Or poop in you bed as the association with pleasure, if it sleeps with you, helps ease the pain. Please check it out as kidney, or urinary track issues can be serious. Don't use an ammonia base or anything that smells like ammonia as it will attract the cat to mess there. Good luck to you.

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

I have the Dirt Devil CE7900 Platinum Force Carpet Extractor/Shampoo Steamer. My sister had the same and so did my mom. All houses with pets. My sister's finally wore out (she kept lending it to other people) but mine is 8+ years old and I love it yet. With kids/grandchildren/dog in the house, this is the best I found. Anyway, make sure it is a hot water type of steam cleaner.

I always put Febreeze (about 1 TB) in the water tank to rinse the carpet as a final step after cleaning it. It keeps it nice smelling and fresh. Remember to vacuum daily when you have pets. This helps. Also make sure you change out the belts on these items often too, they don't have to break to be replaced. A tight belt makes the vacuum work and pick up better, making the carpet look better longer.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

All good advice: I was thinking of trying one of the Hoovers at Target but I should study all these models mentioned here again on their websites. I have an old Big Green Clean Machine from Bissell but I don't think it can handle the toughest spots. They have these odd boxy red carpet cleaners to rent at Food 4 Less that seem to be entirely made of light weight plastic. I wish Stater Brothers still had their rental line as they were really sturdy. Anyone remember what brand manufacturer those were?

I am late to post this. :)

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January 13, 2011 Flag
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Want is the best home carpet cleaner machine to purchase for soiled traffic stains?

By nosey70

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July 25, 2010 Flag
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I am thinking of getting a carpet shampooer. I really don't know what to look for. If you have one, can you tell me what the pros/cons of that particular machine are? I appreciate any input. Thanks!



Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I have a Bissel ProHeat and it's been OK, but just OK. It has come in handy at times with a dog, cat, and 3 grandkids, but it is very temperamental. The soap dispenser doesn't always work properly, the tank isn't very big so you have to dump the water often, and I don't think it heats up much at all. I agree that it's good to have one around for quick clean ups, but I personally would not buy another Bissel (05/13/2008)

By Kayray

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I had a Bissell that broke. When I took it to my local vacuum repair he told me he would not touch it. Told me to only buy Hoover if I am going to buy one. I have had a couple of Hoovers and so have my parents and have not had any trouble with them other than normal wear and tear. (05/13/2008)

By MurphTheJo

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I have a Rug Doctor. While it's kind of big, it does a great job of cleaning. It's like the kind that you rent. The part I like is that it doesn't just let the water set on the carpet, but sucks all the stuff up. Dirt is attracted to soap, so models that scrub and allow the dirty stuff to stay in the carpet just make things worse. After cleaning, I often will do a second time with plain hot water just to make sure that everything has come out. The suction is great on these, so the carpet dries really fast, too. (05/26/2008)

By susanmajp

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I have owned a Hoover shampooer for years. I had a Golden Retriever. Max had a few accidents over the years. Hoover cleaned terrifically. It is a little heavy, but it is wonderful machine. I have always had new looking carpet after using the Hoover and it always removed the smell. Hoover Pre-spot cleaner is terrific product, also. (07/09/2008)

By Debbie

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I bought a Bissell Proheat shampooer about 2 years ago. It broke down two months ago because the shampoo sprayer stopped working and the plastic around the screws holding the bottom of the shampooer cracked. These two things happened about the same time. I would never buy a Bissell product again. I found the quality of the product and workmanship poor. It is also extremely expensive to replace the broken parts. It would be cheaper to buy a new shampooer. I am thinking of Hoover. I bought the Bissell because the department store salesperson recommended it. That was a mistake. (07/22/2008)

By Wayne

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

We have a Bissell Pro-heat X2 and we love it. Our house always smells so nice and clean and it sucks up the water better than any other we have used including having the professionals come in to steam clean. We have used our Bissell several times, our neighbor used it to clean up after visiting dogs and our son has used it to clean up his dirty carpet and truck. I wouldn't rent another steam cleaner from a store again. The last time we rented our house smelled terrible from previous use. (08/16/2008)

By Patty

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I recently bought Kirby Sentria that was demo model for $900. The vacuum removes the embedded dirt, and the shampooing attachment just literally shampoos the top of the carpet. Works well for normal skin oil buildup from bare foot traffic. Spots/stains require elbow grease. If you start with a newer carpet and regularly shampoo (maybe twice a year) your carpet should look almost like new for a very long time.

You basically just need to shampoo the regularly trafficked areas and vacuum the rest and your carpet will stay clean. Once in a long while you might want to shampoo everything. If you're starting with an older, dirty carpet, I suggest you vacuum very well (slowly) a few times especially over the regularly trafficked areas and rent a carpet cleaner that steams/agitates/vacuums deep down and then you'll be able to maintain the cleaned carpet with regular vacuuming and shampooing using the Kirby system.

I was hoping that the shampooer that attaches to the Kirby was better, but it is limited because it cannot "vacuum" the carpet as it shampoos. Maybe a future Kirby will be able to. Please note that this is my personal opinion and recommendation and any other opinions are highly encouraged because we all have different experiences. (10/03/2008)

By Larry

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

I have sold Kirbys for more then 8 years. They work great if you use them and only if you use them. The problem is that most people have a bad vac and when they go to clean their carpets they just push the dirt deeper which in turn makes your carpet get more stains in a few weeks when you walk on it. If you have a problem with your Kirby call the local office and they will come out and show yo how to use it. (10/21/2008)

By Matt

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

No one has mentioned the Rainbow. We have a cleaning lady come over and she brings her Rainbow E series tank system with the shampooer attachment and I am really impressed. It does as well as hiring the pros to come in. We have had a Hoover steam vac, but it has lost suction and leaves too much water in the carpet. I am looking for a used or rebuilt Rainbow. Any other Rainbow users out there? (11/13/2008)

By Jeff

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

Ditto on the Bissell Proheat, mine broke after a couple of uses. I phoned them and they also have terrible customer service people. Don't waste your money on Bissell. (12/17/2008)

By Tim

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

If you need to shampoo often a Bissell will not hold up. They work great when they work but the parts that go out the most they will not sell to consumer, all planned I am sure. Take bad motors to a alternator starter repair shop, some of those guys can redo motors. (02/07/2009)

By Cliff P.

Carpet Shampooer Recommendations

As a mom with a husband, 3 kids, 3 dogs and 2 cats, I am forever cleaning! I have owned the Bissell, Hoover, and Dirt Devil shampooers. (The Bissell and D.D are junk! The Hoover, is not a lot better.) My Hoover just quit working last week. When I had seen the infomercial on TV for the Rug Dr, I had to give it a try. It's the best! My floors have never looked, smelled, or felt so good. This machine is truly amazing. The vibrating bristles make sure ever fiber is cleaned and fluffed, and it sucks the water up so good, my rooms are dry in no time.

It's a pricey machine starting at $500, but worth every penny. I will never waste money on the other ones again. Plus, they have payment plans, and you get $150 of free cleaning solutions. If your not happy with it, you can return it. So, you have nothing to lose. You can also order on the web site ( and see the machine in action. Walmart has the smaller Rug Dr. for only $499. I have the wide track model, but I am sure it works just as well. (10/22/2009)

By Super clean freak

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May 12, 2008 Flag
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I am thinking of getting a carpet shampooer. I really don't know what to look for.

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