Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Buyer’s Guide: Best DIY Carpet Cleaning Machine

Best DIY carpet cleaning machine buyer's guide custom graphic

If you live in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting, you’ll understand first-hand how troublesome it is to clean and maintain your carpets on a regular basis.

More importantly, due to the many ill-effects of dirty and unsanitary carpets, finding an effective way to clean and sanitise them yourself is imperative. 

So, what is the best way to deep clean your carpets and combat those nasty germs and bacteria they are susceptible to? Well, for starters, it should be mentioned that vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaning machines serve different purposes.

While vacuum cleaners will suck up dirt and dust from flooring or carpets, a carpet machine can do the same, as well as steam clean, shampoo, remove stains, and dry the carpet.

In other words, if you aren’t hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to clean, sanitise, and maintain your carpets, you’re going to need a carpet cleaning machine to help you do the job yourself!

Before you start looking at options and comparing models, it is advisable to factor in a few things that will help you make an informed decision.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Carpet Cleaning Machine

person using hand held carpet cleaning wand to clean white carpeted stairs

If you’re wondering whether to buy a carpet cleaning machine in the first place, you aren’t alone. Many homeowners don’t consider buying a carpet cleaner because they can rent one instead; however, one of the downsides to doing this is that rented machines have a lot of wear and tear due to their excessive use.

Not to mention the fact that these rented carpet machines may not be cleaned and serviced regularly, thus inviting more germs into your home upon use. So, instead of paying for a rented, low-performing machine every now and then, you would be better off investing in a brand new carpet machine that will last for years to come, and clean more effectively, too! 

Of course, carpet cleaning machines are not a ‘one size fits all', and must be chosen whilst keeping some crucial information in mind. Here’s a look at the most important things to consider when looking for the perfect carpet cleaning machine:

Special Features

 Most carpet machines come with various features such as rotating brushes, narrow head attachments designed for edges, water heater systems, intensive stain removal functions, and special settings specific to the type of pile being cleaned. 


Vacuum cleaners are easier to manoeuvre while carpet machines can be a bit more cumbersome during cleaning. Water and/or cleaning solutions filled in the tank add to the weight and therefore, must be considered as you will need to find a product that is manageable to move around.

Storage Space

 If you own a house or apartment with limited storage space, you might want to consider a less bulky model with fewer attachments, yet one that will still meet your needs. 


 As mentioned before, consider your ability to manoeuvre the machine and available storage space when buying a large or small carpet cleaner. Neither should compromise on the effectiveness of the machine as per your carpet cleaning requirements.


 If you have pets at home, it is expected that there will be a few “accidents” at times. Find the perfect machine to successfully remove pet hair and pet mess from your carpet. One that offers deep cleansing and shampooing is a good option.


 Keeping other factors in mind, look for a product that suits both your wallet and your cleaning needs. Basic carpet cleaners are priced at affordable rates whereas high-end models can be quite expensive. If you are on a budget, you may have to sacrifice some special features, however, it is still possible to find a good carpet machine at a discounted rate.


 Always check the machine’s warranty before purchasing a product. It helps if you can get an extended warranty as well to ensure that repairs/servicing are covered without putting a further dent in your wallet. Bear in mind that under some terms and conditions, the carpet must be within the machine’s warranty period otherwise the product is not liable for damage caused to the carpet and/or unsatisfactory cleaning results.

Quick Tips When Using a Carpet Cleaning Machine

Before taking on the task of DIY carpet cleaning with the help of a special machine, take a look at these quick tips to ensure safe and effective use of the same:

  • Vacuum up loose dirt before using the carpet cleaning machine
  • Read the machine’s user manual thoroughly before cleaning with it
  • Protect the legs of furniture with wax paper or aluminium foil
  • Start from the opposite side of the doorway and work your way towards it
  • Never close up a room that has just had the carpet washed as it will aid in mould growth if the carpet is not given enough time to dry and air out
  • For best results, dry vacuum the carpet once again to pick up any remaining loose dirt 

9 Best Carpet Cleaning Machines of 2021

ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet machine next to rug doctor doing a carpet cleaning comparison

Thanks to in-depth research and trials of leading carpet cleaning machines on the market, we have compiled a list of the best cleaning machines that are intended for DIY use, and suit one’s individual needs. Read on! 

1. Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet machine

Priced at $659, the Bissell Pro Heat 2X Revolution Pet tops its competitors for sheer carpet cleaning effectiveness where pets are concerned. It includes Bissell’s pre-treater system called ‘CleanShot’ which ultimately takes on spots and stains on your carpet. It has two settings depending on how you want to clean your carpet; the express cleaning mode is for days when you’re strapped for time, and an in-depth mode for when deep cleaning is required. 

Homeowners with pets can benefit from the product’s 2-in-1 pet upholstery attachment making it an absolute breeze to clean stains, spots, and pet hair. The machine is a very popular choice with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and over 20 favourable reviews thanks to its versatility.



  • Includes a pre-treater system that’s integrated
  • Has 2 cleaning modes; express and deep clean
  • 2-in-1 upholstery attachment to tackle pet dirt
  • Carpets can be dried in an hour with the Express mode
  • Comes with a long (7.6-metre) power cord 


  • Pricier than most pet-specific carpet cleaning machines
  • Noisy while in use
  • The machine is rather bulky making storage an issue in smaller homes
  • Does not have convenient storage for tools on-board

2. Vax VX97 Compact Carpet Washer

Vax VX97 Compact Carpet Washer machine

At just $229, the Vax VX97 is the best in its range of budget buys. With a host of good reviews from happy customers, the Vax VX97 packs in a rotating brush with antimicrobial bristles that not only tackle bacteria but aid in the prevention of it. 

Thorough cleaning is a cinch thanks to its narrow floor head that makes it easy to manoeuvre in hard to reach places, as well as twin tanks that keep dirty and clean water separate. All this in a lightweight, compact body, and for a very attractive price; what more could you ask for? 


  • Easy to handle due to its compact, lightweight body
  • Includes an antimicrobial brush



  • Small in size, therefore not suited to clean large carpet areas
  • Few users complained of difficulty in cleaning the machine

3. Bissell SpotClean Turbo

Bissell SpotClean Turbo machine

At times, our cleaning requirements may be contained to a small area. The Bissell SpotClean Turbo helps you zero in on specific stains and spots with ease, thus making it the best spot carpet cleaner out there.

With many positive reviews from satisfied customers and a rating of 4.8 out of 5, there are many reasons to invest in this particular model.

Due to its specific purposes, the SpotClean Turbo comes with an impressive 6 brush attachments for all types of stains and surfaces. To prevent blockages, the unit also possesses a self-cleaning tool by way of a hydro-rinse. The machine is not only a good option for carpeted homes but vehicles with upholstered flooring.

Priced at $419, it is definitely a good deal in its category thanks to the high performance it offers. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper variant by the same company, try its standard SpotClean which costs a mere $160. Don’t be fooled by the price, many Australian customers swear by this product and highly recommend it for its efficiency and performance.


  • Targets specific spots and surfaces thanks to the different brush attachments available
  • Easy to manoeuvre


  • The hose is shorter than most models
  • It is priced higher than similar products on the market

4. Rug Doctor RUGDOC93170 Deep Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor RUGDOC93170 Deep Carpet Cleaner machine

If you have time for in-depth carpet cleaning, then look no further than the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner.

It boasts a rating of 4.7 out of 5 with over 600 reviews on Google and costs $649. The unit has a dual-cross brush system that allows deeper cleaning in addition to polishing and grooming your carpet. It also includes a spray setting called the Super Boost feature for those areas that are badly soiled. 

One of the best features of this carpet cleaning machine is that it also has a hand tool for convenient cleaning of cars, stairs, upholstery, and small areas where stains are tough to get out. Users are also pleased to have the added features of a removable tool caddy, 4.5-litre capacity water tanks that are easy to fill, and an 8-meter cord allowing you to cover more carpet area with convenience.


  • Removable hand tool for cleaning smaller places
  • Comes with a Super Boost spray mode


  • There have been a few complaints of water leakage 
  • Given its size, it is heavy to carry up and downstairs

5. Wertheim Animal Pro Carpet Shampooer

Wertheim Animal Pro Carpet Shampooer machine

Accidents on your carpet are inevitable when you have little puppies and kittens running around the house which is why a reliable carpet cleaning machine is a must.

Carpet shampooers are a major help in getting stains and smells out of the carpet and for this, the Wertheim Animal Pro Shampooer is deemed one of the best products for the job. 

The machine boasts dual brushes that have 12 rows of cleaning power, and a shot applicator that’s integrated into the unit which allows for a thorough, and more powerful carpet cleaning. It even includes a hot water system which is a big help for tougher stains while the Dry Aire system goes one step further to dry your carpet right after the wash. The unit is priced at $1099 and comes with a handy tool designed to trap pet fur on upholstery along with EdgeSweep brushes that aid in cleaning around skirting boards.


  • Integrated hot water system 
  • Pet tool for convenient upholstery cleaning


  • It is one of the more expensive models in its category
  • Comes with a lesser water tank capacity

6. Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner FH52000

Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner FH52000 machine

The Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner FH52000 is one of the most convenient and easy machines to use. Hoover itself has always been a trusted brand name with many loyal customers returning to get their hands on updated products released by the company. 

This particular model, priced at $1132.74, was created keeping in mind the ease, convenience, and hassle-free approach users look for when cleaning carpets at home. The key feature of this unit is having the solution and water mixed automatically with just the press of a button beside the foot pedal to switch the machine on/off. 

Other features include separate tanks for clean and dirty water, as well as one for the cleaning liquid. The brushes are designed to go deep into the carpet pile and loosen dirt thanks to their long, gentle bristles. The machine is also easy to manoeuvre on flat ground, as well as under furniture. Yet another perk of using this carpet cleaning machine is the unique mechanism that cleans when you push forward, and dries the carpet when you pull back. If you find that all the moisture has not dried up, you can switch the machine to ‘dry’ mode and simply go over the damp areas to finish off.


  • The cleaning solution is mixed automatically with water
  • The nozzle can be removed in one step for cleaning the brush attachment


  • A bit inconvenient to carry up/downstairs
  • Priced higher than most models

7. Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner 

Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner

If your home is mostly hardwood flooring with area rugs adorning it, you needn’t invest in a heavy-duty carpet cleaner. You’ll find that the Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner is just the thing you need to meet the cleaning requirements of decorative rugs and small carpets. 

It also works well on various types of flooring and is gentle on delicate rug/carpet fibres due to its soft nylon and microfibre cleaning brush. Designed to deep clean area rugs safely, the machine uses limited water that does not seep into the rug and onto the floor beneath it. Lastly, the controls are straightforward and easy to use – you can switch between dry vacuuming and washing conveniently.


  • Can be used for both wet and dry cleaning
  • Works well on other types of flooring and area rugs
  • Includes a convenient tray to store the wet brush and prevent dripping


  • Not suitable for silk rugs

8. Bissell Pet Stain Eraser 2003T

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser 2003T machine

Pets and stains are a package deal so if you find yourself having to remove carpet stains regularly, then the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser 2003T is the machine for you! It acts as a carpet cleaner as well as a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. You can also use it to clean your car interiors or any other upholstered surfaces with ease. 

Portability is not a problem because the unit is cordless and boasts a full-charge battery life of 18 minutes. This is more than enough time to clean up difficult pet stains on your carpet. What’s more, it even gets out stains that have been sitting on your carpet for a month! 

The Bissell Pet Stain Eraser 2003T costs $163.23 and comes with a unique brush nozzle that, together with the cleaning solution, will safely and effectively rid the carpet fibres of pet mess stains like vomit, cat and dog urine, and faeces. 


  • Effectively cleans new and old stains
  • Can be used as a wet or dry vacuum cleaner


  • Requires practice to get used to aiming the spray accurately

9. Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 machine

Many homeowners do not have the storage space or budget (or both) to invest in a good carpet cleaning machine. In these cases, renting a machine from a carpet cleaning company is the best option. One of our top picks for renting a carpet cleaner is the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 which provides exceptional results, much like those of a professional carpet cleaning service

The unit removes both water and soil in a gentle manner so there isn’t any worry of damage caused to your carpets. However, it’s worth knowing that it only works on the backward pull. You should also know that while the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 comes with its own attachments, many companies charge extra to rent them out individually. 


  • Large water tank capacity which eliminates frequent refilling
  • Foldable handle
  • Covers a large area thanks to its 12-foot long hose


  • It is a bulky unit; tough to manoeuvre 
  • Only functions as needed when pulled backwards

Our Best In Class

woman in teal shirt using rug doctor on carpets

To summarize the best carpet cleaning machines of 2021, here is a categorised list for you to reference quickly when looking for a carpet machine to suit your individual needs:

  • Best overall carpet cleaner (for pets included): Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet
  • Best cheap carpet cleaner: Vax VX97 Compact Carpet Washer
  • Best spot carpet cleaner: Bissell SpotClean Turbo
  • Best heavy-duty carpet cleaner: Rug Doctor RUGDOC93170 Deep Carpet Cleaner
  • Best carpet shampooer: Wertheim Animal Pro Carpet Shampooer
  • Best carpet cleaning product: Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover
  • Best value carpet cleaner: Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner
  • Best carpet cleaner for area rugs: Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner
  • Best hand-held carpet cleaner: Bissell Pet Stain Eraser 2003T
  • Best carpet cleaner to rent: Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3

With that, we come to the end of our buyer’s guide for the best carpet cleaning machines of 2021! Be sure to carefully consider the crucial information above, and weigh out the pros and cons in order to choose the right machine for you and your carpets!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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