I was wondering how well the carpet steamers that can be rented stack up agaisnt pro cleaners services.
Also, how good are the "steam vac" that can be bought? i.e. Hoover steam vac or Bissel? Do they actually use steam?
None of the carpet cleaning methods actually use steam - even the professional units mounted on a truck use very hot water and extraction.
When we had carpe, I had a Hoover Dual V Maxextract and was pretty happy with it. It allowed a separate water only rinse to remove traces of detergent from the carpet (important to prevent buildup which can actually attract more dirt) and the maxextract actually left the carpet pretty dry. However you do have to take you time and go over it slowly for best effect. Much cheaper than professional especially since I cleaned the carpet every 3 months.... and since we started with new carpet and vacuumed frequently we did not need some heavy duty cleaning (no stains or severe dirt).
If you have stains or very dirty carpet a truck mounted machine is probably much better.
Rental machines are definitely no better than the Hoover.
I owned a Bissell in the past and was not happy with it - it didn't suck up the dirty water very well and left gunk in the carpet.
Actually, several do use steam. I have a Haan that plugs in and makes steam. it is very good. I believe the profession ones use steame as well.
Bissell just uses hot water and is next to useless.
The Haan is light weight , easy to use and does a very good job.
I had both a Bissell and a Hoover Floormate. Both performed terrible. I don't recommend them. I also thought the Hoover Bagless vacuum was a dud.
I prefer professional cleaning services for my carpets. I think taking help from pro cleaners is better than renting a cleaning machines. It save time as well as effort and prevent your carpet from any unwanted damage.
I have a Hoover Pro V and I could not be more happy with it... I am on my 3rd one is how much I like them.... You can get them on sale for about 199.00. I find they last me about 5 years and both my kids borrow also. I have yet to have it not take a stain out of my carpeting. My carpeting always looks wonderful after I clean it. This cleaner has a clean water tank and a dirty water tank, separate from each other, not the bladder style. You squeeze the trigger to add the soap solution to the clean water as it sprays out, then relase it to rinse the carpet with just water. I used to rent Rug Doctors years ago and they did a good job, just bulky and akward to use. I love my Hoover Pro V...
We used them years ago when we couldn't afford professionals and they looked as clean as professionals. We also used them in our rentals. You should always spray the carpet with the stain resistant sprays afterwards if you want the carpet to come clean next time.
I've used ChemDry professionals with success. My carpets are now about 20 years old and are looking kind of old and worn in spots. Professionals do the best job, in my opinion. I tried both Hoover and Bissell machines and those things you rent at grocery stores, none of them worked that great.