Carpet shampooer or shop vac?

Kathy547May 27, 2010

My carpet is old shag that we can't afford to replace until the future sometime. I haven't cleaned it in several years so I know it's filthy. I live in a rural area so renting a shampooer will be difficult time-wise (I won't have enough time to clean the carpet & return the machine in a timely manner). Don't want to hire someone because my budget can't afford it. Besides, I want to have my own so I can clean it whenever I want. I have done comparison shopping at Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, & online. Shop vacs are cheaper so I was wondering what the difference was? Has anyone used a shop vac to clean your carpet, & what were the results?

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Um, well, a carpet shampooer will actually shampoo the carpet, using brushes, and then vacuum up the cleaning solution.

A shop vac will vacuum up loose dirt, and suck up spilled liquids. They won't shampoo the carpet.

Were you just planning on throwing water on the carpet and vacuuming that up? If so, that's a bad idea. Too wet.

The shampooers don't put down a huge amount of water while working.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Hello, Kathy!
Well, I think Mary advices above are really good, and I add the information that maybe you can afford a good carpet cleaner, with wich you can make dry cleanings or cleanings with water without any problems, and combine a cleaning with a shampoo, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: A good carpet cleaner

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 12:09AM
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Do not get a Hoover Floormate. I bought one and it permanently broke after only two uses. I lost $175 on a piece of junk that was actually recommended here on Garden web.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:56AM
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Thanks for all the response. Why I was wondering about the difference between shop vacs & shampooers was because I've heard one or two people mention they've used a shop vac on their carpets. I want something not too expensive but not so cheap that I'm going to have to replace it every couple of years (like the vaccuum cleaners I've gotten at Walmart).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:50PM
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I think you will have to change your way of thinking. You want something cheap, even after your experience with vacuum cleaners from Walmart. One you have to replace every couple of years.

Years ago, Bissell sold a carpet cleaning adaptor, which could be attached to a shop vacuum. Shop-Vac even sold similar, but are no longer available.

If you were to use a shop vacuum to extract the liquid from the carpeting, you would need a narrow slotted attachment, a way to apply the liquid cleaning solution and a way to agitate the solution into the carpeting. It can be done, but you would need to know what you are doing and know how to set up the shop vac for "liquid pick up".

The easiest thing to do is purchase a carpet cleaner like a Hoover SteamVac, use it properly and maintain the equipment properly.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:19PM
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After a flood in our basement I tried using the shop vac to extract the water from the carpet. All I can say is don't even bother! My shop vac has excellent suction but the only way to maintain suction on the carpet was on my hands and knees.
Another solution might be a powder cleaner such as the one Resolve makes. You sprinkle the powder on the carpet, rub it in with a brush and let it dry. Then you just vacuum it up. I use it on the carpet in my car and it does a good job. It's not quite as good as a true carpet cleaning but better than nothing.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Let's get the terms straight. A carpet shampooer is just that. It has brushes, water, and shampoo. A steam cleaner/carpet extractor is another machine and the process is differant. I would just go out and buy a Hoover Platinum Carpet Steamer. It's going to B more than U want 2 spend, but U get what U pay 4. My old Hoover is 17 years old and starting to leak. I think it was $279, all those years ago. Go and buy it at Sears so if you don't like it U can get your $ back. I am going to go buy 1 as this old Hoover is on it's last legs.

Do not use that powdered cleaner on shag! It works as I have used it 4 years, between the shampoo and steam extraction, and my carpet is white. It's just very dense and the powder just stays on the top of the pile. I also spend $ on vacs and they not Kmart junk. I just use my Rainbow, as it just uses water and I dump it in the toilet. If had to use my Kirby, Electrolux, or Tri-Star would be changing the bag after 4 passes. I use them all after the Rainbow but do not go through all of the bags. You will have that in that shag and it will be like drywall dust with the vac U have. U will hate yourself. Listen to GE Guy as I think I know who he is. He knows his stuff.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 9:10PM
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I don't know if you live near a big box home improvement store, but many places will rent their carpet cleaners by the week or partial week and it will still be cheaper than buying a machine such as the Hoover or Bissell. We bought a house than needed major carpet cleaning a few years ago. We rented a machine from Home Depot for the entire week (7 days) for $100. Don't bother with shampoo--it only attracts more dirt once it's dry. I just used extremely hot water with a bit of vinegar mixed in to get rid of any smells. The carpets turned out great.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:07PM
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I'm answering 4 years late, but oh well⦠We have two carpets that are 9 feet circular, shag and synthetic nylon. Buy or rent a carpet cleaner with the best suction (I've heard the big green bissel is good). Vaccuum well, then lay your rug on your deck outside. Make a solution to clean it with: hot water (cold if wool), pet enzyme formula, vinegar, dish detergentâ¦.. Hose (soak) the entire rug down, pour the solution over the really dirty spots, get down and scrub with fingers and hands. Turn it over, pour some solution back there, too and hose through the back of the rug until water runs clear. Turn it back over and use vacuum to rinse and suck until water runs clear. Hang it over the deck rail to dry or drape over some deck furniture. Make sure the forecast is not for rain!!! That's what i do. Labor intensive and takes two people depending on size of rug, but it works.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:57PM
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