Which carpet cleaner out cleans all others?

Yesterday I was at Target standing in front of the carpet cleaners, wondering.
On the Bissell upright deep cleaner, it says "out cleans all other brands"
On the box of the Hoover, it also says "out cleans all other brands"
Hmm
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I was a professional carpet cleaner several years ago. (I am not now, so I have no axe to grind.) All of the portable units have a common defect-they lack sufficient power to extract the cleaning liquid they inject, a portion of the dirty liquid therefore "weeps" down into the jute, or underneath fabric, and over time, this goo wicks its way back up the carpet fibers. After three or four "cleanings", the dirt will wick up after you walk on it a few times. Another defect of the portables is that unlike truck-mounted units, they use hot water, not steam. Believe me, nothing cleans like steam. Steam will also kill bacteria, dust mites, and the tiny bugs that just get a nice bath when you use a portable. A truck-mounted unit has the suction power and heat to do a good cleaning job, a portable does not. After that, it depends on the operator's skill, which varies.-Jitney
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I have a Hoover. It's great. After many more than three or four cleanings, nothing wicked up. I've never had a problem with bacteria, dust mites, or tiny bugs. Buy a ServiceMaster stain kit for spotting in between deep cleanings.
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Yours sounds like a light duty floor area. My post is based on years of work in restaurants, day care centers, rental housing, and the like.-Jitney
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I can see how it would pay to have a supersucker truck mounted system for commercial needs. Even if you were doing residential work - - the average homeowner has carpets cleaned maybe what? Every two years or so? Lotta dirt to pick up. [I am sure that I will hear from at least ONE person that has his home carpets professionally cleaned several times a year and thinks he average]
I have a Hoover Spin Scrub cleaner (I think the name is SpinScrub or something close). I use it regularly, meaning that all of the carpet in my house gets cleaned at least twice a years - high traffic rooms more often. I also find it great for small catastrophes like knocked over wine bottles. I have had it for almost four years and its does a pretty good job. If I tried to use it everyday, like a commercial unit, it would probably have failed long ago.
Unless they have improved a lot over the last couple of years, I wouldn't touch a Bissel upright. My parents went through two of them, the second repair was out-of-warranty to they had it worked on a local vacuum shop. The shop owner said he see more blown up Bissels than any others. Motors were well know to self destruct - the second time my folks' unit failed it literally had chunks of metal coming out of the exhaust. If you are looking at one with that stupid dual tank that has sort of a bladder thing in it - don't even bother.
We bought our from Sears and talked to two different sales people while shopping. Both said they recommended the Hoover over the Bissel solely for reliability. Combined that with my parents' experience and the info from a guy that repairs them everyday, we decided on the Hoover and have been happy with it.
.... Won't say the same thing about our Hoover self propelled vacuum cleaner.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I have never had a problem with stuff wicking up either. But I very careful not oversoaking the carpet and then go over the carpet several times without spraying solution to suck up as much as possible.
I have never done a "culture" on my carpet - so I wouldn't know how much bateria is there. Though the cleaning solutions claim to take care of practically all dust mites and allergens.
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I have never had a problem with stuff wicking up either. But I very careful not oversoaking the carpet and then go over the carpet several times without spraying solution to suck up as much as possible. (snip)
Good technique. A tip from a pro:go to one of those pro cleaner supply stores and get some "Formula 90" for cleaning, and "Grease Buste" for food stains, it has a bitch kitty of a powerful enzyme to get out those protein stains (the hard part of food stains). Pre-spot the food stains with a sprayer at the recommended solution twenty minutes or so before you clean. The Grease Buste is a good idea even if you have it done professionally-if you ask them, they will hit you with a big upcharge for an "enzyme treatment". Better to pre-treat yourself, you only need the enzyme, water, and a good spray bottle. IMO, what really dirties up a carpet fast is dogs, kids, and cats, in that order. The only stains that are near impossible to get out after they dry is mustard and catpiss smell. If you have a new carpet installed, have the installer save the ends and cuttings from the carpet, to do matching "cutout" replacements for cigarrette burns, difficult stains and catpiss. For catpiss, they tend to go in the corners and edges, cut out the carpet AND THE PAD underneath to replace, bleach the concrete w/ 50/50 bleach/water solution. Also replace the affected tackstrip. I hope this helps.-Jitney
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What do you recommend to clean the "high traffic areas? I have a lot of tile in my house. Basically every entrance to a carpeted room is really showing the dirt. I've tried cleaning with my Hoover but haven't been really successful. The best I seem to be able to do is clean the top of the carpet but the lower part of the fiber still looks dirty.
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See my earlier post on the advantages of a truck-mounted unit. You may want to pay to get it done once in a long while to extract the accumulated crud. Stanley Steemer and Coit are usually good, although there are some good independents as well. Just make sure it is a powerful unit and that they are turning up the heat all the way to steam, not just hot water. High traffic areas have an additional problem. Over time, the sand and silt gets ground in to the plastic body of the fiber (usually nylon) and becomes physically part of it, impossible to clean beyond a certain point. You may want to replace just that section if your carpet supplier can match it, or just keep a throw rug over it.-Jitney
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Jitney knows what he is talking about! I recently replace carpet in high traffic areas. After pullling out the carpet and pad down to the subfloor, it was like going to the beach. There was so much sand and dirt on the subflooor - ground up dirt, sand and powdery jute. It is smeared into the carpet backing. After a while there is NO way to clean carpet anymore. After you steamclean the top will look clean, but that is only for a short time, then the underlying dirt creeps back up. We replace all of our carpet with high quality hardwood floating floor.
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