5 Things to Know Before Buying a Manhattan Carpet Cleaner

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Manhattan carpet cleaner
Manhattan carpet cleaner

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If the floors in your home are covered in carpet and there are lots of feet—or paws—to make a mess of it, a dedicated Manhattan Carpet Cleaner may be a wise addition to your cleaning closet. It can make short work of ground-in dirt and stains in a way that even the best vacuums can’t.

You can also buy some of the so-called deep cleaners that are available to rent at grocery, hardware, or home improvement stores. These are basically bigger, more rugged versions of the full-sized upright cleaners, often twice as powerful with twice as much cleaning capacity, as measured by their tanks—and at least twice the heft. But their size makes them more cumbersome to maneuver.

How We Test Manhattan Carpet Cleaner

It takes three days to put one carpet cleaner through our battery of cleaning-performance tests. Our engineers soil large swatches of off-white nylon carpet with red Georgia clay. They run a carpet cleaner over the carpet for four wet and four dry cycles to simulate a consumer cleaning a particularly dirty spot on a well-trafficked carpet. Then they repeat the test on two more swatches.

Manhattan carpet cleaner
Manhattan carpet cleaner

Over the course of the test, our experts use a colorimeter, a device that measures the absorption of light wavelengths, to take 60 readings of each carpet per test: 20 in its “virgin” state, 20 after it has been soiled, and 20 after it has been cleaned. Sixty readings on three samples make a total of 180 readings per model.

How to Choose a Manhattan Carpet Cleaner

The deep cleaners are twice as big, they don’t necessarily clean twice as well; you don’t have to spend a bundle to get a spotless carpet. Here are five things to keep in mind as you shop.

  1. Carpet cleaners are heavy when empty and even heavier after you fill up the tank. A full tank of cleaning solution (which you have to lug from the sink) adds 6 to 15 pounds to the full-sized models in our ratings. We list the weight of the carpet cleaner when empty and when full on each model page.

The largest cleaner in our ratings may be difficult for one person to maneuver. Of course, a handle makes it easier to carry the machine around, so look for a model that has one if heft is a concern.

  1. Check the settings, accessories, and cord and hose lengths. Some carpet cleaners have only a single tank with one chamber for the fresh solution and another for the spent mixture. But we found that it’s more convenient to have two separate tanks, one for water and the other for the cleaning solution. Some have dispensers that automatically add the cleaning agent to the water, saving you the hassle of having to measure out a full tank each time.

Settings to consider: Some manufacturers claim that their models clean hard floors, like wood and tile, and carpets. There are also carpet cleaners that have dry-only settings so that you can suck up more water after your initial cleaning, which may speed up drying time. As for accessories, although an independently rotating brush doesn’t guarantee a good cleaning, it tends to scrub more aggressively than a fixed brush (or no brush at all). And some models offer a variety of tools for special applications, including upholstery, small stains, pet stains, stairs, and corners and crevices.

A longer cord and a hose can save you some repositioning effort. The models currently in our ratings typically have cords that are 20 to 22 feet, but a few run as long as 25 feet. A hose is especially useful for cleaning stairs, upholstery, or other tough-to-reach areas. “If your stairs have carpeting, you’ll want a longer hose to reach up the steps. Remember, these machines are heavy. You don’t want your machine falling down the stairs after you tug the hose too far.” On the cleaners we’ve tested that have hoses, they tend to run 8 to 9 feet long, though a few models, particularly deep cleaners, come with longer hoses.

  1. Stick with the standard solution for most cleaning. Manufacturers recommend that you use their proprietary cleaning solution with their machines—even requiring it, at the risk of voiding the warranty. And they might sell a bewildering array of specialized solutions. Hoover, for one, offers a dozen different choices for carpets and floors.

But for routine carpet cleaning, the specialty formulas and spot stain removers aren’t necessary. Save the specialized solutions for stubborn stains, like a pet mess.

  1. Carpet cleaners are loud. An average vacuum cleaner can produce loud noise. A carpet cleaner is much, much louder. At this decibel level, we recommend wearing hearing protection, especially if you’re using the machine for a prolonged period. So grab noise-canceling headphones or earplugs that guarantee protection.
  2. Cleaning with a carpet cleaner takes time. A vacuum can come out of the closet ready to go. But a carpet cleaner? Not so much. First, you have to move furniture out of the area you plan to clean, then you should vacuum the carpet. Next, fill the machine with cleaning solution and water.

When using a carpet cleaner, you push and pull it just like a vacuum. Push the carpet cleaner out to arm’s length, then pull it back while continuing to squeeze the trigger. For a dry cycle, release the trigger and complete the same steps.

To suction the cleaning solution from the rug, make dry passes with the carpet cleaner. If the carpet is still dirty, repeat wet and dry passes until the cleaning solution you removed from the carpet runs clear. Once you’re satisfied, you need to let the carpet dry completely before you (or pets) walk on it or replace the furniture.

You’re not done yet. After admiring your work, you have to unplug the machine, clean out the tank, and remove any debris from the brushes. Following the instructions in your owner’s manual.

6. Improves the overall appearance of the room
Did you know that the carpet is the biggest piece of furniture in the room? It is also one of the most used pieces of furniture. It’s logical, but few take into account how much dirt is brought in on a daily basis.
Although people may not notice it at first. Over time a room can look dirty and outdated just based on the condition of the carpet. Professional carpet cleaning will not only keep the fibers looking new, but it will also improve the aesthetics of the room.

 

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