Our random for sale and recommendations email list at work has failed me, so I appeal to the wisdom of my blog readers on this one...

I'm looking for a decent little steam cleaning vacuum that I can use for spot cleaning my carpet (spills, pet stains, etc). This is not intended for cleaning whole rooms or anything like that.

Any recommendations? (Aside from "don't get light carpet, dumbass...")

Posted by jzawodn at August 17, 2005 05:20 PM

Reader Comments
# Brian J. France said:

SteamVac™ Dual V™ Widepath™ With Auto Rinse


This thing is great. We use it to clean up after the cats, dog, kids and the small high traffic areas.

Sorry, didn't see your request on forsale.

on August 17, 2005 06:32 PM
# Mark Matthews said:


We borrowed my Mom's Hoover Agility (http://www.hoover.com/db/xq/asp.AgilityHome/CatID.6/ProdID.237/ModID.1899/qx/SteamVacAgility.htm) earlier this summer, and it worked out very well.

Easy to use, easy to clean up (a must with cat hair and little kid junk), and cleaned better than anything we've rented in the past.

We've got light berber throughout most of the house, so it was a good test.

I think the scrubbing brushes that spin vertically rather than horizontally (like a regular vacuum cleaner's beater bar) help a lot with the unit's effectiveness.

I know you can pick this thing up at your local big-box store for ca. $200.

on August 17, 2005 06:36 PM
# Ruben said:

I recommend you bite the bullet and get a full-size steamer.

Two years ago, I bought one of those handheld 'deep' cleaners (the Bissell Spotlifter) for the same reason - getting out pet stains, etc. Big mistake.

For starters, the thing had *terrible* suction. To get out one pet stain, you had to spray, scrub, suck, then repeat...about 500 times. After about 20 minutes, you start to look for the nearest open window.

Some other models have the automatic scrubbers, but it's the same problem as the suction - i.e., no power.

Last year, I gave up on the handheld and bought a full-size SteamVac. It's nice. The water and cleaner are in separate compartments (you need to add the hot water though), and there are 6 fully automated (and quite powerful) brushes at the bottom. What's nice is that it has a smaller attachment so I can spot clean small stains. Doesn't matter anyways, because I find the main unit to be so much faster to use. Just pull it out of the closet, spray, run it back and forth a few times, and I'm done. Haven't looked back since.

on August 17, 2005 06:54 PM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

You've been skinning raccoons in the living room again, haven't you Jeremy.

on August 17, 2005 09:08 PM
# Brett Hinze said:

I just bought a Steam Cleaner for my apartment; it's a Bissell QuickSteamer and at $70 I believe it's one of the cheapest upright cleaners. I would reccommend it if you don't want to spend a lot of money; however the lack of a moving brush means you have do over the same place 10 or 20 times before it's really clean. Also to get out dark spots a pre-cleaner spray is essential. If want a more high powered one I'd go with the Hoover SteamVac.

on August 17, 2005 11:39 PM
# Larry said:

I'll second Brian's recommendation of the SteamVac, as well as Ruben's suggestion of getting the full size cleaner - the little ones just don't do the trick.

And for what it's worth, my next house will NOT have carpet, I spend too much of my life cleaning carpet. Pergo/hardwood may cost more, but I think I'll get a fair amount of my time back.

on August 18, 2005 04:56 AM
# Aaron Brazell said:

I won't patronize you with "Don't get light carpets, dumbass". Instead, my advice is alot more meaning. "Don't get your carpet dirty, bitch" :D

on August 18, 2005 06:29 AM
# Anjan said:

I agree with Brian France. I have had that cleaner for over a year and its the best consumer steam cleaner you can buy. Quite impressive cleaning power. Even cleans up hard surfaces...

on August 18, 2005 06:57 AM
# Mike said:

> Any recommendations? (Aside from "don't get light carpet, dumbass...")

Get wood floors, dumbass? ;P

on August 18, 2005 10:44 AM
# Josh said:

One of the responses mentioned the Bissell Spotlifter. I've tried this, being something of an expert on steam cleaning lately. As a tool, it has a very narrow opening...allegedly you have to sprary the solution out the front, and then hold the machine at a 45 degree angle to get the suction going. It's very difficult to tell if you're getting the fluid back off the carpet at that point in time, so you're left to ponder whether the stain is going up.

Unfortunately, touching the area on the floor covered in whatever substance you don't want to go near, seems to be the way to evaluate if it's working. You also need to apply substantial pressure to feel as if it's working.
Add to this, the fact that carpet fibers tend to get in it, and gunk up the works. To be fair, it's really easy to pull the brush section out, but your fingers must then untangle the fibers, which are, again, covered in something disgusting you don't want on you.

The one spot where the Bissell is really helpful, is the sides of stairs. You can actually steam clean a vertical surface, which is close to impossible with any of the full size power steamers.

on August 19, 2005 10:14 AM
# Mark of MDM Cleaning & Sanitizing said:

Hey I run a cleaning service and the best we found was the royal hoover sucks.

on August 27, 2005 02:28 PM
# ponnarasi said:

hai i have a hoover vacuum cleaner...
it's just 4 months old...
suddenly it's creating huge noise....
i donno y...
we changed the bag and the belt...still not able to find the problem....can anyone help me plssss

on August 29, 2005 05:33 PM
# ED said:


on October 11, 2005 04:08 AM
# TnT said:

In addition to a residental vacuum/steam cleaner you may want to get some urine/odor enzyme. Its a living enzyme that attaches itself to the urine and digests it. The stuff I have has a vanilla sent and it really works. You can get that at your local pet supply shop. Solvent cleaners are helpful for sticky messes(pop, oil, etc), and a water based spotter for regular stains can be obtained from a chemical supply shop. They probably have one in your area.

on March 9, 2006 07:24 PM
# Slughorn said:

I find my Hoover Steam Vac difficult to clean up after doing the floors ... gobs of dog hair caught in the thin shield on the front. Hard to get the brushes clean too.

on June 19, 2006 12:35 PM
# Ken said:

I bought a Hoover Steam vac Dual V with auto rinse and it is the biggest mistake I ever made. I am on the second fresh water tank at about $50 a pop due to plastic failure around the vaulve body. The second tank failed today after about three uses. I will never buy another Hoover product!

on June 22, 2006 06:37 PM
# said:

I have a Company for Steam Vacumm in my country Venezuela, and I'm trying to introduce in Curacao this year.
It's the best for cleanning, houses, carpets, bath room kitchen etc...

on June 27, 2009 07:00 PM
# Chester said:

I have always had good luck with the bissel machines. We have had two over the years and the new one is much nicier than the old one. Just make sure you get one that is easy to clean. The machines can get pretty gross. Our bissel has a replaceable water bladder that helps keep it from getting too dirty.

on January 31, 2010 07:41 PM
# Mr.Steam Cleaner said:

You either need to step up to a larger unit or you need to add some spot cleaner. Steam cleaners work great (if they're actually steam - a lot of the bissel models are underpowered) but you should add some cleaner to the mix.

I know it's almost sacrilegious to use a chemical when using a steam cleaner but the steam isn't always enough to the job.

Mr.Steam Cleaner

on June 27, 2010 06:36 PM
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