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Portable carpet cleaner vs. upright carpet cleaner

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When it comes to choose a home carpet cleaner, you might be confused of the upright carpet cleaner and portable carpet cleaner functions. How they are different from each others and what design is better for your cleaning demand. Check this article to figure out the suitable one.

Portable Carpet Cleaner

Portable Carpet Cleaner

Portable carpet cleaner is a carpet cleaning machine with the design of a compact canister. This type of carpet cleaner is suitable for spillage cleaning, spot cleaning, auto-detailing, upholstery cleaning tasks.

The portable carpet cleaner is often packed as a full assembly, meaning you just open the box and can use it right away. The machine will have some tools for hand cleaning tasks or upholstery cleaning tasks. However, when choosing a portable carpet cleaner, you should pay attention to certain points such as:

  1. The motor power

    The motor power of a portable carpet cleaning machine is very important. Strong motor power is often equal with better suction force. Most of the portable carpet cleaner uses a small motor (3 amp. only) but there are some models with higher motor power such a Bissell SportClean (5.7 amps)

  2. The water tank size and water tank design

    Most of the portable carpet cleaner has 3/4 Gallon up to 1 Gallon water tank. It would be better if you take the one with bigger water tank, so you can clean more spots before changing water. However, this is optional seems most of them provide equivalent cleaning areas. Besides, should you check the water tank design (Dual design or two tank design), because some old models will have dual design which can be a bit awkward if you do not familiar with using them.

  3. The length of the cord

    You should aim for the cord length up to 15 fts. Shorter cord length will be hard for you if you need to maneuver around.

  4. Hose quality

    For the portable carpet cleaner, hose quality is a one of the greatest concerns because many portable units seems to have breakage, leakage on the hose after 1-2 years of using. You should check if the manufacturer has the hose spare part for that model or not in advance because old models might not have spare parts for you to replace. To this extent, Hoover Spotless carpet cleaner (click the link to read full review of this model) is the latest model using self cleaning technology for the hose, and this will result in a longer life time for the hose and the machine.

Upright Carpet Cleaner

Upright Carpet Cleaner

Upright carpet cleaners are those models with a handle so you can clean the whole carpet in a faster way. The upright carpet cleaner is sometimes called a full-size carpet cleaner (if they have cleaning path width above 12 inches) or a half-size carpet cleaner (if their cleaning path width is about 6-8 inches). The upright carpet cleaner designs and features are very dynamic. There are hundreds of models on the market (about 10X more than its counterpart) but not all of them are worthy to purchase.

There are also some key features of upright carpet cleaner such as:

  1. User friendly design

    If you are not familiar with assembling tasks, you probably choose an upright carpet cleaner with is mostly assembled, so you don’t need to be confused after opening the box. This will improve your using experiences.

  2. Cleaning purposes

    Depending on your cleaning purposes, you can choose either a cheaper upright carpet cleaning shampooer or a more expensive one with greater functions. For example, if you just need a carpet shampooer for casual cleaning your carpet which is not very dirty, you can choose Hoover FH50150 Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner for the best price and value. If you home has pets, you should choose models which are optimized for pet messes and pet hair cleaning such as Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Carpet Cleaner 17N4P which has a hair collector inside. If you have to clean heavily soiled carpet at home, hotels, bigger places, you should aimed for the heavy duties machine such as Rug Doctor Mighty Pro or Bissell BigClean.

  3. Motor power

    Shortly speaking ,bigger motor power is better one. You can observe Bissell half size carpet cleaner uses 6 amps. motor but the full size carpet shampooer (from this brand too) use a 12 amps. motor. Hoover even uses 13.25 amps motor for their models (remember that we could only compare within the same brand because Hoover carpet cleaner designs are not the same with Bissell).

  4. Heated cleaning technology

    A modern carpet cleaner will have heatwave technology to maintain water at optimum temperature for cleaning. This is an optional since you can use warm water for most of the machines without any damage.

  5. Brush design

    Advanced upright carpet cleaners mostly have unique brush designs which are rotating faster, more brush units, easy to clean, be able to clean the edge and get deep down to the carpet foundation. The brush design is very important.

  6. Machine weight

    If you are a lady, perhaps a lightweight carpet cleaner is better for you. There are lightweight carpet cleaner (19 lbs.), moderate weight models (20 lbs.- 30 lbs.) and heavy machines for heavy duties (over 30 lbs.). However, there is also an exception where a moderate weight carpet cleaner can perform as outstanding as the heavy weight machines.

  7. Cleaning path width

    Nowadays, most of the modern upright carpet cleaners have 12 inches cleaning path. Some of old models only has 6-8 inches. Check for this if you have to clean big rooms.

  8. Advanced technologies

    There are a lot of optional technologies such as multi-floor cleaning, pressurized heated cleaning and more. They are up to your budget but frankly speaking these features seems to be redundant to a large portion of users.

  9. Warranty time and spare parts

    Aimed for 2-3 years warranty time and the newer models so you can’t get lost when your machine is defected.

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Top Editor's Choice on Portable Carpet Cleaner

SaleBestseller No. 1
OdoBan 3-n-1 Carpet Cleaner, 128 Fl Oz
No defoamer or additional rinsing agents required; Safe for use in Deep cleaning machines; Dries 75% faster than traditional carpet cleaners
SaleBestseller No. 2
FOLEX Instant Carpet Spot Remover, 32oz
Water-based, non-flammable and odor free; VOC, solvent, and petroleum free; Safe to use around children and pets if used as directed
SaleBestseller No. 3
Dirt Devil Portable Spot Compact Carpet Cleaner for Carpet & Upholstery,...
CAPACITY: 19 oz. tank designed to handle multiple household stains with one tank
SaleBestseller No. 4
Hoover PowerScrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine, for Carpet and Upholstery,...
FASTER DRYING: HeatForce for faster drying so you can get back on your carpets quickly; DUAL V NOZZLE: Provides equal suction to clean and dry surfaces quickly and evenly
SaleBestseller No. 5
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner,...
LARGE TANK CAPACITY. 48 oz. tank means you can clean more between refills.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Hoover CleanSlate Plus Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, Carpet...
TOOLS FOR EVERY MESS: Tools for every mess with the 7” WidePath Tool and TightSpot Tool; QUICK & PORTABLE: Quickly remove spills when they happen
SaleBestseller No. 7
Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet Carpet Cleaner, 2987,Green/ Black large
LIGHTWEIGHT & POWERFUL. Compact design makes cleaning carpets easy and convenient.; REMOVABLE NOZZLE. Easily maintain and clean your machine.
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Bissell Professional Spot and Stain + Oxy Portable Machine Formula, 32 Fl...
Formulated with a fresh scent.; Quick and effective spot cleaning on carpet, area rugs and upholstery.
Bestseller No. 9
Bissell Professional Pet Urine Elimator with Oxy and Febreze Carpet Cleaner...
2X concentrated formula for use in all upright carpet cleaning machines; Removes pet stains and odors at the source with the power of oxy and febreze freshness
Bestseller No. 10
Bissell 78H63 Deep Clean Pro 4X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Carpet Shampoo,...
Removes tough odors.; Safe on carpet, area rugs and upholstery.; Great for heavily soiled areas, stubborn stains and underlying odors.