Carpet cleaning--which machine do you Dopers recommend?

I’ve come to the conclusion that my grey wall to wall carpet is filthy and needs to be shampooed. I hate the supermarket rentals of machines so I won’t be using them. I live in a one-bedroom condo on the third floor of a high rise building. I’m leaning towards buying a Hoover carpet cleaner because of the six spinning brushes. That seems to make more sense than a single brush in a straight line. What do you Dopers think? For those who shampoo their carpets on a regular basis, what machine works best for you? Thanks for your help.

I’ve tried rentals and home machines (older ones) and my results weren’t very satisfactory. When I lived in an apt, my neighbors and I would get together and hire a professional. They’ll give you a deal for doing several at once, and also if you move your furniture out of the way. It’s actually pretty cheap, and guaranteed.
Sorry, no help on the machine, but think about if you want one getting in the way for a year between cleanings anyway.

I had great experience renting a carpet cleaner from Home Depot…twice actually.

They have a 4-hour deal and an overnight price, depending on how much you want to do…very reasonable…they highly recommend that you use their cleaner, but it was price competitive with other brands.

We bought a Hoover carpet cleaner a few years back…the suction was so weak, the carpets were soaked.

In terms of a professional cleaners…I cannot NOT recommend Stanley Steamer. It’s like they hired their workforce straight out of Clown College (no offense to Clowns).

Good Luck medstar.

I’m a retired janitor. I’ve used many kinds of machines on carpets. The biggest factors to look for are the size of the vac motor and the size of the tanks. The bigger the vac motor, the more water can be pulled out of the carpet, and the faster it will dry. If you have small in-and-out tanks, you’ll waste a lot of time dumping and filling.

If you pay a pro, I don’t recommend the “extras.” They’ll offer to spray on anti-stain stuff, insecticide, fungicide, and smell-good. If you really want that stuff, you can get it yourself, and apply it much more cheaply than the pro will. You can get a gallon of carpet protector concentrate and a tank sprayer for less than you’d pay to get two rooms protected by the pro.

One kind I emphatically don’t like is the “dry” method. In this method, you scatter a ground corn-cob material treated with a solvent. Then you rub it in with a brush machine and suck it up with a regular vacuum. On the plus side, the floor is almost entirely dry when you’re finished. On the minus side, it throws up a cloud of microscopic cob dust that lingers in the air for a long time before it settles on every surface in the room. The solvent fumes made some of our clients sick. Your home vacuum will eventually pick up most of the cob dust in your carpet.

I got long-winded, there, and I apologize for that.

We have a Hoover Steam Vac and it works great. We have dogs and cats so we clean often. There is a lot of dumping and filling going on, but it doesn’t take long to do it.

I really like it for spot cleaning, say if someone pukes, and we don’t have to do the whole carpet, just a spot. It always gets all the yucky stuff up.

Thanks for your replies; you’ve given me a lot to think about.