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Can't remember when you cleaned your carpets? 8 machines to make it less tasking

A deep clean is needed at least once a year.
Woman vacuuming her living room with her heavy duty carpet cleaner
We asked cleaning experts for their top picks. TODAY Illustrations / Getty Images

You might think you've hit every corner of the house while cleaning — until you realize you haven't shown your carpets some love in what feels like forever. Even if you vacuum around your home on a regular basis, dust, mites and grime can still take up residence in your carpets and rugs, and a busy household can sometimes mean more spills and stubborn stains that require some extra elbow grease.

If you want to give your carpets a deep clean, you don't have to spend an excessive amount of money calling in the professionals or renting a machine. While purchasing your own carpet cleaner might seem like a bit of an investment at first, it will be one that you can reap the benefits of for years to come.

Plus, the winter time is one of the best time to give your carpets some new life as your heated home might help cut down on drying time, cleaning expert Maeve Richmond of Maeve’s Method, told us.

Do you need a carpet cleaner?

A 2018 study found that carpeted homes house significantly more allergens, dust, mites and fungi and that "carpeted floors also contribute to increased amounts of suspended dust and microorganisms in indoor air." Regularly vacuuming your carpets is recommended to remove some of the inhabitants in your carpets and rugs, but giving them a deep clean might prove necessary.

A routine deep cleaning also helps the carpet in the long run. "[It] will remove particles that lead to soiling and long-term problems," a spokesperson for The Carpet and Rug Institute told Shop TODAY. "This cleaning will also restore the carpet and make it last for its intended lifespan."

"I always recommend purchasing a carpet cleaning machine — it's great to have on hand especially if you have small children and/or pets," Becky Rapinchuk from Clean Mama and author of the book "Simply Clean" told Shop TODAY. "Once you rent a machine a couple times, you'll have paid for it and you won't be bringing in any other germs from other users."

When you get around to cleaning, there are two places you shouldn't overlook: carpet edges and carpets around the inside edges of a door.

"It’s worth taking some time to work these areas, as they collect dirt and dust as much as the main areas of the rug," Richmond said. "Dirty carpeting at the entrance to a room can be easy to ignore, but take time to clean them, as over time the dirt will begin to dull the look and feel of your room."

To make your search and the cleaning task at hand a bit easier, we the experts for their recommendations.

Expert-approved carpet cleaners

1. Bissell 15651 ProHeat 2X Lift Off Pet Carpet Cleaner

Rapinchuk prefers this model from Bissell "for a deep clean, most similar to a professional carpet cleaning." Instead of diving right in for a deep clean of your entire house, Rapinchuk suggests building cleaning habits one day at a time. "Set a timer for 5-10 minutes every day and do a little cleaning or decluttering — you'll actually get more done!"

2. Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

Focusing on spot cleaning? Rapinchuk says she uses this model for little messes and to clean her home's stairs. It comes with a travel size bottle of solution and two different tools to make cleaning stains and steps an easier process.

3. Bissell 2513W SpotClean ProHeat Pet Portable Carpet Cleaner

Richmond keeps this portable cleaner at hand for deep cleaning. "I prefer it over the upright styles as you can easily lift a portable size onto sofas, chairs or around corners to access small, tight areas," Richmond told Shop TODAY. "They are also super gratifying: take your portable Bissell to your home’s toughest carpet stain and watch as the return tank fills with brown, dirt-filled water — you won’t believe what you are removing from your home!"

Bestselling carpet cleaners

1. Bissell Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner Machine

This bestseller from Bissell has amassed more than 13,000 verified five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, and holds a 4.5-star overall rating. It's designed for homes with pets and uses a two-tank system to ensure a true, deep cleaning. It also weighs just 12 pounds, making it easy to carry around and give any carpeted area in your home some TLC.

2. Bissell 1785 CrossWave All-in-One Multi Surface Wet Dry Vacuum

Prefer a multitasking machine? While it is an initial investment, you'll likely save time and money in the long run with this two-in-one vacuum. It can vacuum and wash bare floors simultaneously, but it can also be used on area rugs for a quick clean. Rather than relying on a traditional sponge mop, it utilizes a brush roll that can mop and pick up debris on your floors, meaning you can skip some steps in your cleaning ritual without compromising quality. One verified reviewer called it a "must-have," stating that it replaced their mop and broom.

3. Hoover FH50700 PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner Machine

With more than 25,000 verified five-star ratings, this affordable carpet cleaner targets value. It's easy to use and store according to one reviewer and uses HeatForce technology to cut down on drying time. Thanks to an antimicrobial brush roll, it is also a perfect pick for homes with pets, as the brand says it helps cut down on odor.

4. Bissell Little Green Portable Spot and Stain Cleaner

The Little Green went viral on TikTok once users saw how deeply it cleaned car seats, couches and carpets with ease. It weighs just over 12 pounds and works best for spot cleaning areas you wouldn't be able to reach with a large machine.

5. Hoover FH52000 Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

Cut down on elbow grease with this smart carpet cleaner: when you push it forward it cleans, when you pull it back it dries. Like other Hoover machines, it uses HeatForce technology for a faster drying time and it also mixes and dispenses carpet cleaning solution automatically for the best results. More than 8,000 verified Amazon shoppers have given the machine a perfect five-star rating, with one reviewer calling it a welcomed addition to homes both with and without pets.

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