Hoover's Crown Jewel

Apr 22, 2010 (Updated Apr 22, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Outstanding cleaning.  Lifts nap exceptionally well, and leaves carpeting drier than most.

Cons:Leaves a mess to clean up afterwards, and is awkward to empty.

The Bottom Line: Certainly expensive, but likely the best on the market today.

I've owned several carpet shampooers over the last few decades, but none have even approximated the cleaning ability of this machine, nor have any extracted as much water from my carpeting, which, to me, is one of the best features of this Hoover model.

This Hoover machine operates in much the same manner as others, but with one exception:  pushing the machine forward (while depressing the dispenser button in the handle) applies cleaning solution, and pulling the machine back rinses the carpet.  That's probably a good idea, as it leaves less soapy solution permanently embedded in ones' carpeting. 

This model also excels at lifting the nap, which is one of the key benefits of a "professional" cleaning.  Almost all carpeting gets matted down, which gives it a prematurely worn looking appearance.  Other shampooers I've used did, at best, a fair job of lifting the nap, but this model does a fine job, leaving the carpeting both sufficiently cleaned, and looking "like-new."

Perhaps it's the strong suction of this model that both lifts the nap as well as it does, and leaves so little solution remaining in the cleaned carpeting.  I've always disliked the fact that other machines have left my carpeting so wet that, even with fans blowing all over the place, it still took 3 hours or more for everything to dry.  That time is now less than half of that.

There is no denying that this particular shampooer is "hi-tech" looking, but much of that is just showy, and needless stuff.  All of the information in the handle (smartly written to face the user, rather than the floor) provides an entertaining "light show" at the start of each use.  There are three red lights indicating the status of the three tanks, which begin to flash when any of the tanks needs refilling, or emptying.

"Three tanks?"  Yes, indeed.  The bottom tank (oddly shaped, and very awkward to remove and re-insert) holds the dirty water extracted from the carpeting;  the middle tank holds either hot tap water, or a mixture of cleaning solution and water;  and a third tank holds only the cleaning solution since the machine automatically mixes the detergent and water.  The user must determine for him or herself whether to pre-mix the two, or let the machine do it.  Since allowing the machine to do this automatically worked as well as it did, my preference is to use each of the three tanks as designed.

Older Hoover carpet shampooers had two annoying drawbacks:  the cleaning solution often ran out long before the tank for the extracted, dirty water filled, resulting in frequent, and annoying trips to empty, and refill one or the other.  Additionally, lifting the tank with the dirty water generally caused the stuff to drip all over the place, making a godawful mess.

Fortunately, this model doesn't drip or leak with one annoying exception:  there always seems to be a certain amount of water that comes from behind the machine throughout the entire cleaning process.  Since, I would expect, when one finishes shampooing carpeting, the machine will find itself on a hard surface, that surface tends to get quite wet and sloppy, making cleanup somewhat annoying.  I make sure to have an old towel handy for this purpose.

Aside from stellar cleaning performance, and doing a fine job of lifting flattened carpeting nap, this machine isn't as noisy as others (though it's hardly quiet), and has a generously long power cord, eliminating the need to frequently unplug and then re-plug in the unit.  The hose for cleaning stairs and upholstery is far more flexible and useful than those of older machines too, though still not quite long enough to reach the top of a 13-step flight of stairs.  The owner's manual suggests placing the machine at the top of the stairs for one half of the cleaning job, and then at the bottom for the rest - a bit of an annoyance for sure.

Overall, this is far and away the best carpet shampooer I've ever used.  I've always been somewhat startled at how dirty the extracted water looks, no matter which machine I've used, but on this go-around, I was flat-out amazed at how genuinely filthy it was.  And my carpeting didn't look anywhere near that dirty in the first place!

Aside from still being a royal pain to fully empty and clean, this is one helluva carpet cleaner, and one I'd highly recommend.

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