The Hoover SteamVac with TurboPOWER, Clean Surge and SpinScrub all at the working end of the sturdy handle, make my aging and much-spilled-upon carpets look so close to new again that each time I use this appliance I put the thought of "new carpet" on the back burner again.
Recommend this product?
How's that for a satisfactory experience?
We've been thinking of installing hardwood in the first floor of our home since moving into it. A former owner installed very plush, premium quality carpet in our home more than 15 years ago, and while we don't love the colors or textures in any room, we're living with it thanks to the handy Hoover SteamVac.
Bells and Whistles Don't Perform Forever ...
I've owned a Hoover steam cleaner prior to this model and I really thought I loved it. Clearly, all I experienced was a short-term crush, and after the untimely demise of the Hoover V2 SpinScrub I learned my lesson. Rinse features, clear plastic and space-age design do not equal quality. Nor does the higher price tag.
When the motor blew on the V2 I took it to a local vacuum repairman who kindly suggested I not bother with a costly replacement, as a new motor would follow the same path not far into the future. The extra exertion of switching from wash to rinse, and the quality of the workmanship in general made the V2 a sure loser in the longevity spectrum of steam vacuums.
I know now that all the "cool stuff" didn't work anyway.
The local repairman also sells vacuums and had the F5912-900 coming in his next shipment. He offered to call when it arrived, and so he did. I made the purchase. The right purchase.
Why the Basic Hoover SteamVac Works for Me
The Hoover F5912-900 still sports the SpinScrub technology of it's pricier predecessor, with one major difference: higher quality plastic.
The V2 sported the clear, brittle plastic on the front-end suction piece and on its tanks. Say hello to chips and cracks -- and be ready to greet them fast. Even small bumps (into door frames or thresholds) injured the V2.
You'll find, in this more basic SteamVac model, the feeling that you can possibly even drop a tank and not meet with fatal results. The lid of the collection tank is mostly brittle plastic, but for viewing the dirt content of the water suctioned from your floors, this might be a "need". Less brittle, opaque plastic makes water look cloudy, I suppose, so I'll give Hoover a point for allowing me to see my dirt more clearly.
The tubing carrying a mix of water and cleaning fluid to the necessary outlets appears very sturdy in comparison to the V2. Clamped at intervals to the body of the machine, it's in place and stays that way.
Think of these notations as spot-check approvals. The real test lies in using the vacuum, am I right?
Ease of Use OR Do I Need the Manual?
Right from the box the Hoover SteamVac takes about 10 minutes to assemble. Most of that time comes from inventorying parts, making sure they sit at the ready to quickly snap together the unit. Quick and easy. Handle portion, base of the unit and cord/hose hanging units make up the three main parts to assemble. Place, push, click, slide and installation of two screws ... done.
The collection tank sits on the base of the vacuum and locks in place with a lever at each side of the vacuum. The water/cleaning tank sits in place above the collection tank, but attached to the handle with a mere tilt and push to lock it firmly in place. I feel very sure of the solidity of the two tanks on this model. I did not have that feeling with the pricier V2.
The 15-foot heavy duty cord winds neatly along the back of the vacuum and the 8-foot hose extension does likewise, both staying out of the way when not in use.
Poetry in Motion
Raise your hand if you enjoy cleaning.
While the Hoover SteamVac does not exactly put a thrill into steam cleaning carpets, it does offer a very large amount of satisfaction.
I'm the sort that finds power-washing fascinating. I like to see the messy stuff come off of an object with the power of just water and the force behind it. Very satisfying, but not something I want to see every day.
I have the same feeling about the Hoover SteamVac's accomplishments in my home. I can see all the dirt and particles rising from the cushy surface and flowing into the collection tank. I stand, aghast, if you must know, pouring out a gallon of dark, dingy water after working on a section of carpet and thinking, "Ooooh! It's getting CLEAN!"
But, I don't want to do this every day.
Do I need to use the SteamVac often? No. Why? I'll tell you.
Follow the Directions
Before even plugging in the SteamVac be sure to dry vacuum your carpets thoroughly with whatever vacuum you own. The SteamVac doesn't like to handle large particles, lint or dust bunnies of any size, as the filter may clog on you. Clogs come undone by cleaning the filter, but once you get working you won't want to stop to do that.
Fill the upper tank to the indicated line with hot water and 5 oz. of Hoover cleaning solution, as directed. The lid of the tank provides a measuring cup. Extra points for that. Make sure the collection tank has firmly seated and locked with the levers on each side.
Plug in the SteamVac, press the lever on the right rear of the base to tilt the handle into working position and then press the left side lever on the base to start the vacuum.
You'll press the trigger on the upper handle and hold it in to express the water/solution into the carpet, and have the option for two levels of scrubbing power (toggle switch on front end of the base), or simply "off" to collect spilled fluids from floors.
As you move the machine along to scrub the carpet and collect the aftermath you'll want to move slowly. This steam vacuum does an excellent job of removing water from carpet if you give it the time to do it. Very slow movement wins this race.
Heavy traffic areas? Use the button seated at the front of the handle to express extra cleaning power. This works superbly and my high traffic areas look all the better for it. We have some real grunge around here, what with children coming and going from play in the yard or driveway with an endless supply of ground-in dirt, dampness and other mess-making accumulations. We also have spills from time to time and the SteamVac has taken those out completely. They don't rise to the surface later. BIG points here.
Once you've traversed the entire carpet with the SteamVac with cleaning solution in the main tank, you have the option to rinse if you like. However, read the label on the Hoover cleaning solution (a small bottle comes with the machine): It contains a conditioner that helps prevent build-up of dirt and stains, therefore a rinsing doesn't really apply. I do find that not rinsing helps, and that employing a second cleaning rather than a rinsing does make a difference. No need to rinse. Really.
With this carpet conditioner in the cleaning solution I know that my kids have not suddenly taken a vow to keep my carpets cleaner. It's not rinsing the rugs that makes the difference. I used to scoff at the claims of the Hoover cleaning solution bottles until I gave in and tried NOT rinsing. It was the best work I ever DIDN'T do. I'll never rinse again.
What to Watch
You'll find a little "wow" as well as a lot of "whoa!" in watching the dirty water rise from your living space. I find a mix of joy and pain in it -- what's living in there, and boy, am I glad it's coming out like this! Some areas of your carpet will, obviously, need more attention than others and you can tell that by what comes to light in the swirling liquid you'll see on the collection tank lid.
WARNING: watching the SteamVac at work can make a person dizzy, so watch yourself here. The water coming into the collection tank swirls on the lid, curving into the tank and drizzling downward. It doesn't quite resemble a whirlpool, but close enough to make me a little out of sorts if I keep watch on the dirt collection too long.
As the collection tank fills you'll want to listen for a change in the hum of the machine. You really can't miss it, as long as you don't make use of an i-Pod or other device that masks the noise of the motor. When the tank fills a bobber pops in place to effectively shut off the suction power to the collection tank. You can drive around a while longer but you won't be doing anything. You want to attend to this in a timely fashion, otherwise you may be soaking your carpets without extracting any moisture at all. You'll feel it soon enough if you weren't paying attention.
You get an stair/upholstery cleaning tool (powered with spin brushes) with the SteamVac, as well as a suction tool for crevices and hard-to reach areas. These attach easily to the hose.
You have only to remove a slide-out "door" on the collection tank, slide the hose attachment into place, attach the outlet for cleaning solution to the spot on the front of the machine that accepts it and ta-daaaaaaaa! You're ready to attack the upholstery and stairways. Limited reach on the hose may require some moving of the vacuum to reach from top to middle and bottom to middle on stairways. Upholstery really cleans up nicely with the powered hand tool and you will have to allow for some air drying, about an hour in my experience.
Bare floors? We don't clean them with this, though the vacuum comes with an adapter for it. The Hoover SteamVac does not handle wood flooring in case you wonder.
Warranty at two years, and of course, that puts limits on you right away which you probably have found pretty standard among appliances. You can't drop the vacuum, try to pick up sticky substances such as syrups or oils or anything else that's thicker than water and have the warranty stand.
Use the vacuum as directed and if it fails, they cover it for two years. At less than $170, repair probably costs more than replacement in our modern times (cough-cough).
Clean is Clean
I feel completely satisfied with the Hoover SteamVac, I stand firm in the knowledge that I fell for bells and whistles the first time, as well as a free shipping, and I have clean carpets to show for it.
Wood floors might lie on the horizon, but the horizon sits at a much greater distance than it did before the Hoover SteamVac came to live at our house.