Carpet cleaners are designed to, well, clean carpet. Carpet cleaners are useful in removing dirt, stains, and allergens from well-used carpet. They result in a much deeper clean than what can be achieved with a vacuum cleaner. This difference is analogous to giving your hair a full shampoo versus letting it get wet in the rain. Clearly one is a more powerful cleaning alternative.
Carpet cleaning through hot water extraction is thought to be one of the most effective carpet cleaning methods. Through hot water extraction, the carpet cleaner sprays the surface with hot water and detergent at the same time. Then, the hot water and detergent mixture is pulled out of the carpet as the carpet cleaner rolls over the surface, dislodging dirt, allergens, and other unwanted particles in the process. Other methods for carpet cleaning include carpet shampooing, dry cleaning, encapsulation, bonnet cleaning, etc.
Carpet cleaners are made by a variety of companies, including Bissell, Hoover, Rug Doctor, etc. Carpet cleaners don’t all look alike, but they do have some commonalities. Carpet cleaners look similar to vacuums, featuring wheels, a main body, push handle, and, usually, a power cord. Hot water extraction carpet cleaners feature water and detergent tanks.
If you are looking to identify a carpet cleaner, the manufacturer's model number will be an essential piece of information, and will usually be found on a tag located on the rear of the unit.