It’s recommended to deep clean your carpeting at least once a year—and sometimes more if you have pets, a large family, or a considerable amount of foot traffic. If your carpet requires a deep cleaning that vacuuming alone can’t handle, renting a carpet cleaner is convenient. Carpet cleaner rentals are available from a local home improvement store, grocery store, hardware store, or pet store near you. The best home carpet cleaners use powerful suction, specialized shampoos, stain removers, and hot water to remove dirt, grime, pet messes, stains, and odors. Using a carpet cleaner machine can help extend the life of the carpeting while removing bacteria, dust, and allergens. Consider our recommendations for the best carpet cleaner rentals to achieve a deep-down clean in your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Rug Doctor
- RUNNER-UP: BISSELL Rental
- BEST FOR HIRING: HomeAdvisor
What to Consider When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner Rental Service
The more a homeowner looks at a dirty carpet, the more they may wonder, “What is the best carpet cleaner for my home?” It may feel like a daunting task to find the best carpet shampooer, but there are a few factors to consider before choosing a rental brand or service. These can include cleaning needs, pricing, rental locations, rental periods, tank capacity, ease of use, drying time, cleaning solutions, and any additional tools that may come with the carpet cleaner.
Before looking for a carpet cleaner to rent, consider what kinds of messes need to be cleaned and what type of carpet is in the home. Some machines work better for superficial cleaning, and others are geared toward pet messes and stains. Different carpet types have varying cleaning needs. Shag carpets with long fibers are too delicate for strong suction and agitating motorized brushes. Be sure that the carpet cleaner is suitable for the carpet type.
Pricing, Rental Locations, and Rental Periods
Pricing for carpet cleaning machines can be found on the brand’s website. It’s as easy as entering a ZIP code to find rental locations and pricing for the cleaner a homeowner chooses. Prices typically vary by location, and rental periods are usually in 24-hour increments. Some brands require that a homeowner pick up and drop off the cleaner at a specific location, and others provide delivery service in certain areas. There are usually discounts or coupon offers on a brand’s website, so be sure to check and take advantage of any available savings.
Tank Capacity and Ease of Use
A homeowner should check the tank capacity of the carpet cleaner they want to rent. Capacity refers to the maximum volume of liquid that the tank can hold. The bigger the tank, the more cleaning can be done before it’s time to empty and refill the tank. Although a larger tank capacity will affect the carpet cleaner’s weight, some machines may be heavier but have a smaller tank capacity. Others may be lighter and have a larger tank capacity. In the end, it is more important to check tank capacity than the machine’s weight. Additionally, some carpet cleaners are easier to use than others; some have a bulky design or a heavier weight, making them more challenging to maneuver. If a homeowner has any concerns about whether they can physically maneuver a carpet cleaning machine, they may want to hire a professional instead.
There are specific models of carpet cleaners that can increase the suction and improve the drying time to as little as 30 minutes. Overall, drying time depends on the model of the cleaner and how wet the carpet is after cleaning. It’s recommended to allow at least 3 hours for the carpeting to dry.
When renting a carpet cleaner, buying cleaning solutions is an additional cost. Some brands offer pet-specific, stain removing, deep cleaning, oxygen powered, and pretreating cleaning sprays and foams. Some manufacturers require using their proprietary brand of cleaning solution when renting.
To make the cleaning process more manageable, some carpet cleaners come with additional tools, such as motorized stair and pet tools along with floor dryers, pressure washers, wet/dry vacuums, and upholstery cleaner rentals. Upholstery tools can be used to clean curtains, furniture, stairs, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Our Top Picks
We considered factors such as available cleaner models for rent, rental locations, pricing, and additional tools to determine the best carpet cleaner machines. We also thoroughly researched the companies by evaluating customer experiences and reviews, assessing their websites for ease of use, and getting information and quotes.
Why It Made the Cut: With prominent name recognition and availability to rent and buy its carpet cleaners, Rug Doctor is the top choice for the best carpet cleaning machine.
Rug Doctor can deep clean a home’s carpets at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional service. The company offers additional tools, including a floor dryer for faster drying time. The Rug Doctor has a clear and easy-to-navigate website. Those interested in renting a Rug Doctor machine can decide on which cleaner to rent, enter their ZIP code to find the nearest rental location, and get information on specialized cleaning solutions that include a bio-based clean formula and deep-cleaning options.
Some available carpet cleaner models are the Pro Deep Cleaner, Pro Portable Detailer, and the X3 Carpet Cleaner. The X3 has a large tank capacity of 3.9 gallons, so users won’t need to fill the tank again and again. The Pro Deep Cleaner can be used on carpeting and hard floors, and the Pro Portable Detailer is great for spot, stain, and auto cleaning. Be sure to double-check at the rental location (which includes convenient stores such as The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, and Dollar General) to see which models are currently available. Pricing can vary according to location, but the X3 typically costs $34.99 to rent for 24 hours. The 24-hour rental price is relatively high, but customers can check Rug Doctor’s website for discounts and coupons. Rug Doctor’s website has instructional how-to videos, so it’s easy to get started.
- Models available: Pro Deep Cleaner, Pro Portable Detailer, X3 Carpet Cleaner
- Rental locations: The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Dollar General
- Pricing: $34.99 to rent the X3 Carpet Cleaner for 24 hours
- Additional tools: Floor dryer, pressure washer, wet/dry vacuum
- The X3 has a large tank capacity of 3.9 gallons
- The Pro Deep Cleaner can be used on carpets and hard floors
- Customers can rent a floor dryer for quicker dry times
- Wide range of cleaning formulas
- Relatively high daily rental prices
Why It Made the Cut: BISSELL has budget-friendly rentals and easily maneuverable carpet cleaners with options tailored to pet stain removal.
BISSELL offers a fast and easy way to shampoo and clean carpets. Although prices vary at different locations, prices typically start at $29.99 to rent the Big Green carpet cleaner for 24 hours. However, the Big Green only has a 1.75-gallon tank capacity, so users may have to refill the tank more often. But customers can rent attachments for the cleaner like upholstery and stair attachments, meaning users get more versatility from one machine. With thousands of retail locations across the country, such as Lowe’s, PetSmart, True Value, H-E-B, and Winn-Dixie, renting a carpet cleaner is convenient and easy. The Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine is the most common option, but customers can also rent the Pawsitively Clean Pet Carpet Cleaning Machine from PetSmart. This machine is designed specifically for pet hair and stains.
BISSELL’s cleaning formulas include a pet stain and odor remover, a deep clean with Febreze, and multipurpose options. Pretreating and spot cleaning sprays and foams are also available. To find a location to rent a carpet cleaner, customers can enter their ZIP code into the location finder on the BISSELL website, and store names with the machine model will quickly appear.
- Models available: Big Green, Pawsitively Clean, Little Green Pro
- Rental locations: Lowe’s, PetSmart, True Value, H-E-B, Winn-Dixie
- Pricing: $29.99 to rent Big Green for 24 hours
- Additional tools: Upholstery and stair tool, pet upholstery and stair tool, outdoor power washer
- Relatively low daily rental price
- Pawsitively Clean Pet Carpet Cleaning Machine designed specifically for pet messes
- Customers can rent upholstery and stair attachment with cleaning machine
- Big Green has relatively low tank capacity
Why It Made the Cut: For those interested in hiring a professional to tackle carpet cleaning, HomeAdvisor is an excellent resource to find qualified carpet cleaners in the area.
As a trusted name in home improvement, HomeAdvisor lets homeowners find professionals in their area to complete the projects. Search for carpet cleaning on the streamlined and easy-to-use website to get started. Shoppers will enter their ZIP code; answer a few questions regarding the project; provide their address, phone number, and email; and discover the professionals in the area who can fulfill carpet cleaning needs. While it is somewhat inconvenient to input personal information before seeing a list of professionals, this feature ensures that a customer sees professionals who can service their address. While pricing varies by service and location, customers can get quotes from reputable companies. Paying for a professional service to clean carpeting will be more expensive than renting a carpet cleaner and doing it yourself. Still, this additional cost may be worth it for some homeowners, especially if they struggle with mobility issues or don’t have much free time.
- Models available: Varies by service
- Rental locations: N/A
- Pricing: Varies by service
- Additional tools: Varies by service
- Potential clients can filter by project and choose from local professionals
- Website is streamlined and user-friendly
- Less effort than DIY carpet cleaning
- Name, phone number, and email are required to browse local services
- Paying a pro may cost more than renting a carpet cleaner
While both Rug Doctor and BISSELL are solid choices, Rug Doctor comes out on top for machine performance and tank capacity. A customer can be confident in knowing that whichever company they choose, both provide good carpet cleaning results. For homeowners that prefer to hire a professional, HomeAdvisor delivers access to many local pros in a customer’s area.
How We Chose the Best Carpet Cleaner Rental Services
To determine the best carpet cleaner rental services, we examined each company’s quality, rental locations, machine quality, website ease of use, pricing, and available cleaner models for rent. We paid particular attention to cleaning ability, tank capacity, and cleaning solution options. Each carpet cleaner rental brand has satisfied customers, provides a much-needed service, and has an excellent reputation.
Before You Use One of the Best Carpet Cleaner Rental Services
Renting a carpet cleaner is a convenient and easy way to clean dirty and stained carpeting in the home. Before renting a carpet cleaner, there are a few things to consider.
- Rental period. Consider how long you’ll need to rent the machine. For many people, having the machine for 24 hours is long enough, but if you have multiple rooms and stairs to clean, it’s better to overestimate the amount of time you’ll need to clean the carpeting so you don’t have to rush through the job.
- Cleaning solution. Find out what cleaning solution needs to be used in the machine you rent. Companies can have different solutions for upholstery, pet stains, and pretreating, so plan for what you need. Using the wrong type of cleaning solution could damage the carpet cleaner, resulting in extra costs.
- Drying time. Most carpeting will take several hours to dry after cleaning them with a rental cleaner. Opening windows and running fans can speed up drying time, but be prepared to stay off the carpet and wait before moving furniture back into the room so you don’t dirty them.
- Consider the machine. Different carpet cleaners offer different results. Be sure to ask questions regarding the type of machine that will work the best with the type of carpeting in your home. Some cleaners may be too intense for delicate carpets.
Cost of Using One of the Best Carpet Cleaner Rental Services
A carpet cleaner rental can vary according to brand and location. The price to rent Rug Doctor machines can start at $19.99 for 4 hours (at participating locations) for the Pro Portable Detailer, $34.99 for 24 hours for the X3 Carpet Cleaner, and $39.99 for 24 hours for the Pro Deep Cleaner. To speed up drying time, a floor dryer can be rented at the cost of $19.99 for 24 hours.
BISSELL machines can start at $29.99 for 24 hours for the Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine and the Pawsitively Clean Pet Carpet Cleaning Machine, and $14.99 for 24 hours for the Little Green Pro Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner. Additional accessories, such as the upholstery and stair attachment as well as pet stain cleaning tools, can be rented for an additional $5 each. Keep in mind that cleaning solutions cost extra for each carpet cleaner. Prospective renters should contact the rental location for clarification to find the most accurate pricing.
Professional carpet cleaning can cost between $122 and $235, with the national average at $178. Prices can vary from the national average due to location, the extent of the cleaning project, cleaning method, and stain removal.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Carpet Cleaner Rental Services
Renting a carpet cleaner will eliminate visible grime and stains within the carpeting. This can make the room more inviting and comfortable. Some additional benefits of using a carpet cleaner rental are:
- Cleaning the carpet on your schedule
- Returning the cleaner to the store instead of finding storage space
- Eliminating allergens and pollutants
- Restoring carpeting
- Removing odors
- Renting is an affordable option to buying a machine or hiring a professional
Deciding on the best carpet cleaner rental services while staying within a budget can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some frequently asked questions about carpet cleaner rentals to help guide your decisions.
Q. Which carpet cleaning method is best?
Some professional carpet cleaning companies use the hot water extraction method, which uses a cleaning solution and hot water to get a deep clean. Some use powders for a dry cleaning method, and bonnet cleaners use a scrub pad that utilizes a liquid cleaning solution to clean the carpet’s surface. Encapsulation involves using a foam that turns into a powder, encapsulating the dirt in the carpeting. After this, a vacuum suctions away the dirt. Some people prefer one method over another and choose what will work the best for them and the type of carpeting they have in their home.
Q. What type of carpet cleaner do professionals use?
The type of cleaning solution depends on the cleaning method. Some might use foaming shampoos, liquid cleaning agents, an absorbent compound for dry cleaning methods, or synthetic foams.
Q. Is steam cleaning carpet better than shampooing?
Steam cleaners use hot water and high pressure to break down dirt, grime, and bacteria within the carpeting. This type of cleaning can re-plump the fibers and make the carpet feel softer than before the cleaning process. It also gets the fibers very wet and can take a long time to dry. Shampooing involves the application of a foaming shampoo and water and a rolling brush that disperses the mixture over the carpeting. The dirty water and lather are then sucked back into the machine. The rolling brush can remove embedded pet hair, but the process leaves shampoo residue on the carpet and can make it look dull over time. Not all the water can be removed from either of these cleaning processes, which can result in mold or mildew formation. There are pros and cons to each method.
Q. How long does it take the carpet to dry after cleaning?
Some cleaning methods that soak the carpeting with water can require between 8 and 24 hours of drying time, while other methods, like encapsulation, can take up to 2 hours.
Q. Is it better to rent a carpet cleaner or buy one?
While the initial cost to buy a carpet cleaner is more expensive than renting, if you need to clean your carpeting often, it will pay for itself around the sixth use.