Carpet Cleaners and Shampooers: 5 Best Options to Eliminate Dust Mite and Pet Allergies

Carpet cleaners and shampooers can be a valuable asset to people suffering from dust mite and pet allergies. Used on carpets, they provide a deep clean with heat (sometimes), water, and soap that no other household devices can accomplish.

In this article we’ll take a deeper look carpet cleaners and share how they help reduce indoor allergies. We’ll also name a few of the best carpet cleaners and shampooers on the market.

Quick Pick (see full reviews below)

We really liked:

Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet and Woolite Pet Stain Remover (find link below)

Why:

The Bissell ProHeat is our best carpet shampooer.  It uses heat which few carpet cleaners use.  Heat helps get sticky oils, foods, and allergens out of carpets.  Heat also kills dust mites and their larvae.

The cleaner has multiple settings and is specially made for pet allergies (picking up hair and dander).  It also comes with a pet stain remover and cleaning detergent.

You could pay to have a company clean for your carpets for $200 or just buy one for the same price and use it over and over.  The choice is clear to us!

Best Carpet Cleaners Or Shampooers For Allergies

RankingBrandWarrantyPrice
#1Bissell Proheat Revolution (Pet)5 Year Limited$$$
#2Rug Doctor Deep Cleaner (Pet)3 Year Warranty$$
#3Hoover Powerscrub Elite (Pet)2 Year Warranty$$
#4Bissell Powerlifter1 Year Warranty$
#5Hoover Power Scrub Delux2 Year Warranty$$

Why I Purchased a Carpet Cleaner for Dust Mite Allergy: Allergic to Carpets…

If you’re like me, you might think you have carpet allergies. I thought I was allergic to carpets because when I laid down on carpet I developed rashes on my arms and legs. Unfortunately the answer isn’t that simple. Few people are allergic to the fabric of their carpet, however many people, especially those with pet and dust mite allergy, are allergic to what’s in their carpet.

Carpets are tempting to install in a house because they are soft, stay warm in the winter, and look great. Most people don’t consider the negatives of carpet – their negatives can be a real health risk. Unlike hard flooring, carpets actually catch and hold debris ranging from dirt, dust, hair. This includes allergens like pollen, pet dander, and mites.

You might ask “What about vacuuming?” Yes, vacuums work well to get debris from carpets but they don’t work well enough. We tend to vacuum only a few times a month (1x per week if we’re really good) and we tend to keep carpeting for 10-20 years once installed.

When dirt gets deep into the crevices of carpet it’s extremely difficult to get out, even with an amazing vacuum made for allergies. This is precisely the reason so many people with allergies have health trouble with carpets.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with dust mite allergy and a range of other allergens including pollens and pets. One of the first questions my allergist asked was “What type of flooring do you have in your house”.

Thankfully, my family had recently remodeled and took out all the carpets. My doctor’s question made me recall my childhood with carpeting throughout the house and limited vacuuming. No wonder I was always feeling ill!

Related: Best Allergy Proof Mattress Covers for Your Bed

Carpet Allergy Symptoms (allergens in carpets!)

Now that we’ve answered the carpet and allergy connection, we’ll discuss the symptoms you might be experiencing. Many people like me have experienced allergies their whole life and don’t realize it.

1) Your nose is constantly stuffed up or congested. It’s not normal and a possible sign of dust mite allergy

2) Do you wake up exhausted even after 10 hours of sleep? You might not be sleeping well because of indoor allergies

3) Do you often sneeze or cough in the house or upon waking up?

4) Does your skin itch when laying on the carpet, couch, or bed?

5) Do your eyes and/or nose and ears itch?

6) Do you have asthma?

7) Do you have eczema?

8) Do you get watery eyes, itching nose, coughing or sneezing when the fan or HVAC is running?

These symptoms were some of the issue I felt and it just-so happened that I also had carpeting throughout my house. Just because you experience these symptoms doesn’t mean you have allergies, however keep in mind that the symptoms could be a sign that you do (remember, these aren’t carpet allergy symptoms, they are allergy symptoms made worse by carpets.

How To Get Allergens Out Of Carpet

What are the methods to get allergens out of the carpet? There are a limited number of tools on the market. They include:

  • Vacuums

  • Dust Busters

  • Hitting (to loosen dust)

  • Washing

  • Shampooing

  • Sweeping (?)

  • Combing/Raking

Obviously, some of these methods are a stretch. Far and away, the most common method is using a vacuum or dust buster, yet most vacuums do a poor job of pulling out allergens and even fewer actually capture allergens. Because allergens are microscopic, vacuums need a special filter that traps the smallest particulates.

If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA (high efficiency particulate arrestance) filter then you’re simply blowing around allergens when you vacuum. Think about that for a second. Without a HEPA filter, the vacuum doesn’t even contain allergens. Bizarre right, who knew vacuuming could exacerbate allergies?

Related: Best HEPA Vacuums for Dust Mite Allergy

How Do Carpet Cleaners and Shampooers Work

Think of carpet cleaners and shampooers as an enhanced vacuum with soap and water. Although a carpet cleaner still uses the vacuum suction technology, it takes cleaning a step further by washing the carpet with a water detergent.

The first step with most carpet cleaners is to apply a soapy liquid to the carpet and let soak in (some cleaners have the soap within the machine).

Next, power the machine on and pull the trigger while pushing the cleaner forward and back.   Multiple passes are necessary to ensure carpet is thoroughly cleaned and excess moisture is picked up.

The soapy water will be forced into the carpet, the brush will massage it into the lower layers, and the suction will pull out the dirty water. It’s basically a deep cleaning opposed to vacuums which mostly clean the surface of a carpet.

Dirt, dust mites, and pet dander can reach deep into carpets where vacuums can’t get to.  Carpet shampooers for dust mites and pet dander allergies are a proven way to deep-clean.

Best Carpet Cleaning Method For Allergies

In my opinion, carpet cleaners are the best way to clean the carpet yourself.  They’re also the best way to get rid of pet dander and dust mites which thrive in carpets. Many people choose to keep their dog inside the house. If you do likewise and have carpets there’s likely a lot of pet dander embedded in the carpet.

When I first used a carpet cleaner I was in college living in an apartment. I experienced a full year of allergy symptoms and could figure out why I felt so bad. I cleaned often but never captured much dirt in the vacuum. Finally I purchased a carpet cleaner and cleaned the entire carpet of the 2-bedroom apartment.

I was astonished at the color of dirty water. It looked awful and was a dark black. It cleaned so much better than the vacuum and the carpet looked new. I also felt an improvement in my allergies after cleaning.

For people with moderate to severe pet and dust mite allergy, a carpet cleaner is an essential product to own and it should be used often in combination with a vacuum cleaner.  Carpet shampooers also work great to remove pet dander from carpets.

Related: Best Air Purifier for Dust Mite and Pet Allergies

How Deep Can You Clean Your Carpet

Carpet cleaners have the ability to make your carpets look new again because they reach below the surface to wash a really dirty carpet. They use four main principles:

1) Moisture

2) Massage

3) Heat

4) Suction

While vacuums do a great job of cleaning up the surface, carpet cleaners and shampooers inject moisture deep into the carpet, massage the area, and suck the moisture out. There is a lot of fine dirt and dust that is stubbornly attached to the hairs of the carpet, but water pressure helps loosen and clean. A carpet cleaner reaches the full depth of carpet.

Related: Best HVAC Filters for Allergy Sufferers

Anti Allergen Carpet Cleaner: Strategies and Tips

The following are a list of strategies and tips for carpet cleaning. Most important is ventilation and air flow. If possible, chose a spring, summer, or autumn day when the windows and doors can be open. Use fans throughout the house to speed up carpet drying after it’s been washed.

Try adding a few drops of essential oil to the wash. Dust mites hate essential oils and will die when exposed (just be careful not to use too many drops of essential oil otherwise your carpet will have a strong scent).

Note: Dust mites like moisture, so make sure carpet is dry before rearranging furniture and beds. You don’t want a dust mite population boom after you’ve cleaned so thoroughly.

  • Choose to clean on a warm sunny day

  • Start cleaning in the A.M.

  • Open windows and doors

  • Set up fans and turn on HVAC vent

  • Vacuum first

  • Presoak Problem Areas (baking soda and vinegar, or cleaner application) always blot never rub

  • To protect high use areas of carpets use rugs and furniture (rearrange rooms).

  • Keep shoes off

  • Essential oils

  • Dust mites like moisture. Make sure carpet is dry after cleaning

The Best Carpet Cleaners and Shampooers to Eliminate Allergies

No. 1 Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet + Woolite Stain Remover 

Our best carpet shampooer!  Bissell is a UK based company that’s been in the carpet cleaning business for decades.  In addition to vacuums, they make a solid carpet cleaner that washes and extracts dust from deep in the carpet.

One of the great things about this pet allergy cleaner is that it’s a package (with pet stain remover).  It has multiple cleaning modes for fast clean ups and deep cleans.  This machine uses heat which is great for stains like urine, wine, blood, mud, and sauce.

Highlights:

  • Bundle includes Cleaner and Pet Stain Remover

  • 2 Cleaning modes

  • Uses heat for better cleaning

  • Stain tool, Pet stain tool, Antibacterial formula, and Professional Formula

  • Great for tough stains

  • Removes odors from people, food, and pets

  • Water tank 1 gallon

  • 22 foot cord

  • 6.8 amp motor

  • 5 year limited warranty

>> check Bissell details and reviews 

Most reviewers really like this product and it has over 1000 positive customers to prove itself.  One reviewer compared it to the Rug Doctor Pet Shampooer and said “this is far superior”.  Others like the large tank that reduces emptying and refilling.  I like the fact it has a quick clean option so the carpet dries out faster.

No. 2 Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner w/ Pet Bundle

The Rug Doctor was founded over 4 decades ago in Fresno, California and now has its headquarters in Plano, Texas.  They now offer products in 20 countries and found at most retailers.  The Rug Doctor has a great reputation for effectiveness and affordability.

This deep carpet cleaner focuses on suction and dual action brushes.  It works great for heavily soiled areas with lots of traffic and works even better for those hard-to-get-out stains.  This bundle provides a few products for people with pets and allergies.

Highlights: 

  • Cord length 28 feet

  • 1 gallon tank

  • 25 lbs

  • Hose length 7.7 feet

  • 75% more suction than other brands

  • Upholstery tool

  • Easy lift to empty dirty water tanks

  • Wheels for easy movement

  • Handle breaks down for storage

  • 2 year warranty

>> check Rug Doctor details and reviews 

With Rug Doctor you’re getting a commercial level machine for your home.  Although it’s one of the more expensive options on our list, this machine is great.  I like the fact that it has a 2 year warranty.

I also like that reviews are so please with how it works.  A number of reviewers say that they’ve used both the Hoover and Rug Doctor and prefer the latter.  With 4/5 stars and over 1,200 reviews, this machine satisfies customers!

No. 3 Hoover FH50251PC Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner

The Hoover FH50251 is another carpet cleaner made specifically for pets.  Don’t worry it will get those dust mites too!  We all know the Hoover company.

Most people in the U.S. have grown up with the brand, no matter the generation you were raised.  The company is reliable and has a good warranty and customer service so you can be confident in your purchase. 

Highlights:

  • 17.5 x 12.3 x 43 inches

  • 1 gallon tank

  • 18 lbs

  • 20 foot cord

  • 2 year warranty

  • Crevice tool, stair tool, and upholstery tool

  • Spinning brushes

  • Wash and rinse settings

This machine packs a powerful punch.  It has multiple settings according to stain removal.  It uses a spinning brush, heat, and has a wash or rinse mode to thoroughly clean up soap after washing.  The tank is 1 gallon, has a 20 foot cord, and 2 year warranty.

>> check Hoover details and reviews 

If you have pets in the house or allergies, Hoover is a great choice.  Customers say it is heavy duty, but not a replacement for a vacuum (you must first vacuum the area, then you can wash the carpet)

No. 4 BISSELL PowerLifter PowerBrush Carpet Cleaner and Shampooer, 1622 

The PowerLifter is our budget option, but don’t be mistaken by the cheap price; it works well.  It still has a 1 year warranty, but has a smaller tank than others on our list (.75 gallon).  This carpet cleaner is likely better for smaller areas that don’t need a super strong deep clean.

Maybe you’re renting a place and don’t want to invest in the best quality cleaner? Then this is for you.

Highlights:

  • 19 x 11 x 44 inches

  • 16 lbs

  • 1 year warranty

  • .75 gallon tank

  • 20 foot cord

  • 2 in 1 tank system

  • Powerbrush with 4 rows of brushes

  • Easy to empty the tank and refill

This cleaner comes with 1 bottle of cleaning formula (soapy cleaner).  I prefer a bit larger tank so I don’t have to refill it as much, however, for small spaces this might be perfect.

In addition, be mindful that this machine will not heat the water as it cleans, so you’ll miss out on the washing power of hot water. The amp output is 12 so it’s not as strong as other cleaners on our list.

>> check Bissell details and reviews 

Reviewers rate this machine better than the others on our list.  I’d say people like it because of the price.  Some commenters mention that it works for pet hair and dander as long as you vacuum the area first.

As a final thought, this carpet cleaner is a good basic model great for small areas but you’ll miss out on a more powerful motor and hot water that other products provide.

No. 5 Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150 

Hoover’s Deluxe Carpet Washer is a number 1 seller on amazon and another budget option for those with smaller homes.  The Deluxe offers a lightweight machine (19 lbs) and an 8 foot hose that can reach places the machine can’t.  Its smart tank system helps with filling and emptying water.

Highlights:

  • 19 lbs

  • 1 gallon

  • 20 foot cord

  • 2 year warranty

  • Smart tank system for filling/emptying water

  • SpinSrubbing to thorough wash carpets

  • Dual nozzle for great suction

  • Easy transport handles

  • Wash and Rinse settings

  • Automatic mixing for detergent

>> check Hoover details and reviews 

I like the wash and rinse settings that are found on the other Hoover carpet cleaner as well.  I also like that the device mixed detergent for you so soap isn’t over or under used.  Further, I like that Hoover has a 2 year warranty.

Customers are pleased with what the cleaner does and it’s easy to set up, just attach 2 screws.  Customers also like that the machine tells you when to change the water – this makes it easier so you don’t have to look at the tank constantly.  Use any carpet cleaning detergent and you should be fine, but it seems like Hoover’s custom detergent is preferred.

Flooring and Allergies

As we mentioned earlier, flooring plays a large role in household allergies.  While carpet is the most comfortable flooring, it’s also the worst for allergies.

It’s not always possible but if you have severe allergies consider removing carpets and installing tile, linoleum, or wood.  These floors are easier to clean and in most cases, the upkeep is easier too (no vacuum only mop).

With hard flooring, you can still put rugs on top of the floor to make it soft.  Rugs can easily be taken outside to shake out and wash.

Related: Worst Time of Year for Dust Mite Allergies

Can I Use Vinegar to Clean My Carpet

Yes, carpets can be cleaned with vinegar and baking soda.  These will help deodorize the carpet and kill dust mites.  If you use with your carpet cleaner, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to a full tank of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Go over the carpet as usual.  You’ll likely notice a vinegary smell while the carpet is wet.

After using the vinegar, use your detergent and conduct a normal washing of the carpet.  This will help get rid of the smell.  My trick is to also use some drops of essential oil in the detergent (just a few).  Essential oils smell great and kill dust mites (2 for 1 benefit!).

Conclusion

In this article, we covered 5 of the best carpet cleaners and shampooers for dust mite and pet allergies.  We recommended all the carpet cleaners on our list but our best carpet shampooer was the Bissell “heat” cleaner and the Rug Doctor for a larger commercial style option.

If you’re experiencing allergies and think you have carpet allergies, don’t worry, it’s most certainly the dust inside the carpet (pollen, pet dander, and dust mites).  Using a carpet cleaner will help reduce your allergies and make living with carpets and pets easier.

When cleaning carpets make sure there is adequate ventilation.  Start in the morning so your carpet can dry out by evening.  Even better, do one room per day so it’s not an inconvenience to the whole house.

As someone who suffers from allergies myself, I know indoor allergies can be a real pain.  Don’t worry, you can get relief by being diligent with cleaning and knowledgeable about your environment.  We hoped this article answered some questions about improving your allergies.  Visit us at Dust Mite Solutions to read more strategies for allergy control!

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