Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner Review: Better Than A Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe?

Last updated on July 17th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

When it comes to carpet cleaners, very few can consumer brands can match the sheer deep cleaning abilities of the Rug Doctor.

They’re like the Ford Trucks for carpet cleaners – reliable, tough, simple to use but not very cheap.

As they say you get what you pay for and you’ll be getting a lot with the Rug Doctor.

With over 40 years of experience in the carpet cleaning business, these guys know their stuff.

And short of renting a commercial grade cleaner, this product will yield professional looking results minus the expense if you’re willing to do the work yourself.

Don’t worry though. This machine is easy to use despite looking very bulky.

Let’s look at the features of the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner…

  • Dual cross brushes will clean your carpet in as little as a single pass
  • These brushes oscillate through carpet in order to deep clean, polish and groom at the same time
  • Powerful suction technology reduces moisture and thus will have shorter drying times (only 4 hours)
  • Rug Doctor claims this will have 75% more suction versus other brands
  • Wide 12” cleaning path
  • Out of the box there is almost no assembly needed so you can use this immediately minus any guesswork
  • Removable caddy provides more versatility as it helps clean stairs and upholstery
  • The caddy has a 7.7 foot hose
  • Separate tanks for clean and dirty water
  • “Simple lift” feature makes it easy to remove both tanks
  • Large carpet-friendly wheels make this easy to push and pull
  • Collapsible handles reduces footprint and allows for easy storage
  • 28 foot long power cord
  • Weighs 25 pounds
  • 1 gallon tank capacity (clean water tank: 3.8 liters / dirty water tank: 4.2 liters)
  • Comes with a Rug Doctor carpet detergent (266ml trial size)
  • 2 year warranty

Pros

  • Will give you commercial quality results without spending a ton of $$$
  • Water tanks are easy to remove and clean thanks to the simple to use locking mechanism
  • Versatile enough to clean stairs and upholstery so you don’t need to buy another product
  • Despite the weight, large wheels allow it to move around easy
  • Two brush system will deep clean carpet
  • Awarded Gold by the Carpet & Rug Institute (or CRI) for soil removal, water removal and surface retention (proof that this carpet cleaner works!)
  • Great suction will result in fast drying time of just 4 hours

Cons

  • More expensive than most other upright carpet cleaners like the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe
  • Some folks have complaints about the flimsy cord hooks
  • Parts are plastic but heck almost all carpet cleaners are

What to expect from the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner?

When it comes to DIY carpet cleaning, there are only a few that can match the sheer deep cleaning performance of this machine.

For years, Rug Doctor has been a fixture in a lot of professional cleaner’s arsenal of tools. And you’ll have access to this performance minus paying hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per cleaning cycle.

Take note that this machine will not match the performance of a commercial grade cleaner but it’s darn close.

Close enough to impress former professionals who do this for a living.

It has several tools in its bag of tricks to make this possible.

Dual Cross Brushes

Unlike the Hoover carpet cleaners that use 5 small spinning brushes, Rug Doctor’s one large sweeping brush with really stiff bristles.

While the spinning brushes work well in theory, it’s actually Rug Doctor that performs better in comparison tests I’ve seen in YouTube.

The dual cross design and the very stiff bristles do a great job at agitating all sides of carpet fibers.

Not only will it agitation, it also grooms at the same time!

It actually does three things – agitation, groom and polish thus leaving your carpets clean with less passes than an upright carpet cleaner.

Super Boost Spray

Cleaning heavily soiled carpet will be a problem as well.

Rug Doctor has this feature they call the “Super Boost Spray” that sprays cleaner on really dirt areas of carpet that may need more cleaning solution.

The sprayer is at the back of the cleaner (watch it at the “cleaning performance” part of this review).

This will work great on high traffic areas.

Some experts do recommend presoaking really dirty areas with cleaning solution a few minutes prior to running the machine to loosen up dirt.

This is a technique that professionals use to avoid over application of cleaning solution.

If you put too much cleaning solution on carpet, it makes it sticky and prone to getting dirty at a quicker rate.


75% More Suction

One of the biggest issues with smaller upright carpet cleaners would be the soapy residue it can leave behind.

Having more soap residue means the carpet is sticky. And a sticky carpet will attract dirt like crazy.

In no time your carpet will be dirty again. You don’t want that.

The Rug Doctor prevents this thanks to superior suction (up to 75% more) it has that minimizes the amount of cleaning solution left. But you still have to do your part is use only the right amount of detergent.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking using more detergent will clean better.

Having more suction also reduces the drying time – only 4 hours.

Simple Lift Tanks

Another great feature is the dual simply lift tanks that carry clean and dirty water.

Having separate water tanks prevents cross contamination.

And removing both tanks is simple with the easy to use single arm locking mechanism that you pull.

The dirty water tank has a 4.2 liter capacity while the clean water tank can carry 3.8 liters.

Transparent water tanks with larger lids

To help better user experience, the water tanks are transparent. It’ll be easy to see how much cleaning solution is left on the clean tank and if the dirty tank needs emptying.

Filling it up will be easier because this variant has larger lids.

The lid itself doubles as a measuring cup to be more precise and avoid over filling with cleaning solution. This also helps reduce the accessories that you need to keep track of.

Caddy Tool

Don’t let the bulk fool you, the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner is more than a carpet cleaner.

It also comes with a handy caddy tool that will allow you to clean upholstery and stairs.

The 7.7 foot flexible hose should be plenty for cleaning your sofa and a short flight of stairs.

Large carpet friendly wheels

At first glance, you’d think that this machine would be a chore to move. But with the large rubber wheels, it actually isn’t.

Consumers say that this machine actually easy to move thanks in large part to the big wheels.

Collapsible handle

Another handy feature that makes this easy to use and store would be the handle.

You can set it at different angles depending on your height to help you comfortably clean carpet.

It also collapses to reduce vertical footprint and make it easy to store.

Best in Class Performance

We’ve heard a lot of brands claiming great performance but very few back it up. And Rug Doctor proves that their product does perform thanks to the Carpet and Rug Institute (or CRI) certification.

To be more specific, they are certified “Gold” for the following criteria:

  • Soil removal – capability of removing lots of dirt
  • Water removal – sucking up moisture
  • Surface retention – not damaging carpet fibers

For those who are not familiar, the CRI is an institution that tests carpet cleaning products in different classes for performance.

Having this certification is like a seal of approval that proves the product does work.

Warranty

Rug Doctor backs this product up with a 2 year warranty for non-commercial use. Amazon does offer an optional extended warranty the the 2 year warranty is too short for you.

Cleaning Performance

To truly appreciate how this machine cleans carpet, you’ll have to see it in action.

I’ll share a few videos to show you how well the sweeping brush works. In the first video, you’ll see how the “super boost spray” works. The sprayer itself is at the back of the machine and works great on carpet stains.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OpV74-OGis

In just one backward pass the Carpet Doctor was able to remove the few day old stain. For tougher stains, you may need to pre-soak and go over it a few times. But this demo is impressive!

Here’s a comparison between the Hoover Power Scrub and Rug Doctor…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OpV74-OGis

The Hoover Power Scrub is a good performer on carpet. But against the Rug Doctor it wasn’t able to do as well in a single pass. This shows how well the dual cross, sweeping brushes agitate on carpet.

So even if you’ll spend more on the Rug Doctor, it pays itself in the long run because you don’t have to clean as long.

Product Specifications

ModelRug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner 93170
Power1,300 watts
Cleaning path12"
Cord length28 feet
Hose length7.7 feet
Clean water tank3.8 liters
Dirty water tank4.2 liters
Removable caddyYes
Warranty2 years

What consumers say?

A lot of consumers had a lot of good things to say about this Rug Doctor variant. Most like how this machine was able to remove stains from carpet. Some said that it was better than a hired professional and a lot cheaper.

Some old folks also use this because you don’t need to exert a lot of effort to move this. It practically moves itself according to one review.

Several sent before and after photos of how the Rug Doctor was able to remove stains in a single pass.

Now that is what I call efficiency.

Water extraction is another strong point thanks to the strong suction so it’ll dry in as little as a 2 hours. This is just base on the reviews – please check to verify.

Both water tanks are easy to remove and put back. And the large spout makes fill up easy as well.

The adjustable locking position of the handle is another feature that makes this easy to move around.

Despite being over 25 pounds, the large wheels and adjustable handle helps negate it.

There were complaints about quality control issues such as leaking tanks and hard to clean brushes.

But these were just the majority and something that you would expect from appliances like this. The warranty should be able to address this.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy the Rug Doctor Deep Cleaner from Amazon for less than $240. And it is eligible for the 2-day free shipping if you join Prime.

Another reason to buy in Amazon would be the extended warranty they offer of up to 3 years. It won’t actually cost very much and it’ll give you some peace of mind.

Take note that you’ll have to purchase the carpet cleaning solution separately.

To Wrap It Up

If you want a carpet cleaner that can potentially give you commercial cleaner performance then look no further than the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner.

On tests I’ve seen online, it performs better than the Hoover Power Scrub with its spinning brushes. And it’ll do the job a lot faster.

It’s got lots of power and great agitation from the dual cross, spinning brushes. So it’ll pick up more on a single pass than most carpet cleaners.

Another benefit of this carpet cleaner would be its ability to clean areas like upholstery and stairs thanks to the upholstery tool and 7.7 foot hose.

Garrick Dee
 

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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