Published on February 28, 2019

As a New Yorker, I’m wary of most appliances, especially ones that don’t fit in a kitchen drawer.

Real estate in my closets is at a premium, meaning it’s more readily reserved for shoe racks and suitcases than it is for an air purifier or a space heater. Don’t even get me started on what bulky blenders and Crock-Pots do to limited kitchen storage.

So when my S.O. “surprised” me last weekend with a carpet cleaner from Target (hot, I know), I was skeptical. It’s true that my once off-white rug, which covers most of the living space in my apartment, had seen better days, and I wasn’t exactly shy about sharing my despair over its slow deterioration. The once pristine and subtly shiny carpet was now grubby despite endless vacuums, DIY tricks, and cleaner sprays. Why would this bulky invention be any different?

Regardless, my curiosity was piqued. 20 minutes later, I was scrubbing every square inch of my off-white West Elm Lucent rug back to shiny perfection. And shiny again, it was: My new curious-looking gadget removed the foundation stains near my dresser—where I’ve been applying makeup daily for years. It removed a friend’s months-old accidental wine spill and the stain from the time I tripped and spilled spaghetti Pomodoro everywhere. The spot once caused by a soup dumpling explosion was gone too.

The carpet cleaner all but erased an endless stream of people stomping all over the once-pristine white rug with their shoes on and me (being Canadian and occasionally nice to a fault) being too uncomfortable to order them to take their shoes off. To be fair, I eventually got lazy, too, and started tiptoeing around with my shoes on when forgetting to grab something at the other end of the room before leaving the house.

It also suctioned every particle of dust and debris better than most vacuums. Visible vestiges from game nights, wine and cheese happy hours, and cramped dinner parties were essentially KonMaried out of the carpet. Those “souvenirs” were best left in my memory, anyway—not on the floor. And my new-old rug looked great!

If you want to try your hand at your own carpet-cleaning session, we outlined a few top-rated ones below.

Next up: I’m tackling pizza and wine stains on my cream sofa.

Best Full-Size

Best for Pets

Best Handheld

Best Small-Scale

Discover more handy cleaning tricks:
10 Cleaning Hacks We Learned From Professional Housekeepers
How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding?
These Cleaning Supplies Look So Nice That You’ll Actually Want to Clean

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