Customer Reviews: Hoover F5914900 SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge
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on January 30, 2010
I got this machine after the very basic $90ish Bissell I had for 4 or 5 years starting stinking (Similar to this but older: Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Steam Carpet Cleaner). It still worked, but it must have cleaned up one too many chocolate milk spills. We took it apart and cleaned as much as we could, but to no avail - those things are not designed to be cleaned, and we could not get the stink out.

I chose this Hoover model because it was so well reviewed and relatively inexpensive. I used my bissell probably every 2-4 weeks on my 14 year old offwhite carpet that we (husband, me, 4 year old twin boys and 2 cats ) eat and play on daily.

To compare the two just on the actual cleaning, to my eyes, they are equivocal. The Hoover was able to get the stuff out that the Bissell had been able to get out. The water from the Hoover was no dirtier than it had been in the Bissell. I will say that the cleaning solution they send with the Hovoer is not as good as the Woolite OxyDeep steam cleaning solution you can buy at Walmart. I used the Hoover stuff initially and was very disappointed, but the second time switched back to the Woolite cleaner with much better results.

The Hoover is, however, significantly better at extracting the cleaning solution. The waste water container filled up everytime before the solution tank was empty. With the Bissell, I would fill the tank with solution and only get about half of what I put on the carpet back up. This left the carpet very wet; I'd turn on the ceiling fan and place 3 box fans in our great room and 6 hours later the floor would be dry. With the Hoover, the carpets were slightly damp after cleaning, and were dry within an hour with celing fan and 1 box fan. In the end, this probably translates to cleaner carpets since more cleaning solution is being extracted.

The only major complaint I have with this machine is the noise it generates. It is ridiculously loud! I have used it twice and my ears rang and ached afterwards. I will actually need to buy some hearing protection for when I use this machine. I have worked on flight lines around multiengine jet airplanes and was less concerned about by hearing then than I am with this carpet cleaner. It is really, really bad.

Other small things that I've noticed:
1. The Hoover steamvac is MUCH easier to clean. The waste water container completely opens and you can thoroughly clean it before putting it away. The front can be unscrewed and the brushes can be removed to be cleaned. The Bissell's all-in-one tank was not designed to be cleaned, and that is ultimately why I had to replace mine.

2. Hoover's cleaning solution tank is oddly shaped, so if you have a standard kitchen sink and faucet, it is impossible to easily fill it up there. I had to start filling in the bathtub, which is not a huge deal, but not as comfortable to have to hunch over on my knees and try to get the water hot enough without making a huge mess in the tub.

So, I'm not planning on sending it back (although I was actually comtemplating it for a bit). It does what it needs to do and is a better cleaning machine than the Bissell, although it is certainly not a perfect steam cleaner. I won't be terribly sad when it's time to buy another steam cleaner.
1111 comments| 216 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 11, 2005
I was really surprised at how easy to use this steam cleaner is. My carpet dried so fast. However, I was extremely disappointed that the product description states that it cleans bare floors. The problem is, the manual that comes with it states that you need the bare floor attachment which I cannot find online or in any stores. This was one of the reasons I purchased this model.
1616 comments| 234 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 21, 2012
UPDATE May 2013 - Finally took the machine to an authorized repair site and just picked it up today (43 days later). The repairman said it had a bad valve which was causing the machine to leak all the time while using the stair tool. He also said it must have been a bad lot, since the newer machines do not seem to have this issue. Nice, they sent out a lot of defective machines and act like you are the crazy one when you call customer service. BTW the repair guy also told me this only has one motor to do everything so the suction suffers as a result.

As others have said, this cleans well but the solution and recovery tanks are way too small. This is perfect for you 85 year old mother who can't lift heavy tanks, but its a real time killer when you are trying to knock out a few rooms. Also poor design for use in stairs, unit will not sit on standard stairs without falling over and hose is too short to park unit on top/bottom or stair landing. The one gallon solution tank was done after just 4 stairs (normal dirty). I do like that you can mix your own carpet cleaning solution in the one gallon tanks vs. the Bessel machines which you load 100 percent solution in their tank and the machine mixes the water in the spray. I use commercial carpet cleaning solutions which is about .85 cents per gallon of solution vs. hovers at $2.00 plus per gallon.

I also don't like the fact that once you attach the stair tool and hose you can't use the machine as a floor machine, the Bessel machines (which are junk btw), have a better design you just turn the selector switch from stair tool to floor, no disassembly of the unit required.

All said If your doing flat areas and do not mind changing the solution tank and dirty water collection tank every few minutes, then this cleans well and does not over wet the carpet like most home machines.

I also noticed that the machine leaks solution from the floor machine when using the stair tool, I could not find anything installed wrong so not sure what the issue is. Also beware that you have to lay the handle back to remove the dirty water tank and you must take the solution tank off first, otherwise it leaks all over the place when the handle is flat on the ground.

Would I recommend, maybe as it cleans well but seems to have lots of design flaws but what do you expect for this price range. Do yourself a favor and find your local janitorial supply company and buy commercial concentrate, it's much better stuff and half the price of the Hoover consumer carpet solutions.
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on February 14, 2007
Easy to assemble, all plastic construction, works very well on medium height pile. Spin scrub feature not as claimed ...very weak, if any agitation of carpet. So, don't expect it to actually scrub the carpet clean. Cleaning quality depends upon how good you pre-treat and how good the shampoo is. When used as directed it cleans very well on moderately dirty carpet.

The attachments are absolutely useless. Same silly "spin scrub" design. The sprayer on the furniture attachment leaks like a sieve and broadcasts the solution horizontally most of the time, so everything gets soaking wet over a huge area. Bottom line if you need a shampooer handy, have the room to store it, and spot clean/shampoo your carpets regularly, this machine will work for you.
0Comment| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2010
I purchased the Hoover SteamVac after reading so many great reviews about it.
It was pretty easy to setup and it seems to clean well. The thing I like the most about it is that the carpet is not too wet after using it. It dries very quickly unlike other carpet cleaners. In less than 2 hours the carpet is completely dry.

Now here is the strange part. I used the steamvac twice in the same week and during that week I was simply moving the steamvac to put it into a closet and the tab that connects to the release lever to hold the cleaner upright snapped off. I could not believe it. I was very careful with the SteamVac so I just can't figure out why it broke so easily. In case you are wondering, I do alot of handy work around the house and work with alot of tools. So I'm not your typical do it yourself dummy. The unfortunate part is that the plastic part that broke is actually part of the entire steamvac body. It is not the release lever which would have been easy to replace. So now I have to return the entire steamvac to Amazon for a replacement. Because of the great reviews and nobody else mentioning this problem, I am assuming it was just a fluke thing and a defective unit. If not for the reviews, I would think this would just happen again because it happened so quickly and also because I was being so gentle with the machine. I will post again after I receive the replacement. I was loving the machine until this part broke. It was very disappointing but hopefully will be resolved with a new unit.
Update: Amazon was fantastic and replaced the unit with no charges and even paid for return shipping. I am now totally sold on Amazon. The replacement unit has worked great and the release lever has worked. So maybe it was just a fluke, I don't know but I'm satisfied with the cleaner now and am especially satisfied with Amazon customer service.
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VINE VOICEon October 10, 2009
I bought this cleaner to replace a slightly higher-end Bissell model that broke down. The Bissell motor burned out after about 7 years of use, ultimately from foam, dirt, and mold getting into parts where it shouldn't. While working, the Bissell cleaned much better and more quickly than this Hoover does. However, I am still pleased with this model for the price.

- It will clean well enough provided you use hot tap water in the tank and go SLOWLY. As you push forward it is delivering solution and the brushes are working it into the carpet. Pause at the end and then SLOWLY pull it back and it will pull the solution and dirt back up.
- The solution and clean water are mixed at the get-go. Some models deliver these separately, allowing you increase the solution to water ratio for tough stains. The Hoover's "Clean Surge" really doesn't do anything but deliver the mixed solution faster.
- When you are done, make sure you thoroughly rinse out both tanks and set them out to dry. Do not reassemble and store before all components are dry, especially the dirty water tank, as that's what causes mold to grow.
- After every use clean off the brushes underneath. Use your fingers to pull out clumps of hair and dirt. Also do this IMMEDIATELY if while in use the brush spin indicator ever stops. You need the brushes working at peak performance for the carpets to get clean.
- The motor on this Hoover sits under the dirty water tank, so address all leaks and splashes pronto to avoid dirt and water getting into the electrical parts.
- It has cleaned fresh spills up wonderfully, and with multiple passes has cleaned up dried set-in dirt, dog, and food stains. It did not clean up dried latex paint drops (the Bissell was able to handle these)

Though overall I am happy with its performance, if I buy another steam cleaner down, I'll probably try another brand.
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on November 22, 2009
OK cleaner, but does not hold up as well as the predecessor Hoover model I owned for a couple of years. I've had this machine for a year and cleaned up all the crud left by kids, pets, and messy guests. I'd say my usage amount has been average to light. Use the recommended amounts of soap and HOT water and it does a decent job. The problem for me has been the the scrubbing brushes. I learned (the hard way) that if you do not keep the indicator screen very clean, the brushes will stop and the machine will break. Getting warranty service at my local repair shop was not a problem. The tech said he has been getting a run on repairs for these machines. Same problem, dirty screen equals seized brushes. I'm thinking my next carpet cleaner might not be a Hoover SteamVac.
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on September 6, 2014
I purchased this unit from Amazon nearly four years ago to replace an earlier (but nearly identical) model we had for many years. Functionally these "steam" carpet cleaners all perform a similar task: to introduce detergent and water into the carpet, agitate the carpet fibers, and extract the liquid and, hopefully, all the dirt dry vacuuming will not remove. You can add all the bells and whistles you want but in the end that is what these do. Note that NO "steam" is used; only warm water. You add hot water and what comes out is warm, at best.

What sets each of these units apart from one another is quality of construction, ease of use, durability, and overall functionality. To clean ANYTHING you need heat, chemicals, and agitation. Reduce one of those and you have to make it up with one of the others. So this unit DOES what it is designed to do. Note the type of chemicals used pay a huge role; for spots Dyson Dyzolv Spot Cleaner and for use in the SteamVac Bissell 2X Professional Deep Cleaning Formula are the best in that category based on my experiences.

The problem I have with this machine is the predecessor of this same model would automatically switch from floor cleaning to hose cleaning. Fully upright and you use the hose; release the handle and tilt it back and it switched suction to the floor. Very simple. On THIS unit you have to do a changeover and this is where the design falls flat. When changing this over to using the hose you have to (among other things) lift a cover and insert a piece for the liquid spray (a small hose that runs through the larger hose to allow the hand tools to spray water). That little door has a small spring inside that is very easy to pop out and lose (I'm on my third spring so far even being very careful). Additionally the spring rests on a small plastic extension that is prone to break from the spring tension. Really a backwards move and cheap and poor engineering. So you have to be REALLY careful with attaching and detaching that piece. Changing from floor to hose should be a LOT easier and less prone to breakage/failure.

You will have to empty this pretty frequently as the dirty container will fill up fast. You can easily see the crazy amount of dirt this does get out of your carpet so at least you know it works pretty well as far as getting out the grime.

I'm very good with maintaining our appliances and kept our old Hoover SteamVac running for many years. Eventually it simply needed to be replaced and we got this unit; however, I much prefer the older design to this one. For all of that I had to knock off two stars for my review.

In the end remember this: no matter how much money you spend on one of these the basics are still the basics in terms of what these do. Using good chemicals (do NOT go cheap on the cleaning chemicals you choose), using these correctly (dry vacuum BEFORE using your SteamVac), and frequent cleaning/maintenance of your SteamVac-type carpet cleaner will make a huge difference in how well they work for you.
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on October 7, 2011
This product is advertised to clean hard floors as well as carpets which was important to me. What it doesn't mention in any of the information I read when researching this cleaner is that not all parts come with the cleaner, another piece is needed to clean tile and hard floors. It was hard to figure this out since the online demo does not show cleaning tile floors, there was just a short blurb in the paper instructions included with the cleaner. When I tried to contact customer support over the weekend to find out if I was missing a piece I found the help line is only M-F, 8-5. They were not much help for a weekend project. When customer support did respond to my request they confirmed that the piece for cleaning tile did need to be purchased separately. It did do a good job but it would have been nice to know about the missing piece before I started the project.
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on September 1, 2007
I bought this to replace a 6 yr old Hoover Steamvac. First off I can't believe how much the quality has gone down in 6 yrs time. The plastic is made very cheap, including the hose.

This machine was not very user friendly either. I found hooking up the hose to use hand attachments a huge pain compared to my older Hoover as the hose was always connected to the steamvac so no messing around with removing this and that. Then connecting this or that.

The hand tool did not do a good job of sucking up water and left the furniture "wet"..not damp. My old Hoover did a much better job.

The dirty water tank I could've lived with, but I wasn't impressed with the extra steps needed as my old one all I had to do was lift the handle.

The machine did do a good job on carpets; hence, why I gave it a 3. It did a good job of extracting the water from the carpets so drying time was very minimal.

I ended up returning this product due to it not being user friendly and poorly made. If you're looking for a steamvac to replace an older model with the same features I would not recommend purchasing this model. I found a Hoover Steamvac elsewhere that had all the same features as my old model and also included the same accessories as this one along with the bare floor tool and a scrubbing tool.
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