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on February 16, 2015
I asked my husband to buy me a carpet cleaner for xmas (saddest xmas present ever?) because my dogs are a-holes and keep peeing on the carpet. the smell was intolerable and I was going to go to the supermarket and rent one of their carpet cleaners but that costs around $50 when you're all done and it seemed like a better idea to just buy one since my dogs are most likely going to continue to be a-holes past the 24 hours I would be renting it for. He and I looked up a gazillion cleaners on amazon and this one seemed like the best deal out there.

It's very easy to use and not too hard to clean. Because I'm apparently a moron, it took me a little while to understand that pulling the trigger makes the liquid spray out. which is actually really convenient so you're not wasting liquid on areas that don't need it.

I highly recommend! I'm including a photo that shows my in-progress cleaning. You can see how nasty the carpet was (kind of, photo doesn't do it justice) and how it looked after being cleaned. There really was barely a trace of the spots after cleaning them. I took the photo at night with a flash, not the best photo ever but you get the idea...
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on December 2, 2016
For first impressions, I absolutely love this steam cleaner. While it's not necessarily a 'steam' cleaner, I just wanted something to scrub my carpets and get dirt up, and it does just that. It applies heat to the area to make it dry faster, so within about 30 minutes your carpets are nice and dry. Putting it together was a breeze, compared to other things I've had to assemble. Two small pages of easy instructions, then a booklet for how to use the product.
I tested it out on a spot before going crazy around the rest of the house and was highly impressed, works like a charm. Now, I'm not sure of the life expectancy of these things, but our last one (not of the same brand, two times the price) failed a year or so in without much use, which made me hesitant to get a new steam cleaner in the first place. I'll probably come back to this review in a couple of months to make sure everything's A-OK.
I have yet to tackle the main problem spots in the house, but I did tackle this nasty little spot in front of the door. One swipe and it already made an impact. Finished up the little 3x3 area and dumped out the water to see how bad it was, my goodness I could've had a swamp in my bathtub.
If you want something to use around the house without draining your wallet, I highly suggest this.
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on May 24, 2016
Saved us a mattress when my daughter had an accident! Worth the money for that alone! We also have a huge WHITE microfiber sectional in our children's plays room and it has removed every spot!
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on February 2, 2018
I got this two days before my water heater exploded and dumped 55 gallons of water onto the floor of my media room in my basement. I immediately started using this to vacuum up all of the water in the rug. This thing was FANTASTIC and a total lifesaver. Not only did it pull most of the water out, it pulled out a lot of left over shampoo that had been left from when I used my friends Bissel carpet cleaner.

After a day, my rug started to smell "sour". I really didn't have the money to shell out a $1000 for new carpet and I didn't want to file a homeowners claim. So I decided to actually try to clean the rug with shampoo. The brushes really got deep down and pulled a lot more dirt out of the carpet as well as most of the remaining water. The suction on this cleaner is amazing. It is super easy to assemble and use. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good quality carpet cleaner. The dirty water tank and the shampoo tanks are very easy to empty and reinstall.

PROS:
Easy to assemble
Great suction to pull all the dirt out of your carpet
Price was good
Cleans very well

CONS:
The dirty water tanks fills up very quickly. It holds one gallon. So you have to empty it often.
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on December 1, 2005
If your new machine LEAKS, see note #2 below. I am just amazed at how many people write that their machine leaked from day one, and they returned it. It will leak if you skip a crucial one-time set-up step.

Paid $170 at Best Buy. This is my first carpet cleaner so I have nothing to compare it to except my own expectations. Even though the name is SteamVac, like all the others in this class of cleaners, there is no Steam to it. That's just false marketing, but all the manufacturers do it, so no particular knock on Hoover.

First, let me say I'm ashamed to admit that our carpet hadn't been cleaned in 4 years, and that we live in the country where lots of dirt gets tracked in from outside. So the carpet was pretty darn dirty. The Hoover F5914-900 did a very nice job the first time I used it - a drastically noticeable difference in the appearance of the carpet. The water in the dirty water receptacle was black. Did it return the carpet to new condition? No, impossible. Did it take another treatment or two to really get it clean? Yes, that is the price I pay for ignoring wet-cleaning the carpet for years. One of this cleaner's best features is the ability to dry the carpet quite thoroughly. Since the front of the machine is made of clear plastic, you can see when you're vacuuming up water. If you want to dry the carpet as much as possible, keep vacuuming until you no longer see water being pulled up. As time has passed, the SteamVac has done an excellent job of maintaining my carpets.

My only gripe is that the dirty water container fills up too quickly and should be a little bigger. Ideally, the dirty water receptacle "should" be full right as you run out of clean water. Then, you shut down, empty the dirty water, refill the clean water and back to work. But this process gets out-of-sync with the dirty water receptacle filling up before you run out of clean water. So this can be a little inconvenient, but not a show-stopper.

The machine is well constructed but it IS plastic, with lots of compartments and latches and hose holders, etc, so one must simply be careful or those things will no doubt break off.

A few other notes:
1. If you are not the type to read manuals, do read this one. Assembly and operation are easy if you sit down and read the manual through before starting. It's not like a vacuum cleaner where you just plug it in and go.

2. My machine leaked badly BUT it was my own fault. There is a one-time only setup procedure where you squeeze the trigger and push the Clean-Surge button to lock a rod into place. Push the Clean-Surge button firmly. There may be a loud SNAP which sounds like you broke something, but you didn't. Until you get that snap, the Clean-Surge (which releases extra water-cleaner solution) is on all the time, hence the leaking. I didn't push the button hard enough initially, so I had the leak problem.

EDIT December 2007
Apparently many people are assuming that without a loud snap, the Clean Surge will not work. All that matters is that your machine doesn't leak. If your SteamVac doesn't leak, it is assembled properly and the Clean Surge will work!!! The only reason I emphasized the "snap" was because so many people were having leak problems, which are easily solved. And it's possible that Hoover has changed the design after getting so many returns from people who didn't read the instructions in the manual. So don't get hung up on the snap. If your machine does leak after assembly, you know what to do.

3. ANY time it seems like there is no suction, the problem is that something is not seated properly. It is easy to snap the lid onto the dirty water container without lining it up properly, which causes a vacuum leak. If there is a vacuum leak, there is no suction at the bottom of the machine, where it is needed to suck up water from the carpet. Plus you'll see that the brushes aren't turning, as they're driven by vacuum. So recheck the dirty water lid. Carefully line up the hinges at the back. The front should snap closed very easily. If you have to force it a little to snap it closed, it means the back is not aligned properly and you'll get no suction.

4. If you have velvet or velvetine furniture, do NOT use the powered tool, use the utility tool. The powered tool is too strong for delicate fabric.

5. Like others have suggested, find a cheap alternative to the Hoover brand carpet detergent. One gallon of water doesn't clean a lot of carpet, and at 5 oz of soap per gallon, you go thru it fast.

6. Always be sure to dry vacuum your carpet with a regular vacuum cleaner first before using this machine to wash it. Be sure to remove and clean the brushes when you're done using this machine. Otherwise hair, thread, and balled up carpet fibers will dry on them and between them. Then the brushes won't turn. These are not "use and put away" machines like vacuum cleaners, they're "use, clean, and put away".

7. Here's something I do which you *might* want to try. For a very dirty carpet, I fill a cheap plastic 2 gallon watering can (or smaller for a smaller carpet) with hot water and a tablespoon or 2 of Oxy Clean. I then sprinkle the carpet heavily, being careful not to soak it. Then use the Hoover normally. Of course, this fills up the waste water receptacle long before the soapy water container is empty, but it still saves trips to the sink to load up on clean, soapy water.

8. Others have suggested using boiling water. Not for me, thanks. Too dangerous to handle and unnecessary, unless you've spilled or tracked in grease.

After reading countless reviews here, I have concluded that the problems people have encountered are from failing to properly set up the machine initially, failing to seat the dirty water lid properly, or failing to clean the machine after use. I recommend this Hoover. It won't perform miracles, but I think if it is not abused it will last a long time and do an excellent job of maintaining a carpet.
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on July 7, 2015
When I was a new user of this machine, I have to admit there was a bit of an adjustment period. I started to stress out at one point about this purchase because I had an experience with what SO many people had been complaining about regarding how the machine wasn't sucking back the solution into the machine. However, I realized if you don't put the lid on the water reservoir JUST SO, it won't have the suction power to work. It's a simple fix, so I thought I was in the clear after that experience. Oh how wrong I was...

Yes, I saw the disgustingly dirty water in the reservoir after use and thought I've got a good thing here. However, I've used this machine perhaps 6 or so times in the course of the year that I've had it and SO much has broken in that time it's just ridiculous. The first thing to go was the handle latch on one side of the water reservoir bucket had broken off (it's no wonder since they are just a flimsy piece of "J" shaped plastic that's supposed to hold 10+ lbs of water??), so I now have to carefully balance it with two hands to put in in place (lots of fun when the water is sloshing around and tips over too..). Okay so it's not the worst problem, but it's a nuisance design flaw no less. --K, 5 stars going down to 4.5

The next break was pretty big however. The handle that sprays water stopped working (Took it apart and could see inside the machine where it disconnected, but my husband and I couldn't get it to reattach to save our lives), so I now have to use the "clean surge" button instead. It's an alternative way to spray your carpets with the solution, but it supposed to be for big stains and messes, so therefore it uses up to 3x's more of the water/solution (this equals constantly refilling even sooner than before and a pretty soaked carpet). I know I need to take it in to get it fixed at this point, but I'm desperate since we have a new puppy in the house and even THIS is a bit better than hand scrubbing the carpets. --Yeah, those 4.5 stars are now going down to 3

Last week I let a friend borrow it (of course after giving her the rundown of how to use it with the several parts that were broken at that point) and she even used the SpinScrub powered hand tool on her stairs. All was fine with the cleaning process, but although it had never been used before, the latch that attaches the clear head of the SpinScrub to the hose suddenly broke off (again, no wonder since it's a flimsy piece of plastic, aka another design flaw). -- 3 stars going down to 2.5

Now I've noticed that the brushes don't even spin (and they're impossible to clean if you have pet hair) ....Greaaaaat. Especially since the new puppy has soiled several spots on the carpeting in our living room and I need as much scrubbing/cleaning power as I can to get the urine/smell out. -- Well then, those 2.5 stars are pretty much now down to 2

...Oh and the kicker to all of this?? I washed the carpets yesterday and it picked up the usual amount of dirt. However, after letting it dry overnight, I noticed the carpets still smelled pretty strong of urine (I'm not 100% blaming the machine for this problem, just the dog & the several dud cleaners that I've gone through that haven't done a thing). So today I re-did the same area of carpeting. What I don't get is, if this thing truly works, why the heck was the water reservoir JUST as dirty as yesterday's?!? Wouldn't it be a little bit cleaner since I JUST DID IT??? The idea of having to re-clean my (rather new) carpets several times over in order for them to actually BE CLEAN is not my idea of an efficient machine. --Aaaand here we are at 1 star. 1 stupid, expensive star.

So, bottom line? Does it actually work on cleaning carpets? Perhaps. But to be honest, spraying down your carpets with spray cleaner then taking a Shopvac to it would probably give about the same result. With this machine you're certainly not gonna get 100% clean carpets in one pass ..and maybe not even in two. AND with it breaking down in a year's time like it has with such minimal use doesn't give me the warm fuzzies that it being fixed will give it any kind of a decent shelf life in the future either --especially with all those extra passovers I'll still have to do just to actually get my carpets sufficiently clean.

Final thoughts are that this was an expensive fail of a purchase. If this thing even costs me $50+ to fix, I'm taking this piece of &%$ to the trash and getting something else.
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on May 17, 2017
If you are looking for a carpet cleaner that is easy to use and simple to change/refill the water, this is the one. It's not any larger than most upright vacuum cleaners, so not a big item to store when not using. It's not heavy to push around, and it pulls the water out of the rug like crazy. The rug is dry in just a couple of hours, even if I've put down a lot of cleaning solution.
I've only used it twice so far (I was excited to buy it on the Gold Deal at a great price) but good advice is to clean all the parts when you're finished. I guess that sounds like common sense but I can see it making a difference here. Rinsing it off is easy! The dirty water compartment comes off very easy, and there's a filter inside. Just wash out the filter when you rinse the compartment. I'm glad I read another review advising to clean the scrubbing brushes on the bottom after use, because I just noticed ours are a bit gunky already. Our carpeting hadn't been cleaned recently and with the daily dirt, plus our little dog and a cat, it was fairly dirty and the bristles need cleaned, but that's not a big deal to keep this working well.

I had been looking at cleaners for a year and a half, and am so glad I found this one. It really does a great job, and now I can keep our carpeting looking better all the time. I can see that when that occasional spill happens, it will be easier to pull this out and take care of it rather than just wiping it up as best I can.
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on April 30, 2017
Almost 6 weeks of constant phone calls and emails - finally got it back. The repair shop and Hoover blamed each other for the delay - each had a different story. The repair shop said there were other defects they had to fix, other than the attachment. I definitely will never buy another Hoover product.

Update. I didn't use the attachment for about 4 months, then I found out it didn't work. I contacted Hoover who told me a few different things to try. They didn't work, so they told me to take it to a Hoover repair shop about 30 miles away. It's been 4 weeks, so far. Here is a message I sent to Hoover:

I sent you an email with the information last week. No answer. I contacted the Hoover repair that has my Steamvac. They told me it is the fault of Hoover for taking up to 2 months to approve claims. Hoover is the one who told me to take it to the repair shop. You guys need to contact the repair shop. The claim number they gave me is #5020003. The name of the Hoover repair shop is Mr Sweeper, address: 2025 Mentor Ave, Painesville, OH 44077
Phone: (440) 352-9069

At first the repair shop told me about 2 weeks which I thought was a long time. Now they tell me Hoover was bought out by a Chinese company and they take a long time to approve claims. O'f course, Hoover says it's the fault of the repair shop. All I know is, I will never, never buy another Hoover product.
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on April 28, 2017
This was to replace the same older model. The quality has gone far down hill . My older version the hose was attached to the unit and worked very well. This one you have to put the hose on to the unit, which is NOT EASY. Also with the old model when you used the attachments they worked very well for furniture, car seats etc, but this one is really bad. The suction is not near as good, and WAY TO HARD to use. Gave two stars since it is still very good for carpets only. Just very bad for attachment usage. Will sell this for half price to my neighbor she only wants it for her carpets, and I'll take the loss and buy another brand. Shame Hoover had a very great machine and destroyed it.
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on September 4, 2017
I should note I bought the SteamVac Plus as most reviews I see here are for the regular SteamVac. The main difference of course is that this one does have a heat function.It's also a different color scheme with I like, it's dark gray and red.
I'm very much impressed with this scrubber really. I got it to replace my Bissell ProHeat that finally died after many years of use.
The scrubber is easy to use and it does seem to suck up a lot of water from the carpet but not all of course. Drying time took about 24 hours and a little less if I put a fan running. I just use a box fan and stand it up running which seems to work fine to help drying.
I should note that I did not use any of the attachments yet.
Putting it together is easy, just took about 15 minutes I guess, the only thing you need is a screwdriver.
The scrubber uses two tanks, one for water and soap on the top and then for dirty water on the bottom. You have to mix the soap manually with the water and you use the cap of the tank which has measurement marks on it for you.
Few things to point out here:
The clean water/soap tank is a bit small, enough to do one small room
I do not like the way the hose attaches to the scrubber, it just fall off all the time. The part that attaches to the scrubber for cleaning doesn't stick too well to the scrubber when not in use and in the storage position. When I'm scrubbing it falls off and it's just annoying, I ended up just taking it off altogether when I'm using the scrubber so it doesn't get in the way.
The soap can be very foamy. I used the included very small bottle and then used another brand that I bought and it foamed a lot even though I followed the instructions. Maybe I should clarify that, the Hoover brand soap didn't foam a lot, the other brand did. Instructions say to use less and I did but still got a lot of foam, so you will have to play with the measurements of soap to get it right. The main issue is that the foam will trigger the full tank much earlier than it should.
Speaking of full tank, I do like this function as it makes an audible 'thunk' to let you know the tank is full and you can also hear the pitch of the motor sound change as well.
The scrubber works very well, it got out stains that my Bissell didn't when I scrubbed the carpet and my carpets really do seem much cleaner. I have kids and pets, dogs and cats so it can get dirty fast and I need to scrub them often really, at least once per month.
I have brown carpets which are brown so it's hard to tell what's dirty really so they need scrubbed very well and this works for that. I have a light blue carpet in the bedroom and once I scrubbed that one that was a noticeable difference in the coloration of it, that's a good thing.
The scrubber is a bit loud yes, but every scrubber I've used is loud.
The SteamVac Plus is a great scrubber in my opinion, I'm happy with it overall.
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