(Pocket-lint) - You can hoover all day and all night, but some stains just aren't going to come out unless you get some specialist equipment. If you've ever spilled something clingy on carpet, you know that pain.
The good news is that carpet cleaners are their own little (or quite big) cleaning niche, and there are plenty of cleaners out there to help you get grime and stains out of your shagpiles and rugs.
We've narrowed them right down to the very best contenders for you to pick between, at a few price points.
Our pick of the best carpet cleaners to buy today
Vax Platinum SmartWash
Vax's Platinum Power Max was impressive enough, but this is an even better model, promising the removal of 99 percent of bacteria from your carpets but with the same relatively easy manoeuvrability.
New motion sense tech means the process is more automated than ever - it doesn't even have a trigger to dispense the solution.
Instead, the Platinum SmartWash knows when you're pushing the cleaner forward to wash the carpet and dries it when you pull back and we found it extremely clever in use. The mixture of solution and warm water is also monitored to make sure the right solution is delivered.
It's brilliant stuff, while flexible Flexforce bristles go deeply into the pile of your carpet - they're designed to flex and agitate the carpet fibres so the dirt is removed.
A stretch hose and SpinScrub hand tool means you can attack locations like stairs (as we did for our test) cars or upholstery. All in all, a superb choice.
Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Carpet Cleaner
Another great stand-up carpet cleaner is this Bissell model, which has different modes depending on how long you've set aside for your cleaning, with an express mode that's great for quicker jobs. Attachments are also perfect for cleaning different items around your home, including upholstery and furniture.
It's easy to push around and get under items of furniture thanks to the low profile of its foot, while a 2-in-1 tank system makes it really easy to clean out the cleaner when you're finished. It's a super alternative to the Vax model in the top spot.
Vax Platinum Power Max
Vax's cleaners are legendary and this latest carpet cleaner is no exception.
We found that just one pass was enough for light-to-medium soiling, with only stubborn stains needing more work and pre-treatment (via an included wand).
It's also not too noisy when in operation and the tanks are the biggest we've seen, with 3 litres of dirty water capacity. Expect to change the water maybe a couple of times for a small to medium-sized room.
There's a quick clean mode for light soiling which means your carpets can be dry in around an hour - useful for the time-poor, or those with rampaging kids or pets. You will need decent ventilation to get it to dry that quickly, though.
There's also a SpinScrub tool for stubborn areas, plus an upholstery tool, too - it's a great one-stop solution for your household. And if you want to do hard floors, you can with another attachment.
The Platinum Power Max is a complete one-stop cleaner for all your carpet and upholstery needs. You won't regret the outlay.
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner
If you want something that will take up a little less space when you're not using it, or indeed something that's a bit easier to travel with or move around your home, Rug Doctor's portable cleaner is a great choice instead. It's nice and small, and easily wheeled or carried about.
Of course, it also has really solid performance to go with its convenience, which makes it a pretty compelling package. If you want to spend a little less, this is a great shout that doesn't compromise much at all when it comes to the actual clean it'll give you.
Numatic George GVE370 Carpet Cleaner
Henry vacuums are utterly iconic (in the UK at least) for their smiley faces, but you might not know that the George model is a great alternative if you want a 2-in-1 vacuum and carpet cleaner.
It isn't quite as stellar in terms of cleaning as the other models on this list, but you're partly buying this for the convenience of not having a separate device for different cleans, and that turns the George into a really great pick. If you want a new vacuum and have plenty of carpets too, it's a really sensible option.