Managing the household, from minor repairs to clearing rain gutters and general household cleanup all fall within Liz's responsibilities.
My Hoover carpet shampoo machine was purchased back in 2006, and is still going strong as of this writing (August 2015). At the time, the price was $259.00 (U.S.), but I have seen the newer models for less recently.
Renting Was No Longer Economical
With multiple cats in the household, some of whom were even then becoming senior “citizens,” and one (since passed away) who had epilepsy and would lose bladder control during a seizure, carpet shampooing had to be done too often for a rented machine to be budget-friendly. In the long run, it was less expensive to purchase our own machine.
Functions of the Dual-V
This shampoo machine has a double-tank system. The upper tank holds fresh water, with an attached, but separate, container for the shampoo. The bottom tank holds the dirty water that is vacuumed up until it can be disposed of.
This machine can be used on either carpet or bare floors. Just be sure that the bare floor you plan to clean won't be harmed by water.
There are two switches. One is the on/off switch, while the second switch controls whether you use shampoo with automatic rinse on the backward sweep of the machine, or rinse-only with plain water.
Six rotating brushes scrub the carpet as you move the machine back and forth. There is a selector switch to allow the brushes to be turned off and not rotate. Brushes are easily removed for cleaning.
All Functions Are Controlled With Just One Button
The control switch within the grip handle controls the water action:
- Hold it down while pushing machine forward, to dispense water and shampoo.
- Keep it held down as you pull the machine back toward you, to dispense only clean rinse water.
- Let go of the switch to use the vacuum function, which works in both push and pull directions.
There is a separate hose and brush system for cleaning chairs and other upholstery, or stairs. According to the user's manual, it seemed fairly straight-forward and easy to use, with the connection points being easily accessible.
As of May, 2016, we had some shifts in our kitty population, which then required use of the furniture attachment.
Sad to say, as good as the rest of the machine is, the same cannot be said for the upholstery attachment.
The feed hose is very skinny tubing, so not much water and shampoo mixture gets delivered to the nozzle on the hand-held scrub brush. That assembly is mounted to a hose much like a vacuum cleaner hose. Everything still empties into the dirty water tank, but it's hard to tell, as very little volume is involved.
Further, and worse, in my opinion, is that the rinse function is not available with this tool, so you are left with a soapy residue on your furniture.
Bottom line: buy this machine to clean floors and carpets, but not if your primary concern is cleaning furniture.
Pros and Cons of the Hoover Dual V Steam Vac
Overall easy to use
Attaching the clean water tank is tricky
Good value for the money; machine has lasted for over 12 years
Furniture attachment is a 'why bother'
Easy to tell when the dirty water needs emptying
Fresh water tank holds more than the dirty water tank
One-handed, one-person operation
Known brand; repair shops carry parts if and when needed
Vacuum action removes most of the water; carpet dries quickly
Separate water and soap containers means no measuring and mixing of cleaning solution
Rinse action for carpet lets you get all the soap out
Ease of Use
The Dual-V is overall a very easy machine to use. It cleans well, and the vacuum portion does an excellent job of pulling the majority of water and shampoo from the carpet, so it dries quite rapidly (depending, of course, on variables such as room temperature).
The dirty water tank is held in place by two easily-operated swing-out tabs on either side of the tank, and the lid is simply fitted into the top of the container.
Its bail handle serves as the latch, when in the forward position. A float valve in the lid will shut off the suction (vacuum) function when the dirty water has reached a maximum fill level, and needs emptying. This is readily noticeable by a distinct change in the sound of the motor.
To begin use, the operating handle is pulled out of its locked and upright position by means of an easy-to-use foot pedal on the rear bottom of the machine. When shampooing is complete, simply push the handle forward to lock it upright again.
Just One Problem Area
The only pesky and somewhat tricky part of the whole setup is fitting the clean water/soap tank onto the machine for use. The bail handle which serves to carry the tank to the sink for filling also functions as the latch which holds it onto the machine.
There is a flange around the bottom front of the tank, which must be fitted quite exactly into a corresponding curved slot formed between the bail handle and the lid of the dirty water tank. Then, the clean water tank must be quickly rocked back toward the operating handle, and the bail handle lifted up about an inch, to lock it into the machine. This needs to be done in one smooth motion.
It could be just me, but I find this a bit tricky, and it often (but not always) takes me two or three tries to get it set in place. This results in the release valves on the bottom being pushed against the corresponding outlets on the base of the machine, causing water spillage onto the floor. Therefore, I suggest attaching the tank on a hard-surface floor that won't be harmed by water.
Even though this machine is older, as near as I can tell, the most recent model retains this type of setup. It is best to check that it is firmly latched into place by releasing the handle to an in-use position (with one hand ready to catch the tank if it is still loose). If the tank rides back with the handle, you’re good to go.
For overall ease of use and performance, I would recommend this carpet shampoo machine. It does a good job, stores compactly, and the accessory tools and hose for furniture and stairs can be separately stored on a coat hanger in a closet.
Want Your Very Own Dual-V?
Further Reading on Carpet Care
Check out my related article on the how-tos of shampooing a carpet.
© 2015 Liz Elias
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on August 07, 2015:
@ billybuc - Thank you very much, Bill; I’m delighted you found this useful. Have a wonderful weekend, yourself!
@ drbj - LOL yes--legs would not quite be the correct terminology, now, would it? I got a chuckle out of your comment. I’m glad you liked my review, and thanks much for the vote!
@ Shauna - You know, that’s a good question. I can’t exactly answer it at this moment. Except for the bit of trouble I have attaching the water tank, I do like this machine. However, if it dies (crossing fingers this is not any time soon: my current most senior kitty is having trouble keeping his food down, necessitating frequent use), I’ll be in a pickle, as there is no budget to replace it. In the end, it would probably come down to research on various brands, and which review indicated the best machine for a price I could afford. Sadly, on our income, such things often end up a matter of dollar outlay than ‘the very best.’ So, that’s a roundabout answer to your query; if Hoover fit the criteria, then yes, I’d buy one again.
@ Larry Rankin - Thank you very much; I’m glad you found this to be a useful review.
@ Ruby - Ah, yes; the elimination of carpet. Frankly, if we had the money, I would rip out all the carpet and replace it with engineered hardwood. So much easier to clean, especially with the current situation with my senior kitty…who always seems to head right for the carpet instead of any hard-surfaced floor when he’s going to hurl. (We’ve never been able to afford to hire the work out to the professionals.) I’m most pleased you found the review to be helpful. Thanks much for the vote!
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 07, 2015:
I no longer have carpet since downsizing to a smaller home with wood flooring. I remember well the work it took to keep the carpets clean. I never had a steam cleaner. I always used a cleaning company. I have always trusted Hoover products. Your review was informative and interesting. Voted up..
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 07, 2015:
I've considered getting my own shampoo vac. Useful product review.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 07, 2015:
Liz, if you had to buy a new carpet shampooer would you buy another Hoover? I only have carpet in my office and the bedrooms, so I don't have a need to own a carpet cleaner. I'm just curious whether or not you'd remain loyal to the brand. Hoover was a pioneer in vacuum cleaners; it only makes sense that they'd offer a shampooer as well.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 07, 2015:
Excellent review, Liz. I will keep it in mind if my present carpet cleaner dies ... which could be any moment now. It's on its last legs, er ... rollers.
Voted up, y'know.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 07, 2015:
I always appreciate product reviews from someone I trust, so thank you for this, and have a superb weekend.