Bissell DeepClean 36Z9 Review: A Deal Compared to the 86T3 and Rug Doctor?

The Bissell DeepClean 36Z9 is one of the top three carpet cleaners you’re likely to consider once you move beyond the basic models. With more than 400 reviews on Amazon, there aren’t many other mid-end cleaners that can compete with it in either cleaning prowess or brand loyalty; the only other two relatively close its price range that come to mind are the Rug Doctor X3 and the Bissell 86T3. However, let’s be honest; each of those costs about $100 more; can the 36Z9 truly hold a candle to them?

That’s precisely what we set out to find out.

Compared to the Big Green (the Bissell 86T3)

Compared to the Big Green, our team was surprisingly split in our evaluations. While there’s no question that the bigger Bissell is the machine you’ll want to turn to when you’ve got a whole house (or larger) job to tackle, the truth is that when you’re only dealing with one or two rooms at a time, the extra weight and heft of the Big Green can be more of a liability than an advantage. One of our teammates felt like the Big Green was simply too big and bulky; it also took off the top layer of carpet on a job she was working on, which lowered her opinions significantly. The 36Z9, on the other hand, is a lot easier to maneuver and comes with all of the little accessories you’re likely to need through the lifetime of the machine. That said, we do want to emphasize that if you’re looking specifically to clean entire houses, you’ll want to consider the bigger sibling.

Compared to the Rug Doctor X3

Compared to the Rug Doctor, we were again of varied opinion. Some of us on the team felt the Bissell was every bit as good as the Rug Doctor while costing much less. Some of us also felt it was easier to use (it took a bit of effort to pretend we’d never seen either machine before, but we managed) without needing the background of years professionally cleaning rugs. However, not everyone on staff was impressed; some of us felt we spent more time soaking up soapy water spread by the unsealed suction valves than time spent cleaning anything. This was difficult to replicate, and it might just have been a quirk of the particular model we were using at the time, but it left a rather, err, damp impression.

How does it stack up overall?

Overall, we agree that the 36Z9 is a strong contender in its price range and is one of the best all around machines you can buy to make amends for the sins of your furry friends. We like the 22 foot cord, the 1.25 gallons available in the tank, the ease with which it cleans up petty crimes (OK, that was a bad one), and the 3 year limited warranty it comes with. Things we didn’t like included the somewhat weak suction at times that might have been due to the machine itself, or due to a less than effective design. We wouldn’t hesitate to buy or rent one if we needed one in a pinch. It’s not a commercial or industrial machine, but it doesn’t have to be at this price range.

You can buy the Bissell Deepclean 36Z9 on Amazon here. At the risk of sounding like Tim the Tool Man, if you need more cleaning power, you can buy the Bissell 86T3/Q on Amazon here, while the Rug Doctor X3 is available here.

If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can support our efforts to keep maniacally testing carpet cleaners by bookmarking and shopping through this Amazon link. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against child and animal droppings everywhere.

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Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack Review: A Good Cleaner for Families with Large Dogs

The Rug Doctor is one of the best home carpet cleaners on the market. It’s also the cleaner you’re most likely to see in the store with a big “rent me” sign attached. We’ve used it and its smaller (and larger) brethren for years, and figured it was time to put together a review for it. In short, it’s not the best mid-priced cleaner out there (that award would go to the Bissell 86T3), but it’s definitely a strong competitor. Here’s what we like the most and least about it: it works well for large houses and it’s one of the best cleaners we’ve found for dealing with the various things large dogs bring home (or leave behind).

Pros of the Rug Doctor

What we like best about the Rug Doctor is that it does a thorough job with most carpets. It has trouble with shag and shag-like carpets, but it’s miles beyond almost any other carpet cleaner you’re going to find in a department store. Many owners (including several on our team) report that their Rug Doctors paid for themselves after a few years of use, and it’s hard to disagree with the results. The construction is also top notch in most areas with features we’re happy to see, like bigger water tanks, impact resistant waste tanks, and a lack of gears that will break down in a year or two like in so many cheap carpet cleaners. It also doesn’t leak, which, unfortunately, is not something you can take for granted in every carpet cleaner.

Cons of the Rug Doctor

Construction is flimsy in a few areas, including in the brushes, which sometimes seem to stop working prematurely. Although the Rug Doctor comes with a 5 year warranty, we’d like to feel like it’s something we’d never need (instead of eyeing our machine at the 4.5 year mark and wondering if something would snap in six months). It also doesn’t have quite the power of the big green Bissell (but very few machines do). And while we haven’t ever seen significant leaking issues, we do know a few other professional cleaners who’ve received the odd defective unit.

Using the Rug Doctor with dogs and cats

To put it simply, our favorite reason for owning the Rug Doctor is because of the marvelous job it does on dog and cat stains. Some of us have dogs that struggle to see the benefits of urinating outdoors. Some of us have cats that insist on eating houseplants (and then throwing them up strategically around the house). We all have our war stories. The point is that the Rug Doctor, when used responsibly, can help as part of a therapy and recovery plan. It cleans pretty much every kind of animal-induced stain we come across, and we come across a lot.

Conclusions – is the Rug Doctor worth it?

In conclusion, we get that the amount of money you need to buy a Rug Doctor is what people would normally only spend on TVs, dishwashers, washers, dryers…Actually, when you think about it that way, it’s not an absurd amount of money at all relative to the use it gives you. Sure, you could rent one; the models in stores have always served us well when we’ve needed them for the odd task. However, if you have the choice and the funds to match, the Rug Doctor is worth buying. It’s not the best cleaner out there, but it’s pretty close.

You can buy the Rug Doctor X3 on Amazon here, while the Bissell 86T3/Q is available here.

If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can support our efforts to keep maniacally testing carpet cleaners by bookmarking and shopping through this Amazon link. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against child and animal droppings everywhere.

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Reviewing the best vacuums and carpet cleaners for homes with little feet.