Effective at removing pet hair from carpet
Too small for large messes
We purchased the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner so our reviewer could put it to the test on her home's wall-to-wall carpet. Keep reading for our full product review.
With two large dogs and a cat in our home, trying to combat the messes our pets leave on the carpet often feels like an exercise in futility. We’ve tried other carpet cleaners, but they can be heavy and bulky, and not many of them can stand up to pet hair that’s trapped in carpet fibers. Enter Hoover’s PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner, a lightweight machine designed to remove the mess our furry friends leave behind.
Hoover’s PowerDash has impressed tons of pet owners attempting to rid their homes of dirt, grime, and tumbleweeds of fur, so we were excited to try it out, too. Did the PowerDash live up to our expectations? Read on to find out.
Setup Process: Simple
It didn’t take much to set up the Hoover PowerDash after we unboxed it. The carpet cleaner consists of a 20-foot cord, a half-gallon clean water tank and dirty water tank, a removable nozzle, and a powerspin brush that's specifically designed for pets. The handle and the clean and dirty water tanks had to be clicked into place, but the other pieces were already assembled. The instructions were clear and concise, and we had no trouble figuring out where to put the pieces.
Before using, we filled the bottle-shaped clean water tank with water and the specified amount of solution (some bundles come with a sample bottle) and then screwed in the cap and clicked the tank into place. We had a slight issue with this, as the tank sits upside down in its compartment, and when we secured it in its spot, we noticed that the cleaning solution was leaking onto the outside of the appliance. We fixed it with a little trial and error—the inside of the cap needed to be pushed out before we positioned the container—but we were stuck dealing with a soapy, slippery carpet cleaner before we figured it out.
Design: Basic but effective
The Hoover PowerDash doesn’t come with a ton of bells and whistles, but we were impressed with the features nonetheless. The Hoover PowerDash has a dual-tank system, meaning it boasts two separate tanks: one for the clean water and the other for the dirty water it sucks back up out of the carpet. The clean-water tank only holds a half-gallon, so the liquid didn’t weigh the machine down like it would with a larger tank.
There is a downside to that small tank, though. A half-gallon tank may be enough for small pet messes and spots, but it ran out quickly when we tried to clean large areas. We had to refill the tank three or four times to clean all of the carpet in an average-sized room. That could become time-consuming if the goal is to clean a large surface area.
There were no warning lights or noises to alert us when the tank was low, so we had to regularly check the tank levels to make sure they were full. That process wasn’t the most user-friendly, to say the least.
The PowerDash’s pet brush roll has antimicrobial protection and helped to kick up the pet hair out of the carpet fibers, something our vacuum won’t do. However, cleaning the brush and the brush compartment wasn’t a simple process (more on that later).
Cleaning Performance: A weapon in the fight against pet hair
This carpet cleaner is by no means a professional machine. It’s meant to do one thing: clean up pet messes. Still, we were impressed by how well this little machine—which only has about a 10-inch cleaning path—combatted pet grime and dog hair. Each time we used it, we noticed a significant amount of pet hair had been sucked up into the tank, and there was a noticeable color difference between the carpet we’d shampooed versus the area that still needed to be cleaned.
We did have a couple of issues with the cleaning performance, though. If we let the dirty water chamber get too full, the PowerDash would stop spraying or sucking, rendering the entire machine useless. Once we realized that the dirty water chamber needed to be emptied, it was smooth sailing, and the sprayer and hose that sucks up the dirty water would start working again—provided we didn’t let it fill up too high again.
The PowerDash uses heated cleaning to thoroughly sanitize the carpets, but we didn’t really notice much heat coming from the carpet cleaner during or after the process. In addition to the heated cleaning, the PowerDash employs something called HeatForce to help dry the carpet more quickly.
Each time we used the PowerDash, we noticed a significant amount of pet hair had been sucked up into the tank.
We expected the carpet to feel warm right after cleaning it, but it didn’t—though we did notice that the carpet wasn’t saturated with liquid, either. In fact, it felt completely dry to us in less than half an hour after cleaning. Our carpets have taken significantly longer to dry after using other carpet cleaners, and it was really nice to be able to walk around shortly after the cleaning was done without soaking our socks.
Size: Small but mighty
The compact size of the PowerDash made it easy to drag around from room to room and up and down flights of stairs—even with a tank full of cleaning solution. We had no issues maneuvering around furniture and corners while using this appliance, and we were surprised to find that it fits well in our broom closet, which is stuffed to the gills with mops, brooms, and vacuums. This carpet cleaner would be great for small apartments or homes with limited storage space.
Noise Level: Loud, loud, and even louder
If the PowerDash has a downside, it’s the noise level. This carpet cleaner is loud. It scared our cat and one of our dogs half to death, and the only reason it didn’t scare the other dog is that he’s half deaf and couldn’t hear the noise. It was much louder than our vacuum, which was unexpected given that other carpet cleaners we’ve used have been relatively quiet. So if you have skittish dogs or cats, this carpet cleaner may end up traumatizing them.
This carpet cleaner is loud; it scared our cat and one of our dogs half to death.
Ease of Cleaning: A pain, if we're honest
As mentioned earlier cleaning the appliance itself was no cake walk. After using, the brush was full of hair and grime, and we had to use a rag to agitate the bristles and pull it out. While we appreciated the brush removing pet hair from the carpet, we were pretty disgusted with having to clean it.
Cleaning the brush compartment, which houses the brush, is another beast entirely. We found tons of pet hair lodged between the brush and the compartment wall, but we couldn’t clean it without unscrewing the compartment, removing the belt from the brush, and removing the hair. Not a simple process.
The easiest piece to clean was the dirty water tank. We had no trouble spraying out leftover grime and residue thanks to the removable nozzle near the bottom of the compartment.
At about $110 (and less on sale), this carpet cleaner is less expensive than most carpet cleaners on the market, but it works wonders on pet messes. If the goal is to clean up the grime left behind by a pet, this machine is worth every penny. Plus, it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Competition: Lots of options, but not much compares
There are tons of carpet cleaners on the market that claim to combat pet messes, including the BISSELL ProHeat Essential Carpet Cleaning System (view on Amazon). The ProHeat is effective at lifting allergens, pet hair, and grime out of carpets, but it’s significantly larger than the PowerDash, which may make it too large for small homes. It has a tank that’s twice the size, which is nice, but the Bissell retails for about $180, and other than the large tank, it really doesn’t offer much that the PowerDash doesn’t.
Even top-of-the-line carpet cleaners sometimes struggle to remove pet hair from carpet fibers, but the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner tackles that issue with ease. Though it requires frequent refills and somewhat intensive upkeep, this carpet cleaner is an affordable purchase for pet owners.
- Product Name PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner
- Product Brand Hoover
- Price $109.99
- Weight 12.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 15.2 x 10.1 x 43.5 in.
- Model Number FH50700
- Material Hard plastic
- Cord Length 20 ft.
- Cleaning Path Width 10 ft.
- Water Tank Capacity 0.5 gal.
- Warranty 1-year limited