Our In-Depth Review
Hoover SteamVac All-Terrain Reviewed
The Hoover SteamVac All Terrain and Dual V Widepath floor cleaners help keep your carpet ultra-clean.
If your carpeting is six months old or older, and hasn’t been cleaned by a Steam Vac, you will be shocked and maybe even horrified by the amount of dirt this vacuum will clean out of your carpeting.
For carpeting and floors that get heavy use, a carpet cleaner and hard floor washer is a wonderful tool to keep a home clean.
You don’t have to hire help to come inside your home to wash your carpeting if you invest in a Hoover SteamVac. This type of tool is a wonderful addition to a home.
You might think that a SteamVac is heavy and hard to operate, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The set up is easy, filling up the detergent and water is a breeze, and all the dirty water is stored away very nicely in a separate tank. Also, the Hoover All Terrain Floor Cleaner is relatively light and easy to maneuver.
You can use a Hoover SteamVac as a carpet cleaner or for cleaning your hard flooring. Any time there is a spill on the carpet, you can quickly and easily remove the stain.
If you get some liquid or other smudge on upholstery, the SteamVac has a brush attachment to scrub these spots clean. You also won’t need to mop floors anymore with a SteamVac. They scrub hard flooring clean and then suck up all the dirty liquid.
The All Terrain SteamVac has two settings for cleaning. The first setting is “rinse.” This means that the SteamVac will only use the water to clean up the floors.
This nice feature makes sure you always will have the correct mixture of Hoover cleaning detergent and warm water.
Another adjustment you can make is the speed of the SpinScrub brushes. First off you can leave the SpinScrub brushes off and use it for spill pick-up.
This is very handy when someone spills water all over on the ground. There is no need to use any washing detergent in this situation.
The second setting is called gentle scrub. The SpinScrub brushes rotate, but at a low speed.
The final setting is called Power Scrub. The SpinScrub brushes rotate at a high speed in this setting.
For a large spill, we recommend that you use the lower setting “gentle scrub” first as you suck up the spill.
This will prevent the spin scrub brushes from spitting out any of the spilt liquid onto different locations. Once most of the spill has been sucked up, then switch the SpinScrub brushes to “power scrub.”
This will ensure that the spill doesn’t work its way into the carpet.
The last cleaning option for the Hoover SteamVac All Terrain Floor Cleaner is the hose attachment along with two tools.
The more powerful tool that attaches to the hose is the SpinScrub hand tool. This has a rotating brush to really scrub out stubborn stains.
You can use this tool on carpeting as well as upholstery. If all you want to do is suck up some liquids, you can use the second tool, which is the stair/upholstery nozzle. The hose and both tools are stored on board the SteamVac for easy access.
This household appliance is an upright vacuum cleaner. All the tools, and liquid storage tanks are attached to the machine. To operate a Hoover SteamVac, you stand behind the unit and push it back and forth across the floor.
There are two tanks for the liquid storage. The bottom tank is where all the liquid and dirty stains are sucked up and stored in.
You’ll be amazed at how dirty your carpeting or floor was when you look at the muddy water that is stored in the lower tank after your finished cleaning up.
The upper tank is actually a two-in-one storage tank. There is one smaller tank for the cleaning detergents, and the larger tank is where you pour in the warm water.
To release the detergent with the warm water, you have to make sure the Hoover SteamVac is in “wash” mode. Then hold the trigger down as you push the Hoover SteamVac across the floor.
Hoover SteamVac All-Terrain Performance
The Hoover SteamVac does a good job cleaning up carpeting and makes them pretty dry after they have been washed. This is a larger machine weighing in at around 30 pounds when they are loaded with water and cleaning detergent, but it is remarkably easy to maneuver and operate.
A SteamVac is good for cleaning old stains, but what they are really great for is cleaning up the future stains. Don’t expect them to take a five-year old carpet that has never been washed and turn it brand new.
If you do have a newer carpet, a SteamVac can rescue you in situations where there is a new spill. They will suck up the spill and scrub the stain completely clean.
On older stains and pretty worn out carpeting, they do clean up a ton of stains and debris, but they won’t work miracles. Some stains that were worn in for long periods of time that we tested on didn’t come all the way clean. Also very high traffic areas were cleaner, but you could still see the wear pattern after the entire carpet was washed.
Washing and Cleaning Hard Floors
Overall, the All Terrain Floor Cleaner doesn’t do a great job on hard flooring. The squeegee attachment has a tendency to push the water around instead of sucking it up.
Also, it is a hassle switching the SpinScrub brushes for hard flooring and getting the squeegee attachment in place. The floors do come relatively clean, but not as nice as a model like the Hoover FloorMate, which is specifically designed for hard flooring.
Even though the All Terrain Floor Cleaner is large, it does roll around on the hard flooring easily. Don’t go too fast though. You need to let the SpinScrub brushes do their job and clean off the dirt and stuck on debris.
We thought the SteamVac worked best if you held the trigger down and released the cleaner as you went forward. Then we would let go of the trigger, and suck up the dirty water as we pulled back. To get a drier floor, you should go back and forth over the washed floor at least three times.
The SteamVac model worked beautifully for washing and cleaning up carpet. The SpinScrub brushes do a great job cleaning up carpeting and rugs. We looked at three different situations for when most people would wash carpeting and how the SteamVac performed.
New Spills – Having a SteamVac is worth it for cleaning up new spills. They completely clean up the spill leave no trace of the spilt liquid or dirty carpet, and the carpeting is just a little damp after the clean up.
When you can use the SteamVac right after something has soiled your carpet, you prevent stains from settling and hardening into the carpet fibers. On a dark red carpet, we dumped a large amount of milk.
The SteamVac sucked up all the milk we could see with the naked eye. To be totally sure that the carpet was clean, we then switched from gentle scrub to power scrub. We set the SteamVac on wash mode so warm water and detergent could totally scrub away any milk residue that was left over.
We got down on the floor and examined the carpet closely. There was no milk left, the Hoover detergent leaves a pleasant smell, and the carpeting was completely dry in less than an hour after cleaning.
Old Stains – Some smudged skin colored make up was worked into a tan floor. We used the power scrub mode to clean this stain out. After several passes, this stain came clean.
A few other smaller smudges came clean. On the dark red carpeting, the stains came out, but the old stains seemed to have sucked some of the dark coloring out of the carpet fibers.
The stain was cleaned off, but the carpeting was lighter than it’s original color. Cleaning the older stains was quite time consuming, as they took several passes to completely wash out.
Washing the Entire Carpet – The SteamVac did a great job washing out an entire carpeted room. We did run out of clean water and had to empty the dirty water tank in the middle of the cleaning.
Then we refilled the detergent and warm water tank for a larger room. If you think your carpet looks nice after you vacuum, you will be thrilled at how nice the carpet looks after a Hoover SteamVac does its job.
Some carpet cleaning vacuums leave the carpets wet, but the Hoover really does a nice job sucking up the wetness in the carpeting. These SteamVacs actually have a heater built into the cleaning head. This makes the carpet dry quicker.
The All Terrain SteamVac doesn’t get right up to the edge of the carpet extremely effectively. This really isn’t a big issue however. The SteamVac doesn’t clean about a 1/2 inch of space between the carpet and the wall. Carpets don’t get a lot of debris deep into the carpet fibers at the edge.
This is because people don’t walk by the edge of a carpet. No foot traffic means no dirt gets worked in. If you really have to get right up to the edge, you can use the power hand tool.
The stain came out after a few passes. We also tested it on some toothpaste smudges. The stains came out of the couch real easy.
The automatic mixed detergent coupled with the SpinScrub brush makes for an excellent tool for cleaning upholstery. We cleaned up four different stains in just a few short minutes.
The one minor problem that the SpinScrub hand tool had was it leaked water. You have to pull the trigger to spray detergent on the upholstery. The water and cleaner squirts out at the base of the brush.
You have to pull back to scrub the area that was sprayed. After you use this tool a few times, it tends to drip all over as you clean. This makes for a little extra clean up, and the water drips onto your hand or wrist often.
Ease of Use
The Hoover All Terrain Floor Cleaner is a large upright machine, but it still was simple to use. There are a few operating quirks, but once you have used it a few times, you will feel comfortable cleaning your carpeting with it.
Cord Management and Length
The 20 foot cord is quite thick and heavy. It is long enough for cleaning up one room at a time. When the SteamVac is not in use, the cord wraps around the back of the vacuum nice and tight.
A straightforward “quick assembly guide” is included when you purchase a Hoover SteamVac. First you slide on the handle and have to screw in two bolts. All you need is a screwdriver to tighten the bolts.
The tanks simply click into place. The tool caddy snaps right onto the back of the unit. The last step is to wrap the hose around the back and store the tools on the tool caddy.
Once the SteamVac is put together, you need warm water and detergent in the upper tank to clean floors. For spill clean up, you don’t need to load the upper tank with warm water, unless you want to wash out the spilt liquid.
The Hoover SteamVac is large, but it is surprisingly easy to maneuver and operate. Two large wheels on the back make it easy to push around. It is 13 inches wide, which is not too large, so it can fit into corners pretty easily.
The Hoover SteamVac is too large to use on stairs. Instead, use the hose and the SpinScrub hand tool for cleaning carpeted stairs. Set the base unit down at the bottom of the stairway.
Use the hose to scrub clean any dirty, carpeted areas. The hose has eight feet of reach, which is more than sufficient for most situations.
The stair/upholstery nozzle is only of use if you just want to suck up some water. This tool doesn’t scrub the carpeting or hard flooring.
A decibel level of 81 to 91 was reached depending upon the size of the room we were cleaning and the floor surface. To give you some perspective, 90 decibels is how loud a typical factory is.
You really should wear ear protection if you are exposing your ears to prolonged periods at above 90 decibels. In a small bathroom with tile flooring, it was very loud at 91 decibels.
In a larger carpeted room, it was still loud at 81 decibels but this is about as loud as an average vacuum cleaner.
There are two tanks on the Hoover All Terrain floor cleaner. The maintenance is pretty straightforward. When the dirty water tank is full, you have to empty it. The SteamVac automatically stops sucking up liquid when the bottom tank reaches capacity.
There is a small net at the top of this dirty water tank that traps any hair. You just have to wipe it out with a tissue when you empty the tank. The upper tank is easy to fill up.
Also, if you want to empty out the warm water, just take the cap off and dump out the liquids. There are no filters to clean or replace.
Emptying the Dirty Water Tank
Turn off the SteamVac first. Then, you have to keep the cleaning head level, but lean the upright vacuum back to get to the dirty water tank. When you have leaned the upper tank back, you unclip two latches on each side of the tank.
Then grab the upper handle and the dirty water tank comes right off the unit. Bend the upper handle all the way back to take off the top of the tank.
Now you can dump out the dirty liquid. You might have to rinse out this tank as some of the debris collects at the bottom of the tank.
Value For Your Money
If the majority of your flooring is carpet, a Hoover SteamVac is worth the money. You can use the All Terrain model for the carpeting and then clean up the hard floor too.
The Dual V SteamVac is less expensive because it doesn’t come with the squeegee attachment and the softer SpinScrub brushes for hard floors. With only two or three uses, a Hoover SteamVac will pay for itself compared to how much it costs to hire professionals to clean your carpeting.
Final Vacuum Verdict
We liked the Hoover All-Terrain F7452900 SteamVac for cleaning carpeting but not as much for hard floors. The best reason to have a SteamVac is for the spills and stains that happen in the future. They clean up spills right away and leave the carpet probably cleaner than it was before.
This Hoover floor cleaner also did a nice job on old stains, but don’t wait too long for the carpet fibers can be permanently damaged from certain liquids. The All Terrain SteamVac did a decent job with hard flooring, but works better as a carpet cleaner.
The Hoover Dual V, F7412900 is very similar to the Hoover All Terrain Model. We tested both.
The only difference between these two Hoover SteamVacs is the All Terrain comes with tools to wash hard floors.