Hoover MaxExtract 60 Carpet Cleaner, FH50220



Avg. consumer rating = 85/100 

There are a number of Hoover carpet cleaners on the market today and some get good ratings from consumers while others do not.  The FH50220 is one of the machines that is inspiring most consumers, and while it isn’t perfect it is fairly easy to use and it does a good job cleaning carpet.  It also creates a short drying time and is straightforward to maintain.  Some owners are less enthusiastic however and cite the short power cord, loud operation and “non-spinning brush” bug as shortcomings.

A review of some of the top online retailers has provided the following consumer ratings (see table below). These generate an overall average score of 84.8 out of a possible 100.

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.2 stars out of 5  391
 Target  4.5 stars out of 5  210
 Best Buy  3.5 stars out of 5  47
 Sears  4.0 stars out of 5  19
 Walmart  4.5 stars out of 5  4
 Meijer  4.0 stars out of 5  3

There are hundreds of consumer comments related to this machine and common likes and dislikes are recorded in the following lists.

- Better built than some of the less expensive Hoover carpet cleaners
- Generally does a good job on carpet (many folks compare it to a professional cleaning)
- Only takes about 2-4 hours for the carpet to dry
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to clean after usage
- Long hose
- Able to clean close to the baseboards
- Water tanks are easy to remove, empty or fill, and reattach
- Separate dirty water and clean water tanks

- Some folks have problems getting the brushes to spin
- Compared to some Bissell cleaners it is heavier, harder to move and less “stylish”
- Short power cord
- Fairly average manual
- Rather loud

One odd quirk with this machine is that after unboxing and putting it together a number of folks have found that the cleaning brushes simply won’t spin. But after removing and reinstalling the brushes some owners find that they start to work and there are no further issues (the entire brush assembly can be removed with a firm pull – they can then be snapped back into place). Having said that, there are also cases where no amount of fiddling seems to get them going. One owner comment alludes to a possible solution should you find yourself in this predicament. It indicates that you should remove the dirty water tank and slightly loosen the top middle assembly screw – this is the screw that is directly over the vertical brush axle.

MaxExtract Upholstery Tool
Upholstery Tool

The Hoover MaxExtract 60 is capable of cleaning carpet, hard floors and even upholstery. However, while the unit comes with an upholstery tool it doesn’t include the hard surface attachment - this must be purchased separately. The upholstery tool can also be used for cleaning stairs and it attaches to the end of the 9 foot hose. The tool is slid onto a connector on the end of the hose and a tab will lock it securely into place. A bonus kit is sometimes sold along with this machine (but not typically) and the kit includes the following:

• 16 ounce Bottle of 2X Professional Strength Carpet Detergent
• 16 ounce Bottle of Hard Floor Detergent
• 9 foot Hose
• SpinScrub Hand Tool
• Upholstery Tool
• Squeegee Tool (hard surface attachment)

Most owners feel that the unit does a very good job of cleaning carpet. It has 60 counter rotating brushes that surround carpet fibers and effectively pull up ground-in dirt and grime. Many consumers have compared Hoover’s counter rotating brush approach with Bissell’s rotating brushbars and have concluded that a Hoover provides better cleaning capability (bear in mind that this is based on consumer comments and is not the result of any formal testing). However the Hoover, when compared to most Bissell machines, is a little heavier, a little harder to move and less “stylish”.

The FH50220 cleans carpets via a combination of washing, rinsing and drying. With the machine in Wash Mode an area of carpet is chosen and washing strokes are applied, followed by drying strokes. Then the unit is switched to Rinse Mode and rinsing strokes, followed again by drying strokes are administered over the same area. 

Rinse/Wash Switch
Rinse/Wash Switch


Washing strokes involve squeezing the solution trigger on the handle to mix cleaning detergent with clean water before the pressurized mixture is sprayed into the carpet. The drying strokes actually force heat into the carpet and help to shorten drying times. A rinsing stroke uses clean water and suction to pull the dirty or excess water into the dirty water tank. For a better understanding of this process we would recommend looking at the Hoover instructional videos which can be viewed here. Also, there are two chambers in the 13-inch wide nozzle which help to apply more even washing/rinsing/drying across the entire width of the nozzle. This is sometimes referred to as MaxExtract DualV Technology in some of Hoover’s marketing materials.

Comparison Notes:

When comparing the FH50220 to other well-rated Hoover carpet cleaners we have noted the following:

F5914-900 - rates 4.3 stars on Amazon. Only has 50 counter rotating brushes, does not have Max Extract DualV Nozzle Technology, does not have constant pressurized water spray. Has a clean surge trigger for applying extra solution to stains and heavy traffic areas. Includes upholstery tool and SpinScrub hand tool. See it on Amazon here.

F7412-900 - rates 4.2 stars on Amazon, also has 60 counter rotating brushes and Max Extract DualV Nozzle Technology. Includes upholstery tool and SpinScrub hand tool. Does not have constant pressurized water spray. See it on Amazon here.

We would also like to note that the model above the Hoover MaxExtract 60 is the Hoover MaxExtract 77 (FH50240) but ratings don’t seem to be particularly good.

Unlike some other carpet cleaner models the Hoover MaxExtract 60 has two water tanks – a clean water tank (1.15 gallon capacity) and a dirty water tank. A single tank system uses dirtier and dirtier water as cleaning continues but dual tanks ensure that only clean water is used.

The upper tank (clean water tank) actually has two compartments – one for the detergent and one for clean water. The “rinse/wash” switch is located just above the upper tank. The dirty water tank is at the bottom of the machine. When the dirty water tank is full the suction will automatically turn off and the tank can be emptied and cleaned. It is also suggested that you remove any lint or debris from the filter screens at this time.

It is important to note here that the FH50220 will not heat the cleaning water. One has to fill the clean water tank with hot tap water. Some owners are disappointed when they learn that the carpet cleaner doesn’t heat the water.

The carpet cleaner is powered by a 10 amp motor and it weighs a hefty 21.85 lbs. It also has non-marring wheels which are useful on some hard surfaces, and a complimentary 16 oz bottle of Hoover 2X CleanPlus Carpet Cleaner & Deodorizer is included. The power cord is 20 feet in length and this is somewhat short. A longer cord would limit the plugging and unplugging of the unit when cleaning a larger area. It carries a limited 2-year warranty for domestic use.

Carpet Cleaner Manual
A manual for Hoover MaxExtract Carpet Cleaners can be viewed here if you would like additional information.


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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

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