The reason we chose a Hoover Max Extract 77 Multi-Surface Pro when shopping for a floor cleaner is pretty simple: when it came to floors, our house had multiple surfaces. One room was carpeted with a short Berber, several rooms had medium-pile carpet, and the rest of the house was floored with white ceramic tile. Given that the household includes two dogs (with their own private entrance) and a cat, regular floor maintenance meant cleaning up muddy footprints and spills on the carpets as well as trying to keep the tile shiny. Hoover’s Max Extract 77 can do all that, but be forewarned that it’s most useful for maintaining a carpet between visits from carpet-cleaning pros. Don’t buy one expecting it to take up heavy stains or clean a filthy carpet that hasn’t been seen by professionals for decades: it’s just not powerful enough.
Based on our experience, the Hoover Max Extract 77 performs best when it’s used to provide periodic touch-ups to your carpets. You’ll still have to call a professional service to get your carpets clean in the first place. We also learned that the Max Extract 77 clogs very quickly if you haven’t completely vacuumed a room before attacking a carpet. What’s worse, cleaning out the resultant clog is no vacation. If a carpeted floor isn’t heavily soiled, though, the cleaner will take up light soiling and tracking and will even remove some light stains, especially if you get them before they’ve set. The fluorescent green spin brushes Hoover brags about work pretty well and, assuming you’ve followed the directions; the machine’s heated extraction cycle pulls out enough water that your carpet will dry overnight if the house has normal humidity. Even if you don’t think your carpets are all that dirty, you may well get a surprise when you dump out the rinse water!
Cleaning Hard Surfaces
If your hard floor squeegee just falls off like this one, call Hoover customer support for a replacement (photo by author)
For cleaning hard surfaces like tile and laminate floors, you first install a rubber squeegee head that raises the brushes off the floor. In our case, the squeegee packed with the floor cleaner was the wrong size, so it kept falling off. After some online research we contacted Hoover directly and they shipped us one that fit correctly. As with the carpets, the cleaner helps keep a floor clean but it won’t clean up years of dirt and grime – you need something more heavy-duty for that task. Specifically for tile, it didn’t do a very good job but we always suspected that the workmanship on our tile floors was not the highest quality. It’s a tossup whether or not there was a lousy grout job, but either way the hard-surface function did almost nothing when it came to ckeaning the grout. On the other hand, it’s better at cleaning laminate floors for tile.
Using the Max Extract 77
When it comes to using a Max Extract, be ready for an aerobic experience: the machine is not only heavy, it’s tough to steer. If you have thick carpet, you’ll often find yourself wrestling with it. When it comes to upholstery and stairways, Hoover tosses in a hose and attachments, including a small power scrubber. for stairs and upholstery. We’ve never used ours, though. A Max Extract 77 can also pick up large spills, like an accident with the washing machine or bathtub.
The cleaner ships with starter bottles of the Hoover brand solutions for carpets and hard surfaces, accompanied by a a “warning” that the use of other solutions voids the warranty. Hoover solutions, however, are hard to find and when found are very expensive. We just use what we can find at Lowe’s, and it works as well as what came in the box.
Overall, this model isn’t all that much different from the carpet cleaners you can rent at your nearest grocery. Neither can replace a professional cleaning, but either is probably OK for periodic touch-ups. If you’re one of those people who brings in the big trucks two or three times every year, regular use of one of these on your carpets could like save one of the annual trips.
Max Extract® 77 Multi-Surface Pro Carpet & Hard Floor Deep Cleaner