Is your carpet smelly and turning darker than its original color? Are you wondering how to freshen it up and which solutions are best?
No matter how clean we try to keep them, our floors get exposed to all kinds of bacteria. From our shoes’ soles to food inadvertently dropped, or even pet mess, they require regular maintenance.
The best carpet cleaning shampoos and solutions should remove the dirt and odors without strenuous effort. But you don’t necessarily need a high-end vacuum device to shampoo your carpet.
Although it might be the simplest method, there are other techniques. Welcome to the world of carpet shampoos and solutions!
Why Try Carpet Cleaning Solutions?
Some of us are happy to blot with paper and then vacuum afterward. But, there are some serious benefits to using a dedicated carpet cleaning product:
1. Get Rid of Bacteria
Most carpets should be vacuumed at least once or twice a week. Doing this will remove superficial dirt and, potentially, pet hair. Yet, vacuuming alone doesn’t kill bacteria trapped inside the carpet’s fibers.
Bacteria and mold typically result in bad smells (1). This means that even after vacuuming, the foul odor will remain. Shampoos, however, are intended to clean deep inside the fabric, killing most germs on its way.
So if you’re prone to allergies or have children playing around, shampooing should be an option you explore. Keeping your carpets germ-free means healthier breathing for the entire household.
2. Fresh Smell and Look
Over time, carpets can become dull and darker than they used to be. By removing deep and stubborn dirt, the original colors are revived, extending your carpet’s lifespan.
Common Application Methods
The best carpet cleaning shampoos and solutions can be used in a variety of ways. From effortless techniques to intense workout cleaning sessions, there should be a method suited to you.
Whichever approach you plan to use, here are a few essential guidelines before you start:
- Remove furniture before cleaning large surfaces.
- Vacuum the area first.
- Pre-treat tough stains.
- Avoid mixing solutions from different brands.
Keep in Mind
1. Vacuum Cleaner
The easiest and probably the most efficient way to wash your flooring is by using a vacuum shampoo carpet cleaner. These devices are generally upright models and include attachments to spot-clean or cover smaller surfaces such as upholstery.
They normally come with a floor head built with rotating brushes, designed to shake and detach dirt. The best devices provide a deep clean, following these steps:
- Dilute: Pour the solution into the clear water tank.
- Clean: The liquid gets injected inside the fabric and vacuumed back into the device but inside a separate tank.
- Rinse: To remove the shampoo, fill-up the clean bladder with water, and repeat the process.
- Vacuum: Remove water and moisture to finish the process.
2. Hand Wash
If you’re not looking to invest in a heavy-duty vacuum, your hands and knees might be enough. For this method, you’ll only need a brush and dry cloth or towel to dry the area.
Keep in mind that this technique requires serious elbow grease to wash, rinse and dry the area. Some solutions come with an included brush, making the process a bit smoother.
3. Spot Clean
Cleaning an entire surface isn’t always necessary. For localized stains, spot cleaning should be enough.
- Spot test: Before using the product for the first time, try it under a rug or furniture. If it leaves a mark, do not proceed further.
- Pre-wash: Try to remove as much of the stain as you can with a cloth. Pad over the stain — never rub.
- Spray: Apply the spray over the stain.
- Let it soak: Leave it for 5 minutes. Formulas containing active enzymes may require more time.
- Rinse: With a clean and wet cloth, remove the solution by padding it.
- Air dry: Allow the area to dry fully for two hours.
How to Choose the Best Carpet Solutions
By applying these factors, you have a greater chance of finding the perfect solution for your needs:
- Application process: Spot cleaners are designed to wash localized stains, while shampoos are generally meant for larger surfaces.
- Sensitivity: If you’re prone to allergies or chemical sensitivities, we suggest looking into eco-friendly formulas. They may take longer to work, but they’re made with active enzymes and other natural ingredients.
- Stubborn situations: For deep cleaning or pet mess, we suggest a more concentrated solution.
- Brand continuity: If you own a vacuum shampoo cleaner, you might want to use products of the same brand. Some vacuum models will cancel the guarantee when other brands are utilized.
Best Carpet Cleaning Solutions of 2021
We’ve carefully evaluated the best carpet cleaning shampoos and solutions available. After thoroughly comparing features, specifications and customer feedback, we also used our professional discernment. These are our top seven.
1. Bissell 78H63 Deep Clean Pro 2X
This Bissell deep clean solution is best used diluted in an upright vacuum cleaner. It contains four times more active ingredients than other solutions, removing the toughest spots and smells. For maximum efficiency, add 2.5 ounces to a gallon of water.
Although this product shouldn’t come in contact with the eyes, it’s been granted the EPA Safer Choice label (2). This guarantees that the solution is safe for your family and the environment. In addition, it doesn’t contain any dyes, phosphate or heavy metals.
Because prevention is key, this product is made with Scotchguard patented technology. This unique feature ensures that future spills remain on the surface, without sticking to the fibers of your carpet (3). This should make your next cleaning sessions faster and more effective.
- Protects from future stains.
- Contains 25 percent of recycled plastic.
- Four times more concentrated.
- Kids and pets-friendly.
- Very strong odor.
|Surface Area||Large surface|
|Unique Feature||More concentrated, Scotchguard technology|
2. Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover
If you’re looking to reduce the number of chemicals around your home, this product might be worth considering. This solution uses live, active enzymes and plant-based wetting agents. It doesn’t only cover up smells; the active bacteria consume and eliminate them.
Anyone with allergies and chemical sensitivities will enjoy its natural and fragrance-free citrus smell. No chemicals — such as SLS, chlorine or glycol ether — are used. This makes it safe to use around children and pets. The company further respects animals by ensuring that no animal testing is done.
Finally, this large bottle — 128 ounces — doesn’t require dilution and should last you longer than other products. Just make sure to store it in a neutral temperature environment. You don’t want to freeze or bake organisms living there.
- Doesn’t contain hazardous chemicals.
- Natural fragrance.
- No animal testing.
- No dilution required.
- Removes only organic stains.
- Needs adequate storage conditions.
|Surface Area||Large surface|
|Unique Feature||Made from living organisms, no animal testing|
3. BISSELL Professional Pet Urine Elimator
Are you looking to clean up after your pet? Want a concentrated solution that will remove bad scents and leave your carpet smell like a fresh batch of laundry? This cleaner seems to make it possible.
Pets tend to leave double the amount of dirt, and any mess seems to smell twice as strong. Thankfully, this carpet cleaner has double the concentration of regular products. It reaches deeper inside your carpet to remove most impurities.
Febreze is a popular brand for removing strong odors from the home. It’s part of this cleaner’s formula and should leave the fabric with a divine smell.
Like other Bissell products, it comes with Scotchguard technology. If — or when — your pet poops or urinates again on your carpet, it should be less strenuous to remove.
This biodegradable formula doesn’t use harmful chemicals. So you should feel safe when your pet decides to sniff around to check out the new smell.
- Scotchguard technology.
- Febreze-added scent.
- Double concentration.
- Safe for you and your pet.
- Formula doesn’t contain active enzymes.
|Unique Feature||Febreze-added scent, more concentrated|
4. Carbona 2-In-1 Carpet Cleaner
The unique feature of this carpet cleaner is that it’s ready for use. There’s no water to add or tank to fill. The only piece of equipment you might need is an unsoiled and dry cloth to pad after application.
The bottle comes with an included brush and foam pad, ideal for covering small areas and spills on the go. Besides cleaning, the brush should also trap any hair on its way. This makes it the perfect tool to brush and sanitize around your dog’s eating or bedding area.
Whether your child has dropped ketchup or you’re looking to scrub your car’s carpets, this model should remove all types of dirt. Users seem astonished with its efficiency, on both new and older stains.
This product is easy to grab and use since it weighs less than 5 pounds. On the downside, though, this is a one-time use product as it cannot be refilled. As it is chemical-based, some reviewers also seem disappointed with the strong and artificial smell.
- Included brush.
- No heavy equipment needed.
- Highly efficient.
- No refill available.
- Overpowering smell.
|Unique Feature||Included brush|
5. Rug Doctor All-In-One
Forgetting to switch from one liquid to another could ruin the flooring. However, this versatile cleaning solution doesn’t only remove dirt from your carpets. It also works on stones, tiles, vinyl, sealed hardwood floors, and more.
Its dual-action formula washes off all types of stains. This product can handle everything from grease marks on your kitchen floor to the pet urine spots and smells.
Even better, the solution shouldn’t leave residue on fabrics and can be used to freshen up upholstery. Additionally, if you’re wondering if it’s compatible with your vacuum, this solution works with all vacuum devices, as advised on the bottle.
Finally, this solution has been tested and certified by the Carpet & Rug Institute to guarantee its safety.
Keep in Mind
- Carpet & Rug Institute Certified.
- Works on most floorings.
- Removes organic and inorganic stains.
- Safe for the household.
- May need up to four passes, as indicated on the bottle.
|Unique Feature||Can be applied to most floors|
6. Rocco & Roxie Professional Eliminator
The active enzymes should help bacteria “eat-up” organic matter until nothing of it is left. This product has also obtained the Seal of Approval of the Carpet and Rug Institute. This body evaluates the efficacy, resoling chance, residual moisture chance, potential surface appearance changes and pH level of products (4).
As an added seal of approval, this professional strength, versatile spot cleaner won’t just remove spills from your carpet. It can also be used on tiles, concrete, hardwood, and laminate. Amazingly, you can even add it to your laundry!
- Light and compact.
- Eliminates unpleasant smells.
- 100 percent satisfaction warranty.
- Can leave dark marks on some carpets.
|Unique Feature||Satisfaction guaranteed|
7. Nature's Miracle Advanced Deep Cleaning
Are you on the hunt for a budget-friendly cleaner that combines effectiveness and versatility? This formula penetrates deep inside the fabric to remove all stains. It can be added to any vacuum cleaner water tank when washing large areas.
It shouldn’t create an excessive amount of foam. So, if you’re looking to hand wash smaller surfaces, it’ll be easy to rinse.
This product also contains some active enzymes. Along with a deep clean, it should kill most bacteria, leaving a lingering and fresh citrus smell. Don’t forget to keep your bottle away from heat and freezing temperatures, though!
The bottle, however, doesn’t indicate dilution instructions. Without this information, it’s easy to pour too much or too little of the liquid. In response to a review, the manufacturer recommended adding 6 ounces of liquid for each gallon of water.
- Low foaming wetting agents.
- Contains active enzymes.
- Removes odors.
- Suitable for all vacuum brands.
- Doesn’t clearly indicate dilution instructions.
- Requires appropriate storage.
|Unique Feature||Active enzymes|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Size||Surface Area||Weight||Dilution Required||Unique Feature|
|Bissell 78H63 Deep Clean Pro 2X||For a Deep Clean||48 oz||Large surface||3.5 lbs||Yes||More concentrated, Scotchguard technology|
|Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover||Eco-Friendly Solution||128 oz||Large surface||8.8 lbs||No||Made from living organisms, no animal testing|
|BISSELL Pet Urine Eliminator||For Pets||48 oz||Large||3.5 lbs||Yes||Febreze-added scent, more concentrated|
|Carbona 2-In-1 Carpet Cleaner||For Hand Wash||27.5 oz||Small||4.27 lbs||No||Included brush|
|Rug Doctor All-In-One||Versatile||32 oz||All||2.15 lbs||Yes||Can be applied – most floors|
|Rocco & Roxie Professional||Spot Remover||32 oz||Small||2.3 pounds||No||Satisfaction guaranteed|
|Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning||Economical||64 oz||All||4.4 lbs||Yes||Active enzymes|
Get Your Clean On
Selecting the best solution for your carpet will rely primarily on two factors. First, determine whether you’re planning on washing your entire home, a large carpeted area or a small stain.
Then, evaluate if chemical cleaners would be an option in your home, or if you’d prefer naturally-based products. Ultimately, the more often you shampoo your carpet, the least amount of effort it requires.
We hope this comprehensive guide and the reviews of the best carpet cleaning shampoos and solutions have been helpful. Please leave us a comment below with any questions you may have!