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To help you find the best carpet cleaner solution for the best carpet cleaners and steam cleaners, we’ve tried many top products, testing them for cleaning ability, preferring items that excel with the removal of stains in addition to all-around maintenance tasks. We liked items made from non-toxic ingredients and those that offered additional functionalities, such as the elimination of odors and common household allergens. In case you are only looking for vacuum cleaners, head to our best vacuum cleaner guide.
The best product we tried was easily the Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning and Odor Carpet Shampoo, which arrives in a large 64-ounce container and boasts a number of high-quality cleaning agents that remove new stains and old caked-in stains. It also features odor-eliminating bio enzymes as part of its ingredient list, making it a great choice for pet owners who already have a leading pet vacuum. Plus, it has a formula that helps to keep the colors of your rugs and carpets bright. Keep reading to learn more about the Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning and Odor Carpet Shampoo and the other items on this list.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely effective cleaning solution that works with most major machines, arriving in a large 64 oz container and boasting a number of innovations, including odor-reducing ingredients and protection from color-fading.
This Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning and Odor Carpet Shampoo is a high-quality product made from non-toxic ingredients, so it is safe to use around infants and pets. It also excels with the removal of odors, thanks to the addition of proprietary bio enzymes, and features a number of ingredients that are intended to help reduce color fading, which can be a problem when it comes to carpet cleaning. We also liked that that offers deep cleaning capabilities, performing equally with both new and caked-in stains. And, paired with the best vacuums for elderly people, it’ll make cleaning a snap.
Though the odor-removing bio enzymes do a great job, they do take a few days to work, as the enzymes need to slowly break down the particles that are causing the odor. Additionally, this product only works with water-based machines, though water-based designs do make up a large majority of the best carpet cleaners available for rent or purchase. So this will not work with the best handheld vacuum or another lightweight option like the best stick vacuum.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: An environmentally friendly product that is biodegradable, in addition to boasting a formula that can also be used on upholstery and furniture, and comes with a 60-day, money-back guarantee.
This Carpet Miracle Concentrated Machine Shampoo is a fantastic choice for water-based cleaning machines, thanks to a biodegradable and non-toxic formula that is safe to use around children and pets. The cleaning solution is also gentle enough to use on additional materials, including upholstery and furniture fabric, in addition to rugs and carpeting. We also liked that the company throws in a 60-day, money-back guarantee, just in case you aren’t satisfied with the end result.
Though this is a highly concentrated formula, the bottle is only available in 32 ounces, which is half as much as the 64 ounces found with our top pick. Also, this does not contain bioenzymes, such as those found with our top pick, which limits the level of odor elimination it can bring to the table. You should prep the floor using the best upright vacuum beforehand.
Award: Best for Upright Machines
WHY WE LIKE IT: Designed from the ground up to service upright carpet cleaning machines, with a formula that excels with deep, caked-in stains while containing no heavy metals, phosphates or dyes, making it safe to use around children and pets. It may work best with the high-end vacuums for pet hair, too.
This Bissell Deep Clean Pro 4X Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo comes in a fairly large 48-ounce container, which we found was enough to provide multiple cleanings to an entire home, and is designed to excel with upright machines, many of which are manufactured by Bissell itself. The ingredient list contains no heavy metals, phosphates or dyes, making it safe to use around children and pets, and the product can be used with upholstery, in addition to rugs and carpeting. Remember the carpet on your stairs as well, so make sure you’ve got one of the best vacuums for stairs.
Though this product does a great job at stain removal, it doesn’t offer much by way of dedicated odor removal, though it does achieve some measure of success in that department just by performing general cleaning duties. Additionally, this formula is intended for upright machines and may not excel with some spot cleaners. The best canister vacuum and a good carpet cleaner work wonders in your home, which is ideal, as everyone knows with a broom vs a vacuum, the vacuum will win out each time in regards to cleanliness.
Award: Safest for Septic Systems
WHY WE LIKE IT: Product that is designed to be safe to use with personal septic systems, with a formula that is non-toxic and biodegradable, in addition to working on upholstery and car interiors, in addition to rugs and carpeting. Moreover, it’ll work well with the top-end vacuums for high-pile carpets.
This Hoover CleanPlus Concentrated Solution Formula Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer is perfect for homes with personal septic systems, thanks to being manufactured with safe and non-toxic ingredients, in addition to being biodegradable and free from phosphates. It works well in both upright machines and spot cleaning machines, which is nice and excels with upholstery and the interior of automobiles, in addition to common household rugs and carpets.
Though the formula does a decent enough job with odor removal, it does leave a “fresh linen” scent in its wake, which may not suit every consumer. Additionally, there is no colorfastness protection built-in, though we did not find that it caused much color fading during any of our tests. Some extra vacuuming with the best shark vacuum should help with the odor.
Award: Best for Stains
WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely effective against newly made stains, such as coffee or wine, with a product that arrives in a large 1 gallon container that can be diluted with water to create 25 gallons of cleaning agent.
This Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo is an extremely efficient product , thanks to arriving in a large one-gallon container that can be diluted to create a full 25 gallons of the cleaning agent. The formula excels with general maintenance and is the best carpet cleaner solution for stains that we tried. The product also performs decently with the elimination of foul odors, such as cat urine. We also liked that this product excels equally in upright machines and spot cleaners.
Though this product does indeed perform excellently with newly created stains, such as spilled coffee, it doesn’t do quite as good of a job at the removal of deep, caked-in stains and dirt deposits. Additionally, the ingredient list is not as gentle as some of our picks, so be careful while using it. Also, Rug Doctor makes some of the best carpet cleaning solutions, like the Pure Power Multipurpose Bio-Based Carpet Cleaner. You can finally obtain that spotless, clean carpet you’ve always wanted with this solution that will remove stains and odors, including pet urine, pet stains, blood, food, etc. You can also pair up the best carpet shampoos from Rug Doctor with their own cleaning machines for maximum efficiency at removing those carpet stains. For your hard floors, the best vacuum for hardwood floors should do the job. And in case you are searching for an alternative for car cleaning, we have several alternatives in our best car vacuum guide.
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Award: Best for Pets
WHY WE LIKE IT: Multi-use product that contains pre-spray, spot cleaner and extraction cleaner in one bottle, with a concentrated formula that can dilute with water and ingredients that excel with odors and stains that are commonly caused by pets.
This OdoBan Professional Cleaning 3-in-1 Carpet Cleaner Concentrate is, as the name suggests, three products in one. The formula contains a pre-spray, a spot cleaner and an extraction cleaner, working together to excel with the removal of deep stains and the kinds of foul odors that often come with owning animals, making it the best carpet shampoo for pets. It ships as two large bottles, totaling two gallons of formula, that can easily be diluted with water to provide dozens of gallons of cleaner.
Though this product does excel with the removal of odors, it does leave a unique scent in its wake, which may not suit the tastes of every consumer. Also, we found that the extraction capabilities on offer are decent, but this formula did not reach deep, caked-in stains as well as our top picks, though it was close. You could always use the best Dyson vacuum to help keep carpets extra clean daily.
Award: Best for Deep Cleaning
WHY WE LIKE IT: Professional-grade solution that penetrates deep into rugs and carpet, providing excellent stain removal, in addition to arriving in a large 1-gallon container that dilutes with water to create 25 gallons of cleaning product.
This Zep Premium Carpet Shampoo is a professional-grade cleaning agent, containing a number of highly effective surfactants that provide an ultra-deep cleaning, which can be useful for those of you with caked-in stains that occupy the lower layers of rugs or carpeting. The product comes shipped in one large container, totaling one gallon of formula, which can be diluted to 25 gallons of cleaner, a metric that is in line with our number five pick. We also liked that it didn’t leave much of a scent in its wake. That way, you can get rid of residue and stubborn stains on dirty carpets without getting a headache afterward.
This is a highly concentrated product intended for use for spot cleaning and, as such, is not truly cost-effective to use as a general maintenance cleaning product. Also, this item is not rated for use with wool and several other common household fabrics. When it comes to cleaning floors, pick a great option featured in our best floor cleaner guide.
To help narrow down to the above list, we focused, first and foremost, on products that offered stellar stain removal properties, with a nice mix of products that excel with new stains and those that adequately clean deep, caked-in stains. To that end, we populated the above list with products that function with upright machines and those that work well with spot cleaning machines, each machine type offering their own unique benefits.
We tended to like products that could easily be diluted with water, maximizing the amount of cleaning agent you receive with your purchase, and those that contained some ingredients dedicated to the removal of odors, which could be a boon to multiple pet households. We also preferred items that did not leave too much of a scent in its wake, preferring neutral odors. If a product did leave a scent, we made sure it was not too overwhelming and that it faded in several hours.
We also liked cleaners with a number of additional features built-in, such as those that are combined with pre-spray and those that leave stain blockers in their wake, which should reduce the chances of future stains. To that end, we also liked products with some sort of colorfastness protection, so as to ensure your carpeting and rugs won’t fade with use.
Yes, though results may vary, depending on the chemical make-up of your laundry detergent. This may be a decent choice for general maintenance cleaning but even the heartiest laundry detergent will struggle removing deeply buried stains and odors.
This depends on what type of cleaning you are looking to perform. If you recently made a stain by accidentally spilling a cup of wine, then you should just treat the impacted area and there is no real need to move furniture around, unless the stain reaches underneath a couch or something. If you are looking to do a maintenance cleaning throughout the entire home, you are going to likely want to move furniture around, so as to free up space.
On average, a carpet should dry in around six to ten hours, though there are many factors to consider that could slow up the drying process. These factors into a carpet’s thickness, the machine you used to clean it and the type of soap you used, among others.