When you have carpets and rugs in your house, it is important to use a carpet cleaner regularly. Having the right solution for your needs is necessary to make sure your floors stay clean, last as long as possible, and smell good. An everyday cleaning solution is important for all routine cleaning, but what about greasy and oily stains? We talk about the best cleaners for all your needs in this guide.
You will also find information about enzyme cleaners for getting rid of the hardest carpet messes like pet accidents. These stains get down deep in the carpet fibers. Getting rid of the smell requires a specialized formula that counteracts the odors and removes it on a cellular level. Check out our quick chart below to find out which products remove pet odors.
Hoover Clean Plus Concentrate – Best Editor’s Choice product
With no phosphates and a compound free of poisonous agents, this cleaner is safe for use around children and pets. This solution will work in small and large carpet machines. As a two times concentrated product, this cleaner may work well on oily or greasy stains.
- Linen scent
- Septic tank secure
- Excellent for upholstery cleaning
- Safe for car upholstery
- Works on multiple materials and fiber types
- Some consumers ended up with a different scent
- May aggravate allergies
Bissell 2X – Best pet odor removal solution
A portion of the sales from this product go to help homeless pets in need. The signature blue and green bottles are easy to spot with the Bissell name on the front. If you have large floors, then you might want to purchase two of these bottles since they are the smallest ones on this list.
- Safe for area rugs
- Gets out blood
- Biodegradable formula
- EPA Safer Choice designation
- May not be the best for deep stains
- Can leave some urine smell if the pad does not get clean
Nature’s Miracle – Best allergen removal product
This cleaner removes new stains and older messes. The color enhancing formula ensures carpets remain vibrant between cleanings. This cleaning solution is good for removing allergens.
- Bioenzyme solution to get rid of urine odors
- Solution is a low-foam compound
- Safe around pets when following manufacturer’s instructions
- Works on sticky messes
- May not remove old stains as well as it claims
- Can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people
Amaziing Solutions – Best tough stain remover
The gallon-size bottle is convenient when cleaning multiple floors or large spaces. The light fragrance is much easier for people with scent allergies to manage. The natural solution with enzymes helps break down tough stains, ground-in messes, and pet odors.
- Certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Safe for use around pets and children
- Use in carpet machines or as a spot stain remover
- Water based formula
- May require more than one application to get out stains
Hoover PetPlus – Best high traffic cleaner
This product may work best when using a Hoover pretreat solution to loosen up tough stains and pet messes. This product comes in a pleasing clean clothes scent. You can use this cleaner in any major carpet cleaning machine safely and effectively.
- Good for septic tanks
- Phosphate free solution
- USA product
- Works in spot cleaners and large floor machines
- Two times concentrate
- May not work as well as the manufacturer claims
Buyer’s Guide – Best Carpet Cleaning Formulas
Finding the right carpet cleaner may take some trial and error. If you have allergies, then some products may trigger breathing issues while others do not. For pet messes, it may take trying a couple of products to find the one that leaves your carpets looking and feeling the way you want. This section of the guide will help answer some of the top questions about these cleaning solutions.
How much solution do I put in my carpet cleaner
Each formula comes with instructions that say dilute half and half or add three ounces to each gallon of water. If you are using a carpet cleaner from the same manufacturer, then you can fill the product to the cleaner line on the machine. If there is a separate compartment for the cleaner, then you can add it to this area. We always say to read the instructions on the cleaner bottle and the machine to see which amount is the best one for the job.
Can you use these cleaners on upholstery
Yes. You can use all these cleaning solutions on upholstery. To find out which product works the best, we suggest picking a couple and trying them on the back of the furniture. It may be best to put it in a place where the piece sits against the wall. You can also try cleaning a piece of the fabric on the underside of the furniture if you worry about fading.
Can you use this product in spot cleaners and large carpet cleaning machines
Most of the items on our list will work for either equipment. However, we recommend fully reading the manufacturer’s instructions for use before using any cleaner in your carpet shampooer. Not all the products work in a machine. They label some of these formulas for hand application.
Can you use these chemicals as a pretreater
We do not suggest using these products for pre-treating stains. You can use them in this fashion, but you might not get any better results. We tell readers to use a specific pre-treating formula designed for the mess you want to remove. For example, to get rid of pet accidents, a solution for pre-treating urine and blood might be the best product to use first. Then, we recommend using a highly effective carpet cleaner and the best-matched solution for your stains.
Will these cleaners be safe for my oriental rugs
There is only one way to determine if a carpet shampoo is safe enough for your rugs. An individual should try the cleaner in a small area of the rug first. Blot the spot with a cotton ball and the solution or use a cotton swab. Rub gently and blot dry for the best results. Leave the spot to sit for at least 24-hours. Then, check the spot for fading, bleeding, or discolored spots. If the rug remains vibrant and soft, then the cleaner is a good choice for your carpets.
How much square footage does a 64-ounce bottle cover
There are no real answers to this question. Each solution covers different amounts. For example, a two-times concentrated formula may cover twice as much floor as a single concentrate item. Highly soiled floors may take more applications to get clean. High suds formulas may require using less solution. Some cleaners use more solvents than others to do the same square footage.
Each cleaning machine is different. The type of carpet and the height of the pile makes a difference to your answer. The best thing we can advise is to try a moderately sized bottle when you first clean your carpets and see how far it goes.
Will the cleaner stain my carpet
Most of these cleaners are safe for use on a variety of materials. While we cannot guarantee that some items will not fade or discolor, these products should be user friendly for most flooring products. We always suggest trying a small bit of the cleaner in a hidden area before using it on the entire item. This tip goes for carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
Is this a non-toxic item
Most of the carpet cleaners on our list are non-toxic. Some are free of phosphates and break down easily in the environment. You can read our individual product reviews to find out which items are the best for use around animals or pets. Biodegradable and water-based solutions are often the best ones to consider for homes with pets or children. The manufacturers’ instructions will list whether the product is safe or non-toxic.
How To Apply Carpet Cleaning Products
Step one. Is the carpet cleaner suitable for your stain? Many carpet spot cleaners contain active ingredients such as reducing agents, bleaches, and solvents that may not be suitable for your particular stain. However, if you do wish to continue with a carpet cleaner, there are some general rules you should follow.
Step two: dilute the cleaner. To reduce the risk of damaging your carpet, dilute the cleaning fluid by adding a teaspoon of the cleaner to a bowl of warm water. If you’re using a spray application, don’t use too much.
Step three: patch test. Before applying any solution to your carpet, you should always do a patch test. Choose an out of the way area of the carpet, and apply a small amount. Wait a few minutes to ensure that problems don’t develop.
Step four: neutralize a bleach reaction. If the solution appears to be lightening or bleaching the carpet, rinse it out immediately by spraying the area with clean water, and then dabbing it dry. Do not continue; call a professional.
Step five. If your carpet turns brown after the solution has been applied, this is an alkaline reaction and will need to be neutralized. Add several splashes of white vinegar to a bowl of warm water, and dab the solution onto the stain using a white cloth. Do not continue; call a professional.
Step six. If there are no adverse reactions, you may continue. Dampen the whole cloth with the solution, and lay it over the stain. Handy hint. Use the bottom of the spoon to work the liquid into the carpet without damaging the fibers. Work from the outside in, to prevent the stain from spreading.
Step seven: check for dye leakage. Look at the cloth you are using to massage the solution into the carpet. If there is any dye from the carpet itself, stop applying the solution immediately. Rinse the stain with clean water and call a professional.
Step eight: remove the solution promptly. Don’t leave the solution on for any longer than it suggests on the label as it increases the chances that the active ingredients may damage the carpet. You must rinse all of the solutions from your carpet as any remnants will attract dirt. Spray the area with clean water, and then blot it up with kitchen towel. If you do not have a spray bottle, you can dab on water using a sponge. If any stain remains, don’t tackle it again, it’s time to call in a professional. However, if you follow these steps, you should avoid any damage to your carpet while using carpet spot cleaners.
Video Tutorial: How To Deep Clean Carpet
What is the best homemade carpet cleaning solution
Bob Vila gives readers an excellent general cleaning mixture for using to spot clean or in shampooers. You will need a few common ingredients for the cleaning solution. You can purchase these items from the grocery store, online, or a discount dollar store. The mixture requires dishwashing liquid, an Oxicleaner, hot water, and a general household cleaner. You can use fabric softener if you want to leave your carpets feeling soft when they dry.
Additionally, you will need a large bowl or container to mix up the cleaning solution, protective gloves, and a container to put the carpet cleaner into like a spray bottle or tank from your carpet shampooer. You will want to mix two tablespoons of the dish detergent, one-quarter cup of the all-purpose cleaner, a gallon of hot water, and one scoop of the Oxicleaner. If you add the fabric softener, then it only takes one teaspoon.
Mix all of the ingredients well, and add them to the container for cleaning. Put the mix in the machine or cleaning bottle, and apply it to the carpet while the mixture is hot. Remember to remove as much water as possible to prevent saturating the material.
What is the best way to clean carpets
Usually, the most hygienic method of carpet cleaning is with a steam machine. These tools spray cleaning solution directly on the carpet. Then, they suck up the water and dirt, so that the user can remove it. The floor will then need to dry with windows open or a fan to prevent mold growth.
People who do not have access to a steam cleaner can use a shampooer. These tools clean the carpet the same way, but without the heat. They spray the water and cleaner on the fibers and let the user pull up the dirt and moisture. The primary difference is there is no steam, which is what kills most germs. Hot water often gets out tough stains better than a shampooer with warm or room temperature solutions.
Another method of cleaning rugs and carpets is by spot cleaning. Sometimes, we only need to remove a stain from a small area. Instead of dragging out a huge cleaner or steam machine for these jobs, it is advisable to use a rag to blot up the mess.
Then, you can apply a small bit of cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Sop up the liquid with another clean towel or rag and fluff dry. You can also lay a layer of paper towels on the stain and put a book or something flat on the towels to soak up the excess water.
Can I clean my carpet with vinegar and baking soda
You may want to use these items separately to clean carpet messes unless you apply them by hand. Baking soda is an excellent deodorizing medium. All you have to do is sprinkle it on the carpet and leave it to sit for about 15 minutes. Then, vacuum up the powder, and your floors may smell and look better.
To remove stains, a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water may be all you need to get out the mess. You can put this mixture in a spray or squeeze bottle to apply it to the floor. You might want to apply it a little at a time to ensure you do not saturate the flooring. To remove the vinegar, pressing a clean towel on the stain for a few minutes will work.
A better mixture for removing stains from the carpet is baking soda and peroxide. Sprinkle a generous amount of powder on the stain. Mix half a cup of three percent peroxide with a teaspoon of plain dish liquid. Pour the liquid over the baking soda and use a brush to rub it into the stain. Open a window, and let the mix dry. Once the stain is dry, use a vacuum to suck up the solution.
With any carpet cleaner, you may want to apply it to a small spot in an area that most people will not see. If the solution fades or damages your carpet in any way, then you can avoid applying it to the stain and find a different solution.
Does vinegar ruin carpet
Using straight vinegar on any surface can damage it. This liquid is an acid that will cause minor damage to fibers without rinsing it. One of the biggest side effects of using vinegar on the carpet is fading. This material can lighten some carpet dyes and cause discoloration when the solution dries.
How can I naturally freshen up my carpet
Applying a light dusting of baking soda and vacuuming it up is one of the most natural ways to keep carpets looking and smelling good. Some people use a little essential oil in the baking soda. To use this method, you can add the powder and oil mix to the carpet the night before and sweep it up in the morning or 24 hours later. This application will give you the best results.
It takes about 30 drops of essential oil to a half a cup of baking soda. You can multiply the solution to get the amount you need for your size carpet. The best way to apply this mixture is with an old spice bottle or shaker.
How do you make old carpet smell good
Old fabric can smell better using the same baking soda and essential oil method as above. If you do not have essential oils, then another idea is to use baby powder. You may want to go light on the baby powder because it can cake up in the fibers and become difficult to remove.
Additionally, talc powder is so fine it gets in the air quickly and makes it hard to breathe. You can mix the baby powder with a heavier item like flour or cornstarch to weigh it down. The best method is using it with baking soda. You can apply it several times to get rid of stubborn smells.
The final word about cleaning agents for carpets
Picking the right cleaning agent for your needs might take a little practice. Some products are better for allergies than others. Some cleaners might get out grease or blood better than another. We suggest checking out our comparison chart and individual reviews to figure out the best products to try first.