The Best Carpet Shampoos in 2022

By
Jeneva Aaron
Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.
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Updated May 2, 2022

Get your carpets in a lather to keep them clean

Get your carpets in a lather to keep them clean

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Best Carpet Cleaning Shampoos
It’s difficult to keep your carpets and area rugs free of odors and stains. You can vacuum often, but carpet fibers absorb and attract dirt and bacteria easily.

But opt for one of the best carpet shampoos, and you’ll be able to remove tough stains and unpleasant smells.

With a liquid or powder solution and machine cleaner, cleaning carpet is quick and easy and you’ll be left with freshened floors.

We’ll tell you what you need to look out for when buying a carpet shampoo. And you can read our roundup reviews to pick the best carpet cleaner solution that’s right for your home.

Our Top Picks

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Best Carpet Shampoos of 2022 
Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover, 32ozBest Overall

Folex Instant

Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover, 32oz

  • Works well in carpet cleaning machines

  • No harsh smell

  • Refill available

Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo, Concentrated Machine Cleaner Solution, 64oz Formula, AH30924, WhiteBest Budget

Hoover Renewal

Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo, Concentrated Machine Cleaner Solution, 64oz Formula, AH30924, White

  • Fresh smell

  • Good value for money

  • Versatile

Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo, Deep-Cleaning Stain and Odor RemoverBest Eco-Friendly

Nature's Miracle

Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo, Deep-Cleaning Stain and Odor Remover

  • Works well on pet stains

  • Prevents future stains

  • Leaves carpet fibers soft and clean


OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner, 64 ozBest for Machine Cleaners

OxiClean

OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner, 64 oz

  • Fresh odor

  • Ideal for large areas

  • Efficient against pet odors


Resolve Carpet Cleaner Powder, 18 oz Bottle, For Dirt & Stain RemovalBest Powder

Resolve Powder

Resolve Carpet Cleaner Powder, 18 oz Bottle, For Dirt & Stain Removal

  • Suitable with wool carpets

  • Inexpensive price

  • Efficient against pet urine

Bissell Professional Pet Urine Elimator with Oxy and Febreze Carpet Cleaner Shampoo 48 OunceBest for Pet Stains

Bissell Pet Pro

Bissell Professional Pet Urine Elimator with Oxy and Febreze Carpet Cleaner Shampoo 48 Ounce

  • Fresh smell

  • Easy to use

  • Removes pet stains from furniture

Reviews

1. Best Overall : Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover

Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover

Folex promises that their product is “The Solution To Your Stain”! It’s easy to spray and will work quickly to get rid of tough stains on your carpets.

This quality carpet stain remover is designed specifically to work on stains that have really set into your carpeted floors.
The surfactant base loosens and removes a variety of stain types. This includes grease, oil, wine, ink, cosmetics, blood, and dirt.

This cleaning solution is water-based and contains no VOC chemicals, petroleum, or solvents. So you can be sure it’s safe to use around children and pets.

Plus, it has no odor. So there’ll be no lingering chemical-y smell once you’ve finished your carpet cleaning.

PROS

  • Number 1 Best Seller on Amazon in their Household Carpet Cleaners
  • Users said it worked well in carpet cleaning machines
  • Customers said they liked that there was no harsh smell left behind
  • Option to buy in bulk and/or buy larger bottles to refill the spray bottle, so less plastic waste

CONS

  • Some feedback suggests that the area cleaned remained quite wet and took a while to dry completely
  • Some customers did say that certain stains came back again once the carpet was dry

Additional Specs

Type Spray
Volume 32 ounces
Usage Grease, oil, ink, food and drink, blood, rust, dirt

2. Best Budget : Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo

Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo

You can invest in a high-quality carpet shampoo without having to spend a fortune. Get your carpets clean with this affordable Hoover detergent.

Customer feedback on Amazon speaks for itself – 4.6 stars from over 17,000 customer ratings. This indicates that you won’t be disappointed with this inexpensive product!

Simply dilute this solution, which is a super concentrated formula designed to tackle really tough stains.

Plus, it can be used in Bissell and Rug Doctor cleaners as well as in Hoover’s own machines. And it’s made in the US and has a subtle linen scent to leave your home smelling fresh.

PROS

  • Customers liked the fresh, but not overpowering, smell that was left after cleaning
  • Most users felt for the size and price of the bottle. It offered very good value for money
  • Feedback suggests that it works very well at cleaning carpets when used in a carpet cleaning machine
  • Offers versatility as can also be used on your furniture and in your car

CONS

  • Some users said that it was good for general cleaning, but not as good if you want to give your carpets a real deep clean
  • A few said that it took a lot of water to rinse the product out of their carpets

Additional Specs

Type Liquid
Volume 64 ounces
Usage Dirt, mud, grime

3. Best Eco-Friendly : Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo

Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo

Opt for Nature’s Miracle carpet cleaner and use a shampoo that is safe for you, your family, and the environment. It’s water-based but also a professional strength solution and a low foaming formula.

Nature’s Miracle has a special bio-enzymatic odor-locking technology that eliminates odors left in your home by pet accidents. And the surfactant agents will work to break down and remove stains that are both new and old.

You can pop this non toxic stain remover into your carpet cleaner or steamer. Or if you’d prefer, you can use it directly to clean up on-the-spot messes.

PROS

  • Customers said it works really well on pet stains and as a pet odor remover
  • And many found that pets didn’t return to the same spots to urinate after they’d used Nature’s Miracle cleaner. So it also prevented future stains
  • Consumers were happy with the very adorable price and that you can buy a box of 4 bottles at a time
  • Carpet fibers left clean and soft after use

CONS

  • Some were disappointed with the limited instructions, which don’t say how much you should use in a carpet cleaning machine
  • Can take a while to take effect – some said smells needed several hours or days before disappearing completely

Additional Specs

Type Liquid
Volume 256 ounces (4 x 64)
Usage Pet stains, odor remover

4. Best for Machine Cleaners : OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner

OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner

Pour this OxiClean carpet shampoo into any carpet cleaning machine and your carpets will look like new! Its deep cleaning action will make sure that dirt and stains are effectively removed from your carpet fibers.

You only need to vacuum (and if you want, pretreat with a spray) first. Then the machine and this formula will get to work on even tough stains like red wine and coffee.

This concentrated solution needs to be diluted before use. So this large bottle will last you a long time.

Plus, the brand supports the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation. So you know you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by choosing this carpet shampoo.

PROS

  • Reviewers said that it left their carpets looking brighter and like new
  • Feedback suggests that it’ll leave your room smelling fresh after use, with an odor that most customers actually liked
  • Ideal if you have larger areas of dirty carpet to clean
  • Customers said that it eliminated pet odors

CONS

  • A few users complained about it fading/lightening their carpets – always remember to test a small area first
  • Some said that the bottle was damaged or had leaked on arrival – they felt that the bottle wasn’t sturdy enough

Additional Specs

Type Liquid
Volume 64 ounces
Usage Dirt, food, wine, coffee

5. Best Carpet Powder Cleaner : Resolve Carpet Cleaner Powder

Resolve Carpet Cleaner Powder

Pick up this carpet shampoo, which comes from the number 1 Carpet Cleaning Brand* . It’s a moist powder that tackles even ground-in-dirt.

You only need to let it work for 20 minutes on your carpets and area rugs. Then, vacuum up any residue. And you’ll be removing 5 times more dirt and 3 times more pet hair than if you’d only used your carpet vacuum cleaner.

Resolve products are designed specifically to be used around pets. They’ll get rid of their nasty messes, and discourage pets from re-soiling – so you don’t need to worry about repeat stains!

*: (per Nielsen data from the latest 52 weeks of sales).

PROS

  • Feedback suggests that it works well on wool carpets
  • Offers value for money due to large size and inexpensive price
  • Users said that it really does work as advertised in getting rid of pet urine and other messes, plus deodorizing pet odors
  • As it’s in a powder form, customers said that they didn’t have to get their carpets very wet. And they didn’t wait a long time for them to dry

CONS

  • A few reviewers said that the residue powder left behind clogged up their vacuum cleaners
  • Some felt that it took a lot of time to follow the whole cleaning process with this product – they found other options offered more quick cleaning

Additional Specs

Type Powder
Volume 18 ounces
Usage Pet messes, dirt, odors

5. Best for Pet Stains : Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator and Carpet Cleaner Shampoo

Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator and Carpet Cleaner Shampoo

Pet owners should opt for this professional-grade carpet shampoo from Bissell. Put some in your upright pet vacuum cleaner and use it to give your floors a deep clean and get rid of unpleasant pet stains.

This solution has 3 times more active ingredients than its leading competitors. The oxy element works hard to tackle tough stains. And the Stain Remover will prevent future stains from happening!

Plus, it contains biodegradable ingredients and has no heavy metals, phosphates, or dyes.

And if you buy this carpet shampoo, you’re helping homeless pets through Bissell’s Pet Foundation.

RELATED: Best Carpet Cleaners for Pets

PROS

  • Lots of customers say that it’s a “must-have” for pet owners
  • Many liked the fresh smell of this carpet shampoo – Febreeze’s linen and sky scent
  • Feedback suggests it’s really easy to use – just put in your vacuum cleaner – and no pretreating or work afterward is needed
  • Customers said that it also worked well on removing pet stains from furniture

CONS

  • Only works with upright vacuums – so if you don’t have this type of cleaner, another option might be best
  • Some users said that pet urine odors still remained after use

Additional Specs

Type Liquid
Volume 48 ounces
Usage Pet messes, pet odors, food and drink, blood grass

What To Look For In a Carpet Shampoo

Let’s see what you should be looking out for when buying a carpet shampoo.

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Types of Carpet Shampoos

What types of stains do you need to clean? Different types of carpet cleaner are good for different stains – grease/food/pet/etc. – so think about this before picking a product.

There are 3 potent cleaning agents found in most carpet shampoos. Depending on your stain types, each agent will work to tackle different types of marks.

  • Alkaline cleaners contain chemicals that are good at breaking down protein-based food stains. They’ll also dissolve fats, grease, and oils.
  • Carpet cleaners that contain solvents are also ideal for getting rid of grease and oily dirt stains.
  • Detergent cleaners like this Carpet Miracle shampoo have surfactants or “surface active agents”. These help to get rid of marks by bonding water to the dirt or grease, and then it’s broken down and washed away.

You might also see some carpet shampoos that have enzymes. These will also help to break down stains on carpets and are also good at eliminating odors – handy if you have pets!

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Forms

Think about how easy you want your carpet cleaner to be to use. Different forms are applied in different ways, and some are better when used with carpet cleaning machines.

  • Liquid carpet shampoos are great if you have a carpet cleaning machine already. But some you can also apply directly onto your carpets.
    You remove the carpet cleaner with some fresh water and a cloth or sponge. Most liquid carpet shampoos don’t foam much and need to be diluted with water first – check the bottle details.
  • A powder or dry shampoo can be sprinkled straight onto your carpet or upholstery. You then need to brush it so that the electrically charged particles that pick up dirt and smells are activated.
    Next, vacuum up any leftover residue. This type of carpet cleaner works just as well as liquids at eliminating odors and cleaning stubborn organic marks, like those left from pets or blood.
  • A spray or foam carpet cleaner solution is ideal for targeting specific areas. You simply need to spray the solution onto your carpet, leave it for the recommended amount of time, scrub the area, and finally vacuum.
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Ingredients

Look at what ingredients the carpet cleaning solution has. It’ll be either mostly chemically-based or naturally-based.

Chemicals

Carpet shampoos that contain chemicals will have strong ingredients. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says that some of these harsh chemicals can cause asthma, birth defects, or even cancer (1).

And manufacturers of chemical cleaning products don’t need to list their ingredients on the packaging or make them public, as food manufacturers do. So you might not be able to see exactly what’s in it.

But, chemical cleaners are usually more efficient at getting your carpets clean. So if you do opt for a chemical-based shampoo, look out for the “Safer Choice” label – this means that every ingredient has reached strict safety criteria.

If you can’t see this label, we suggest that you always wear gloves and a mask when using potent cleaning agents.

In addition, keep an eye out for carpet shampoos that contain “oxy” ingredients. These can alter the dye in your carpet, so always check with the carpet manufacturer first – otherwise, you might void your warranty!

Natural

Carpet shampoos that are “natural” will have chemicals that come from natural resources such as corn, rather than from petroleum.

These ingredients are from renewable resources. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re better for your health or the environment.

And, you can’t always tell whether they’re safer or not, unless you know exactly what the ingredients and their effects are (2).

Plus, some natural ingredients can unfortunately damage your carpets! Baking soda, for example, doesn’t get rid of stains but absorbs moisture.

So it’ll stick to your carpet fibers and scratch them due to its abrasive quality when there’s traffic over your floors. And as it’s water-soluble, while cleaning it’ll disappear, but then reappear as a white film once your carpet is dry.

As a result, your carpet color might be lightened and look less like new. Therefore, always check labels for baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and avoid them for carpet stain removal.

You should also avoid products that contain calcium carbonate, sodium silicate, or hydrated silica.

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Carpet Compatibility

Check what material your carpets and rugs are made of, whether it be polyester or natural wool or silk. Different carpet cleaning solutions will be needed for different carpet types.

So you need to check the labels on the carpet shampoo before purchasing. Most will list the types of carpet fibers and fabrics they can be used on, or at least should tell you what they aren’t suitable for.

Most commercial products are compatible with manmade carpet and rug fibers. And most are fine for woolen and silk materials.

If you have carpet fibers that are plant-based, such as woven sisal, grass, or bamboo, you’ll need to contact the carpet manufacturer. They should tell you what is safe to use, and provide good care instructions.

A lot of shampoos will only be suitable for cleaning dirty carpets. But if you want a more versatile cleaning solution, pick a multipurpose product that you can also use on your furniture, in the car, etc.

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Carpet Cleaner Compatibility

Consider whether you want your carpet shampoo to be compatible with your carpet cleaning machine. It needs to be suitable for machine use, and your machine brand specifically.

So you can check what brands of carpet cleaning machines it can be used in on the label. If brands aren’t listed, make sure you use the solution according to the manufacturer’s directions.

For example, never use more carpet shampoo than the label says. This could damage your carpet cleaner!

And if the shampoo isn’t compatible with your machine, you might also risk damaging your carpets. So always carefully read the instructions before using the product.

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CRI Seal of Approval

Finally, check to see that the product has a seal of approval (SOA) from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).

The SOA tells you that the cleaning product has been rigorously tested. It looks at 7 performance attributes, including how well it removes stains, changes the surface appearance, and pH level.

The CRI has full lists of those solutions that have their approval. And it also lists those that they’ve certified as “green” (3).

FAQs

Does Shampooing Damage Your Carpet?

No, using carpet shampoo won’t damage your carpets. In fact, the CRI recommends that you do shampoo your carpets.

And, if you don’t give your carpets a thorough clean, you risk getting buildups of dirt, soil, mold. And nasty toxins.

If you don’t regularly get rid of these, your carpets might be ruined. Plus, you’ll start to notice wear and tear, discoloration, and some unpleasant odors too.

How Often Should You Shampoo Carpets?

The recommendation from the CRI is that you should have your carpets professionally cleaned around every 12 to 18 months (3).

Depending on how busy your household is – pets, children, etc. – you might need to do this more often. Some of your carpets will be in high traffic areas and need extra care.

For a professional clean, you’d normally need to contact a cleaning company. But, you can rent or buy a commercial carpet cleaning machine to save some money.

Using one of these along with a carpet shampoo will keep your carpets in good shape between professional deep cleans.

How Do You Use A Liquid Carpet Shampoo?

Check the label for the manufacturer’s guidance, as each liquid carpet shampoo is different. See whether it’s for use on its own or in a carpet cleaner.

  • For use on its own: normally you apply it directly to your carpet. You then need to gently agitate it (to get it to work!) with your fingers or a brush. And finally, blot clean with a microfiber cloth.
  • For use in a machine: shake the bottle before use. And make sure that you test it on an inconspicuous area before applying it to your whole carpet. If it discolors your floors, you know not to use it!

Follow the carpet cleaner’s recommended instructions for the correct detergent to water ratio.

How Do You Use A Dry Carpet Shampoo?

Again, check the label of the dry shampoo to see how it’s best applied.

  • In general, you should first vacuum your entire carpet thoroughly.
  • Then, sprinkle the powder over any visible stains. Always check with the manufacturer about how much you should use.
  • Next, use a soft bristle brush to distribute the dry carpet shampoo throughout the carpet fibers.
  • Keep brushing until all the dirt disappears.
  • You should wait for at least 20 minutes for the powder to dry.
  • Finally, vacuum your carpet again.

Carpet Shampoos Comparison Chart

ProductTypeVolumeUsageWeight Dimensions
Folex Instant Carpet Spot RemoverSpray 32 ouncesGrease, oil, ink, food and drink, blood, rust, dirt2.15 Pounds3.25 x 3.25 x 10.5 inches
Hoover RenewalLiquid64 ouncesUsage4 Pounds3.75 x 5.75 x 10.64 inches
Nature’s Miracle Carpet ShampooLiquid256 ounces (4 x 64)Pet stains, odor remover4 Pounds10.79 x 10.75 x 10.08 inches
OxiClean Large Area Carpet CleanerLiquid64 ouncesDirt, food, wine, coffee4 Pounds3.69 x 5 x 10.33 inches
Resolve Carpet Cleaner PowderPowder18 ouncesPet messes, dirt, odors1.13 Pounds4.17 x 4.17 x 9.25 inches
Bissell Pet ProLiquid48 ouncesPet messes, pet odors, food and drink, blood grass3.52 pounds 2.7 x 6 x 11 inches
Jump to the Full Carpet Shampoos Reviews

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