Last updated: August 5, 2021

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We always clean carpets and upholstered furniture with a hoover. This removes dust and coarse, loose dirt. But you can't get dirt out of the fibres and crevices with a hoover. This is where a carpet cleaner comes into play. It reliably removes stains, hair and dirt of all kinds from carpets, but also from other textile materials.

Since there are many different products on the market, it is difficult to find a suitable agent. For this reason, we would like to make the decision easier for you with this guide. Included are cleaning concentrates, carpet foam preparations, washing vacuum devices and other everyday helpers.




The most important facts in brief

  • A carpet cleaner thoroughly and effectively removes stains, dirt and food residues of various kinds on many materials. It is gentle on the fabric and all fabrics shine like new again.
  • There are many types of carpet cleaners. On the one hand, there are dry cleaners such as powder and wet cleaners such as cleaning foam, spray, shampoo and concentrate. For the use of shampoo and concentrate, you need a washing vacuum.
  • If you are only dealing with stains, you can use carpet cleaners in the form of sprays, foam and powder. However, if you want to clean the entire carpet or car seats, for example, it is worthwhile to use a steam cleaner or vacuum cleaner.

The Best Carpet Cleaner: Our Choices

Buying and review criteria for carpet cleaners

In order to find the perfect carpet cleaner, we have worked out some buying criteria that you should consider when buying. The criteria that help you compare carpet cleaners include:

The criteria are explained in more detail below.

Field of application

Carpet cleaners can clean far more materials than just carpets. A good carpet cleaner also cleans upholstered furniture, car seats and sofas and makes textiles look like new again. Depending on what is stated on the packaging, a carpet cleaner is therefore strictly speaking a textile cleaner. It is important to know for what purpose the cleaner is needed in order to buy the right one.

If it is only stains that need to be removed, carpet cleaners in the form of sprays, foam and powder can be used.

However, if you want to clean the entire carpet, a sofa or car seats, for example, it is worthwhile to use a steam cleaner or a vacuum cleaner. A steam cleaner is more likely to help you remove bacteria and mites from materials, while a washing vacuum is filled with detergent and removes stubborn stains and dirt deep into the pores.

Exposure time

Depending on how quickly you need to use the material again, such as a sofa, car seat or armchair, one type of application is more and one less suitable. If it has to be done quickly, carpet cleaning powder is the most suitable. This is rubbed into the material and dried briefly. Then vacuum and you can sit on the sofa, etc. again.

Carpet cleaning sprays and foam can also be vacuumed up after a short time. In the case of washing vacuums, cleaning agent is introduced deep into the fibres with pressure and then vacuumed up again shortly afterwards together with the loosened dirt. This means that the material is still damp after cleaning and must be dried.

Allow up to 24 hours for this, depending on the size of the material. In any case, it is important not to walk on carpets too soon after cleaning, for example, as this can cause dirt to get into the damp carpet and spread through the material more quickly.

Ecological factor

Products without chemicals are becoming more and more important. Especially if pets and allergy sufferers live at home, you should consider a biological carpet cleaner. Such cleaners do not contain irritants, are vegan and gentle to the material, colour and, above all, very pet-friendly.

Nevertheless, they penetrate deep into the fabric and have high cleaning power. They are usually also very suitable for sensitive fibres such as wool and silk. Organic carpet cleaners are made of plant-based ingredients.

Applicator

Carpet cleaners that are already cleaning agents and applicators in one are particularly helpful. For example, this can be a cleaning foam with a brush attachment. This saves you having to buy a suitable brush for cleaning. In the same way, you can buy washing vacuums to clean your materials.

These vacuums usually come with a large set of brushes from which you can choose the ideal brush for every need, both for small crevices and large surfaces. Only the cleaning agent usually has to be purchased separately.

Guide: Frequently Asked Questions about Carpet Cleaners Answered in Detail

In the following we want to answer the most important questions about carpet cleaners. In this way, we want to give you a deeper insight into the topic.

What is a carpet cleaner suitable for?

Carpet cleaner is not only suitable for removing dirt, hair, odours and stains from carpets. A regular, thorough cleaning of the carpet is worthwhile for hygienic reasons.

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With carpet cleaners, you can clean not only carpets, but also other textiles such as sofas. (Photo source: Erika Wittlieb/pixabay). (Photo source: Erika Wittlieb/pixabay)

Another advantage is that regular use keeps the individual fibres of the fabric supple over the long term rather than rigid and brittle: This also keeps the carpet fluffier and softer.

Normally, in addition to carpets, the following materials can also be cleaned with a carpet cleaner:

  • Upholstery
  • Sofas
  • Armchairs
  • Car seats
  • Mattresses
  • other fabrics

It should be noted, however, that carpets made of sisal, jute or hemp do not tolerate damp cleaning. Therefore, only dry cleaners (powder) should be used on these materials.

What types of carpet cleaners are there?

Carpet cleaners come in different varieties. The products differ in the way they are used and partly also in their suitability for cleaning various materials. Roughly, the following types can be distinguished:

  • Dry cleaner: This includes carpet cleaner in powder form. This variant is particularly suitable for small stains such as red wine stains on the sofa. The powder is applied to this spot and is best worked into the material with a scrubbing brush. After the specified reaction time, the residues are simply vacuumed off. A powder is particularly suitable for cleaning in between.
  • Wet cleaners: These include several carpet cleaners. One of them is carpet cleaning foam. The area to be cleaned is sprayed. The foam is then worked in with a brush or sponge. Afterwards, the agent should dry for a few hours and can later be vacuumed up with a hoover. A carpet cleaning spray has the same function. It is easy to apply and dispense.
  • Vacuum cleaner: A vacuum cleaner is particularly suitable for larger stains and for cleaning larger areas. Shampoo or concentrate diluted with water is poured into the vacuum cleaner. This variant is particularly economical. Such cleaners are good for stubborn or older stains.
  • Steam cleaners: These devices can kill bacteria and other germs. They can also be used to remove soiling such as grease, mould and other dirt particles. For stubborn stains, however, a washing vacuum cleaner is more suitable than a steam cleaner, as it only works with steam and no special liquid. It can also be seen that a distinction can be made between electric and non-electric carpet cleaners. As soon as a washing or steam vacuum cleaner is used, a cable connection is needed.

How much does a carpet cleaner cost?

Inexpensive carpet cleaners are those that are used for smaller areas and are usually sold in a convenient spray bottle. More expensive models are steam cleaners or washing vacuums. These are devices that can be used to remove dust and dirt from fabrics such as carpets.

Price range Available products
Low-priced Carpet cleaners as spray, foam, powder
Medium-priced Carpet cleaners as shampoo and concentrate, biological products
High-priced Steam cleaners and washing vacuums

You should think about the purpose for which you need a carpet cleaner and then choose a suitable model. Note that for a vacuum cleaner you will also need to buy a suitable filling agent.

How long should carpet cleaners be left to work?

How long you should leave the product to work depends on the type of application. Carpet cleaning foam and carpet cleaning spray are sprayed on, rubbed in and left to dry. After the foam has visibly dried after a few hours, the residues can be removed with a hoover. Carpet cleaning powder is easy to apply and can be vacuumed up again about 30 minutes later.

The great advantage of these products is that the carpet does not need to dry and can be walked on again immediately. With products that are worked into materials with a vacuum cleaner, the residual moisture must first dry before the carpet can be walked on. Check the individual application time indicated on the product.

Conclusion

There are many types of carpet cleaners. One is dry cleaners such as powder and wet cleaners such as cleaning foam, spray, shampoo and concentrate. For the use of shampoo and concentrate you need a washing vacuum. If you are only dealing with stains, you can use carpet cleaners in the form of sprays, foam and powder.

However, if you want to clean the entire carpet or car seats, for example, it is worthwhile to use a steam cleaner or vacuum cleaner. If pets and allergy sufferers live at home, you should consider an organic carpet cleaner. Such cleaners do not contain irritants, are vegan and gentle on materials, colours and, above all, very pet-friendly. Image source: Popov / 123rf

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