How To Choose The Best Carpet Cleaner Shampoo?

A carpet cleaner shampoo deep cleans your carpet to remove tough stains, odours and dirt. Most carpet cleaner shampoos are meant for use with a carpet-cleaning machine.

In this buying guide, we review the top five carpet cleaner shampoo you can buy online. But first, some tips on how to choose the best shampoo for your carpet.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner Shampoo

A. Ideal for Both Handwashing and Machine Washing

Most of the carpet cleaner shampoos you’ll come across are for use with a carpet cleaner. You add the shampoo to the water reservoir in the machine.

Check if the shampoo is also safe for handwashing. This is helpful when you only need to clean stains and small dirt spots. Instead of spending a lot of time cleaning the entire carpet, you can spot-clean the affected area using the shampoo.

B. Stain and Odour Removal

Check how good the shampoo is at removing stains, particularly stubborn stains. Generally, pricier concentrated shampoo formulas tackle stains more effectively.

With cheaper shampoos, you may need to wash the carpet several times before the stain disappears.

In addition to stain removal, check if the shampoo can also get rid of odours. A shampoo that gets rid of smells will leave your carpet smelling fresh and clean. It’ll also be helpful when dealing with a stain caused by a pet or child accident.

C. Stain Protection

A good carpet cleaner shampoo should not only remove stains from your carpet, but also protect it from future stains.

Look for a carpet cleaner that shields your carpet from further soiling and staining. Of course, it cannot protect your carpet forever but it’ll reduce how often you need to clean your carpet.

D. Fragrance

Check if the shampoo leaves a nice fragrance on the carpet. Most do. Make sure the fragrance is not too strong to the point of being nauseating.

Note: You can also have your own fragrance by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the water in the carpet cleaner.

E. Price

The price of carpet cleaner shampoo depends on the amount of shampoo in the bottle and its concentration.

For instance, the BISSELL Cotton Fresh Formula (our first pick below), comes in a 1.5L bottle but costs more than some 5L shampoos. That’s because it’s highly concentrated, thus packs more cleaning power than larger shampoos.

If you are on a budget, you can find 5L carpet shampoos for under £15 that work great. You may need to clean two or three times to get rid of particularly tough stains but they work well for odours and everyday dirt.

Best Carpet Cleaner Shampoos: Top 5 Reviews

1. BISSELL Cotton Fresh Formula, 1.5l


With its 2x concentration formula, Bissell cotton fresh is the best shampoo for cleaning carpets with tough stains and odours.

The shampoo comes in a 1.5L bottle, but because it is concentrated, Bissell says it is equivalent to a 3-litre bottle shampoo. Add 60ml of the shampoo for every three litres of water.

Bissell cotton fresh formula works with Bissell carpet cleaners as well as any other carpet cleaning machine. You can also use it to hand clean the carpet; just mix the shampoo with water in a bucket.

Stain removal oxygen technology in the shampoo works well whether you use a carpet cleaner or machine wash.

The Bissell formula doesn’t just clean your carpet. The shampoo contains Febreze freshness that tackles unpleasant odours and leaves your carpet smelling fresh.

That’s not all. The Bissell shampoo also contains Scotchgard Protector that protects your carpet from further stains and soiling.

The only downside of the Bissell cotton fresh shampoo is that it’s more expensive than other carpet cleaner shampoo. But that’s because it is more concentrated, thus has a better cleaning performance.

What we like about it:

  • Powerful concentrated shampoo.
  • Easily tackles stains, dirt and odours.
  • Leaves carpet smelling fresh.

2. Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent, 4l


If you are looking for a cheaper carpet shampoo, we recommend the Rug Doctor carpet detergent. You get a 4-litre bottle for less than the price of the 1.5l Bissell shampoo.

If you have a Rug Doctor Wide Track carpet cleaner, this is the best detergent for it. But you can use it with any carpet cleaning machine.

Rug Doctor carpet detergent clean stains, gets rid of staleness and odours and protects your carpet from further staining.

Rug Doctor is not as concentrated as Bissell but it cleans almost as effectively. Most customers say they only need to clean once to get rid of stains. But for serious soiling and stubborn stains, it’s a good idea to pre-treat the affected area.

What we like about it:

  • Good value for money.
  • Excellent cleaning and stain-removal performance.
  • Leaves carpet smelling fresh.

3. Vax Ultra Plus Carpet Cleaning Solution, 1.5l


Vax Ultra Plus carpet cleaning solution goes well with the Vax carpet cleaner. But you can use the solution in any carpet cleaner including Bissell and Rug Doctor. Just follow the dosing instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Vax Ultra Plus lifts stains, neutralizes bad smells and revitalizes your carpet to look and feel like new. It has a mild and pleasant rose burst fragrance that gives the carpet a fresher feel.

The Vax Ultra Plus shampoo has a feature called CarpetGuard. It is a protective feature that prevents re-soiling and staining after you’ve cleaned the carpet.

What we like about it:

  • Effective on stains, dirt and odours.
  • Safe for woollen carpets.
  • Pleasant rose fragrance.

4. Pro-Kleen Pro+ Carpet Shampoo and Upholstery Cleaning Solution, 5l


Pro-Kleen Pro+ is another good choice if you are looking for a budget carpet shampoo. The 5-litre bottle is very affordable and is highly effective at removing stains and dirt.

However, unlike super concentrated cleaners like Bissell, it is important to vacuum your carpet and pre-treat stains to get the best results.

For pet owners, the Pro-Kleen Pro+ eliminates odours and neutralizes bacteria in the carpet.

The Pro-Kleen Pro+ shampoo is safe for use in all carpet cleaning machines. You can also use it when hand cleaning stains and dirt spots.

What we like about it:

  • Good value for money.
  • Leaves carpets looking and feeling like new.
  • Gets rid of odours.
  • Pleasant flowery fragrance.

5. Dr. Beckmann 2x Carpet Stain Remover with Cleaning applicator, 650ml


For spot-cleaning and removing stains, we recommend the Dr. Beckmann carpet stain remover. It’s perfect for keeping your carpet stain-free in between deep cleanings.

Dr. Beckmann comes with a cleaning applicator that doubles up as a brush to make it easier to remove stains.

The cleaner is highly concentrated so be careful how much you apply on a spot. Too much could damage carpet fibres.

Dr. Beckmann stain remover comes in a 650ml bottle. We do not recommend using it in a carpet cleaner machine as you’d need bottles of it. It’s formulated specifically for spot cleaning.

Dr. Beckmann also works great on upholstery, but don’t use it on leather, silk, velvet or suede. Also, do not use it on fabrics and upholstery that can be damaged by water.

What we like about it:

  • Perfect for spot cleaning carpets and upholstery.
  • Concentrated formulation lifts even tough stain.
  • Includes applicator and brush.