Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite carpet cleaning solutions being produced today. We’ve included one each from the leading carpet cleaner manufacturers (Bissell and Hoover), plus a popular third-party formula that we think is an effective, eco-friendly alternative.
Best Carpet Cleaning Solution Reviews (2018)
Hoover CleanPlus Concentrated Solution Formula Carpet Cleaner & Deodorizer
This Hoover detergent is our go-to recommendation for anyone who owns and operates a Hoover carpet cleaner. It works well, isn’t too expensive, and is concentrated so that you can get more cleaning action out of each bottle. It’s septic-safe and has a decent “fresh linen” scent that keeps carpets smelling clean for quite some time. We technically think Bissell’s formula below is better, but we include this Hoover recommendation because using another manufacturer’s detergent will void the warranty on your Hoover and because we suspect most of the difference is down to the Bissell machines, as opposed to the solution. Still, we do think that Bissell’s detergents do a noticeably better job on tough stains that require pre-treating. That’s yet another reason to choose their machines, as we advise in our reviews!
Bissell 2X Pet Stain & Odor Portable Machine Formula
This Bissell detergent is our recommendation to anyone running a Bissell carpet cleaner. It’s specifically made for folks with pets, but we think that everyone deserves that extra cleaning power to deal with tenacious stains and smells. While this is certainly a chemical-y formula, we appreciate that it meets the EPA’s new Safer Choice guidelines for relatively non-toxic household cleaners. It’s biodegradable and as safe/non-toxic as you’ll find from the major brands. Despite its green credentials, it also cleans with the best of them! It’s hard to distinguish the detergent’s performance vs. Hoover’s since we also have to take into account the different companies’ machines, but based on pre-treating performance we’re inclined to give Bissell’s the edge. However, we do prefer the Sunny & Honey below once your machine is out of the warranty period and you can use whatever detergent you like.
Sunny & Honey Carpet Miracle: Cleaner & Deodorizer Solution
When it comes to keeping your carpets looking, feeling, and smelling fresh, the detergent you use is a lot more important than most people think. While it’s a popular “hack” among budget-minded folks to use half-doses of detergents or to skip detergents entirely, the best carpet shampoos/solutions make a significant difference in the quality of the results you’ll see from your cleaning.
While you’re not supposed to use any detergents that aren’t made by your machine manufacturer (or you risk voiding the warranty), we wanted to include a third-party carpet solution here. Why? Well, warranty policies are pretty short on these machines anyway, so there will be quite a few years where you’re operating on your own terms. At that point, there’s no reason not to use a formula like this, which we have no reason to think will gum up any brand’s machine. The Sunny & Honey is also a great alternative for folks who are health-conscious and want to avoid the toxic, chemical-heavy detergents that are produced by the major brands. We actually prefer it for that reason, though we can’t recommend it during your warranty period. It cleans just as well as the other detergents, if not better, without any gross artificial fragrances or harmful chemicals. It’s safer for kids, pets, and the environment.
Stick With The Brand That Makes Your Machine
At least while you’re under warranty, that is. Most manufacturer warranties stipulate that you have to use their own detergent in order to keep your warranty coverage. It’s annoying, but not worth fighting. Bissell and Hoover both make very effective detergents and they know their machines particularly well.
We’ve included one carpet cleaning solution above that’s not by any of the main machine manufacturers. Using it will in all likelihood void your warranty, at least if you’re discovered! Still, if you’re operating past the warranty end date, you can use whatever you like. Plus, as long as you’re using something that works well from a reputable brand, we can’t imagine why your detergent would be the problem. There are a lot of ways a carpet cleaner can break down, but the problems are rarely anything to do with the cleaning solution you use.
Don’t Bother With Niche Formulas
There are a lot of different detergents available, even from the same manufacturer. You’ll find products that are sold as pet-specific, as odor-reducing, and so on. What we’ve found is that a good carpet solution will work well whether or not you have pets, and for any specific concern. In most cases, those “specific” products aren’t any different from the standard formulas. The only real difference is the higher price!
Take The Time To Learn Cleaning Techniques
A carpet cleaner isn’t the be all and end all of cleaning soft flooring. There are some messes that require different techniques or pretreatment. Do yourself a favour and learn how to clean stains, smells, and smears effectively so that you can get the most out of the machine you use.
Don’t Try And Cheat
A lot of people seem to have the impression that using a carpet cleaning solution in a machine is a scam of some kind. These people will tell you that you’ll get just as much cleaning done using water as you would using solution. Don’t believe it. Now, there are certainly a few scenarios in which it makes sense to do a pass with just water. You should always run a pass with just water after doing a thorough cleaning, in order to make sure you rinse all the detergent out of the flooring fibers. You can also do this as a low-cost maintenance cleaning between your big monthly runs. Still, detergents make a big difference. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t bother reviewing them at all!