5 Best Carpet Stain Remover Options for Any Spill
A dark carpet stain can ruin an otherwise beautiful living space – or at least be a thorn in the side. Frustratingly, the more you rub the area and worry, the more such stains can become more noticeable – unless you have the right detergent. A well-formulated carpet cleaner won’t fade old and new stains to anything.
Here’s the hard part: choosing a product. First, read our guide to understanding the options and their considerations. Then go ahead for details on our most popular picks among the best carpet stain removers available today.
- BEST OVERALL: Of course it is cleaner carpet stain & odor cleaner
- BEST FOR GREASE SPOTS: Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover
- BEST FOR WINE STAINS: Chateau Spill red wine stain remover spray
- BEST FOR PET FAIRS: Bissell Professional Stain & Odor
- Also note: Puracy Professional Carpet Cleaner machine detergent
While many carpet cleaners produce miraculous results, the key is to find a formula that is gentle enough to keep pets, people, and the environment safe – without sacrificing cleaning power or stain effectiveness.
Type of stain
First of all, it is helpful to know the characteristics of these stains, which are especially difficult to remove without the right formula.
- Grease and oil stains consist of water-insoluble lipid molecules. In other words, water alone does not stir stains caused by grease. You need a product that contains surfactants. These are compounds that break the barrier between water and grease so detergents can penetrate dense fibers and remove oily stains.
- Dark red food stains are extremely stubborn thanks to natural tannins in wine, fruit juices, coffee, tea and much more. These dark colored organic molecules are often used as natural dyes, but can have the unintended effect of heavily coloring carpets and fabrics. So you want a detergent that can remove red stains without bleaching your carpet.
- Pet messes can lead to smelly, dangerous stains if not treated immediately. In addition to unpleasant smells, accidents with pets can create bacteria if they sit on your carpet for too long. You should remove as much of the contaminated substance as possible before treating the underlying stain. You should look for products that completely break down urine and feces into their basic elements and dissolve stains and odors.
Cut through the list of unspeakable ingredients by understanding what exactly makes a carpet cleaner work. Two active compounds and bioactive agents are included in various stain removers, each useful for different household purposes.
- Surfactants: If you’ve got a grease or oil stain, you’ll want a formula that contains strong surfactants. These compounds lower the surface tension of water. As a result, water molecules become “slippery” and are more likely to adhere to fat and oil molecules and lift them off your carpet or fabric surface. Surfactants can be produced synthetically in a laboratory or obtained from natural substances such as coconut and palm oil. Plant-based surfactants are becoming increasingly popular, especially in cleaning and personal care products, as they tend to be gentler and more environmentally friendly. Look for carpet cleaners that contain plant-based surfactants and use words like “biodegradable” and “non-toxic” on the label.
- Enzymes: Many carpet cleaners use enzymes to break down stains into their constituent parts. Enzymes are proteins that speed up biological processes like digestion and disintegration. These substances are especially helpful in combating organic stains including food, blood, and waste. Enzyme-based stain removers are designed to completely clean and destroy odors rather than masking unpleasant odors with strong fragrances and deodorants.
Safety and environmental friendliness
Many carpet cleaners contain a variety of heavy chemicals and synthetic compounds, including:
- Chlorine or peroxide
- Petroleum-based by-products
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
- CFC (chlorofluorocarbons)
- Propellants and aerosols
- optical brighteners
- artificial fragrances and deodorants
These chemicals combine to create a powerful cleansing formula that is effective but also harsh.
Fortunately, it is now possible to find carpet cleaners that are based almost entirely on herbal detergents, natural deodorants, and essential oils. Thanks to consumer advocacy and industry research, these safer, healthier products are starting to replace heavy chemical solutions and are proving to be extremely effective in some cases.
There are three basic methods of applying stain remover to your carpet. Which one you choose depends on the size and type of the stain, as well as the fiber and care instructions for your carpet.
- Spray on: Many stain removers are spray formulas. Nothing could be easier, right? Simply spray, wait a few seconds to a few minutes, then wipe off. In general, however, this is true. Read the product instructions carefully to make sure they are designed for your particular carpet or fiber surface. Delicate materials like wool, sisal and cotton may require special handling or special products.
- Sit and soak: Enzyme-based formulas often take much longer than chemical or surfactant-based formulas and may need to sit for several hours to several days to fully dissolve stains. Enzyme sprays can also require additional steps, e.g. B. Covering the treated area with a damp cloth to speed up the chemical reaction.
- Shampoo: While sprays will help on target areas, concentrated liquid laundry detergent is best for larger colored areas. These liquid formulas are also great for cleaning soiled carpets that can be tossed into your washing machine or hand washed. Read the product instructions again to determine how much water to add and what types of carpets it is for.
With all stain removers, whenever possible, you should patch the selected product first before spraying it over a larger, more visible area. Find an inch or two of carpet behind your furniture or under a rug. Apply the product according to the instructions and wipe clean. Make sure that no carpet paint is lifted and that no fiber damage is visible.
Our top picks
The following formulas meet the above standards for stain removal effectiveness thanks to the actives that are effective without heavy chemicals.
1. BEST OVERALL: Of course it’s cleaner carpet stain & odor cleaner
Of course, It’s Clean is a non-toxic carpet cleaner that is safe to use in homes with children and pets. Naturally It’s Clean is powered by plant enzymes and is pH neutral and biodegradable with no VOCs, propellants or artificial fragrances. The light lemon scent comes from an essential oil and the odor neutralizing formula breaks down stains and odors into their basic elements, helping to remove stains without discoloring the carpet or leaving a strong odor. It’s simple to use: shake it and then spray generously on the target surface. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe or scrub against stubborn stains with a sponge. Repeat if necessary.
2. BEST FOR GREASE SPOTS: Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover
Folex is an exceptional stain remover. This non-toxic formula contains no irritating VOCs, CFCs, strong odors or petroleum by-products, and the active ingredient – a water-based surfactant – can remove both dirt and grease. Folex is safe to use in children and pets as long as it is used as directed. This spray cleaner is also safe for color-fast carpets and upholstery that can be moistened with water.
3. Best for wine stains: Chateau Spill red wine stain removal spray
Chateau Spill Red Wine Stain Remover harnesses the power of science to rid your carpet of wine stains. The spray contains biodegradable surfactants – no peroxide, chlorine or phosphates – and was specially developed for the treatment of dark tannins in red wine. It’s easy to use – just spray and dab.
4. BEST FOR PET SHOWS: Bissell Professional Stain & Odor
Bissell’s Professional Stain & Odor Remover is an enzyme-based formula that is free from heavy metals, phosphates and colorants. The patented, odorless technology is designed to remove stubborn stains like motor oil, spaghetti sauce and even blood. Be patient and give the product time to work. After spraying, cover the stained area with a damp towel and let it sit for 12 to 72 hours.
5. ALSO NOTE: Puracy Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine Detergent
Puracy’s concentrated liquid is made from 99.5 percent natural ingredients, including grapefruit essential oil and zinc ricinoleate, a natural mineral-based odor remover. Designed for use with a carpet cleaning machine, the product cleans and deodorises most carpets. The formula is free from sulfates, phosphates, animal by-products, chlorine, bleach, dyes, petrochemicals, caustics, perfumes and optical brighteners. Best of all, this gentle, yet robust formula is sure to get your kids and pets in touch with them.