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The best carpet cleaners, chosen by Mumsnetters

Carpets are a much cosier option than laminate, but they're certainly not easy to keep clean - especially if you have pets or children in tow. We've done the hard work for you and found the very best carpet cleaners, as chosen by Mumsnetters.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jun 4, 2021

Dog lying on a carpet

Best carpet cleaning machines

1. Vax Rapid Power Plus Carpet Washer

Vax Rapid Power Plus Carpet Washer

Vax vacuum cleaners are very popular on our Talk boards and this cutting edge gadget shows they can handle deep-cleaning carpets too. Lightweight and easy to use, it gets into the most awkward corners. Just be prepared for a shock at the colour of the water when you've finished.

“I've got the £200+ Vax and it's fab. I just cleaned the carpets and stairs in a three-bedroom house today and was really pleased with the results. To store it takes up a little bit more room than my old Dyson hoover and I keep it in the shed.”

Buy now from Amazon

Related: The best laundry detergents »


2. Bissell Stain Pro 4

Bissell Stain Pro 4

Bissell carpet cleaners get rave reviews, and it's easy to see why. This model has four rotating brushes (hence the name) which remove dirt from deep within the carpet, removing stains as well as general dirt and grime. It's suitable for all upholstery, so it could be a good choice for your furniture too.

“Take my advice and buy a Bissell carpet cleaner. They're dead easy to use and you can clean your carpets whenever you want. Probably not as good as a professional cleaner, but I've been very impressed.”

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3. Vax Platinum Smartwash

Vax Platinum Smartwash

Mumsnetters have long hailed the Vax Rapid Power Plus as the best carpet cleaner around and the latest model – though £50 more expensive – is pretty impressive. 

The Platinum Smartwash is 5kg lighter than its predecessors and is easier to use. Instead of having to pull a trigger to douse your carpet with liquid, the Platinum deploys the water and cleaning solution automatically as you push the cleaner forward, and sucks up the water as you pull it backwards. 

Like most carpet cleaners this model is big and noisy, so it's worth having a think about where you'll store it before you invest. But it does a really good job at making tired carpets look brand new again and the motorised upholstery brush is especially useful if you're looking for a machine to clean sofas and the like.

It didn't quite make our top pick, because at £50 cheaper we think the Vax Rapid Power Plus is a good buy for most families, but if you're looking for a slightly more lightweight machine and you're willing to spend the extra money, the Platinum won't disappoint.

“I got one last week and I fear I am coming obsessed! It's just such a satisfying job!”

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Best carpet cleaning detergents

4. Persil Small and Mighty

Persil Small and Mighty

If there's one thing in the world of carpet cleaning Mumsnetters seem united on, it's that laundry detergent isn't just for washing machines. Persil Small and Mighty does the trick for carpet cleaning as well. All you need to do is add half a dose to your carpet cleaning machine and your carpet will smell as wonderful as it looks.

“Also, thanks to tips on MN, I no longer buy the expensive Rug Doctor cleaner – use half a dosing ball of Persil Small and Mighty per full tank of water.”

“I always use a bottle of Persil Small and Mighty, it brings my carpet up a treat.”

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Read next: The best bed sheets, as chosen by Mumsnetters

5. Vanish Gold Carpet Care

Vanish Gold Carpet Care

Easy to use, and particularly good if you'd prefer a dry product, Vanish's Gold Carpet care is great to refresh any high-traffic parts of your carpets that are looking worse for wear.

“I've found the Vanish bag quite good. The one where you open the bottom of the bag, and it's like a sieve and you shake the powder onto the rug.”

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Best carpet stain removers

6. Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

Dr Beckmann is the king of stain removal. It removes red wine with ease – great to keep in the cupboard if you've got any dinner parties coming up.

“Dr Beckmann carpet stain remover is brilliant at getting orange stains out of fabric, you can normally get hold of it in the supermarket but it's far cheaper to buy from Amazon.”

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7. Chem-Dry Stain Extinguisher

Chem-Dry Stain Extinguisher

We love an industrial-strength product, and this is one – favoured by professional carpet cleaners around the world – is non-toxic, so it's a perfect choice if you have young children or pets.

“Chem-Dry do a spot stain extinguisher that's fantastic for small marks (bought a bottle last time they did my carpets!)”

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8. OzKleen Carpet Power Cleaner

OzKleen Carpet Power Cleaner

This carpet stain remover works well, even on lightly coloured carpets and leaves a lovely lavender smell – perfect if you're not a fan of the usual chemical scent of carpet stain remover. If it can remove all trace of tomato soup, it's good enough for us.

“Carpet Power by OzKleen is fantastic. It even got rid of the horrendous stain when DS1 threw a bowl of Heinz tomato soup over the carpet.”

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9. HG Carpet Cleaner Spray

HG Carpet Cleaner Spray

Mumsnetters already swear by HG's mould remover spray, and this carpet stain remover is no different. Cheap, effective, and versatile – it can be used on sofas and car upholstery as well.

“The stuff we use is HG carpet cleaner – it looks a bit industrial but really works.”

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How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which washing machines discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their homes.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which carpet cleaners had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the carpet cleaners we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.