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Best Carpet Stain Removers, According to Professional House Cleaners

We went to the experts to find out which brands of carpet stain removers you can trust to get out even the toughest carpet stains.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Yellow and purple grid of different stain removersvia amazon.com (2), via walmart.com

Why a store-bought carpet cleaner?

Choosing a carpet spot remover can be overwhelming and time is of the essence when you’re dealing with carpet stains. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get that stain out of your carpet—whether it’s a coffee stain, chocolate stain, or anything in between. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a good carpet cleaning solution on hand so it’s at the ready should an emergency arise. To help you determine which are the best carpet cleaner products, we turned to professional house cleaners and them to recommend their favorites.

If you’re dealing with a spill and don’t have time to run to the store, here are the best DIY carpet cleaners for all types of stains.

Hoover Max Strength Deep Stain Removervia amazon.com

The best overall carpet stain remover: Hoover Max Strength Deep Stain Remover

$6.99

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Hoover Max works on even the toughest carpet stains and spills, including red wine, mascara, and makeup, that may end up on your carpet, shares Rochelle Wilkinson, owner of Dirt Detectives Cleaning in Phoenix, Maryland. “I found this one had a little more punch and is great for tougher more stubborn stains.” Plus, the foam spray makes it easy to work into the fabric and carpet, she adds.

Grease and oil stains aren’t just hard to get out of the carpet. Here’s how to get grease and oil stains out of clothes.

Dyson Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powdervia walmart.com

The best multipurpose stain remover for carpet: Dyson Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powder

$20.49

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When it comes to the best multipurpose stain remover for carpet, Russell Cragun of Simply-Bliss Cleaning and Organizing in Salt Lake City turns to Dyson Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powder. He says that while this particular stain remover isn’t made to treat deep carpet stains that have had a chance to set in, it’s perfect for fresh, minor stains. “Just sprinkle it on the carpet and come back in 20 to 30 minutes and vacuum it up—carpet cleaning really doesn’t get easier than this,” Cragun says.

Did your at-home spa day go array? Here’s how to get nail polish out of just about anything.

Glade Carpet and Room Refresher, Deodorizer for Home, Pets, and Smokevia amazon.com

The best budget carpet cleaner product: Glade Carpet and Room Refresher, Deodorizer for Home, Pets, and Smoke

$1.94

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If you’re trying to get rid of nasty odors in your carpet and you want to keep costs low, Glade Carpet and Room Refresher, Deodorizer for Home, Pets, and Smoke is the way to go. “Sprinkle it on, wait a couple of minutes, then vacuum,” Cragun says. “It will help your house smell better and is especially helpful if you have any pets.”

If you still need more help, here are more easy ways to get rid of pet odor.

Better Life Stain and Odor Eliminatorvia amazon.com

The best eco-friendly carpet cleaning spray: Better Life Stain and Odor Eliminator

$29.05

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As part of their green cleaning service at Wilkinson says that at Dirt Detectives Cleaning Better Life Stain and Odor Eliminator is her go-to “when we have a request for spot cleaning of a high traffic area in hallways where everyone walks.” She goes on to say that because it’s a liquid, not a foam, you don’t need to spray as much. To use it, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then agitate with a white cloth, then blot up any residue. She adds it’s not a great stain remover for red wine but it does well for grease stains. By the way—if you have a stubborn turmeric stain to deal with, here’s how to remove turmeric stains effectively.

Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo Concentratevia amazon.com

The best carpet cleaner for old, set-in stains: Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo Concentrate

$8.49

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“Old stains aren’t going anywhere; they’ve been in the carpet for some time and most likely penetrated the carpet fibers,” Cragun says. If you can’t remember how old the stain is then you need a carpet cleaner and shampoo—Cragun swears by Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo Concentrate because it’s effective and helps keep your carpet looking like new. If you don’t plan to shampoo your carpets often, Cragun suggests renting a machine from Walmart. If you think you’ll shampoo your carpets regularly, you’ll save money in the long run with a product like the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine.

Chateau Spill Red Wine Stain Removervia amazon.com

The best stain remover for red wine: Chateau Spill Red Wine Stain Remover

$7.95

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There are a lot of better-known carpet spot removers out there like Resolve, but when it comes to removing red wine stains from your carpet, Chateau Spill is one of the most recommended choices. Why? While the exact ingredients are a highly guarded secret, the concentrated formula is as good at removing old wine stains as it is fresh ones. Plus it’s non-toxic and biodegradable and the spray bottle makes it easy to spot treat your carpet.

Folex Carpet Spot Removervia amazon.com

The best carpet spot remover: Folex Carpet Spot Remover

$12.45

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Folex Carpet Spot Remover has been Wilkinson’s go-to spot remover for years in both customer’s homes and her personal home. “It’s great if you need to know how to remove anything from old, set-in carpet stains to new, stubborn grease and food stains.”

If you don’t have any Folex Carpet Spot Remover handy and someone scrapes their knee, here’s how to remove blood stains from the carpet.

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Tamara Gane
Tamara Gane is a regular contributor to Reader's Digest covering travel, lifestyle, history, and culture. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, NPR, Al Jazeera, Wine Enthusiast, Lonely Planet, HuffPost Food, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @TamaraGane