Carpet shampooer Finder: Your guide to finding the right carpet cleaning appliance
What you should consider before buying a carpet shampooer.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Best Rated Carpet & Floor Cleaner Appliances Brand: Karcher
Karcher topped the list for carpet and floor cleaning features and functions and ease of use. It also had high scores for cleaning performance and value for money.
Quick facts about carpet shampooer:
- Carpet shampooers can help give your carpet a much-needed deep clean and get it looking as good as new.
- Buying a carpet shampooer isn't cheap. Basic models start at $100 and prices can go up to $1,000 or more. If you only need to clean your carpet once – for example, if you have an upcoming rental inspection – it may be more cost effective to hire a carpet shampooer or book a professional cleaning
What's in this guide?
- What is a carpet shampooer?
- Pros and cons
- Should I buy, hire or use a professional service?
- What types are available?
- How to compare carpet shampooers
- Cleaning solution
- How to use a carpet shampooer
- How long will my carpet be wet after shampooing?
- Best rated carpet cleaning appliance brand award breakdown
What is a carpet shampooer?
Carpet shampooers are home appliances designed to deeply clean your floors. They are more effective at cleaning than vacuuming, as they wash out the dirt embedded deep within the carpet, not just the particles resting on top.
Carpet shampooers use water, concentrated detergent and suction to whip up a lathered foam that breaks down dirt particles residing in carpets.
Pros and cons
The benefits of using a carpet shampooer include:
- A deeper clean. Carpet shampooers provide a deeper clean than vacuum cleaners. Vacuums only tackle the surface of the carpet, while carpet shampooers wash and clean down to the bottoms of each thread. Shampooing is the most effective way to remove the dirt particles that are trapped inside the carpet.
- Special occasions. Carpet shampooers can be used to thoroughly clean after a party or before an upcoming rental inspection or auction.
- Versatility. Some carpet shampooers come with attachments that allow you to clean upholstered furniture or hardwood floors and tackle tough spot stains.
There are also some drawbacks to carpet shampooers, including:
- Cost. Carpet shampooers are not cheap. If you're only going to use it once or twice, a shampooer is probably not worth the cost.
- Lack of maneuverability. Carpet shampooers can be heavy to carry and cumbersome to move. If you have mobility problems or a home with lots of stairs, doing your own carpet shampooing might not be the best idea.
- Spot stains. Carpet shampooing can give new life to your carpet. However, it may not be able to completely remove that red wine stain from 10 years ago. Spot stains are best tackled at the moment they occur. For more information, check out our guide to carpet stain removers.
Should I buy, hire or use a professional service?
There are three ways to get your carpet shampooed: Buy a shampooer, hire or rent a shampooer or book a professional carpet cleaning service. Compare your options below:
What types are available?
You can choose between two main types of carpet shampooers: upright shampooers and spot cleaners.
- Upright shampooers. A more affordable alternative to professional cleaning, these carpet shampooers are designed for deep cleaning as well as removing dirt and odours. They use a motorised brush to lift dirt from your carpet and have attachments to help you clean hard-to-reach spots.
- Spot cleaners. Spot cleaners are suitable for specific small areas with tough stains. They are not designed to clean large areas all at once. These handheld devices are compact, light and much easier to store than upright shampooers.
Unlike carpet shampooers, wet and dry vacuum cleaners are designed to clean up liquid spills that have just occurred. If you want to clean a carpet that has accumulated and absorbed dirt over time, a wet and dry vacuum won't provide the deep clean you are looking for.
How to compare carpet shampooers
The right carpet shampooer for you will depend on how often you plan to use it and where you plan to use it. When purchasing or hiring a carpet shampooer, consider the following features:
Carpet shampooers are generally fitted with two water tanks, one for clean water and one for dirty water. The shampooer pushes out clean water mixed with the detergent, then sucks it back up into the dirty tank. You'll have to keep refilling the clean tank and emptying the dirty one as you go. Having a large tank means you'll have to refill it less often, but will involve moving around a heavier piece of equipment.
The longer the cord, the more maneuverability you have. Look for a cord that is long enough to ensure that you won't have to change power points every ten minutes.
Empty carpet shampooers can weigh anywhere from 5kg to 20kg before you add the water. If your home has a lot of stairs, you may want to consider a lighter model with a smaller tank.
Most carpet shampooers are loud. A pair of earmuffs or headphones can help you use your shampooer without damaging your hearing. Keep your neighbours in mind when deciding what time of day would be best to use your carpet shampooer.
Carpet shampooers can come with accessories for different uses, such as:
- Spot stains
- Timber flooring
Check the length of the manufacturer's warranty to find out how long it is and exactly what it covers.
Most carpet shampooers come with a small sample of cleaning solution or a recommendation for which solution to buy. If you buy your own cleaning solution, you can choose a formula specifically designed to tackle any carpet issues you have, such as pet smells and tough stains. However, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions, as using a non-recommended solution can void your carpet shampooer's warranty.
If you hire a carpet shampooer, you might also need to purchase an anti-foamer or defoamer. Check with your hire company to see if these will be included.
How to use a carpet shampooer
Most products have a trigger or switch that releases the detergent solution into the carpet. After you release the cleaning solution, move the cleaning brush over the dirty area, to help the water seep into the carpet. Next, activate the suction mode, which dries the carpet and removes the cleaning solution. Most manufacturers suggest going over each area of carpet at least twice to make sure all of the solution has been removed.
Top tips for effective cleaning:
- Patch test. Go over a small area of carpet to test that your settings are correct. It's better to realise something is wrong at the start than after you've finished your first room.
- Don't use too much solution. When you're using the trigger to release the detergent solution, it is better to use a "less is more" approach. If you add too much shampoo, it can sit in the carpet long after you've finished cleaning.
- Add water. If you're worried you've over shampooed, you can go over areas with a tank of clean water. This will provide an extra rinse for your carpet.
- Vacuum. Once your carpet has dried, go over it with a vacuum cleaner to pick up any leftover particles that the shampooer has brought to the surface.
How long will my carpet be wet after shampooing?
Drying times vary, depending on the manufacturer and the individual conditions. Some manufacturers suggest that your carpet will be dry in as a little as two hours, while others say it make take six hours or more to dry completely.
However, there are some steps you can take to quicken drying times, including going over the carpet multiple times with the suction. If you clean your carpets on a hot day or use fans to circulate more air, your carpets will also dry more quickly.
Best rated carpet cleaning appliance brand award breakdown
|Overall rating||Value for money||Cleaning performance||Ease of use||Features & functions|
|Black & Decker||3.95||3.93||3.83||4.05||3.61|
More guides on Finder
Best carpet shampooers in Australia
We compared hundreds of customer reviews and found the five best carpet shampooers you can buy online in Australia.
Steam mop Finder: The ins and outs of buying a steam mop for you home
Steam mops are an effective way to clean your floors and other parts of your home. Find out how to compare models and choose the right one for you.
How to start an alterations business
What you need to know before launching an alterations business.
How to start a pet grooming business
How to start a pet grooming company, from the equipment to the key skills you’ll need.
Toothpaste Finder: Keep your teeth clean with the right toothpaste
Here's what you need to know to choose the best toothpaste for your pearly whites.
NDIS cleaning services
Make the right choice for your needs when hiring a NDIS cleaning service.
Best carpet cleaners in Australia
We peruse reviews from real customers and compare key product features to find the best carpet cleaners you can buy right now in Australia.
Water filter Finder: What to look for when choosing your next water filter
All the essential information you need to know to choose a high-quality water filter for your home.
Deep fryer Finder: What to look for when buying your next deep fryer
We look at all the essential info you need to know to choose the right deep fryer for your kitchen.
Best window cleaners in Australia
These are the top 6 window cleaners available in Australia today.
Ask an Expert