Using carpet cleaner machine

Best Carpet Shampoos for Machines (2024 UK)

Vacuuming the carpet is one way to help keep your floors clean and well-maintained. However, when spills and stains happen, a vacuum cleaner simply won’t be enough. You need to deep clean your carpets using a carpet cleaning machine and a carpet shampoo to eliminate marks, stains, and smells.

Unfortunately, choosing a carpet shampoo can be a challenging task in itself. They come in various fragrances with different technologies, from busting odours to lifting stains.

That’s why we’ve written this article highlighting the best carpet shampoos for machines in the UK. Join us as we review the latest formulations that promise to breathe new life into your carpets.


The Best Carpet Shampoos for Machines in the UK

1. BISSELL Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution

BISSELL Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution | Upholstery Shampoo for Use with All Leading Upright Carpet Cleaners | Removes Pet Stains & Odours | 1087N

Scented? Yes – Fresh
Uses: Carpets, rugs, and upholstery
Volume: 5 litres
Key features: Odour control and stain protect technologies

BISSELL’s Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution is our top-rated carpet shampoo. It tackles two of the biggest carpet cleaning challenges head-on: pet stains and odours.

The Odour Control Technology eliminates unpleasant pet smells, providing a clean and fresh scent. Meanwhile, the StainProtect Technology helps lift marks and stains from the carpet fibres.

Even more impressive is its ability to deter pets from revisiting the same spot, making it an excellent solution for anyone with pets.

The dual-action formula not only deep cleans your carpets but also provides an added layer of protection. And, of course, the applications go beyond cleaning up pet smells and odours. It can remove all kinds of stains and smells within one application.

Versatility is another key advantage of the BISSELL Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution. It can be used not only in BISSELL Carpet Cleaners but also in any other upright carpet cleaner.

This flexibility adds to the overall appeal, making it a practical choice for many users. It is also safe for cleaning upholstery and rugs, acting as an all-in-one solution for fabric surfaces in your home.


2. Vax Platinum Professional Carpet Cleaner Solution

Vax Platinum Professional 4 Litre Carpet Cleaner Solution | Deep Cleans and Removes Tough Stains | Neutralises Pet Odours - 1-9-142060, Charcoal

Scented? Yes – Rose Burst
Uses: Carpets
Volume: 4 litres
Key features: Oxy-Lift Stain and Carpet Guard Technologies, Woolsafe-approved

The Vax Platinum Professional Carpet Cleaner Solution lives up to its reputation as Vax’s best-ever carpet cleaning solution.

The unique Oxy-Lift action in this formula is a standout feature, effectively penetrating deep into the carpet pile to tackle stubborn stains.

It can lift and remove the most ingrained dirt and marks, leaving carpets revitalised and refreshed.

We also love the powerful odour neutraliser that doesn’t cover unpleasant smells but removes them entirely.

It can eliminate everything from pet smells to cooking scents and damp odours, while the delightful Rose Burst scent adds a burst of freshness.

The Carpet Guard formulation is another commendable feature, ensuring your carpets maintain their softness and quality.

The formula is designed to work seamlessly with Vax Carpet Washers, ensuring optimal performance and results.

The formula is also Woolsafe-approved, giving you confidence in its suitability for various carpet types, including delicate wool carpets.

Plus, the bottle design and measuring cap make dispensing the right amount for each cleaning session straightforward.


3. Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent with SpotBlok

Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent with SpotBlok, 4 Litre

Scented? No, unscented
Uses: Carpets
Volume: 4 litres
Key features: SpotBlok Technology

The Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent is another carpet shampoo that delivers real results. The standout feature of this detergent is undoubtedly the SpotBlok Technology.

It goes beyond mere cleaning by providing a protective shield against stains. This preventive approach is a game-changer, reducing the need for deep cleaning sessions.

The ability of this shampoo to revive tired-looking carpets is remarkable. The formula goes deep into the carpet fibres, lifting dirt and grime effectively.

Although this product is unscented, it leaves carpets and rugs smelling fresh. I can neutralise unpleasant smells, leaving a naturally clean smell without being overpowering.

The ease of use is another noteworthy aspect. The compatibility with Rug Doctor Carpet cleaning machines ensures a seamless cleaning experience, and the formula is easy to dispense for accurate measurements.

It is also an affordable option, especially considering the large 4-litre bottle has enough shampoo to clean around eight rooms.


4. Vax Original Carpet Cleaner Solution

Vax Original 1.5L Carpet Cleaner Solution | Suitable for Everyday Cleaning - 1-9-142055

Scented? Yes – Rose Burst
Uses: Carpets and upholstery
Volume: 5 litres
Key features: Woolsafe-approved

If you’re looking for an everyday carpet shampoo for machines, the Vax Original Carpet Cleaner Solution could be the perfect product.

While it lacks the special features of the Vax Platinum Cleaner (such as the Oxy-Lift Stain and Carpet Guard Technologies), it effectively removes dirt, stains, and odours from carpets to upholstered surfaces and even some mattresses.

One of the standout features of the Vax Original Carpet Cleaner Solution is its ability to gently lift out tough dirt and stains.

We found it particularly effective in improving the appearance of high-traffic areas. Plus, the formula doesn’t just clean, it also leaves behind a fresh Rose Burst scent that adds a pleasant aroma to your home.

As a gentle everyday cleaner, this carpet shampoo is also suitable for delicate carpets and has Woolsafe Approval.

If you’re worried about damaging your floors, this could be a fantastic option. The smaller 1.5-litre bottle also makes it easy to pour out the required amount, and its compatibility with all Vax carpet cleaners adds to its versatility.


5. BISSELL Wash & Refresh with Febreze

BISSELL Wash & Refresh Febreze Carpet Cleaner Shampoo | Concentrated 2x formula Removes Stains & Neutralises Odours | For Use With All Leading Upright Carpet Cleaners | 1078N
Scented? Yes – Blossom and Breeze
Uses: Carpets and upholstery
Volume: 5 litres
Key features: Febreze Blossom Scent and 2x Concentrated Solution

For anyone wanting a home that smells truly delicious, the BISSELL Wash & Refresh Carpet Shampoo with Febreze is a fantastic product.

This powerful deep-cleaning carpet shampoo is not only an effective stain remover for carpets – it also leaves behind a delightful Blossom Breeze scent, courtesy of the incorporated Febreze power.

Meanwhile, the concentration of the formula is a practical advantage. The bottle is two times concentrated, allowing for stronger cleaning power when needed, and lasts much longer than a standard carpet shampoo.

This bottle is thus equivalent to three litres of unconcentrated formula, providing both efficiency and convenience.

You can use this shampoo with any BISSELL Upright Carpet Cleaner, and it is compatible with other full-sized competitor carpet cleaners.

It’s also a great option for those concerned about introducing dangerous chemicals into their home. Despite its strong cleaning power, the shampoo is free from phosphates, dyes, optical brighteners, and heavy metals.


6. Pro-Kleen Pro+ Carpet Shampoo

Pro-Kleen Pro+ Carpet Shampoo and Upholstery Cleaning Solution – 4 in 1 Concentrate – Pet Carpet Cleaner with Odour Removal Suitable for All Machines 5L (Spring Bloom)

Scented? Yes – Spring Bloom
Uses: Carpets and upholstery
Volume: 5 litres
Key features: Antibacterial technology and Climate Pledge friendly

This product goes beyond just cleaning—it transforms old, dirty, or dingy-looking carpets into ones that appear brand new.

The concentrated formula targets high-traffic areas with minimal effort, breaking down stubborn stains and leaving carpets feeling soft and fresh.

Unlike many carpet cleaners, this product can also remove deep-set germs and bacteria. This is particularly beneficial for anyone with small children who may be crawling on the carpets.

It’s also ideal for pet owners. The high-performance formula breaks down germs and bacteria left by your furry friends, as well as tackles odours and stains caused by cat pee.

Additionally, we appreciate the sustainability aspect. The Compact by Design certification and recognition as a Climate Pledge Friendly item by Amazon aligns with the growing importance of environmentally friendly products.

You can also use the Pro+ Carpet Shampoo with any carpet cleaning machine, making it unbeatably versatile.


7. Ecozone Carpet Shampoo Solution

Ecozone Carpet Shampoo Solution, Deep Cleans Upholstery, Manual & Machine Cleaning, Fresh Cotton Scent, 3-in-1 Plant Based Stain Removal Treatment, Natural Vegan & Non Toxic, Cruelty-Free (1 Litre)

Scented? Yes – Fresh Cotton
Uses: Carpets and upholstery
Volume: 1 litre
Key features: Plant-based shampoo, PETA-approved formula

Finally, Ecozone Carpet Shampoo Solution is another standout product. This powerful 3-in-1 action formula works wonders in removing various stains and marks from all types of carpets and rugs.

It can also be used on upholstered furniture and can be applied manually or using a machine. This flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of cleaning tasks.

The cruelty-free and vegan-friendly formula has been approved by PETA and was not tested on animals. It uses a plant-based formula with no hidden chemicals.

Not only is this fantastic news for the planet, but it also makes it a gentle option for people with allergies. The all-natural formula can also be used safely around pets and children.

Despite being a gentle cleaner, the ingredients in this carpet shampoo deliver impressive results. It completely revives carpets, bringing them back to life after one application.

The fast-drying nature of the eco cleaner is another practical advantage, ensuring that your carpets are ready for use quickly while protecting against future spills and stains.


How to Choose a Carpet Shampoo for Machines

Carpet cleaner machine

All of the carpet shampoos for machines we have reviewed here are some of the best available in the UK. They effectively tackle dirt, stains, and odours, and several even have protective qualities that keep your carpets looking better for longer.

However, choosing which one to buy can only be done after comparing several factors, such as the compatibility with your machine, the suitability for pets and children, and the cleaning power. This allows you to strike the perfect balance between effective cleaning and safety for your carpets, family, and the environment.

Below are some of the key considerations when selecting a carpet shampoo for machines.

Compatibility with your machine

Your carpet shampoo needs to be compatible with your carpet cleaning machine. Most carpet shampoos are compatible with all carpet cleaners from the same brand.

For example, all Vax shampoos are generally designed to be compatible with Vax carpet cleaning machines.

Although there are Vax carpet shampoo alternatives, we recommend choosing a shampoo that matches the brand of your machine where possible. These tend to work best together to deliver outstanding results and won’t void your machine warranty.

Also, ensure that the carpet shampoo is suitable for the specific type of cleaner, whether an upright cleaner, canister cleaner, or other type of machine.


Cleaning power and technologies

You will always want to look for a carpet shampoo with powerful cleaning capabilities. This ensures that it can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odours from your carpets. All the carpet shampoos on our list offer this, ensuring your carpets look and smell like new. 

However, if you have specific concerns, you might want to consider formulas with additional advanced stain-removing or odour-neutralising properties. For example:

  • Pet stains & odours: BISSELL’s Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution is a great option for pet parents. Its dual-action formula removes urine marks, eliminates smells, and even deters your pets from having accidents in the same place again.
  • Lingering smells: BISSELL Wash & Refresh with Febreze is our recommendation if your carpet smells really bad. With the added power of Febreze, the shampoo eliminates the odours and leaves behind a delightful floral scent.
  • Stubborn stains: Carpet shampoos with Oxy-Lift Stain Technology are your best option for combatting set-in carpet stains, like the Vax Platinum Professional Carpet Cleaner. It penetrates deep into the fibres to remove tough stains like coffee and ink from carpets.


Suitability with your carpet type

Always consider the type of carpet you have in your home. Some shampoos are formulated for specific carpet materials, such as wool or synthetic fibres.

Make sure the shampoo is formulated to match your carpet type, or you might end up causing irreversible damage.

If you’re unsure whether the cleaning solution is safe on your carpet, opt for a Woolsafe Approved cleaner like Vax Original Carpet Cleaner Solution.

These shampoos have been tested on delicate wool carpets and found to be gentle, leaving behind no residue that could damage the fibres.

It’s also worth considering whether you want to use carpet shampoo to clean other fabric surfaces in your home.

Some products aren’t only for machine use but can also be used to spot-treat stains and marks on upholstery and rugs. These versatile products are a great all-in-one fabric cleaning option.


Suitability for pets and children

You should always be cautious before introducing strong chemicals into your home. However, this is even more critical if you have pets or children.

Make sure you choose a carpet shampoo that is safe for use around them, ideally with non-toxic and eco-friendly formulations.

The Ecozone Carpet Shampoo Solution is the safest carpet cleaning shampoo on our list. It is made from all-natural plant-based ingredients that won’t cause harm.

The ingredients also have environmental benefits, making it a great option for anyone wanting to adopt a greener lifestyle.


Scented or unscented carpet shampoos

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the scent of the carpet shampoo. Not all cleaning solutions have a scent.

You may prefer an unscented product, especially if you’re sensitive to smells or prone to odour-related headaches. Others like using fragrance products to introduce an extra burst of freshness.

If you decide to go for a fragranced carpet shampoo, you’ll want to check that it has a scent you actually like.

Common scents include floral and cotton odours. If you’re fussy about smell, you might want to try smelling the products in person before buying a bottle online.

Otherwise, user reviews online are a great way to find carpet shampoos that smell great.


Carpet Shampoo vs Carpet Cleaner: What’s the Difference?

Crown Supplies Professional Carpet Shampoo

The terms “carpet shampoo” and “carpet cleaner” are often used interchangeably. According to Donna Dougherty, founder and CEO of Go Green Cleaning Experts, they both refer to cleaning solutions that are applied to carpets and come in various formulations (stain-removing properties, odour-neutralising capabilities, different scents, etc.).

However, there are a few subtle differences between carpet shampoos and carpet cleaners:

  • Carpet shampoo: These are foamy cleaning solutions that are generally more affordable than carpet cleaners. While some have advanced stain and odour removal properties for deep cleaning, they’re better suited for general cleaning and eliminating surface-level dirt.
  • Carpet cleaner: Carpet cleaners are the stronger, low-foaming carpet cleaning solutions often used by professionals. By penetrating deep into the carpet fibres, they can remove even the most stubborn dirt, grime, stains, and odours. However, they tend to be more expensive.


What Carpet Cleaning Solution Do Professionals Use?

All carpet cleaning professionals have their own practices, each with their preference for both the cleaning solution and the carpet cleaning machine.

The two must be compatible, so the cleaning products largely depend on the machine and vice versa.

With that said, professionals often use a range of commercial-grade carpet cleaners rather than shampoos.

The choice of cleaner can also vary based on factors such as the type of carpet, the severity of stains, and any specific requirements of the cleaning job.

Below are some characteristics of carpet cleaners commonly used by professionals. For professional results, hire one of the best carpet cleaners and look for some of these features in a compatible carpet shampoo:

  • Concentrated formula: Professionals often opt for commercial-grade carpet cleaning shampoos with concentrated formulas. These formulations are designed to provide powerful cleaning performance.
  • Low-foaming solutions: Carpet cleaners used by professionals typically have low-foaming formulations. Low foam is preferred as it allows for better extraction during the cleaning process, preventing excess residue and ensuring thorough soil removal.
  • pH-neutral cleaners: Many professional carpet cleaners are pH-balanced to be gentle on carpets while effectively breaking down dirt and stains. A pH-balanced formula helps prevent damage to carpet fibres.
  • Odour neutralisation: Carpet shampoos used by professionals don’t cover up smells; they act as carpet deodorisers and eliminate them completely. They typically include odour-neutralising components to effectively remove unpleasant smells.
  • Fast-drying formula: Professional carpet cleaners may use shampoos with quick-drying properties. Fast-drying formulas are advantageous in commercial settings where carpets need to be ready for use as quickly as possible.


The Final Word: What’s the Best Carpet Shampoo on the Market?

If we had to choose the single best carpet shampoo for machines, it would be the BISSELL Wash & Protect Pet Carpet Cleaner Solution. The Odour Control Technology eliminates unpleasant smells, while the StainProtect Technology effectively lifts marks from carpet fibres.

This dual-action formula also provides added protection for carpets, helping them stay fresher for longer. Compatible with both BISSELL and other upright carpet cleaners, it stands out as a versatile solution.

It’s a particularly great option for pet owners dealing with stubborn odours and stains, but it is just as useful for general household cleaning needs.

If you want a more eco-friendly option, the Ecozone Carpet Shampoo Solution is a brilliant alternative, while the BISSELL Wash & Refresh Carpet Shampoo with Febreze gets our vote for tackling lingering smells. Whatever product you choose, make sure it’s compatible with your carpets and machine first.