Carpet stain removers How we test carpet stain removers
We test carpet cleaners using real stains
We wanted to see whether stain removers could banish a range of typical everyday stains. So our testers smeared amounts of regular household stains onto squares of pristine pale carpet.
Only the carpet stain removers that performed best would be awarded Best Buy carpet stain remover status.
Two new stains added to the test
To make sure our test included all of the most common stains, we asked more than 2,000 Which? members what stains they'd had on their carpet in the past year. Based on what you told us, we added two new stains to our test – mud and tea.
We also tested each stain remover on black coffee, Ribena, red wine, chocolate spread, and curry sauce.
As stain remedies aren’t always to hand in real life, we let each stain dry overnight. We then created a separate set of fresh stains and used each product on both sets to try to get our test carpet unblemished again.
We also threw two home remedies into the mix: soapy water made with washing-up liquid, and tepid water.
Tested for damage to the carpet
We'd heard that some stain removers can cause adverse effects to carpets, such as bleaching and dark spots.
So we also applied the stain removers to some navy blue carpet, let it dry naturally and then checked after five weeks to see if any damage had occurred.
We also applied two layers of stain remover to some carpet, allowed it to dry, vacuumed it and then soiled the carpet in a manner consistent with a high-traffic area of the home. The carpet was then inspected for dark spots.