Which? finds the remedy for muddy carpetsEasy and cheap cleaning: soapy water's best on mud

30 July 2014

Soapy water is best on mud

Which? tests reveal soapy water beats chemical carpet stain removers on mud

We tested 16 carpet stain removers alongside home remedies. Soapy water shifted wet and dried-in mud better than any carpet stain remover on test. 

Our carpet stain removers test included products from Vanish, 1001, Dr Beckmann, RugDoctor, Dyson, Bissell, Tableau and Natural and Clean. Plus own-brands from Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Wilkinson. We tested each on fresh and dried-in red wine, Ribena, coffee, tea and mud.

Soapy water is best on mud, but our Best Buy stain removers are more effective on other stains. The top Best Buy scored full-marks for shifting fresh and dried-in red wine. This great cleaning comes at a great price, too - 46p per 100ml, compared to a Don't Buy that is £3.20 per 100ml. 

Which? members can log in now to see our full carpet stain remover test results. If you're not already a Which? member, you can access this and all of our online reviews with a £1 trial subscription

Carpet stain test results gallery

Our gallery, below, shows the difference between using a Best Buy carpet stain remover on stains, and a Don't Buy.

Home remedies that don't work

We put each carpet stain remover to work on a fresh and dried-in example of each stain. Our full test results reveal which product is best for getting out each stain. If you don't have a carpet stain remover to hand when there's an unexpected spill, then you might reach for a home remedy. 

While we found that pesky mud stains can be tackled with soapy water, white wine proved poor at clearing red wine - you'd do better to invest in our top-scoring Best Buy for this job. 

Carpet stain removers on test:

  • 1001 Trouble Shooter
  • Bissell Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
  • Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover
  • Dyson Dyzolv
  • Lakeland Carpet Kind
  • Lakeland Wine No More!
  • Natural Clean Spot Remover
  • RugDoctor Oxy Power Stain Remover
  • RugDoctor Spot and Stain Remover
  • Tableau Spot Remover
  • Vanish OxiAction Powerspray
  • Vanish Powerfoam Clean & Fresh
  • Waitrose Essentials Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
  • Wilkinsons Wilko Carpet Stain Wizard

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