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Which? reveals carpet stain removers that work

One of our Best Buys is the cheapest on test


We’ve tested carpet stain removers and home remedies to find the best for tackling red wine

We’ve discovered three new Best Buy carpet stain removers – one of which is seven times cheaper per 100ml than a Don’t Buy. We also put Bissell’s SpotClean machine through our rigorous carpet stain remover tests to see how it measures up against sprays and cleaners. 

Our latest test of 16 different carpet stain removers includes products from big brands Vanish, 1001, Dr Beckmann, RugDoctor, Dyson, Bissell, Tableau and Natural and Clean. Plus own-brands from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Wilkinson.

We tested each product on tough and common everyday stains, including red wine, mud, tea, coffee, chocolate spread, curry and Ribena. Each product was tested for how well it could remove fresh and dried-in smears of each stain. 

We also check whether each product will bleach your carpets, so you can be sure your carpet is safe when cleaned with one of our Best Buys. 

Our tough tests reveal the Best Buys that work, and the Don’t Buys that don’t – including ‘stain removers’ that had no effect on red wine and spread chocolate even further over our carpet. 

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

Great value Best Buy carpet stain remover

Our top Best Buy carpet stain remover is seven times cheaper than one of our Don’t Buys. The Best Buy costs 46p per 100ml while the Don’t Buy is £3.20 per 100ml. With an excellent overall score for cleaning, including full marks for shifting fresh and dried-in red wine, this Best Buy is great value and was the cheapest carpet stain remover in our test. 

By contrast, the most expensive Don’t Buy left dark splodges of wine and was poor and very poor on all the dried-in stains in our test, including red wine, tea and mud. 

Our gallery below reveals the difference between a Best Buy and a Don’t Buy on the most common stains.

Best products for different stains

Thanks to our expert tests and analysis, we’ve been able to give a star rating for fresh and dried-in stains for each carpet stain remover on red wine, tea, mud, coffee, curry, chocolate spread and Ribena. So if you’re struggling to remove one of these common stains on your carpet, our full test results reveal which product will be best at getting it out.  

We also included some home remedies in our tests, in case you have an emergency spill and have to resort to using what’s available in your store cupboard. Our tests show soapy water is excellent on mud. Other home remedies were salt on red wine and white wine on red wine. Our results reveal how well each of these compare to dedicated carpet stain removers. 

Bissell SpotClean machine tested

We’d read rave reviews of Bissell’s Little Green machine, so we put its latest model, the Bissell SpotClean machine, to the test to see whether it’s worth its £100 price tag. 

If you’re willing to fork out for spotless carpets in your home, find out whether the £100 Bissell SpotClean machine is a good investment by reading our Bissell SpotClean Machine review

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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