Creative DIY for the Newly Handy

Carpet Spot Cleaner Comparison

While renovating my house, I have found that in every room there is wood orange trim that really doesn’t go with my new design.  My first thought was to paint it… then I found the roadblock… the carpet!  We have had the carpet cleaned twice, but they cannot get right up to the trim.  Over the years (and maybe a little neglect before we got ahold of the house), a very dark grey to black layer of dirt has accumulated right next to the trim.  It isn’t as noticeable with darker trim, but since I wanted to paint the trim white the dirt would really stick out.  Our carpets are still in good condition and we don’t have the money to replace them… so I was stuck.  When I painted my dressing room (click here to see that transformation!) I decided to leave the trim because I just wanted to get back into my closet and I didn’t have time (or a plan) to deal with the carpet.

I came up against the problem again while renovating our upstairs guest bedroom and it was the perfect time to deal with the carpet since we were tearing out the trim to installing Board and Batten Wainscoting.  It was also a great time to try out some Carpet Spot Cleaners and do a Carpet Cleaner Comparison!

I wanted a product that was easy to use and would be the least amount of work for me.  I chose three products to test out on sample areas of the carpet and took pictures (although some of the pictures din’t turn out as well).  *** I did not get paid or reimbursed for these products… I just went down to the store and picked out three to try***

Product #1- Folex

See that horrible wallpaper?  I got rid of it after testing this product and you can check out my How-to on removing Wallpaper here!

Well, this product worked pretty well and didn’t smell terribly offensive.  I was pretty happy with it overall, but the one thing that I didn’t like was that the darker spot seemed to spread farther out on the carpet.  The “after” picture of the carpet looks better in the picture than it did in person.  I took a shot that was farther away to try to show how the grey dirt “spread”.    Since I was putting baseboards back up, I definitely didn’t want the darker spots peeking out.  However, the next time that I have a pet spot, I will be trying this product out!

Product #2- Spot Shot

Okay, so the section that I chose for this test was a bit darker than the previous test, but this stain remover didn’t quite get the really dark parts.  If I was going to go with this one, I would do a second coat to see if it worked better with a second application.  This may work better on fresher stains rather than ones that have built up over YEARS.

Product #3- Zep

The first thing that I have to say about this one was that the smell was really strong and what my husband called “toxic chemicals”.  However, it got the dark spots out and didn’t “spread” the darkness farther out on the carpet.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but Zep was the Winner!  In the below photo, you can definitely see that it clears away the dark spots the best without spreading it out.  I will say that I had put a little more on the Zep spot to see how I was going to do the rest of the carpet around the room.

Here is what I learned from trying out these products.

  • Use lots of paper towels… they get dirty quick!  Change them out often so that you don’t just move the dirt around!
  • I also put paper towels against the exposed wall while spraying.  I knew that I was going to be painting and I didn’t want the cleaner to mess with the paint (not sure if it would, but I didn’t want to having painting issues).
  • For the really bad areas, let it sit just a little longer or go back over the spot for a second time.
  • Listen to an Audiobook or music if you are doing the whole room!  It can get a bit tedious.
  • Open the Windows and add a fan for fresh air!
  • I wouldn’t necessarily use these products for every day use as the smells were stronger on some (this job called for the big guns!)

The carpets look great! We put up white baseboards and you can’t even tell that the carpet had been that dirty and stained.  While I did use the Zep for around the edges of the carpet in this room, all three products did have their uses and I will be trying them out on other types of carpet spots.  Do you have carpets stains that you need to clean?  Did you find my carpet spot cleaner comparison helpful?  Do you have a favorite product?  Have you done your own carpet cleaner comparison?  Let me know in the comments below!

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