What chemicals will I need?

You’ll need quite a few products to get started with, but the good news is that they don’t cost that much. Once you have the initial list of products, the on-going cost per job in chemicals is very low.

We strongly recommend that you attend a training course before using any of the following products.

List of products you’d expect to see in a carpet cleaners van:


This is sprayed onto the carpet to break down the soiling before extraction with the machine. There are many different types of pre-spray available. The good news is that you don’t need lots of different pre-sprays. To keep things simple, we’d recommend a gentle pre-spray (like Wool-X) to use on natural fibres, and a stronger pre-spray (like Split-X) to use on synthetic fibres.

Pre-spray booster

A pre-spray booster can be added to a pre-spray to make it more powerful. For example, if you have a heavily soiled natural wool carpet. You can use a gentle pre-spray like Wool-X, boosted by adding Orange-X booster. This will give you a pre-spay that still has a fairly neutral pH (ok to use on wool), but more powerful, especially on greasy carpets and oil-based staining.

Extraction product/Rinse agent

This goes in the clean/solution tank of the extractor machine. It is sprayed into the carpet by the water jets on the carpet wand, then sucked back out the carpet through the vacuum slot on the carpet wand.

Some extraction products are cleaning detergents. Some extraction products are Rinse Agents.

We recommend you pre-spray the carpet, then use a Rinse Agent like Rinse-X to remove both the dirt and the pre-spray. This method of cleaning gives you top quality results and means you don’t leave detergent in the carpet, which can cause the carpet to re-soil more quickly.

carpet cleaning chemicals

General purpose deodoriser

This leaves a fragrance while the carpet is drying, which should mask any ‘wet dog’ type odours that you often get from a wet carpet. Use this type of deodoriser when there is no existing odour issue, and you just want to leave a nice clean odour (Odour Fresh)

Specialist deodoriser

If there is an existing odour issue, you’ll need a more specialist deodoriser (if you just mask the existing odour with a general purpose deodoriser, the smell is quite likely to come back when the carpet has dried). Odour-X deals with any organic odours like pet odours.


You have to use defoamer all the time in any extraction machine. This prevents foam from building up in the waste tank of the machine, which can break your vacuum motors.

Foam problems can be caused by not diluting your products properly, or most often because the customer has used a foaming product like washing up liquid on the carpet.

You should definitely use defoamer every job – foam is by far the most common cause of failed vacuum motors, and defoamer is much cheaper than the downtime and cost of having to replace vacuum motors. See Defoamer

Prochem defoamer

Spot and stain removers:

Different types of spots need different spotting products/chemistry to remove them. The following a list of spotter types you’d normally find in a carpet cleaner’s van. Spotters should normally be rinsed out once they have done their job.

Water-based general purpose spotter

This will probably be one of the spotters you use on every job. If you don’t know what the spot is, this is probably the spotter to try first. See Spot-X

Solvent-based spotter

This is also a spotter you will use on nearly every job. Use on any oil-based stain, that cannot be removed with a water-based spotter.  See Eco-X

Solvent gel spotter

This is used for chewing gum removal and can be used to remove solid or semi solid oil-based spots like blue-tac, candle wax, tar etc. See Citrus Gel

Protein spotter

This is a high alkaline spotter used to remove protein stains – milk, cream, food, blood, vomit. This should always be rinsed out with rinse agent, to neutralise the alkalinity and leave the carpet safe. See Stain Pro


Rust remover

No surprise – this is used to remove rust. You’ll come across rust on carpets fairly frequently, but only normally need to use a tiny amount of rust remover. A bottle of this might even last you a few years. See Prochem Rust Remover

Coffee stain remover

No surprise here either, this is used for removing coffee and tea stains. Can also be used to treat other brown/yellow stains like tannin, water marks, beer etc. See Prochem Coffee Stain Remover

Dye stain remover

This is a type of bleaching agent so needs to be used with care. This is used as a last resort for the removal of dye stains – where the stain has dyed the carpet fibres a different colour.

For example, if you have a coffee stain, you would first attempt to remove with an acidic coffee stain remover like the one above. If coffee stain remover failed to remove the stain completely, you could then use dye stain remover to remover. See Dye-X

Foaming shampoo

This is often used for cleaning upholstery using the wet or dry foam cleaning techniques, which you would learn about on our upholstery cleaning course. See Fibre Shampoo

Oxygenating booster

This can be added to certain pre-sprays or used in the tank of the extractor. It can be useful when cleaning light coloured carpets or carpets heavily stained with coffee (like office carpets), as the oxygenating action has a lightening effect and can remove some staining without the need for separate spotting after cleaning. See Activ-X

Stain protector

This is sprayed onto the carpet or sofa after cleaning and helps protect against staining and re-soiling. Scotchgard is a well known brand of stain protector many of your customers will have heard of. If appropriate, you always quote on applying stain protector – as you can spend 2 hours cleaning the carpets and then spend 15 minutes applying stain protector and easily add 50% to the job value. See Gard-X

Starter packs

We also supply pre-built starter packages, which include all the chemicals and accessories you need. Starter Pack A is the minimum we recommend if you are on a budget. Starter Pack B is the better package if funds allow. Click on either pack to see contents. If you have your own list, just add products to your basket individually.

carpet cleaning business package b
Chemicals & Accessories Starter Package B Original price was: £595.78.Current price is: £537.49. plus VAT
carpet cleaning business starter package
Chemicals & Accessories Starter Package A£301.75 plus VAT

Don’t forget, you will need training before you use these products, so that you can learn which products are safe to use on which types of fibre and how to use them properly.

Training doesn’t cost a lot and will allow you to clean to a better standard, avoid problems and sell your services better – don’t skimp on training, it’s be best investment you can make in your business. See training dates here

Thinking about starting a new carpet cleaning service?

Here’s how we can help:

  • Get trained on up on one of our carpet & upholstery cleaning training courses
  • We can help you spec a professional carpet cleaning machine to match your budget and business needs
  • We can help you put together a complete start-up equipment package
  • We can provide top notch on-going support and supplies as your business grows