P&S Carpet Bomber Carpet And Upholstery Cleaner: Hands-On Review 2023
P&S Carpet Bomber is an interior carpet cleaner that uses citrus derivatives to eliminate a variety of stains.
It offers incredible value for money and can be used within P&S carpet cleaning system to get rid of many different whoopsies.
We bought P&S Carpet Bomber Carpet And Upholstery Cleaner to test against our special criteria in a real-world test at our shop.
Although I think this is an excellent product for removing stains and muck, it claims to have odor-eliminating properties, but it fails to live up to that claim. If you need odor elimination, it’s best to look elsewhere.
It can be used just by spraying and agitating the carpet by hand, however, it does tend to work best if you have some particular tools alongside.
For those that might not have these tools, you can still achieve fantastic results, it may just take more time and effort in order to get said results. We explain everything below on how to use the product with or without tools.
Carpet Bomber is an excellent carpet shampoo. It is a great value and just makes sense to have a bottle on hand should the day come when you spill that coffee or whatever you are drinking in your vehicle. It will not remove odors, but when it comes to pure carpet cleaning power, you will be hard pressed to find a better option.
About Brand and its Specialist area
P&S was founded in 1961 by Bill Phillips. Although the man much better known for P&S is Renny Doyle. Renny is a rockstar in the detailing industry and of course has the claim to fame as the detailer for Air Force One.
P&S has always hit a sweet spot of results and value for money. Many of their products are relatively inexpensive and many can even be diluted like carpet bomber. They may be outperformed by some of the higher-end chemicals, but they certainly are going to be a better bet than anything you can typically pick up at your local store.
The Product & Science
P&S carpet bomber is a water-based interior carpet cleaner that uses citrus derivatives and biodegradable cleaners to go after stains – specifically tannin stains.
There are two main stain types that we need to consider when cleaning carpets: protein and tannin stains.
Protein stains are going to be things such as ice cream, milk, yogurt, blood, urine, feces, and much more. This is essentially any stain that is organic in nature. For those stains, you need an enzyme cleaner, something like P&S Terminator.
Tannin stains are things like beer, coffee, color pens, fruit juice, soda, tea, and more. So if you spill any of those, then you want a product like Carpet Bomber.
The product uses citrus derivatives to encapsulate the dirt and the stain and allows you to remove it from the carpet. I think the best thing about this product is that it actually works and that it is a part of a system.
You can spray APC (all purpose cleaner) and scrub away at a stain, but speaking from experience you are going to save yourself a lot of time and headaches if you are using the proper chemical for the job.
Now if you are looking to take care of your own vehicle and you know exactly what you spilled where and when in the vehicle. Then you can look at whether you need an enzyme cleaner for a protein stain or a carpet cleaner for a tannin stain.
However for us running a professional detail shop people bring us vehicles all the time and they do not recall what the stain is. The nice thing is you can just layer these products and be sure to cover all of your bases in order to get great results.
P&S makes a couple claims about the product. One that it will lift and dissolve dirt. You may be thinking, isn’t that obvious? Yes in a way, but it is important to note what they are claiming here.
Carpet Bomber is going to emulsify and lift the dirt. What that means is Carpet Bomber can contain the dirt, but you will need some follow up steps to remove the dirt.
Carpet Bomber is a concentrated cleaner. It can be used undiluted or all the up to a dilution ratio of 1:8. It is a quick acting carpet cleaner. Although the more time the product is allowed to dwell and work the better. The ideal dwell time is 3 minutes.
Also, they claim that it deodorizes as well. This claim is debatable. Any strong odor is not going to be removed simply from Carpet Bomber. It is either going to take a specific odor eliminator chemical or an ozone treatment to remove any strong smell. Carpet Bomber has a biodegradable formula. They use natural non-toxic ingredients so it is safe to use around pets and kids without any concerns.
How to apply Carpet Bomber
Step 1: Vacuum
Before you shampoo your vehicle’s carpets, you need to clear the area of any debris. Be sure to give the vehicle a thorough vacuum. Important to note here is you are just trying to vacuum up loose debris and dirt. If you for example have pet hair stuck in the carpet do not spend hours trying to vacuum it up. Anything stuck in the fibers, we will dislodge with our shampoo stage.
Step 2: Apply Carpet Bomber
Again you use carpet bomber undiluted or all the way up to a dilution ratio of 1:8. It is a pretty economical bottle so you don’t feel like you are wasting money if you want to use it undiluted.
For best results, it really comes down to how dirty the carpets are. If they are heavily soiled, then it is probably best to use undiluted, or if they are just lightly dirty, then use the product diluted 1:8 with distilled water.
P&S claims you want to spray a light mist on the carpets. However speaking from experience you really want to apply pretty liberally. Spray a good bit into the fabric and ideally let the product dwell for about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Apply steam (if possible)
If you have a steamer, now is when you want to introduce the steamer to the upholstery.
The steam heats up the molecules of the stain and really gets things moving. We use a 3 inch nylon bristle brush to agitate and move the fabric in all different directions. If you do not have a steamer, no worries simply skip to the next step.
Step 4: Agitate
After steaming you want to agitate the fibers. You can do this by hand or even better if you have a drill brush. If you are doing it by hand, you want to take a stiff bristle brush and work the fibers in all different directions.
Even better though is if you have a drill brush attachment. The same concept applies, however you are going to get thousands of more rotations than you would if you do it by hand.
These drill brushes often come color coded and have varying intensities depending on the color. White is the color typically recommended for vehicle upholstery. We have found that sometimes you need something a little bit stronger than that brush. The yellow brush can be used, however you need to use some caution. If the fibers of your upholstery are already deteriorating then just stick with the white drill brush so as to not cause damage to your vehicle.
Step 5: Repeat
Repeat as much as necessary. If there is a particular stain you are trying to remove at this point you should see the stain begin to lighten up and disappear. Continue to reapply the product and agitate to further remove the stain.
Step 6: Mop up
After you have thoroughly cleaned the affected area now we need to clean up the area. Again you have two options. Take a microfiber towel and scrub the area. The dirt should be loose and you should be able to clean up the majority of the dirt by scrubbing the fibers with your microfiber towel. You should see your towel absorb a lot of the dirt that is now loose. The more advanced option if you have access to it, is to use an extractor. An extractor is going to pull out all of the loose dirt. Only introduce as much water as necessary and repeatedly run the extractor over the affected area until the water you are pulling up is clear.
We have used Carpet Bomber for years now in our professional detail shop. Here you can see we used it on a dirty work truck. This truck had a bunch of dirt and pet hair. We are in a controlled environment with temperatures between 65 and 75 F and an average humidity of 65%. Directions on the product say to spray “a light mist”. We can tell you from experience that you are going to want to spray more than a light mist. You do not want the carpets soaking, but feel free to spray generously.
Stain Removal (10 out of 10)
This product is excellent at stain removal. It can remove lightly soiled areas as well as heavily soiled ones. Again you need to be aware of what kind of stain you are trying to remove. Also you may need to make multiple passes in order to fully remove the stain. But if you follow the steps outlined above, you will have good results.
Scent (8 of 10)
Carpet bomber has a slightly potent citrus smell to it. It is pretty divisive in our detail shop. Some of our detail techs like it others do not. Depending on how much of the product you spray in the vehicle, the scent can get a little overwhelming. We recommend opening all the doors of the vehicle so the smell does not become too intense.
Odor Elimination & Sanitization (6 out of 10)
If the product has a downfall, if you could really call it that, odor elimination would be it. After thousands of applications again I personally do not recall a time where it truly eliminated an odor. However that is not truly its designated purpose. Yes the product does claim that it will however that seems more marketing that reality. It removes stains not odors simple as that.
Foaming & Ease of Use (9 out of 10)
If agitated with steam, yes Carpet Bomber will foam up slightly. If you are agitating by hand or by drill brush typically you will not get a lot of foam unless you applied extremely heavily. Carpet Bomber is sold by P&S in a pint, gallon, or 5 gallon options. In our opinion, the sweet spot is the gallon because of the value for money, more on that below.
Value for Money (10 out of 10)
Carpet Bomber offers extreme value for money. This can vary depending on how much you want to dilute versus using undiluted. We have always used it diluted to get maximum value out of the product.
1 pint for $11.80 = .50 cost per application
1 gallon for $25.10 = .13 cost per application
5 gallon for $115.10 = .12 cost per application
Again 1 gallon is probably overkill for most people, but the value is so good it is a hard deal to pass up.
We love Carpet Bomber in our professional detail shop.
There are more premium options as well as many people will opt to use their APC (all purpose cleaner) as a carpet shampoo. However, Carpet Bomber goes toe to toe with the more premium options and completely outclasses an APC. So in our opinion if you are going to be cleaning carpets do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle.
- Highly Dilutable
- Great Grease Remover
Can you dilute P&S Carpet Bomber?
Yes, Carpet Bomber can be used undiluted or all the way up to a dilution ratio of 1:8.
Can I use an APC on carpet?
You can use an all purpose cleaner on carpet. However you will achieve much better results with a dedicated carpet cleaner like Carpet Bomber.
How do you pretreat carpet before shampooing?
Pretreating a carpet simply means spraying the carpet and allowing the product to dwell on the carpet. Carpet Bomber ideal dwell time is 3 minutes.
Do I use hot or cold water in a carpet cleaner?
You do not really want either but rather room temperature distilled water is best for use in your carpet cleaner. Heat is valuable, but typically you want the heat to come from a steamer rather than your carpet cleaner itself.