This Shark Carpet Cleaner Is the Missing Piece In My Cleaning Routine

Add this Shark carpet cleaner to your routineyour floors will thank you!

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Oh, how far cleaning technology has come. When I was younger, my mom would have to rent out a gigantic industrial carpet cleaner from Home Depot if we wanted to deep clean our house’s carpet. But now, I can achieve spotless carpets and rugs with just the help of the Shark CarpetXpert carpet cleaner.  

Even though I have the help of a robot vacuum and a regular vacuum, the Shark CarpetXpert really exposed the depths of my soft floors. Read on to find out why the Shark is my secret weapon in my deep cleaning routine.

What is the Shark carpet cleaner? 

The Shark CarpetXpert is like a vacuum and steam mop rolled into one. It uses water, cleaning solution and super strong suction to target deep stains.

Set up is pretty simple if you follow the instructions. Warm, clean water and cleaning solution go into one tank, another cleaning solution goes into the other and murky, dirty water comes out of the last tank. The attachments are there to make sure every inch of the carpet is clean. You can even use it on pet messes, upholstery and stairs. 


I Tried It

Shark CarpetXpert

This 2-in-1 deep carpet cleaner and handheld spot & stain eliminator, combines Shark's strongest suction and PowerSpray™ high pressure spray to deliver the best deep carpet cleaning and best tough stain elimination.

Shark CarpetXpert features 

Shark Carpetxpert Carpet CleanerAndrea Carrillo/

Using a high-speed brush roll, the Shark carpet cleaner combines a high-pressure spray with powerful suction to remove dirt, stains and smells. The kit comes with a 3.5-inch stain tool, crevice tool, pet tool, hose clean tool, a bottle of the Shark CarpetXpert Deep Clean Pro formula and StainStriker formula with Oxy.  

The 3.5-foot vacuum itself is on the heavier, bulkier side weighing in at about 18 pounds. Don’t expect this to be as lightweight as a handheld vacuum. It’s also not cordless, but an extra-long cord lets you navigate a room easily. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a regular vacuum, and it’s not intended for dry vacuuming. Think of it as a cleaning treatment, intended for monthly deep cleanings. 

How I tested it 

I don’t have pets, so I don’t struggle with muddy paw prints or pet hair. My rugs and carpets do, however, get a lot of foot traffic (can anyone truly achieve a shoes-off home?). I use a carpet scraper every once in a while, so I know my rugs are prone to hair and dirt. But what gunk and bacteria are really hidden in the fibers? 

Deep cleaning with the brush roll

Shark Carpetxpert Carpet CleanerAndrea Carrillo/

The first place I set out for some Shark action was the living room area rug. I gave it a quick pass with the carpet scraper to prevent hair from clogging the CarpetXpert brushes. Then, I started on the first section of the rug. Water visibly sucks up through the front, which is highly satisfying.

After a bit of a learning curve, I found that the best way to feed the Shark was to move it about a foot forward so that the machine dispenses water and Deep Clean Pro formula. Then I move a foot backward to activate the suction. (Quick Dry Mode reduces dry time.) I repeated those steps across the rug. 

Although there weren’t any visible stains on the rug besides some faded color, the water was disgusting! A noxious cocktail of who knows what. I dumped the water in the toilet and was invigorated by the whole process, sure I’d never have to DIY carpet clean ever again. Shark recommends only cleaning over the same area once to avoid saturated carpets and long dry times. If you want to rinse the carpet, just fill the tank with water and repeat the steps. 

Stain cleaning with the hand tool

Shark Carpetxpert Carpet Cleaner Before and After ResultsAndrea Carrillo/

To test out the stain-removing capabilities, I headed to a few areas on my sofas that had been stained from everyday use. The 3.5-inch hand tool works for general stain cleaning, the crevice tool works for tight spaces and the 7-inch hand tool works for larger areas like sofa cushions or stairs. I flipped the switch on the base of the vacuum, grabbed the bigger hand tool and carefully sprayed the stain and scrubbed with the bristles. 

After seeing the Shark on the rug, I was confident that it would drink up the couch stain. It took a few passes and about an hour for the upholstery to dry, but sure enough, the stains were gone. The water was murky once againto my disgust and delight. 

Things to keep in mind

For such a chunky vacuum, I have to note that the reservoir tank is small. Granted, it doesn’t take too much time to dump and refill, but I had to refill the tank once to finish the 8-by-10-foot rug. I’ll probably have to add a few extra bottles of cleaning solution to my Amazon cart (only one bottle of Stain Striker fits in the stain tank and the Deep Clean Pro bottle is good for about three main tank refills). The machine is also difficult to store because of its 3.5-foot size. 

Still, the Shark carpet cleaner is what it proclaims to be: an expert. The attachments and cleaning power tackle fresh stains and ones you thought were too dry to clean. Even if your rug looks clean on the surface, the water from the tank will show otherwise. I’m grateful to have this fast-acting product in my cleaning arsenal. 


  • Wet vacuum with strong stain removal 
  • Easy to set up and use 
  • Works on rugs, carpet, upholstery and stairs
  • Two tanks separate clean and dirty water 
  • Includes various attachments and two bottles of cleaning solution
  • Long cord 


  • You’ll have to refill the tank multiple times for larger areas
  • Difficult to store because of its size 


Shark Carpetxpert Carpet CleanerAndrea Carrillo/

Can I use boiling water?

No! Don’t use water hotter than 140 degrees. I will say that I’ve learned it’s best to use distilled water in cleaning appliances to avoid hard water damage, so I used boiled water but let it cool down. 

Can I use this as a traditional vacuum cleaner?

The Shark CarpetXpert is intended for its namesake: carpets. We recommend using one of these other best vacuums as a traditional cleaner.

Is this safe to use on my rug?

Don’t use this vacuum on delicate rugs, including cotton, wool, silk, antique, natural hide or leather, or area rugs that don’t have a manufacturer’s tag. If you notice an excessive amount of carpet fibers in the tank, it may be too delicate for the Shark!

What other reviewers had to say 

“This is the best carpet cleaner I’ve ever had,” writes Mike, a five-star Shark reviewer. “Almost every part that matters can be easily taken apart and removed for cleaning out. The dirty water reservoir lid is simple to remove and has a big opening. All the included hand attachments come completely apart. The floor water intake opens up from the top which makes it better for air drying the roller and the water intake itself can even be removed. It is a dream to clean.”  

“Coming from a small handheld carpet cleaner, this vacuum is next level,” Luke, another reviewer, says. “Easily cleans large areas quickly and thoroughly and you can clearly see the amount of dirt or dog pee this pulls out with the clear liquid container. I would highly recommend this if you want more than spot cleaner.”  

“I’ve always wanted to own a carpet cleaner and the Shark CarpetXpert is just great!” raves Jenny O. “It’s easy to use and does a really good job cleaning my carpets. I’ve tried it on my area rugs too! They look really fantastic.”  

Product comparison 

Most vacuums just use suction to scoop up dirt from the carpet. This Shark carpet cleaner combines water and cleaning solution to clean deep into the fibers. Shark’s VacMop Pro and Tineco’s iFloor 3 use a similar concept with steam functions, but those are best for hard flooring, not carpet and fibers.

The Bissell Little Green is another water-based gadget that works wonders on rugs and upholstery. It’s more of a handheld device, however, and isn’t as efficient as the Shark CarpetXpert for cleaning entire rooms.  

Final verdict 

As far as vacuums go, the Shark CarpetXpert is a keeper for any cleaning schedule. It dives deep to lift the gunk hidden deep in your carpet fibers. Just rinse the tanks and tools clean after each use. I love that the vacuum has instructional stickers placed throughout the machine in case you lose the instructional booklet. If you like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from seeing a dirty tank of water after a cleaning session, this one’s for you.

Where to buy the Shark carpet cleaner


I Tried It

Shark CarpetXpert

Two unique chemicals mix and activate on contact in the built-in tool to deliver 20 times more stain-striking power.

The Shark CarpetXpert is available directly from the Shark website for $300. For faster shipping, or to purchase a few more bottles of cleaning solution, it’s also shoppable on Amazon. 

Andrea Carrillo
As Associate Shopping Editor at Reader's Digest, Andrea is a lifestyle writer covering all things e-commerce. She has covered streetwear, sustainability and culture for a variety of publications. When she's not on deadline, you can find her reading, collecting vintage fashion and furthering her goal of visiting every country in South America.