How to Reduce Foam on Carpet Cleaners

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Defoamer solution

  • Bucket

Liquid shampoo machines effectively clean carpets because of the foaming action provided to the carpet fibers. This helps to scrub and extract embedded dirt during the cleaning procedure. Excess foam can sometimes build up inside of the extraction tank and your shampooer lines that can impede proper operation of your machine. Defoaming agents can be added to your carpet cleaner to help reduce foaming during the extraction process and keep your hoses free from detergent buildup.


Step 1

Prevent excess foam in your shampoo reservoir by first filling your reservoir with hot water before adding the shampoo. Adding water after the shampoo in the tank will cause suds to form, while the reverse distribution will not.

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Step 2

Cut down on the amount of shampoo you use in the shampoo reservoir. You may use up to one third less than the manufacturer's recommendations to avoid excess sudsing. This can lessen foaming and help prevent residual shampoo from being left behind in carpet fibers after cleaning.

Step 3

Use a commercial defoamer solution to lessen foam inside of the lines and inside the extractor tank. Shake the defoamer well (or follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the bottle) and add 2 to 3 ounces of defoamer to 2 quarts of warm water inside of a bucket.

Step 4

Remove the wand from the shampooer, turn on your machine and suck up the solution directly through the hose to clear the lines from detergent buildup.


Step 5

Add 2 ounces of the defoamer to 1/2 gallon of water inside of the extractor recovery tank. Stir slightly and replace the lid before shampooing carpets. Empty the extractor tank as needed and apply more of the defoamer if you still experience a buildup during your extraction operations.


Excess foam buildup from shampooing carpets can be caused by improper extraction of shampoo from the carpeting on previous occasions. Always rinse carpets thoroughly after shampooing by adding cold water to the reservoir tank and removing residual soap from the carpet. Continue rinsing until you do not notice any more soapy water in the extraction tank.

Do not add defoaming agents directly to the cleaning solution in your tank; the foaming action is necessary to properly clean your carpeting.


Never add defoamers directly to carpeting unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer--this can damage carpet fibers.


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