Does Kirby Carpet Shampooer Work? Detailed Guide

Does Kirby carpet shampooer work? The Kirby shampoo system attaches to the front of a Kirby vacuum after the vacuuming head is removed. This attachment cleans by generating foam to apply to the carpet and does not saturate the carpet with water, making it quick and easy to use.

Does Kirby Carpet Shampooer Work?

Kirby carpet cleaning shampoo has proven to be very effective against all kinds of stains on your carpet – be it dirt, grit, grease, oil, pet residue, food, coffee, stains, etc. Their carpet shampoo has a special formula that contains encapsulating polymer and removes every kind of sticky stain.

The Kirby shampooer performs well. Even better if you use additional products from the company, such as the spot remover and high traffic area shampoo. On the pre-G series, such as the Heritage II and later, you may turn off the suds by attaching the capped end to the outlet pipe adjacent to the hose’s end.

How Does A Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Work?

A Kirby is a vacuum cleaner that has the ability to be converted into other useful machines that can be used throughout your home using optional attachments. The services that can be performed with these attachments include carpet and upholstery cleaning, hardwood surface mopping and waxing, sanding, scouring, and even air inflation. There is also a detailed guide on How to use a Kirby carpet shampoo system

Can I Use Any Shampoo In Kirby?

Standard shampoo is made for water extraction, if used in a Kirby system it will leave chemical residue in your carpeting. As those types are made to be rinsed out. I would not use anything other than a dry foam shampoo. It’d be the best and easiest to just stick to Kirby’s line.

If you have stubborn old stains, check out the Best Carpet Stain Remover Vacuum For Old Stain. You will find it very helpful.

How To Use The Kirby Carpet Shampoo System

Prepare the Carpet and Room

Vacuum the carpet to be shampooed. Move as much of the furniture out of the room as possible. Place sheets of wax paper or foil under the legs of furniture remaining in the room, to prevent staining of any wood. Pretreat heavily soiled areas, scrubbing with a hand brush before using the Kirby shampooer.

Remove the Vacuum Head

Unplug the vacuum. Remove the vacuuming head from the Kirby vacuum by turning the belt knob to match the red arrows. This releases the belt. Remove the vacuuming head and bag assembly from the right side of the vacuum.

Turn Knob to Red Arrows

Turn the knob on the front of the assembled shampoo attachment to match the red arrows. This sets the belt to the open position.

Add Shampoo Attachment

Slide the shampoo attachment into place and turn the belt indicator to match the green arrows. Some models may have a raise/lower switch that needs to be depressed to attach the shampooer and lock it in place. Other models may have a knob or lever to turn that will lock the shampooer in place.

Fill the Clean Water Compartment

Fill the tank with warm tap water and shampoo. The quantities depend on the size of the room to be vacuumed.

Attach the Tank to the Unit

Attach the tank to the top of the shampoo attachment on the right side of the unit, and lock it into place. Connect the solution tank to the collection tray on the front of the unit with the hose.

Adjust the Foam Output

Plug in the vacuum, turn the Kirby on and turn the knob on the top of the shampoo tank until a light fluffy foam is being dispensed onto the carpet. The valve does not have to be opened fully. Keep adjusting until just foam is being dispensed.

Apply Foam to Carpet and Let it Soak In

Apply the foam to the carpet in a slow, back and forth motion until an area approximately 3 feet by 5 feet is covered in foam. Allow the foam solution to sit on the carpet for five minutes. Turn the knob on top of the shampoo tank to the off position.

Remove Foam

Pull the machine backward over the foam to remove it from the carpet. The Kirby does not vacuum up the foam. When pulled backward the brushes pick up the foam and deposit it in the tray. Use smooth motions with the machine to avoid sloshing dirty solution out of the pickup tray onto the cleaned carpet. Empty the collection tray as needed.

How to Use the Kirby Carpet Shampoo on Stairs

  • Step on the vacuum pedal to raise the vacuum as high as possible.
  • Remove the nozzle by turning the knob on the front to match the red arrows and turning the accessory lock counter-clockwise.
  • Twist on the vacuum hose attachment over the hole where the vacuum nozzle was attached. Use the vacuum hose with the surface nozzle to dry vacuum your stairs. Use the vacuum hose with the extension tube to get in to corners.
  • Work in small sections at a time and spray Kirby Foam Carpet and Fabric Cleaner evenly on the steps. Work the foam into the carpeting with a soft bristle scrub brush. After the foam has sat on the carpeting for about 5 minutes, blot it up with clean, damp towel.
  • Leave the stairs to dry and do not let anyone walk on them. Once dry, vacuum the stairs again using the Kirby with the hose attachment.

Important Safety Tips For Using Kirby Carpet Shampooer

  • Always make sure your machine is unplugged and the power button is turned off, before servicing your vacuum.
  • Always make sure your hands are dry and free from moisture before servicing your machine.
  • Be sure to wear gloves when servicing your machine to prevent any cuts or scrapes.

Formula For Homemade Kirby Foaming Carpet Shampoo

  • 12 cups Water
  • 1 Tbs White Vinegar
  • 3 Tbs Dish Soap (Dawn, Palmolive, etc.) All you have to do is add the dish soap last to avoid creating too many bubbles, mix well and pour directly into the soap tank. There is no need for diluting or adding extra water or anything.

Similarly, can you use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner? Yes, you can use your laundry detergent to clean your carpets. It would work just as effective as the store-bought cleaner. In addition, it will leave your carpet smelling as clean. You can also make your own carpet cleaning solutions.

Does Kirby Carpet Shampooer Work FAQs

Is It Safe To Use Kirby Carpet Shampoo On Upholstery?

Upholstery Cleaner Kirby Zipp Foam is an excellent carpet and upholstery cleaner for small jobs and tough-to-reach spots. The thick foam quickly loosens dirt and dries quickly without a sticky residue. Simply spray on, work into the carpet, and vacuum away the encapsulated dirt and debris when dry.

Why Is Kirby So Hard To Push?

The motor must be taken out of drive or you may experience difficulty pushing and pulling your Kirby when it’s turned off. Check the switch you used to put the vacuum in drive. If the side marked with a « D » is still pushed down, you must push the side marked with a « N » down instead.

Why Doesn’t My Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Suction?

Check for Clogs The hole in the front is where all the suction happens, so make sure that there is nothing blocking it. Turn the fan in the hole by hand to make sure there is nothing stuck in it. Next you can check where the vacuum connects to the bag. Pop the bag off the fill tube and check inside of that.


Most vacuum cleaners with attachments have a permanent hose that is part of the vacuum even when running the normal vacuum head.  This makes normal vacuuming less effective because it has to “pull” the air and soil a longer distance.  This creates the need for a bigger motor, more stress on the motor and more energy used.  The Kirby does not use the hose for normal vacuuming, instead you detach the power head when you use the attachment hose

The Kirby Foam Carpet and Fabric Cleaner is a great upholstery cleaner that provides a deep clean and leaves no residue. Use the upholstery attachment for your vacuum for basic vacuuming. Remove cushions if applicable and work from top to bottom left to right. Put cushions back in place after cleaning all sides of each one. Remember to change the suction-level lower when cleaning delicate fabrics.