Disappointing at Best: Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

A time-consuming carpet cleaner that didn’t work

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Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

 Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

What We Like
  • Comes in a reusable bucket

  • Lid attached tightly

  • Carrying handle

What We Don't Like
  • Did not remove stains

  • Did not deodorize

  • Clogged the vacuum

Bottom Line

The Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner was an utter failure that was disappointing at best.


Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

 Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

We purchased Capture's Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner so our reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.

Even if you have hardwood floors, chances are there’s a rug somewhere in your home. Whether you're cleaning carpets or rugs, there comes a day when you need a carpet cleaner to help remove dirt, spills, and stains. Capture's Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner claims to clean carpets of all types, including stain-resistant and wool carpets. If anything, a carpet cleaner should at least make a dent in stains, help remove odors, and (hopefully) be easy to use. I tested Capture’s dry formula to see if it was worth the high praise it’s received in the past. 

The Capture cleaner looked promising upon arrival. It came in a four-pound reusable plastic bucket. The bucket includes a resealable lid and a nice carrying handle. Normally, I wouldn’t dwell too much on the packaging of a carpet cleaner. Unfortunately, everything positive I have to say about this carpet cleaner involves the bucket. 

Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

Whenever I test a product, I first look at the directions to see exactly what’s involved. What did I notice first about this dry carpet and rug cleaner? It’s not meant to be used alone. That’s right. You have to purchase Capture’s Pre-mist Carpet Pretreatment & Spot Remover, which I didn’t have. The pretreatment spray isn’t sold everywhere. After doing a little online research, I found it at Lowe’s and ordered it for in-store pickup. A week later, I was finally ready to test the Capture carpet cleaner. 

I’d also ordered 12 synthetic-fiber carpet squares for testing. I wanted to see how Capture handled both regular dirt and common stains. I choose mud, mustard, pasta sauce, and grape jelly/grape soda (my local grocery store didn’t have grape juice!). To make the testing more lifelike, I left one set of stains overnight, and the other I cleaned right away. 

Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

Now, let’s talk application. The first step is to spray the stain or area you want to clean with the Pre-mist Carpet Pretreatment & Spot Remover. The directions say a light application, which I did. The pretreatment sits on the carpet for three minutes before sprinkling the dry cleaner over the top.

The Capture dry cleaner comes with an application sifter. You scoop out the powder and sprinkle it like powdered sugar on brownies. That part of the application was pretty simple. Next, you scrub the powder into the stain with a brush. I used a rag. The cleaner then sits on the carpet for 30 minutes. I set my timer and waited. In the meantime, the powder is supposed to absorb stains and odors so that when you vacuum the powder off of the carpet, the stains and odors come too. 

Thirty minutes later, I pulled out my wet-dry vac and went to work. And boy, am I glad I used a wet-dry vac. The still-wet power turned into a gummy, pasty mess in the vacuum hose. I vacuumed all of the powder, but then I had to check the filter and wash out the vacuum hose and upholstery attachment. 

Even worse—the carpet cleaner didn’t do anything. Nada. Zilch. Zero. The stains were still there. Only now they had a slightly whitish glow.

Huh, I thought to myself. 

I read through the directions again and did a little extra research. Turns out that dry cleaners typically work better when the powder is 100 percent dry, which this one wasn’t since it said to spray the carpet with a pretreatment. (I’m still scratching my head about that one.) 

I went through the application process again, including the pretreatment, re-sprinkled, and scrubbed. I left the carpet squares overnight to make sure the powder dried completely. The one good thing about letting the powder dry—it didn’t clog the vacuum. 

The still-wet power turned into a gummy, pasty mess in the vacuum hose.

However, it also didn’t remove any of the stains except for the dirt. Eureka! I thought (just for a little more internal dialogue). Maybe it’s good at removing mud, which is a useful application. To make sure that it actually worked on mud, I stained another carpet square with dirt, did not treat it with Capture, let it sit overnight, and vacuumed it. 

It turns out that when you let the mud dry, it vacuums right out of the carpet whether you put a cleaner on it or not—the third fail.

Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

Not only did the Capture cleaner not remove stains, the carpet still smelled like grape jelly, mustard, and pasta sauce. 

I’ve never had a product fail this miserably during testing, so I did some research on other people’s experiences with the product. This Capture dry cleaner carries a fairly significant following of people who sing its praises. They talk about how well it removes stains and odors, some having used it for years. How could my experience be so different? 

...the carpet cleaner didn’t do anything. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

I’m not entirely sure. However, there’s a small percentage of people whose reviews sounded exactly like mine. The cleaner clogged the vacuum, left white powdery stains, and did absolutely nothing. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the particular batch I received, but this cleaner simply didn’t work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Was the scent of the cleaner pleasant?

I’m not sure how to describe the scent other than it smells like the carpet cleaner that was used in elementary school. It’s almost an antiseptic scent, which isn’t entirely unpleasant but not something that stood out as a strength. 

Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

Was it worth the price?

This carpet cleaner isn’t expensive. However, it didn’t work. Consequently, I don’t have any other choice but to say that it was not worth the price.

Capture Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner vs. Resolve High Traffic

Resolve's High Traffic carpet foam isn’t a dry carpet cleaner like Capture, but it does do something that Capture doesn’t—clean. This tried-and-true carpet cleaner helps remove tough stains. The easy spray-on application beats the multi-step process of the Capture dry cleaner, too. 

I would definitely invest in Resolve over Capture any day.

Final Verdict

A hard pass.

I had high hopes for Capture's Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner. I honestly looked for reasons why it might not have worked. It could have been the type of carpet, but the description says it’s designed for all carpet types. I even sniffed the carpet in the hopes that it would have at least removed odors but nothing. It just didn’t work.


  • Product Name Carpet & Rug Dry Cleaner
  • Product Brand Capture
  • Price $35.00
  • Weight 4 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 7.5 x 7 in.