In my house, I have carpet only in my kitchen, and needless to say, keeping that carpet clean is really a challenge. I am not one who has the time to continually pull out my carpet cleaner, so I often look for other, easier ways to get the job done.
Formula 409's Carpet Spot and Stain Remover is one of my favorite, quick cleaning products. I bought it the last time for $3.25 for a 22oz. aerosool can. This one can covers apporxiamtely a 8x8 area in my kitchen.
The concept is wonderful, just spray it on the carpet, let it dry and vacuum up the dirt. Of course, you need to vacuum the floor before applying the cleaner to get up as much loose dirt and debris as possible For deeper cleaning, the product recommendations are to use a damp mop or sponge to work the product into the carpet, then allow it to dry and simply vacuum the carpet again.
I have found that although it does not clean as well as my machine does, it does a fairly good job. It takes the product 15-20 minutes to fully dry, depending upon how much humidity is present in my home at the time. It does a great job on the lower traffic areas of my carpet, and makes a pleasantly noticable difference on the high traffic areas.
The scent is pleasant, but a bit strong. As the product dries, the scent does dissipate and become a lot less strong.
Overall, I would recommend this product, but with the warning that your carpet will look better, but not as good as it would with the use of a machine.