Cleaning your carpets will keep them looking nice. Carpet cleaning services and even store bought shampoos can be quite expensive. You can save money by making your own carpet shampoo. This page contains homemade carpet shampoo recipes.
I have my own carpet cleaning business, and I make my own homemade shampoo. While it is true that too much detergent in a homemade cleaner can be hard to remove, there are ways to make carpet shampoo without detergent. My cleaner is vinegar and astringent based, and I have found there is little it cannot remove. While I tend to agree with the detergent/soap thing (it leaves crunchy carpets and left behind residue can attract dirt) there are ways to make shampoo without having those issues.
While I won't say everything in my personal shampoo recipe, combining 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 large bottle of lemon juice, and 1 pint of witch hazel will make a super effective carpet cleaner that is safe for use in commercial or home shampooers. Also, sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before shampooing will remove the worst odors and boost the above mixture's cleaning properties. Below is a before and after photo.
In the solution you use, do you dilute this with hot water and how much per gallon? Thanks!
While I love all the homemade recipes and ideas here on Thrifty Fun, this one I have to chime in on. I have been in the floor covering industry for 18 years now. In my honest opinion, there is no such thing as a homemade carpet shampoo recipe that will actually work.
Homemade solutions have too much soap in them and our home machines are not strong enough to remove that from the carpet fibers without leaving residue. Residue will cause the dirt to come back with a vengeance, therefore making you clean your carpet way too much. You'll need new carpet in 2-3 years.
Every carpet yarn manufacturer recommends hot water extraction (steam) cleaning by a professional, with equipment strong enough to get the carpets clean and dry.
Plus, if you ever have a problem with your carpet, the manufacturer will NOT warranty any carpet that has been improperly cleaned. Be careful!
By Concerned from Springfield, MO
We used to use the vinegar mix, but have a dog. The dog kept going in the carpet and we found out it was actually BECAUSE we used vinegar. After that, we gave up on the homemade recipes and now we only use Genesis 950. By far the best cleaner we have used. The homemade mixes can actually be worse.
How can you make homemade carpet cleaner for an automatic cleaner machine?
By Gary from High Point, NC
When my husband knocked over a paint can on the carpet and got paint on it, I did what my former landlord did. When someone would move out of his rentals, he would put like one part Purple Power to 3 parts water in his shampooer to clean his carpets and it works great! We got out all the paint and can't even see where it spilled. I used the shampoo cup to measure it and what I did was put one cup of Purple Power and just finished filling the tank with water.
What is the portion of water and ammonia to use in the Hoover rug shampooer? Which cleans better ammonia or white vinegar? Thanks very much!
By Carol from Bel Air, MD
Clear ammonia has been used by professional cleaners. Do not mix products. Personally I use vinegar--white distilled, in my machine. 1/2 cup to 2 gallons of hot water. If my dog does an accident, I take a gal of hot water and 1/4 cup vinegar, swish and dump on spot. Then use the shampooer within 10 minutes to clean it. I found that I take the 2 gallon container on my shampooer and for rinsing the carpets add 1 ounce of Febreeze or other brand. You can get it in sprayer form or bulk. It makes the whole house smell nice, can't tell we have a dog! If I only need to freshen up the carpet, vacuum first then run shampooer with water only, do not use carpet cleaner detergent. Use the Febreeze.
I just bought a new carpet shampooer and need some recipes for good carpet cleaner. I have multiple pets and stains. It is old carpet, very used, when we bought our double wide.
I used original Oxyclean with a bit of Dawn Powerclean dish soap on my carpet. I thought " No way the carpets ruined. But to my surprise it cleaned my carpet like new. My doorway to my bedroom was black tracks from my wheelchair. I also used a steamer on the hard spots. I used a Rug Doctor Machine & it worked amazingly.
I have been using Mean Green to shampoo my carpets for years. I use about 1/2 cup per gallon of water and it doesn't clog up your pump like pine oil will.
I have become a big fan of using vinegar and baking soda to spot clean my carpet. It works wonderfully. Can anyone tell me how I can use my carpet cleaner to do the whole room without chemicals?
Thank you so much for your mixture recipe! Exactly what i was looking for. I do have a questions though. I have to rent a rug doctor type of machine to clean my carpets this time, how much of the solution would I need to use per gallon of hot water? Or would I use straight solution each time I have to fill the bucket? I do have a couple of "pet" spots that I will be pre treating but I want a deep clean all over each room of carpet.
Thank you for your time and attention in advance!!
I am so done spending $15 for a tiny bottle that doesn't even work very long for my Kirby vacuum. Does anyone know how to make the foaming cleaner, that I could pretreat with and put in the machine? Thanks!
Having long been a Kirby fan, I understand your feelings about the shampoo. I use Martha Gardiner's Country Homestead Eucalyptus Woolwash Liquid. It has cleaned old stains that even proffessional cleaners have been unable to shift.
One of the reasons for its great success is that it is a non-rinse product, therefore it doesn't leave any nasties behind. Just rub a little of the undiluted product into the stain first if it's a bad one and then use in the same quantities as your original Kirby product i.e. 3 capsful to each tank of warm water.
Another inexpensive option is to scrub stains with pressure-pack shaving foam. The best specific carpet cleaner I've ever found is Carpet Power. By the way its co-product, Shower Power is fantastic for removing lime and calcium from windows that have been sprayed with hard water from sprinklers and it works just as well - and safely - to remove similar white water marks from car duco. Just a tablespoon or so into a couple of inches of water in the bottom of an ordinary household bucket - slop a sponge into it and wipe off the marks. Rinse as usual and voila! Good luck!
I have a Bissell pro-heat 2x and I need the measures for the borax and vinegar combo to use in the solution tank. The cleaning formula is way too expensive and the carpet seems to attract dirt quicker. Is that because I've steamed up the Scotch Guard? My neighbor has used this site for help and recommends you.
B. Lou from Durham, NC
Actually Bissell cleaners are equipped with Scotchgard, and it keeps your warranty on Scotchguarded carpets in tact!
How do you get a dirt stain out of carpet?
I find that spot removers for my dog's accidents don't get rinsed properly and the cleaner residue attracts dirt again. Every so often I get out my Hoover carpet cleaner and just use hot water. It is unbelievable how many suds come up from those spots. But over the years I don't think I will be able to get them completely rinsed. I also like the Spot Shot. Follow the directions on the can.
I am looking for a recipe for homemade carpet cleaner. Thank you.
By raaschmn from St Paul, MN
I use plain vinegar and water. I add a drop or two of liquid dish soap. The soap doesn't sop the carpet and the vinegar takes out all odors. (12/06/2010)
What's a good do-it-yourself carpet cleaner using at-home products? I don't want to use chemicals. Thanks.
Tips and Warnings:
Don't douse a small area with foam, try to spread it evenly in order to cover more area.
Always test a small inconspicuous area of your carpet with this or any carpet cleaner/shampoo in order to make sure it won't mess up the color of your carpet.
The guy from the place I bought my carpets told me to use white vinegar and water half and half and a scrubbing brush. You may have to go down on your knees and scrub them, but I have been using this method for many years, even on expensive Persian carpets with no problems. I leave them outside to dry in the sun, you would have to do this in the summer, I assume, and the smell disappears plus my carpets are clean and deodorised. This would only work with small and medium sized carpets. (10/29/2010)
What can you use as an effective homemade rug shampoo?
By Wendy from Schenectady, NY
Test an area in the corner first. Pre-treat any "bad" areas with Dawn dish liquid. Mix a solution of 2 gallons warm water; 1 tsp Dawn and 2 TBS baking soda. Run through carpet scrubber; rinse with clean water (through carpet scrubber), let dry. (07/29/2010)
Once, when a friend had to get her carpets clean but was on a very limited budget and it was all she could do to rent the cleaner, I made a solution of laundry powder in hot water, and strained it so the little undissolved pieces weren't a problem. We used one or two cups of that in the container full of hot water from the cleaner. It worked great.
The more concentrated solution was for the few spots we had to get out. I wouldn't use it very concentrated; like a cup to a gallon size pot of hot water, strain it, and then it gets diluted again when it's poured into the container in the machine. Just the normal hot water from the faucet, and don't shake or swirl it. I don't recall the brand of soap/detergent. Maybe like Arm and Hammer.
I wouldn't recommend this all the time, but hey. (07/29/2010)
Try dissolving 1/4 c oxi-clean and warm water to fill tank, pour into tank when dissolved and shampoo as normal. (08/13/2010)