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.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
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
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 pf witch hazel will make a super effective carpet cleaner that is safe for use in commercial or home shampooers. Also, sprinking 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. I've left a link to my business page if anyone wishes to see more before and after photos
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.
If you have pets, add 1/2 cup vinegar to that to help with pet odors. It is also very good on pet stains. Spray full strength on the pet stain and absorb all you can; then do it once more.
By Laura B. from Jonesville, LA
To clean carpets, I use 1 cup of Clorox 2 (non chlorine bleach alternative) and 1 cup alcohol then fill the carpet cleaner with hot water.
Editor's Note: Do not mix regular chlorine bleach with alcohol or other common cleaners as hazardous gases may be created.
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Here are questions related to Homemade Carpet Shampoo Recipes.
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
By the way I have a Cat, so ammonia is out of the question, that would make my cat pee all over the place. LOL
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?
Sprinkle the whole room with baking soda. Then in a home carpet shampooer fill the shampoo cartridge full with this mixture. 1 gal white vinegar, 1 large bottle of lemon juice, 1 pint of witch hazel, and 1 cup peroxide. This will yield almost 1.5 gallons. This mixture works very good and is safe for all carpets. I use it in my carpet shampooing business, and have had amazing results added bonus: there is no detergent, so you wont be left with crunchy stiff carpet. Www.facebook.com/lenzcarpetshampooing. A link to my business page so you can view before and after photos of carpets and upholstery cleaned using this mixture.
One day while rummaging thru my extra freezer in the back of my house. I sat a 12 oz. can of frozen orange juice up on the top of the freezer, forgetting about it. A few days later, I heard a noise. What I found was a partial can of thawed orange juice on top of the freezer, and the rest had run all down the front of my freezer and into my light gray carpet. I was lucky that it didn't explode onto the ceiling area. What a mess though! My question is --- does anyone know what takes orange juice concentrate out of carpet? Many thanks to those who answer!
By KLS8800 (Guest Post) 07/07/2006
I know that when I had pets, and they did their liquid business on the rug..I used ginger ale or club soda. Baking soda may help, too. and oops for the Orange Juice. I have done that...we now store our cans (of frozen juice) in ziplock type bags. Just make sure they close.
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 believe. A home machine will be just as effective. Also I left out use vinegar for the pet odors. In your solution.
Can you really put boiling water in the plastic tank on a cheap Hoover carpet cleaner without hurting it?
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 to 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
How do you get a dirt stain out of carpet?
By Bill (Guest Post) 09/10/2007
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.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
Do you have an idea for a homemade carpet cleanser for my steam cleaner?
How do you make homemade rug shampoo?
Patty from Upstate, NY
Here's some ideas:
By carla bledsoe
Ditto on not using soap in the water. Our carpet has been down for more than 20 years and still looks good. We raised three sons, one dog and 3-4 cats over those years. Plus, there were always lots of teens here after band functions. When we get ready to clean (only every few years). Here's what we do. Vacuum well. Get some 409 or Awesome (highly diluted) or Simple Green. Work about a 3-foot square area at a time. Spray a little of the solution on the space; use a stiff broom or rent a small rotary scrubber and lightly scrub the area. Rinse with the steam cleaner, USING ONLY HOT WATER. Our carpets come so clean and we only have to repeat every few years. (09/28/2006)
I use white vinegar and Downy. Works great for me (09/28/2006)
To the person who warned against using Fabreeze if you have pets, it's an urban myth. More about it here:
For fresh stains I find the best thing to use is baby wipes. Huggies is awesome, but any brand is good as long as they are unscented. It will remove any stain and also set in stains too on carpets and clothes. (09/30/2006)
Cheap shaving cream makes an easy carpet shampoo. Vacuum the carpet well before applying. Work on one 3' x 3' area at a time. Squirt some shaving cream on the carpet. Spread it around and work it gently into the carpet with a damp sponge mop. Rinse the mop & wring it out for each section. Allow to dry overnight. Vacuum thoroughly again in the morning. (09/30/2006)
I have used mean green with water and pine-sol with water and both of them have worked awesome. (09/30/2006)
Vinegar is my savior for everything. I just used it to shampoo my whole house. I mixed 1 cup in the hot water. You don't have to use just vinegar. It works fine when it is diluted. (01/20/2007)
How do you make homemade carpet shampoo? I would like to make this shampoo for a Bissell shampooer.
Pat from McKee, Kentucky
The last time I rented a steam cleaner I bought a tiny little bottle of the recommended liquid cleanser to put in it, for over $10, and it didn't finish even half of my office floor so I read the ingredients on the bottle, went to the dollar store, read labels on all the cleaning products and found that dishwashing powder has the same active ingredient. Of course it's a dry powder instead of a liquid but I had a small sauce pan and a hot plate in the office so I just poured a cup of dishwashing powder into two cups of boiling water, turned off the heat and let it steep for a half hour before using the liquid in the steam cleaner. I assumed the expensive product was more concentrated and used twice as much of the homemade liquid. It worked just fine. The large box of dishwashing powder cost me $2 and I had plenty left over for the next time.
By Don Crowder
You people who use soap on your carpets, not only is soap not good for the carpet, because it can usually never be properly rinsed out, but it ATTRACTS more dirt! Dirt will actually stick to the spots you cleaned up with "soap". The best way to clean up any odor, stain, etc from carpet is to mix vinegar with very hot water (30% and 70%). Use a plain white dishcloth to gently run the carpet. I usually put down clean towels over the wet spots until it is dry (so if someone walks on it, it doesn't get dirty). Once it is dry, take the towels off, vacuum and there you have it! Clean, odor free carpet that looks brand new! (06/25/2007)
Just want to say that I used a little bit of simple green in the water in my machine and then rinsed with hot water and vinegar per instructions above .. I will tell you this is the best solution. My carpet has never looked like this except when it was first installed. I never thought of using vinegar until I read this post. THANKS EVERYONE! (07/28/2007)
By Carrie from MA
OK, I'm now convinced that I need to use vinegar and hot water to clean my carpets better than what I have been using (store bought Bissell products). But I'm unsure about the dilution formula. 50-50? 1 cup vinegar, 3 cups hot water? Do I pour the solution into the machine's water bladder which places the water on the carpet or into the shampoo dispenser that is separate? I have a Bissell Pro Heat. I've emailed Bissell for advice but they were of no help. They actually suggested that I get in touch with a "professional cleaner"....geesh! Thanks for your help. (09/09/2007)
Does anyone have an idea for homemade DRY carpet shampoo? (09/10/2007)
I'm looking for the best homemade carpet shampoo.
What is the best homemade carpet cleaner to use to clean carpets dirt and pet urine on the carpets?