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.
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
By Carol 1
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
April 23, 2011
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 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
By taterbabie 1
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.
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
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?
January 22, 2015
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 guest (Guest Post) Flag
July 7, 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.
By katznana 1
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.
November 15, 2014
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!
September 8, 2013
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!
By b.garrett 1
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
By Lisa 1
How do you get a dirt stain out of carpet?
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
September 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.
Do you have an idea for a homemade carpet cleanser for my steam cleaner?
Sue from Naples, FL
Soap is sticky and will attract dirt forever. I never put it in my carpet. The only way I know of getting it out is to haul the carpet to the lawn and rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse.
Post by Jill
For my steam cleaner, first I mix 1 gallon white vinegar with 1 cup borax. Then, I use 1 cup of the solution in my steam cleaner and fill with hot water.
Instead of using expensive carpet shampoo to clean your carpet do what grandma used to use and use white vinegar and hot water. It cleans great, freshens and neutralizes any odors and rinses the carpet nicely leaving no soap. Try it you will love it!
I used oxy cleaner to clean my carpet and it worked wonderful with no soapy mess. Soap seems to make my carpets get dirty quicker so I went over my carpet with plain hot water and what a soapy mess. So now I use a little oxy cleaner and it really brightened my carpet and makes it look like new.
Post by Sheila
The thing to remember about carpet shampoo is it has a neutral Ph otherwise it attracts dirt and you have an even bigger mess dish soap doesn't have a neutral PH neither does laundry soap. What does have a neutral PH? the shampoo you use on your head. Practice diluting it until you have it the way you want it it should foam to lift the dirt up foam not lather stronger is not better P.S. this especially good advice when using pesticides and herbicides. (03/21/2004)
Post by greg
If you have animals, ammonia is not a good thing to use on your carpets, especially if you are treating a pet stain. The smell will just lure them back to the same spot. Also if you have hardwood floor under the carpet, ammonia will turn the wood black. I unfortunately found out the hard way.
Post by Roberta Doyle
I used to clean carpets professionally. Clients would have spots that returned year after year. They had used soap. I had a cleaner from my franchise that is not soap that would eventually clean out all the soap and stop the spots from returning.
Soap must be rinsed out completely or it will attract dirt and always be a problem. I now use vinegar in a spray bottle with a cotton towel that I rub over the yarn so the cotton wears out, not the yarn.
My personal carpet lasted l0 years longer than its warranty and looked wonderful simply because I kept it clean. (11/06/2004)
Post by Jill</p?
I found this at: http://www.laundry-alternative.com/ammonia_and_bleach.html
"Never mix ammonia and bleach!
One of the most common hazards occurs when chlorine bleach is mixed with ammonia or acids. The combination of ammonia and bleach produces dangerous chlorine gas, which in small doses can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. In large doses, it can kill. Chlorine gas, also known as mustard gas, was actually used in WWI & WWII.
One way this occurs is when people disinfect an area with bleach before cleaning. For example, you could use bleach to disinfect the sink area, then wash the dishes with an antibacterial dish soap which contains ammonia. If an area has been cleaned with other products, make sure the area is thoroughly rinsed with uncontaminated water before bleach is used."
Because vinegar is an acid it will react the same way with bleach.
We use bleach very, very sparingly and only when nothing else will work. In the U.S. many cleaning products contain bleach. Make sure you check the ingredients and check the warning labels. A few drops will disinfect water so you never need very much. (01/15/2005)
Borax and water is all I use in mine. I use to use tide, but I like the borax better. (03/21/2006)
I just did my entire living room carpet, using the Little Bissell green machine, and all I used was really hot water mixed with white vinegar. It worked fabulous, the carpet looks new germs are killed and the room smells fresh ! (03/22/2006)
By Sur from Boston
Most important thing to remember is anything that builds up suds or foam also leaves that residue in your carpet, what ever you decide to use to clean your carpet. The best thing to do is to go back and use hot water and white vinegar to pull up the rest of the soap and residue, plus leaves your carpet smelling great. (07/10/2006)
By janina bain
We have a couple of cats and I have had many years of experience with home carpet machines. First off, if you have cats or dogs don't use ammonia as has been said above, it reminds them of their litter box. I have tried all sorts of stuff and have settled on a cup of white vin. and about a half bottle of Febeze (Yellow label-allergen reducer) per container of water, which is about a gallon.
For stains I use hand dish-wash oxy cleaner and let sit for a while. I fill the container with a mix of half boiling water and hottest tap water. I don't always add white vin, but always add the Febreze allergen reducer. It is very important to shampoo carpets on nice dry days if possible. Lots of air movement to help dry them quickly.
I get more water up when the machine is heavy so my last sweep is done with nearly a full backwash bucket, I also get a lot more dirt out this way it seems, or even place some type of weight on the machine if you have thick carpets.
I try to stay with natural products so I really don't like to use professionals because some use very harsh chemicals, sure 99% of the time no one will notice any problems but that doesn't mean they don't cause any long term issues. The natural "green" products seem to be very good to use also.
Lower humidity means fewer dust mites which means less allergens in your home, don't soak the carpets. Dust mites like humidity over 70% and pretty much die when it is 40% or less.
One other product that I recently found that I think is outstanding although not a carpet issue is a shower filter. They cost about $60, I used to sometimes be itchy after a shower but not any longer. They make the water seem softer and remove chemicals that dry on your skin and evaporate into the air. Filter changes are needed every 3 months but the unit installs and filters can be replaced by anyone and with ease. I bought the Aquasana at amazon direct from the company. Really a good product, you'll be glad you read this if you try one. The little Britta tap water thing that connects to your faucet is hard to beat too. Last but not least for you cat and dog people, don't use plastic bowls, if your pet gets little pimples (blackheads) on their chin they will go away if you change to glass or non-plastic, really they will. If glass is better for them perhaps it's better for us too, I'm not sure but lots of people think so. Artificial Sweeteners also have a big debate going on about them, check it out if your not up to speed, they sound like some bad stuff. Bye (09/18/2006)
For cleaning carpet, especially with pets, I use plain hot water to go over the carpets once, or add white vinegar, about 1 to 10 parts to water. I would seriously recommend AVOIDING FEBREZE! Although, I love the stuff and am sure it does a good job on carpets, there are a lot of reports of it being very harmful and possibly fatal for household pets. There has not been any conclusive evidence on this yet, but PLEASE look into this before deciding to expose your pets at such a high level as all of your carpet. Good Luck! (09/18/2006)
I use GoJo, the hand cleaner, mix 1/2 cup with VERY hot water (near boiling). Not only does it make carpets smell great it removes some really nasty stains too! (09/23/2006)
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.
Betty from MD
I have two dogs and two cats. All I use in my carpet cleaner is hot water and baking soda. You'll be AMAZED at how long it stays clean! (09/18/2007)
I also have the Bissell Pro Heat and recommend filling the "cleaning solution" tank with straight vinegar, and the water reservoir of course with water. I added 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil for a little fragrance, but is not necessary. Vinegar doesn't leave the soapy residue and cleans fabulously. People should really think about the chemicals they are using in their HOMES. Using all natural products for all of your cleaning works better, is cheaper, and is better for your family and the environment. (11/08/2007)
I tried and did NOT like or find useful this recipe on naturodoc.com:
Rug shampoo mix: Mix 1/4 cup mild detergent or soap, with 1 pint of warm water and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Whip into a stiff foam. First, vacuum the rug thoroughly. Apply the foam and scrub. Let dry, then vacuum again.
The "mild detergent or soap" was undefined, so I used hair shampoo. I even whipped with and egg mixture, but it did not dry into something I could suck up with the vacuum. I felt it just added to the gunk in the carpet with helping it at all. (02/08/2008)
By Christina C
What is the best homemade carpet cleaner to use to clean dirt and pet urine on the carpets?
Terri from Ponder, TX
I used Era laundry detergent. It works great. (04/11/2008)
Thanks Cece. I found out that what you can actually do is fill up the container with hot water and add 2 tsps of vinegar and 1 tbsp of laundry detergent. I used my laundry detergent that was XTRA with softness of Escape that has Lavender and Sweet Vanilla in it. I got the best clean carpet. It smells good, as well. My dog didn't like, it so now she doesn't go on my carpet any more due to the smell of vinegar. Thanks to all for the great help. Terri
Clean out tank with hot water after using vinegar. I just bought my second steam cleaner. My last carpet cleaner developed horrible drips that could not be fixed / replaced. I've been using vinegar and hot water for years, but didn't think about the damage the vinegar would do when leaving a bit of it left over in the "soap" tank. (with 3 kids I pull out my carpet cleaner A LOT - and usually left whatever was leftover in the "soap" tank - ready to use with the next stain) Now I wash out all three tanks with hot tap water very well, so as to not let it eat away at the rubber bearings.
Does it work? Vinegar and Hot water: Better than any thing I have tried in 16 years. (04/13/2008)
I have used scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner on fresh (still wet) Kool Aid stains. The foam brings it up nicely and you can kinda scrape it off and repeat until no more comes up; or if you get most of it the first time, blotting with a terry cloth towel or paper towel works, too. This is also great for Kool Aid and sometimes tea rings on laminated surfaces.
Also, on pet stains, if it's fresh enough, spraying the spot with plain water and blotting until nearly dry and then caking baking soda on it works great. Just vacuum the baking soda up when it's dry. I wouldn't recommend this with anything but a bagger vacuum or a Dyson because baking soda gets into the filters in a regular bagless and as it breaks down releases the odor every time you vacuum.
So, if you notice a stale, musky odor whenever you run your bagless, you may need to change the filter. Also, you can take a slightly dampened (vinegar works) toothbrush or rag (well wrung out) and scrub the suction path. Rinse the hose and dirt catcher in mild soap and water (I use baby shampoo) and then vinegar and water-to get rid of the soap residue, it will more effectively deodorize your bagless. (04/14/2008)
I have a Bissell Quicksteamer that quit dispensing the cleaning fluid after using water and vinegar in it for a couple of months. The repair man told me that vinegar actually gums things up in the carpet machines. So, at least with the Quicksteamer, vinegar and water alone are not a good idea. I am going to try Simple green. (05/21/2008)
By Heather F
OK, so I have a mechanic husband, a 2 and a 5 year old, and a beagle. I have tried every carpet cleaner on the planet. The one thing that always does an amazing job is called Purple Power, it's 5 dollars for about 1/2 gallon at the Walmart.
I rent a Rug Doctor and use the Purple Power and it is like night and day, the water comes out black! The reason this works so well is that Purple Power is an engine degreaser! I know that sounds bad, but I have a beige carpet and I have been using this stuff for 7 years and have never had any negative reactions to my carpet. It works well and leaves no stain, because of the color it is amazing!
Remember if it will strip the grease off an old engine it will clean anything! I can't describe it it is just awesome! I use about 1 cup on really heavily soiled spots, and high traffic areas, I mix the 1 cup in with the water, about 1-2 gallons. And I have never had any problems with the carpet machine and there are no bubbles. I tried the vinegar thing, but again my husband is a mechanic. This stuff is amazing! Just give it a try and you will see! Promise. (06/14/2008)
I actually just found this site trying to find something to clean my carpet with. I Just finished scrubbing it on my hands and knees with a scrub bush and a bucket of water and Purex laundry detergent, and it came out just like new. The carpet is a light beige and it looked so dirty and now it looks almost like I just laid it down brand new. (08/10/2008)
I live in a Senior apartment building and have been cleaning the carpets about 3 years now with rented machines. I was buying the Rug Doctor Cleaning solutions which were about $20.00 a gallon. I went to 99 cent store and bought Awesome Brand Oxygen Powder. Mixed 2 scoops with each tank and the carpets come out beautiful. For spot treatment I dissolved 3 scoops Oxy Clean with 1 quart very hot water, let cool and poured it into a 1 quart sprayer, such as an old Windex bottle. Before I steamed cleaned the carpets, I just pre treated each spot with a few squirts then did the whole carpet with the Rug Doctor. Carpets are like brand new. (09/08/2008)
I have been using steam cleaning (hot water extraction) machines for over 30 years on various carpets and tried numerous commercial carpet shampoos, but I now have my own formula that works better than anything I have tried, and it's cheap. Firstly, this method IS NOT suitable for woolen carpets, they will shrink. I have also hired professionals - steam cleaners and dry-cleaners and still my method brings up the carpet the best.
I have three dogs, three cats and three kids (and their mates) that wander in and out all day, so my carpet needs regular care as I like it to look good and smell good. In fact, my carpet has outlasted my neighbors' carpets whose homes were built at the same time, and they don't even have animals inside! My carpet is 15 years old and still looks great.
There are five phases to getting your carpet really clean and keeping it looking like new.
Recipe for pre-spray: use an enzyme laundry powder and mix to the ratio as for clothes in cold water. This breaks down grease, dirt and dander.
Recipe for carpet shampoo: Palmolive Green dishwashing liquid (or Cussons or similar - but Palmolive is best) and washing soda (aka Lectic Soda; soda ash; sodium carbonate). The mix is 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid and 1/4 cup soda to 3 gallons (about 11 liters) water. This is where the action is and wow can't you see it in the throw out water.
Recipe for rinse: mix 1/4 cup "white" vinegar per gallon of water (3.7 liters). Cheap white vinegar is perfect. This step is very important as it removes any residue and prevents the brown staining that can occur. The browning happens because the carpet has been over wetted and dissolved dirt in the fibers is drawn to the surface again. The vinegar mix is slightly acidic and prevents this from occurring. It also deodorizes the carpet. Worried about the smell? Don't be, it goes as soon as the carpet is dry.
Because I have so much traffic, muddy paws, dogs lying about on the floor, etc. I do my carpets between 2 to 3 times a year. In between I regularly vacuum (twice a week) and to keep the carpets fresh, monthly I give a generous sprinkle of bicarb soda (aka sodium bicarbonate, baking soda) work into the pile with the beater bar (vacuum turned to nozzle) wait 30 minutes then vacuum. Buy generic home brand - it's the same as the more expensive brands. For a nice smell add 20 - 30 drops of you favorite essential oil and work into 500g before sprinkling.
TIP: place cardboard coasters under any wooden legs of table etc., otherwise the wood will almost irreparably stain your carpet.
Oh, by the way, this mix can be used on upholstery too! But as always check in an
inconspicuous area first.
Happy Carpet Cleaning! (10/20/2008)
I've read with interest all the posts about homemade carpet cleaning solutions, but none have had alcohol in them like mine. I got this recipe from a friend, have used the solution for 15 years, and would not even try another it works so well. I clean my carpet only when needed and I have always had beige berber carpet. If you are concerned about the alcohol, you can test for color-fastness based on your carpet color. As always, be mindful if your carpets are natural or synthetic material to avoid shrinkage.
Always use good air circulation when cleaning your carpets, this is not only safer for humans and pets, but helps to dry the carpet faster. The alcohol helps to rapidly evaporate the moisture remaining in the carpet. The small amount of dish detergent acts as a surfactant to make the water, vinegar, and ammonia solution "wetter" which helps the amazing cleaning results.
I have used this solution in a spray bottle for spotting, my Hoover Carpet Cleaner, and even rented a professional system for heavier jobs. All methods have worked so much better than the professional company I made the mistake of hiring once in a pinch. It took me two cleanings with my recipe to get their sticky solution out of my carpets.
Add enough water to make 1 gallon of solution.
For pre-spotting, put in spray bottle and apply 30 minutes before using other machine equipment. (11/01/2008)
Homemade cleaners are a great idea to save money but remember that this is science. In the recipes that have both ammonia and white vinegar you aren't accomplishing much cleaning, because ammonia is an alkaline and vinegar is an acid so they cancel each other out. You can use baking soda (a mild alkaline) with vinegar as a mild drain cleaner because of the fizzing action it produces. And alcohol (which is a polar molecule) can be used with a tiny bit of ammonia and water (45%, 10%, 45%) to make a great window cleaner.
A good book to refer to "Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson which includes lots of science about cleaning. Just be careful what you mix together. (11/13/2008)
I just used some Mr. Clean with Febreeze. I put 1/4 cup in my shampooer (Bissell) with 1/2 cup water and it worked great and smells great! I just dispensed it with the hot water and the shampooer did the rest. No soapy residue.
By pets mom
For spot cleaning I use orange hand cleaner as it is a grease remover. The stuff is amazing. Someone else on here mentioned they use Purple Power, which is the same idea (grease remover). Anyhow, the vinegar and water works great as an all over treatment. (12/14/2008)
Wow, has the old standby really been forgotten? The item used for decades to get wine stains out of clothing and carpets has been club soda people! Pour it on, let it fizz it up, dab and repeat. That's what grandmother used NOT vinegar. Yes, vinegar is a great rinse but how do you use it if it ruins the carpet cleaners? (01/24/2009)
What is a good homemade recipe for carpet cleaning? I have three bedrooms to clean. Thanks.
By ptravel from Lords Valley, PA
I always mix Pine Sol and ammonia in water. I used it for spot cleaning with a hand brush, but I'm sure it would work for the entire carpet. My husband used to work on big trucks and would track in black grease, and this mixture never let me down. (05/06/2009)
Several years back while shopping at the dollar store I noticed the gal in line behind me that was buying 8 bottles of cleaner called "Awesome". I asked her why she was buying so many & she said she was getting ready to clean her wall to wall carpeting and that it's the best carpet cleaner she's ever used. She said she puts it in to those carpet steam cleaners you rent & she can do her whole house for under $8 in cleaner. She said she swears by it & has used it for years! I've seen "Awesome" at every dollar store in my area. It's a highly concentrated cleaner. I always keep a bottle on hand because it's great for so many things (there's a long list on the bottle with the proper dilutions).
Me? I've always sworn by plain old hydrogen peroxide for carpets. You can use it to spot treat the bad areas before you start. Especially if you have pets that pee on your carpet! Put it in a well-marked spray bottle & be sure it gets down into the padding (always check a spot for color-fastness with any cleaner first). But if I was cleaning MY carpets, I would never use a wet carpet cleaner (because of mold & toxins), I would use a dry carpet cleaner.
For spot cleaning I used dishwasher soap and water in a spray bottle, or I used shaving cream. Sometimes Pine Sol diluted in a water bottle works too. I really like shaving cream because of its ease of use and it doesn't get the carpet to0 wet. (05/07/2009)
By Robyn Fed
I've used vinegar and a couple of drops of dish detergent. Mix with lots of water - in fact fill carpet container with water, add 3 cups vinegar and 2-3 drops of dish detergent. Works for me! I have my own carpet cleaner machine. (05/14/2009)
I am looking for a homemade recipe for carpet cleaner.
By pajama36 from Howell, MI
Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water. For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax, and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.
Here is where I found this information:
Also, if you are using a steam cleaner, you can use Tide or another liquid laundry detergent to clean and freshen carpets. (05/29/2009)
Mix up around 1/2 lb baking powder with 2.5 ounces to 3.5 ounces cornflower and add in dried bay leaves, after crumbling them. To add a nice and fresh smell to it, you should add a handful of potpourri, around 1.75 oz.
Thoroughly shake the whole thing in a covered container. Spill the homemade carpet cleaner on the stain and leave it there during the night to meld in. Wipe it off in the next morning, clean, and vacuum the spot to get the residue off.
For more helpful information on this subject you may visit:
<a href=" http://www.myflooringhelper.com/homemade-carpet-cleaner.html">myflooringhelper.com (06/07/2009)
I am looking for a homemade carpet cleaner recipe.
By Georgiana from PA
An inexpensive alternative to the store-bought variety. To check for color-fastness: test a bit of cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the carpet before using the first time. Makes 1 gallon.
Add the first 2 ingredients into a large gallon-sized container. (I mix my directly in steam cleaner applicator).
Add water; enough to equal just shy of one gallon. Add dish liquid at the end. Shake or stir.
Follow steam-cleaner manufacturer's directions for operating instructions.
I use this recipe all the time, not only on rugs, but furniture, too. If I have any left over, I put it in a spray bottle and use it as a general cleaner. (02/01/2010)
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)
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)