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Homemade Carpet Shampoo

Do you have an idea for a homemade carpet cleanser for my steam cleaner?

Sue from Naples, FL


Avoid Soap

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

Steam Carpet Cleaner Recipe

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.

Vinegar and 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!

By Henrietta

Oxy Cleaner

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

Neutral Ph

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

Avoid Ammonia

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

Be Careful Using Soap

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

By ThriftyFun

Don't Mix Ammonia and Bleach

I found this at:

"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)


By Susan

Borax and Water

Borax and water is all I use in mine. I use to use tide, but I like the borax better. (03/21/2006)

By halloweenfreak

Water and Vinegar

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

Water and Vinegar

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)

By Jagwarr

Febreze Warning

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)

By Whitney


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)

By Susan

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