When it comes to carpets, Murphy’s law definitely applies. Anything that can get spilled will get spilled eventually. There are the wine-o-clock accidents. The morning coffee accidents and the dreaded (and often stinky) pet accidents.
And kids? It’s like their superpower is putting stains on rugs.
Add that to the general dinge that starts to set in from dust and dirt being tracked in, and your once beautiful carpet can really start to bring the whole room down.
But before you head out to the store to buy expensive carpet stain removers, carpet shampoos and other supposedly miraculous carpet cleaning solutions, you should know that you can actually make your very own carpet cleaner at home.
And it will cost you a lot less!
But are homemade carpet cleaners as effective as professional cleaning solutions? According to our favorite DIY sources, yes! But as with all homemade solutions, the proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, getting the pudding out of your carpet.
Considering these homemade carpet cleaners only cost pennies to make, it’s well worth putting them to the test yourself. We’re going to cover off a carpet cleaner you can use in a steam machine as well as some dependable spot solutions.
Okay, let’s get down to some carpet cleaning!
Homemade Carpet Cleaner For Steam Machines (and spot treatments)
This first DIY carpet cleaner recipe comes to us from Karrie at the Happy Money Saver. Not only is it tough on stains, but it also leaves your carpet smelling fantastic (thanks to the fabric softener in the recipe - genius!).
Let’s take a look at the recipe before we go over how to use it.
HOMEMADE CARPET CLEANER RECIPE
- 2 tablespoons liquid Tide Laundry Detergent
- ¼ cup LA’s Totally Awesome Cleaner
- 3 tablespoons Oxiclean
- 1 teaspoon Downy Fabric Softener (optional)
- 1 gallon hot water
1: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
2: Add the mixture to a gallon of hot water and stir gently.
3: Store in a gallon-sized container or use immediately.
And, presto, you’re ready for some carpet cleaning action.
How To Use Your Homemade Carpet Cleaner
The first thing you should know about this homemade carpet cleaner is that it’s super concentrated. For most cleanings, you’ll only ¼ cup of the solution. So that gallon you just made should go a really long way!
Also, before using it in your carpet cleaning machine, be sure to check the instructions and warranty. Some warranties are invalid if you don’t use a specific type of cleaning solution with them.
Here’s the step by step breakdown on how to clean your carpet with it.
As with any carpet cleaner (homemade or otherwise), you’ll want to test it on an inconspicuous area of your rug to make sure it’s safe for your particular fabric. Wait a full 24 hours for the test spot to dry.
Once you know the carpet cleaner is safe for your rug, vacuum thoroughly before your start shampooing.
If you have any particularly nasty stains, you can pre-treat them by making a solution with 1 part of the carpet cleaner to 1 part water. Spray or pour it on the stain and give it five minutes before you start your general shampooing.
You’ll be using ¼ cup of the carpet cleaner to 1 gallon of hot water for most carpet cleaners. But be sure to read the instructions on your particular machine as some reservoirs are bigger than others.
Add the appropriate amount of water first and then add the carpet cleaner.
Now you can run the machine over your entire carpet. Be sure to pay special attention to any stains.
Once you’ve shampooed the entire carpet, some experts recommend doing a final pass with just water as any carpet cleaning residue can attract more dirt. But this step is optional according to your preferences as the solution is diluted with a lot of water.
If you like that Downy fresh smell this carpet cleaner leaves, you may want to skip it. But if you want to be extra sure your carpet stays clean, go ahead with the water pass.
Now you just have to wait 24 hours for your carpet to dry completely, and you can start wiggling your toes in it again.
Store the remaining solution in a cool, dry place until next time. It should last at least six months or longer.
Comments on This DIY Carpet Cleaner
In case you’re feeling nervous about mixing up your own carpet cleaner and questioning whether it will be effective or not, we dove deep into the comments and found them to be extremely positive overall.
Here are what a few people have to say:
Cindy - June 14, 2020 (Happy Money Saver Comments Section)
“All I have to say is, AMAZING!! My carpets were terrible (and when I say terrible I mean it!) I rented a carpet cleaning machine from my local hardware store, made the carpet cleaning solution as directed and went to work. I was only going to do my main living area but the solution worked so well I ended up doing my whole house. Thank goodness for this inexpensive recipe because it saved me so much money and did I say it was amazing? Thank you for sharing!”
People also said things like “Best carpet cleaner ever,” and “Thank you! Got the marker out of the carpet!”
Perhaps most convincing of all is this glowing review from a small cleaning business owner who also offered a helpful tip on the recipe:
Maddi Delaney - July 31, 2020 (Happy Money Saver Comments Section)
“Okay so I own a small cleaning business in south Texas and just wanted to extend my gratitude for this because it made such an amazing difference and saved me a lot of money and time cleaning carpets BUT with that being said, I do just want to add that if you substitute the Tide (which I love the smell of) with the Clorox 2 stain remover detergent (which doesn’t smell quite as good) then you will be shocked at how new the carpets or rugs will look. Your solution definitely works like a champ but I’m telling you just humor me and give the Clorox2 a whirl. You’re welcome in advance.”
How To Spot Clean Your Carpet With Products You Have At Home
If you search the internet for spot cleaning solutions for your carpet, you’ll find an avalanche of answers with an even higher degree of conflicting results. Are vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol really the answer to your latest carpet spill?
To cut through the noise and provide you with some dependable advice, we’ve turned to the experts and Coit Carpet Cleaning. As it turns out, you can use products you already have to deal with your carpet emergency.
But different types of stains require different solutions.
According to these carpet cleaning experts, there are some sure-fire ways to deal with the most common stains. But a word to the wise, as with any carpet cleaning solution (commercial or otherwise), be sure to test it out first on an inconspicuous patch to make sure it’s safe for your carpet.
How To Get Red Wine Out of Your Carpet
Relaxing with a glass of wine. So enjoyable until your favorite cab goes sideways and leaves a very visible stain on your carpet. Here are a couple of ways to deal with it so you can get back to relaxing.
1. As with all stains, the quicker you act, the better. First grab a white cloth and blot (don’t rub!) the area to soak up the excess liquid.
2. Now pour a little cold water on the stain and continue blotting until no more of it will come out.
3. Now make a baking soda paste with a three to one ratio of water to baking soda. Apply it to the stain. When the area is dry, vacuum the stain.
1. Again, blot the excess wine using a white towel.
2. Next, use a small bowl and combine two cups of warm water, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.
3. Now dip a sponge into the liquid and apply it to the stain.
4. Continue blotting until the stain lifts.
How To Get Coffee Out of Your Carpet
Coffee may not give everyone the jitters, but spilling your daily cup of java on your rug certainly will. Stay calm and use this recommended method to get your morning back on track.
1. Blot (don’t rub!) the area using a white towel or white paper towel to get up the excess liquid.
2. Now take some mild dish soap and put it directly on a sponge.
3. Gently rub the coffee stain in a circular motion, and the stain should lift.
4. If the stain persists, combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water and apply it directly to the stain. Now blot with a sponge.
How To Get Dog Pee Out Of Your Carpet
Oops, your dog did it again. If your best friend had a little accident and caused a pet stain, don’t worry. Here’s how to clean it without losing your cool and ruining both your days.
1. First use a white paper towel or cloth and press firmly into the stain to soak up as much liquid as possible.
2. Now make a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Be sure to make enough so that the liquid can thoroughly wet the stain.
3. Pour the solution on the stain and scrub vigorously with a scrubbing brush. The vinegar should help to neutralize the ammonia in the urine.
4. Now blot the stain again using the paper towel or cloth.
5. Once the area is dry, shake a little baking soda on the stain.
6. Now mix one-half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and apply it to the stain. Use the brush to scrub the area again.
7. Once dry, vacuum the affected area.
How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Your Carpet
You’ve finally found a quiet moment for a little self-care, and suddenly your bottle of Tahitian sunset nail polish is spreading across your carpet. Here’s how to make sure your rug doesn’t end up as colorful as your fingernails.
1. As soon as you can, use a clean towel or cloth to soak up as much of the polish as possible. Again, don’t rub as this will cause the stain to spread.
2. Next wet the stain with cold water
3. Now spray 15 to 20 small hairspray pumps followed by 3 to five splashes of rubbing alcohol on the stain.
4. Now use a small brush to scrub the stain while pouring more cold water on it.
5. Repeat until the stain is gone.
How To Get Tomato Sauce Out Of Your Carpet
Tomato sauce. We love it on pizza and pasta, but not on our rugs. Here’s how to get this flavorful ingredient out of your carpet.
1. Using a spoon or knife, scoop up the excess sauce staring from the outside of the stain inwards to avoid spreading the stain further.
2. Now pour a generous amount of club soda on the stain.
3. Next use a damp sponge to firmly press on the stain to soak it up.
4. Now use a white paper towel to soak up the excess liquid.
5. Next, mix 2 cups of cold water with 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent.
6. Soak sponge in the solution and blot the stain with it.
7. Finally, rinse the carpet with cold water and blot with a white paper towel or cloth.
Whether you’re steam cleaning your carpet or trying to make a recent spill disappear, we hope these solutions will put an end to your carpet whoas with these homemade carpet cleaning tips.
For more information on different types of spills and carpet stains, Coit has a beneficial cleaning guide for just about anything that ends up on your carpet.
Though there may not be one single solution that applies to every kind of stain, many different household items will do the trick, depending on the kind of stain you have. Plus with DIY carpet cleaning, you can address the issue right away without harsh chemicals and an unnecessary grocery store trip.
So stay calm and remember to spot test whatever solution you try to get a clean carpet!
You might also be interested in: How to Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet