Monday, May 6, 2013

DIY Carpet Cleaner

So we have been spring cleaning around here (slowly but surely).  One of the projects on my list was to work on a few dark spots on the living room carpet.  I know I'm supposed to take before and after pictures of this sort of thing, but I didn't.  I was in the zone.

Anyway, we DIY most of our cleaning supplies around here, so I did not have any commercial carpet cleaner on hand.  I have an ongoing Pinterest board for DIY household items, so I just clicked over there and found this pin by The Little Green Homemaker.

Here is the recipe:
1 cup warm water
1.5 teaspoons white vinegar
1.5 teaspoons liquid castile soap (or clear dish soap)
Baking soda (optional)

Mix the first three ingredients together (if you are using castile soap, the mixture will turn a milky white color, which is fine).  Place in a spray bottle or you can just pour it directly on the spot you are cleaning.

To use:
If using baking soda, sprinkle it on the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Vacuum it up.  Pour or liberally spray the carpet cleaner on the spot.  Scrub with a rag.  Done. 

I prefer using castile soap over dish soap for two reasons.  One, I have it on hand for cleaning generally, so I wanted to use it.  Secondly, the castile soap I currently have is the Bronner's brand with the tea tree oil scent.  This just smells like "clean" to me, so I like to use it whenever I can.

The baking soda doesn't seem to be necessary, but it's a great boost for tough stains.

I was amazed at how well this cleaner worked on the carpet.  I think back to when I was a kid and we kept Spot Shot around to deal with miscellaneous dog messes, and I think this homemade cleaner works as well, if not better.  Plus, it contains no weird chemicals and it's non-toxic.  I love it!


  1. I thought that was brilliant. The little signs were stuck on all the handrails and hard floors near the carpets and they warned us about walking with wet feet on those spots.

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  2. Too bad you didn't take 'before' and 'after' pictures! Lucky I've already seen the magic of this homemade cleaner. XD It's actually better to use when you're doing the cleaning yourself, as some stain removers can cause fading when applied generously.

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  4. Brilliant advice - I can't wait to try this myself! I am trying to work on my carpets and rugs at the minute after going through a ton of frugal blogs and trying my hand at doing more for myself instead. I've been using carpet cleaners for a while - the last were carpet cleaner solihull - they're brilliant I won't lie! Now I'd like to try my hand at it myself, but with 3 kids, 2 cats and a house rabbit I need all the help I can get. Thanks a lot!

  5. Hi all, came here looking for carpet cleaning tips! It's a good post, thanks, I particularly like how it's followable by anyone, not just experienced, frugal folk ;) I also have a nice recommendation if I may - carpet cleaner sutton coldfield but Google has lots more if you're in another area or country!

  6. Thanks! I used your advice and have some pretty impressive results. I had one particularly bad carpet that I just couldn't get clean - I ended up using carpet cleaning sutton coldfield because they don't use harsh chemicals and do a great job, but for a lot of carpets I can use your advice in this post so thank you :)

  7. Very useful post. This is a terrific solution for those looking for do it yourself carpet cleaning methods.

  8. Vinegar seems to be the universal cleaning ingredient! I have no doubt that this formula would work for my carpets, but I'm just curious if the ingredients would react with the carpet dye and fade out some colours. From what I've read, adding some baking soda can help balance the solution and even take away some specific kinds of hard to crack stains. Add that to the fact that it has low-cost and environment-friendly ingredients, and you've got the perfect all around floor cleaner! Thank you for sharing this post with your readers! Deidre Schaefer @