The Best EVER Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines

Easy Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines! Secret formula that really works. Costs $1/Gallon - Gets the stains out! Amazing & Easy to make!

I have four messy kids and a big dog. My carpets are downright gross much of the time, and I have really struggled with finding the time to keep those carpets clean. I am also one of the worlds biggest cheapskates and hate having to rent one of those Rug Doctor machines for shampooing. Not to mention that fancy-smanchy $20 bottle of carpet cleaning solution too. Then of course after spending all the money you get to only have the carpet cleaner machine for 24 hours which means a whole day of non-stop-sweaty-hard work shampooing. Not fun at all.

While I can’t help you with the work or the shampoo machine I can help you save money on the carpet cleaning solution! Woo hoo! You see, I have been making this super secret recipe for homemade carpet cleaning for about 4 years now. This formula was created by my amazing sister Tiffany – who tested many different homemade recipes and came up with this one. It works like a charm and makes your house smell amazingly awesome!

Disclaimer: make sure and read your instruction booklet that comes with your carpet cleaning machine for warranty information. Some machines warranties are no longer valid if you don’t use a certain type of cleaner with the product. AND of course always test a small area of carpet for color fastness before you do the whole floor.

Homemade carpet cleaner recipe - amazing formula that works well

Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution — My secret recipe!

Here is what you will need:
2 Tablespoons Liquid Tide Laundry Detergent
1/4 cup Awesome cleaner (dollar store brand)
1 scoop Oxyclean (I used generic dollar store brand)
1 teaspoon Downy Fabric Softener (optional)
Hot Water, one gallon


Mix together in a pitcher or large bowl the tide, awesome cleaner, oxiclean and the downy (optional). Then add in hot water gently so you don’t make too many bubbles.

homemade carpet shampoo for machines mix

Mix gently until oxyclean is dissolved. Pour in a gallon sized jug for storage. This recipe makes this a concentrated mix just like the fancy $20 rug doctor solution where you only add in like 1/4 cup of the solution to a gallon of water. So add in only a little bit of this solution each time you add water to your carpet cleaning machine. Or better yet just follow the instructions per your machine.

Note: always test a small spot on your carpet first, and wait 24 hours for it to dry before doing your whole carpets/rugs.

The best EVER homemade DIY Carpet Cleaner recipe. Really works well to get out the tough stains.

Now… I know what many of you are thinking.

This isn’t the most natural method.

And I know most of my recipes have been more natural, and non-toxic for the most part. But I wanted to be honest and tell you that I use this one myself because it WORKS. It gets the stains out and when I have 24 hours to shampoo I can’t afford to mess around with a carpet cleaning solution that doesn’t get the stains out.

Here is a dark stain that was in my son’s room. Now you see the spot. Then you don’t. Boom!


carpet shampoo recipe for machines

I love the way this cleaner works. And if you add in that teeny bit of downy fabric softener it will leave your carpets nice and soft too.

Price breakdown:

The Rug Doctor concentrated formula runs around $19.59 for a 1/2 gallon.

For my homemade recipe I spent:
$.97 for the Tide packet (of which I used maybe 1/2 of, so $.50)
$3.97 for the Downy (of which I used $0.15 worth if that)
$1.00 for the Awesome cleaner (of which I used $0.15 if that)
$1.00 for the Oxiclean cleaner (of which I used .20 if that)
==> Grand total $1.00 for a GALLON of concentrated mix solution for carpet cleaning machines.

Yeah, that is some serious SAVINGS folks!!! Wow.

All-Natural Carpet Cleaning Solution Recipe

Okay, so what about a non-toxic and thrifty recipe? Well, I will tell you I have tried out using 1/2 part vinegar and 1/2 part water and a few drops of essential oils and it works very nicely too. Maybe not as amazingly awesome as my main first recipe, but if the toxins are a worry for you this one works well.

All Natural Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines

Non-toxic Carpet Cleaning Solution Recipe (my second favorite carpet cleaning recipe)

1/2 part Vinegar
1/2 part Water
5-6 drops essential oils, or more as desired (optional)

Add to your carpet cleaner machine and shampoo. It will smell like vinegar pretty strongly while you shampoo them. But after it dries you will be left with a nice clean smelling house.

I have used this solution on my carpets, in the interior of my cars and even on couches. It works great and gets out the stains, which makes this mama very very happy.

Happy cleaning everyone! And happy saving money too.400 Comments

The Best EVER Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines was last modified: February 24th, 2017 by Karrie

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  1. Awesome, thank you so much for sharing your recipes! Our old carpet cleaner bit the dust recently and so we coughed up $400 and bought a Rug Doctor Mighty Pro from Costco and we LOVE it! Wish we would have bought it sooner because it works so much better than any other home machine we’ve owned. We used to rent the Rug Doctor once every year or so just because it did a better job than our Bissell, but now I can clean any room when it needs to be done and not be under pressure that I only have 24 hours to get everything cleaned. It’s definitely a sweat-a-thon when you rent the darn thing. We have used straight Awesome Orange from the Dollar Tree for our cleaner many times and it works really good, but my hubby is worried about how toxic it might be because it’s a pretty strong cleaner. I’ll have to mix up a batch of your concoction and give it a whirl.

    • I rarely get to the Dollar Tree; where else can one buy that awesome cleaner?

      Has anybody used Simple Green for shampooing carpets diluted with water? Wonder how that would work?

      • I used Simple Green instead of the Awesome cleaner when I did my carpets last weekend. It turned out perfect! I think that any all-purpose cleaner with good grease-cutting power would work.

        • Thanks Julie for your response. The reason I asked about Simple Green was in the back of my mind, when my husband’s niece lived in Maryland about 20 miles from us, I seem to recall her saying she had used Simple Green when she cleaned her carpet. She now lives in Arizona..I have trouble using the Green Simple Green because of the pine scent, but the lemon scent SG, I have no problem with. I have to be very careful with cleaning products because of a lung problem. Gosh, I grew up in NC and lwe had 4 1/2 acres of pine trees on our property and it never bothered me then; that was “way back too many years ago.”

          • Cindy Lower says:

            We just cleaned our carpets yesterday. We rented the rug doctor but we never buy their cleaner. We use Shaklee Basic H. It’s been around forever, very safe and natural and not toxic and fragrance free. We have 3 boys and,2 dogs and live one the country. Shaklee is not available in stores. Only a distributor. You can become a member and buy at a discount like I did. Carpets look great!

        • Simple Green is actually the most dangerous cleaning product you can use.

          Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
          It’s labeled “non-toxic” and “biodegradable.” It contains:
          2-butoxyethanol, a solvent absorbed through the skin that damages red blood cells and irritates eyes;
          A secret blend of alcohol ethoxylate surfactants. Some members of this chemical family are banned in the European Union.
          Worse, the company website instructs the user to dilute the product significantly for even the heaviest cleaning tasks. Yet it comes in a spray bottle that implies it should be sprayed full-strength. Such use would result in higher exposures.

          • Would the dollar store brand awesome have the same toxic chemicals as the simple green?

          • I wonder if you are a chemical engineer or similar? People make blanket statements often without the science behind to back it up. My husband is a ChemE and has often found flaws in many blog posts that sound logical at first blush but they are completely off base. Is the EU really where we want to go for advice??

          • This recipe works extremely well. I used it on the carpet of a 2002 Honda Accord that was trashed to the point where I really thought I would have to replace it. This stuff really worked. It took three applications and a stiff bristle brush, but with that, rubber gloves, and my shop (wet) vac, I was able to save the carpet. I applied this stuff hot, let is sit, brushed it in and the dirt, coffee, tea, juice, crumbs, and other unmentionables just floated to the top on the suds. I rinsed several times with clean hot water. This mix works very well.

            By the way, I agree re the simple green, the stuff is really bad for your lungs, so be careful. It really cleans PVC well though. I think Awesome cleaner, and Greased Lightning is the same stuff, based on what it does to my lungs.

          • The owner of Simple Green has drank many hundreds of
            Shots of Simple Green during presentations of the product to show its non-toxic qualities. Granted, he does it it the end and doesn’t recommend it because as he says “it clean you right out.” (As I would imagine any soap would)
            So, is he still alive and well after the first time I saw him drink it some 30 years ago?

        • Grease cutting odor lifting and stain removing is a toughie.
          I have used many different methods, and For a non toxic solution
          I have found E.O. products helpful,
          for the tough stains I used kids n pets, great for urine deep stains . milk spills

        • What is the dilution rate using simple green?

          • I just tryed this recipe on my very dirty light carpet! I must say it works! I did reserch on carpet clearning and found this and a few other tips I decided to try. Being that the last time I shampooed my rugs months ago The results was so very disappointing with the regular costly carpet clearning solution with even adding extra to the hot water.
            I added about 1/2 cup of shout to the mixture and used Tide he” (which cuts down on the suds) ALSO which I know made the biggest difference, I went back over my rugs with just hot water and when I say that picked up some much more dirt out of the carpet I was beyond Happy!!!!! It has given my carpet that I was ready to just replace, new life!!! Yes it is a little bit more work but SOOOO worth it! I would say spot clean high traffic areas and stains with shout or a can spot carpet cleaning spray first scrub or sweep in carpet well before starting!
            Also a New TIP……. For years being that I smoke and have a dog, the house can get a bit stagnant at times ( mostly in winter months) Putting about an 1/2 cup of Downey in 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of hot water in a bucket and sweep it into your rugs will have your house smelling wonderful and make your carpet softer! I will be doing that today because using it in the mixer made it to diluted and I’d liked the fresh smell and sofness now that they are clean!
            Also after trying it and coming back and reading some more of the many comments. Being that the mixer is made with adding water and also the fact that you use a cup or 2 with more water when you use it in the steamer and the fact that I went back over the rugs withjust hot water I dont think it will effect the integity of my steam cleaner! I will also look up the ingredients in the regular carpet cleaning bottle.

        • I use Genesis 950. I buy the 2.5 gallon size and can clean my entire house. That also leaves me enough to clean the rest of the house for months.

        • sandra m says:

          I’ve seen Awesome at Walmart and Dollar General. Dollar General has is by the jug if you go thru a lot.

        • Derpy Redneck says:

          Since I’m a fan of saving money with solutions that work and although this recipe is great, I wish to try a cleaning experiment.

          I’m curious on how the 2 tablespoons of either Tide Purclean or Seventh Generation Free & Clear would work as the detergent portion, sincethey removed the butoxyethanol chemical that was so controversial in 2013 from Simple Green could the awesome cleaner be replaced with 3 tablespoons plus one optional teaspoon of simple green?

          Could the fabcric softner be reduced to 3/4 teaspoon and still make largely the same impact?

          I’m willing to give it a try this experiment, plus a hot water rinse for the carpet afterwards.

          Who else wants to give this experiment a try?

        • I used diluted Simple Green with water. My carpet cleaner started to clog up and quit spraying. I could not figure out how to fix. Packed it up and took to an appliance person. He stated I had to use products made for carpet cleaners. Simple Green even diluted clogged up the sprayers.
          The cost of the appliance repair and time was not worth using Simple Green. However, I use it only in squirt bottles and love the product.

      • I just found Awesome spray cleaner at my local Rite-Aid for $1..saves driving 4 miles to Dollar Tree where the parking lot is the pits! Is it good for spot cleaning first?

      • I use simple green diluted with water as a carpet cleaner in my machine and it works great. It’s all I use now

        • Lisa, have you ever used the lemon scented Simple green to clean the carpets? I just mixed up Awesome, Liquid Tide, Downy and Oxiclean with hot water. Just did one DH’s bedroom. He has some health issues and doesn’t always make it to bathroom on time. I have a Bissel carpet cleaner but I think I’m going to research carpet cleaners and see what’s better than this one. Easy to use but what do you do when you create bubbles? It’s spraying out one vent..I have the window open and fans running to help dry the carpet. Hope this works. I’ll keep trying different solutions to see what works best. Sure beats paying $300-$350 for a professional..they don’t like to hook the truck mounted system up for one room..that price is for all my house .

          • I used Tide he* 1/2 cup(Less bubbles) and Shout about 1/2 cup in my mix and it worked very well! I also went back over them with plain hot water in the steamer and that pulled so much more dirt out of the carpet you wouldnt beleve the different after the hot water wash!

          • Betty, my mother showed me years ago the best way to clean carpets. This way is not harsh and it will make your house smell so fresh and clean. Use the hottest water you can get, ammonia and liquid Wisk detergent, because it does not bubble, and wallah. Ammonia is very safe to use in your laundry and it cleans really good. Now you will have to open your windows for about an hour to let it air out but I promise you it will be worth it. I have cleaned my couches with the upholstery tool and they looked brand new. I have a lab, a jack russell, a dachshund and a cat. My carpet looks like there have never been pets in here. Hope this helps you.

          • Rug Dr makes a desudsing agent, about $5, also I kinda go forward leaning the suction part of carpet cleaner to get excess water

          • I’ve found vinegar, distilled white stuff, reduces soap bubbles, I add 1/4-12 cup to empty recovery tank. I use it in a Downy ball in laundry to remove traces of laundry soap, due to allergies.
            Good luck.

      • You can buy Awesome at Walmart. Do you have a Dollar General in your town? That’s where I buy mine.

      • Simple Green has some very dangerous chemicals in it – In fact it’s on the list of products banned in Europe!

      • I just used Simple Green instead of Awesome and it worked fine

      • Magda Grisel (@MayiG61) says:

        I used many of those and eventualy they do ruin the machines .They start leaking and there you go to buy a new one you can use one without soap for an emergency but for a constan cleanning you will be taking a big chance.

        • Thanks for posting that because that was the first thing on my mind. I recall the directions saying to only use their brand of cleaner because anything else will mess with the mechanics of the machine. I didn’t know if that was just a marketing ploy to keep us from using other formulas. While this sounds like a great recipe, I don’t think I want to take a chance on ruining my machine. I use Spot Shot for stains here and there that pop up and it works great! Even on dog stains from a dog that did not quite making it outdoors in time.

          • With respect to this recipe “ruining” a machine, you should first understand that all fluid-handling machines employ rubber (or similar) seals. Same as a car. These seals do not (and cannot) last forever. One cannot predict when any seal will fail, an example being a car. You cannot know when you will suffer an oil, gas, or coolant leak. But it WILL happen if you own/operate the machine long enough if you do not preemptively replace hoses, etc..

            You should scrutinize each ingredient in this recipe for its damage-inflicting potential….

            Liquid Tide, 2 Tablespoons…. heck I use this in my washing machine all of the time. And I *KNOW* my clothes washer has lots of rubber and plastic seals and hoses! Look at the dilution: the recipe begins with 2 Tablespoons of Tide in a full gallon of water (a gallon is 256 Tablespoons). That gives us a concentration of 2/256 or just 0.78%. My machine’s instructions say to add 5 ounces of concentrated cleaning solution to one gallon of fresh water. One ounce is equal to 6 teaspoons. So we have 30 teaspoons of concentrate to add to a gallon of fresh water in my carpet cleaner. Of that 30 teaspoons of concentrate (recipe), 0.78% will be Tide. This means we have 0.234 TEASPOON of Tide being added to the GALLON of hot, fresh water going into the machine. Yes… less than 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon of water. Simple test here is to add 1/4 teaspoon of Tide to a gallon of water and see if you can feel, smell, or even taste the difference. No, I do not think Tide is going to harm my machine.

            Downy Fabric Software, 1 Teaspoon…. I will not even bother with the math on this one, as you can see from the previous analysis that there will be less than 1/8 teaspoon of fabric software in the gallon of water running through your machine.

            Awesome cleaner, 1/4 cup…. out of all of the ingredients, this is the one I would investigate most closely. I do not, after all, use it in my clothes washer. As it is formulated for general cleaning, it may be perhaps the harshest ingredient. The math on this one is very easy also, as 0.25 cups is equal to 4 Tablespoons. The analysis therefore is the same process as for the Liquid Tide, but the numbers are all doubled. so you end up with less than 1/2 teaspoon of Awesome cleaner in your machine with a gallon of hot fresh water. I tested this the same way… I added 1/2 teaspoon of Awesome directly to a gallon of water. I could not smell, feel, nor even taste any difference.

            A proper analysis of this recipe yields a safe conclusion. It is not likely to accelerate wear of your machine. The “warnings” by manufacturers MAY be valid in that IMPROPER concentrations of fluids may be harmful. Mixed properly, however, there is likely little harm in ignoring the marketing claims.

          • Big Jibbs says:

            Think of the ‘only use our stuff on our machines’ in the same way they used to say you can only use Duracell batteries on a remote controller.

            It is mostly all lies designed to get you to pay 20x for their incredibly overpriced solution.

            You want the truth? You can use any normal solution and you’ll be just fine…and keep more of your money.

            But Big Jibbs….why for they say that about ruining the machine then?

            Big Jibbs is here for the people and I’ll splain why.
            The profit margin on these machines is slim and 1 way to increase their profit margin is to…well increase their profit margin. In this case they come up with ridiculously expensive solution for their decently priced machine and puh-towy, they’re now getting their money back from you through their (ridiculously expensive) solution!

            The company doesn’t want you to use something else so they say this stuff. Can another solution ruin your machine? Well yes I could pour acid in there and ruin it but do you see them saying specifically what not to use in there? Nope. Didn’t think so. Wonder why??? The parts in this machine will accept ANYTHING of a general soap cleaner nature that would generally be used in most carpet cleaners.

            Yep so that $2.00 concentrate will do the SAME job as their $20 bottle.
            And before you ask…yes Big Jibbs has used several different kinds in his machine..whichever was the most cheapest that day when he went to buy it and yep they all didn’t ruin my machine….and yep they all cleaned my carpets just fine.

        • . . . Really Sean!!!!! . . . . . Thanks Freddie for that wonderful analysis

          • CC Rascal says:

            Freddie thanks for the analysis of the ingredients. Also I always go back after carpet is dry with hot water only so that should also help clean any residue from machine I would think???

      • Sean Fox says:

        DO NOT run simple green through your carpet cleaning machine. Simple green has a wonderful enzyme (great for cleaning stuff) that will break down the rubber parts inside the cleaner.

        • Yes, as I explained in my analysis (above), you should definitely not run 100% Simple Green through your machine. I have no doubt a 100% concentration would be harmful to both the machine and the carpet. Added to your machine as a substitute for the Awesome cleaner, however, at a final concentration per the recipe of approximately 1.58% or 0.468 (less than 1/2) teaspoon in a full gallon of clean water in your machine is unlikely to have any negative impact.

          Indeed, if one wishes to consider an overlooked – but very real – factor, one might look at mineral content of the water you are using. If you have heavily mineralized (aka:not “soft”) water, you are effectively running small rocks – microscopic sand – through your machine. These particles work themselves into the crevices around the seals, eventually destroying them and leading to leaks. If one wishes to maximize lifespan of the machine, and the carpet as well, you should use only softened (demineralized) water.

      • suzanne brookins says:

        You can buy Awesome at Dollar General Store or Big Lots

      • You can buy awesome cleaner at Dollar General and its really an awesome cleaner; it works great as a car wash for removing tree sap and grime from setting outside for a long time.

      • Just Someon says:

        OxyClean is peroxide so I’m thinking of using liquid peroxide, it’s a brightner/whitener. I just don’t have the Downy or “awesome cleaner”. I do have downy sheets so I’ll soak them in some hot water for a little bit then add that.

      • it works great it’s all I ever use in my machine

      • I have had customers tell me they use it to clean carpets in there rent houses. Nothing but raves.

      • I don’t know about your area but where I am from Wal-Mart carries totally awesome. It comes in a spray bottle or a gallon jug. They both are suppose to be diluted and have the ratios for dilution on the bottles for different jobs of cleaning. It does live up to its name though. I used it on a rental house I was cleaning where it had spray paint on the linoleum and after letting it sit for 5 mins the paint just wiped right off. Totally Awesome is well worth the hunt to find it.

      • Danette Tingen says:

        I have found the Awesome Cleaner at Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Walmart.

      • I used to use deleted mean green in my previous steam cleaner all the time but notice I said previous. It eventually gummed up the spraying tubes and never did get it to work again so I had to buy a new steam cleaner. I’m not doing that again.

      • I found awesome at Walmart as well as the dollar store

      • Why not the Dallor Tree, they are on every corner ?

    • MyOwnConcoction says:

      My Traffic Areas were pretty bad. I mean really bad and I tried everything and nothing worked. I eventually came up with my own concoction.

      In a bucket, I put a 3 inch Pool Chlorine Bleach Tablet with a small amount of water.

      I learned a long time ago, that the Pool Tablets do not discolor clothing, and occasionally will use it in the wash to make the bright colors even brighter.

      After letting the tablet soak for an hour, I added a half a loads worth of Arm and Hammar powdered detergent and stirred it up until it became a bubbly, and then added a small amount of whatever shampoo soap I had left.

      You have to do it a section at a time.

      Instead of putting the concoction in my Shampoo machine, I completely saturated the area I wanted to clean with the soapy concoction by pouring it directly in the section to clean.

      I waited about 30 minutes so it could soak up really good, the wetter the better but the suds must be thick but loose.

      After 30 minutes, I went over the section with the shampoor- without turning on the power, just to rub it in a little with the shampoo brushes and mix the suds.

      I then filled my shampoor with fresh water and went over it again.

      Because the carpet was really wet, I didn’t get the full effects of the clean until the carpet completely dried. When the carpet dried, I used a dry vacuum to pick up the dried suds and remaining dirt turned into ‘dust’ that was not picked up by the wet vac. – the remaining trouble areas seem to disappear with the dry vac.

      That worked for me. I had to section off areas and wait until the carpet was ‘completely’ dry to dry vac up the dust because if you try it before the carpet is completely dry, you will just rub the surface dirt back into the carpet.

      • Please don’t take chemical matters in to your own hands, ask someone who has had to study, and or deals with the effects these chemicals can have on your carpet. There is a good chance your carpet is now completely ruined, and a guaranteed chance your carpet warranty is voided (albeit looking “nice” after the cleaning.)
        If a cleaning step includes getting soap or dust out of your carpet AFTER you have already cleaned it, then your carpets wont be staying clean very long if they are even still intact after a few cleanings with this harsh chemical concoction.
        -Professional Carpet Cleaner

        • ok so mr professional carpet cleaner how do you get set in koolaid out of my carpet I tried right after it happened 6 mths ago and have been ever since . what are your suggeations ?

          • now now.. clearly hes not going to make any money by telling you how to fix your own problems, nor by allowing “unprofessionals” like us to do our own thing with homemade concoctions… he only gets paid if we hire him to do it for us…

          • I mixed vinegar and hot water in a bottle. Spray the Kool-Aid stained area. Place a white towel over it and put your iron on the towel. You may have to do this a couple of times but it will remove the stain. I have 4 children and this has been an absolute miracle stain remover method.

          • Have you tried hydrogen peroxide in the stain? It usually takes just about everything out:)

          • the vinegar and hot water then iron WORKS!!! I have seen my carpet guy take orange crush out

          • I have gotten red Kool-Aid out of beige carpet many times with spray OxyClean. It must be done immediately after the spill, or it will be set in.

          • Koolaid will not come out, it has dyes in it and its permanate.

          • To remove kool-aid stains from carpet (even old stains), try this:

            •2-3 teaspoons dawn dish soap •1/2 gallon of hot water (I have never measured exact, I just use a medium size bowl so this is approx)
            •clean white towel, I use an older one
            •steam iron

            Agitate the water to mix well and create suds. Preheat iron, making sure it’s on steam setting. Pour enough soapy water directly onto the stain to saturate, set remainder aside for repeat treatment, if needed. Place the towel over the stain. Use the hot steam iron on the towel, moving iron in diff directions and applying some pressure, esp with the tip of the iron, this helps by getting deeper into the fibers. Work it like this for a few minutes, then pause. Check the towel, reposition, repeat. The stain will transfer from the carpet onto the towel. You will see this progress, but be patient as some stubborn stains take several repeats. Well worth your time and effort. You may be able to wash/bleach the towel afterward, but it may become a shop rag.

            When I managed an apartment community, a well known professional carpet cleaning company techician shared this method with me. Over 13 years, we saved so many carpets that would otherwise have had to be replaced because of stubborn stains! I have used this method on my own carpet with wonderful results. (I also have teenage daughters and found this works on makeup stains as well.) Use plain hot water to flush out any soap residue.

            Good luck

      • That is crazy about the pool bleach tablet. My husband works on pools and during summer he comes home with his blue pants stained from where the pool tablet powder just flies through the air. I have also lost several swim suits to pool bleach tablet over use, from people not using it properly. I would never trust this on a carpet that wasn’t already white, but if it works for you that’s great!

        • Christine says:

          Pool bleach disintegrated my daughter’s bathing suit when it spilled on her when she was a pool attendant. To save her skin she had to jump in the pool. I would not suggest using pool chlorine on carpets. As for Simple Green, I have seen displays with gold fish swimming in it. I have never had any problems, and it works great. My husband is pretty up to date on stuff to use in our house, not only for us, but for our pets. Two of our dogs will be 16 years of age this year. No health problems. Hasn’t harmed our birds either. We always dilute products to make them last longer.

      • Just Someon says:

        Clorox cleanup (and generic “bleach” cleaner) doesn’t bleach anything it touches either. I used it once on my carpet because there was a bee…. LMAO… It was the closest thing I grabbed. My safety and well being was more important than any carpet! 😛 Eitehr way that’s how I found out it didn’t bleach anything out. Now I use it on everything… Even a dark brown throw rug that my cat peed on (she’s not a bad cat, she was in kidney failure). soaked it and it didn’t bleach it one bit. but got rid of the stain and the smell. 😉

        • Clorox Clean Up splatters and bleached my black tank top and black leggings. It is very powerful.

        • Clorox cleanup, bleaches my sleeves when cleaning with it. No matter how careful I am with it, never fails I get a new bleach spot. Therefore quite a few cleaning only tops, lol

    • You might want to look into Genesis 950. It is green and safe. On top of that, it is the best carpet cleaner I have ever used.

      • Genesis 950 costs over $100 for just 5 gallons of the cleaner. It might be a great cleaner but at that price, I’ll surely never find out. That said, Genesis 950 markets itself as being effective because it contains *surfactants* which break up debris in the carpet. The LA’s Awesome cleaner mentioned in the recipe above is also a surfactant based cleaner and it costs $1/ bottle, which begs the question of why Genesis is so expensive. For the price of Genesis, I could have my carpets professionally done. I’ll go with the recipe above, provided that it doesn’t lighten the carpet in a patch test because it contains oxiclean (which is alkaline) to neutralize pet soiling. Use the Tide made for high efficiency machines to limit sudsing.

        • If you break down the 5 gallon container based on the price of a quart (23.75), you get 20 quarts in a 5 gallon container. Broken down in this manner, you are getting 20 quarts for $4.42 per quart. But – one quart of Genesis 950 broken down becomes 7 quarts because it’s a concentrate. That being said the 20 quarts in a 5 gallon becomes 140 quarts. Breaking this down from a frugal point, that means you are paying $1.33 per quart.

          So when you really look at the 5 gallon unit, you are only paying an extra .33 per quart. However 5 gallons of this will last you for a long, long time.

          From my experience, it is the best cleaning product I have ever used and that extra .33 per quart is worth every penny!!

          • We use it and love it. We usually get the 2.5 gallon size – sometimes the gallon. It’s worth every penny.

    • Oxiclean (Oxyclean) is activated when it becomes wet. Including it in your solution for immediate use makes sense, but the benefits will be gone, entirely, if you use Oxiclean then store it.

    • I was wondering for the natural cleaner..what are examples of essential oils?

    • We have a Bissell Pro Heat and have found Genesis 950 to be an AMAZING cleaner. By far the best we have ever used. Not only does it work great, but it is environmentally friendly which is a plus. It’s worth giving it a try.

    • I just tried her recipe on my living room carpet and the results were amazing. I went over my carpet twice after letting it dry the first time and added 1 cup of the solution instead of a quarter cup. Also put some of the solution in a spray bottle and pretreat heave stains.

    • We use Genesis 950 for our machines. It gets rid of old stains and odors too. I love that it is green. We do our carpets twice a year – usually in spring to clean out everything that has built up over winter & in fall to clean everything that has been tracked in in summer.

    • Does this work on Dog Urine?

      • For dog urine, feces, sour milk, etc., you need enzymes that will actually eliminate the odor causing proteins, rather than mask to smell. Rug Doctor makes a product like this, make sure it has enzymes/enzyme action listed on the bottle.
        To find the specific spots, use a black light (the soiled area will illuminate when the black light hits it). Treat the spot, don’t be stingy either. The animal urine went through the carpet to the pad, so must the enzyme treatment. Let set in the spots, allowing the enzyme to work, perhaps overnight… the odor will actually get worse at first because it’s been activated, but it does work given enough time.

        My family rented a rental house many years ago. I smelled cat urine on inspection, they sent their carpet cleaners back out, who just did a repeat routine clean. No help there. Took matters into my own hands and used the method above. 2 day process, but so worth it!

    • I use 1 teaspoon tide and 1/8 teaspoon downy in my hoover cleaner. Always works, never discolor, smells great.

  2. Awesome timing! I just bought a carpet cleaner from Kohl’s (with my 30% off using my Kohl’s card-and an additional 15% off because I work there!) and just needed the cleaner. I finally decided it would be cheaper to just buy my own to use all the time (and as I have time to use it) instead of renting one. It should pay off in just a few uses and the one I got had great reviews. =)

  3. Carol A. says:

    Will other laundry detergent work? I keep Era on hand for super cleaning, when my homemade just won’t cut it (son works in a car shop & hubby is a tinner)!

  4. Rocquelle Gunter says:

    Does anyone one know if this works on pet urine smells? Thanks!

    • I run a feral cat rescue and I use a similar mix, but I add 2 cups of Hydrogen Peroxide to the concentrate. That is the main ingrediant in Natures Miracle and other enzyme pet stain removers. It doesnt fade the carpet, but it does clean well and destroys urine residue.

      • I have pet stains on my wool carpets (Orientals) Does your formula plus HO2 work on urine stains? I’d love to get your formula and try this one too.

        • Wool carpets, dangerous stuff. Normally I would try to help you through it, but using an enzyme on a natural fiber could be very risky, let alone any other store bought chemical not actually made for cleaning wool fibers. You have a situation that probably needs professional help, as wool is a very delicate fiber compared to the more popular carpets made from recycled plastic.
          -professional carpet cleaner.

    • Gina Marie says:

      I would strongly suggest magic zymes to neutralize all pet odors. I add a 1/2 cup to my carpet shampoo and it works great. I also use this as an all natural air freshener. I had a friend smoke in my car and I sprayed the magic zymes and the odor was gone. Such great stuff. Good luck

      • I was wondering where to get these ‘magic enzymes’, if that is the brand name or not. I live in San Diego, deal with Pet urine regularly and wanted to know just how well ‘works great’ means….does it completely eliminate the urine smell? I’ve heard of using hydrogen peroxide before but I’m seriously in need of a odor eliminator…looking forward to your reply, thanks, Kate

        • I just had a problem with my male dog marking the floor by my side of the bed (on the floor) because another male dog sat there! UGH!! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how bad the smell was! I used about 2 cups of baking soda, sprinkled all over the area, heavily. Then I sprayed white vinegar over the baking soda and let that sit. When that dried I went over it again with hydrogen peroxide. I know it sounds like overkill…but the smell was GROSS!! When the baking soda dried out again I brushed it up then vacuumed the rest. There is no hint of odor! But I’m renting a carpet cleaner today and I’m going over the room again anyway! So glad I found this post! Can’t wait to try this solution on the rest of my carpet!! Good luck with the pet stains!

        • Elizabeth says:

          You can contact any local janitorial supply or even Lowes/Home Depot. You need to look for an ‘enzyme’ cleaner. The natural properties of the cleaner actually use enzymes to break down/digest the ‘ickies’ …thereby cleaning and VOILA’ no odor after it is all dry. Nursing homes/ hospitals etc use these types of cleaners … they are typically sold in a concentrated solution….

        • A sure-fire way to know of your pet’s urine is gone is to use a black light and turn off the lights. If there is still residue, you will see it in the carpet.

        • Nature’s Miracle is found in most pet stores, usually in the “Cat” section. It’s works great.

    • Shree Thomas says:

      I add Odo-Ban to mine. It gets rid of the odor. It is awesome!!

    • Just below someone references a baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide triple play. Those WORK! You do have to allow the baking soda to absorb the liquids (until dry) and then loosen with a soft brush and vacuum. It really does work if you ate patient through the process!

    • I use this product called “Unique natural product” they make a carpet cleaner and pet odor and stain eliminator. I buy it concentrated at the local Ace Hardware store. It is great for removing stains, and also just in a spray bottle to freshen things up. I believe it is enzyme based. I used it on cigarette smoke saturated mattresses and clothing successfully, but mostly for pet accidents or just to get the doggie smell out of the house.

    • White vinegar (full strength) in a spray bottle. Saturate area then lay down rag to absorb moisture, then I would steam clean area. The white vinegar eliminates odor and when dry there should be no vinegar odor. I also add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to my hot water container when steam cleaning. It removes odors and also cuts down on the suds (eliminates buying defoamer)

      • Your not supposed to use hot water in carpet cleaners that have heaters in them, the cleaner gets the water hot for you and using hot water can make the water too hot and warp all your tubes and other things that the water goes through in the carpet cleaner. I was told this by a professional rug cleaner and vacuum repair man. Everyone on here is using hot water. So when your rug cleaner gets damaged its due to operator error.

        • My carpet cleaner by Bissell flat out says in the directions to put the hottest water possible in the tank before turning it on and then flipping the switch for the heater.

  5. Rocquelle Gunter says:

    I meant to say stains and smells!

    • Vinegar works great! We use it in our steam cleaner (1/4 vinegar and 3/4 hot water). It’s a great odor neutralizer. I also keep a spray bottle of straight vinegar on hand for spot cleaning. Dry area with towel if urine, then spray with vinegar, wait five minutes or so, repeat and towel dry excess wetness, then let air dry. Clean spot with Hot soapy water first if poop stained, then same as urine cleaning. Works great for pets or potty training little ones.

  6. Kerrie,
    Lovely of you to share, I always appreciate your blog!
    Unfortunately, I have to STRONGLY disagree that your first recipe is the wisest choice simply due to the inclusion of the Tide laundry detergent. Why? Because it contains a substance called Diethylene Glycol, which is also a very toxic substance that is used in antifreeze, and is actually more toxic than antifreeze. In fact, virtually EVERY liquid detergent produced by Proctor & Gamble includes this toxic substance-so that goes for Tide, Gain, Era, Cheer and even Dreft! It is also included in Ariel, which caters to the Hispanic market. Proctor & Gamble even lists this ingredient in their ingredient disclosures on their website.
    A simple google search will take you to Wikipedia, which will help anyone understand why this is such a terrible ingredient to include in anything that could come in direct contact with our family via normal routes whether that is clothing or carpet.
    I also encourage the rest of our group of readers to engage themselves in being mindful consumers for the sake of not only the health of our families, but to help cultivate an awareness among consumers that will help develop consumer bases across the board in general that will hold these companies accountable for making better choices for consumers. Too many simply don’t care to inform themselves of what products they use and in effect expose themselves and their families to. People assume that just because its on the shelf, it must be fine. But would any of us honestly be just fine with something like antifreeze being used as often as laundry soap or carpet cleaner?
    Don’t get me wrong, we are all entitled to our choices and that is a personal thing. But I feel like we should at least be doing so with better knowledge of what is is we are doing and that is my only objective in commenting here.
    With recent fatalities and injuries from babies & small children as a result of laundry products, I decided to educate myself better. And when I did, I was so disappointed with Proctor & Gambles ingredient choices that I no longer use them and will not ever again until they clean up their ingredient choices.
    Last year Proctor & Gamble was petitioned by a huge customer base to greatly reduce another ingredient, and they changed their formula as a result. Perhaps if we continue to hold them accountable to the safety and concern they claim to have by objecting to such questionable ingredient choices, then we can continue to demand healthier ingredients and get safer products to use. But you have to make your voice and concerns heard.
    Keep up the great work Kerrie!

    • thanks for your info. I have a question. Do you think the home made laundry soap would work in the place of Tide or others on your list? ingredients in home made soap is fels napa, baking soda wash, and borax. I use this all the time for my laundry and love it.

      • Happy.MoneySaver says:

        I haven’t actually tried using the homemade laundry detergent yet in this recipe yet. Tide is a super duty cleaner with low sudsing which is important so that is why I chose it. But you can try it out!

    • Not to say the stuff about the ingredient in Tide, but don’t take for fact anything on Wikipedia. Anyone can write whatever they want on the site.

      • Very true. Anyone with even an Associates Degree knows referencing WIKI is a big no-no. The amount of Tide in this recipe is very small, making this portion of the chemical quite diluted. It does not become airborne. This chemical is a hazard when taken internally, reintroduced in the environment (via your washing machine, etc.) or DIRECTLY rubbed on the skin.

        In order for it to become a major problem to you, you would have to use a very large amount. It is compared to putting two grains of salt into a 24 OZ. of water and saying, I challenge you to either taste it or find them.

        • Did you educate yourself on the specific formulation and percentage of Diethylene Glycol used in the formula? If so, I am impressed considering P&G does not disclose that specific type of information. Are you associated with P&G? If so, them I would be happy to legitimize your assertions considering the safety if you have the actual information to back it up.
          The content of it in the formula could be anything from<1% to 99% for all any of us know as it is not a food, drug or cosmetic product and therefore P&G is neither legally compelled or required to disclose any or all information regarding the composition of its consumer products.
          You may also want to look at more complete medical citations that provide both the extremely harmful & irreversibly damaging as well as actual lethal implications of its readily absorbed via dermal properties-some animal studies suggest that frequent/acute dermal absorption is even more toxic than acute ingestion because it does not pass through the digestive tract barrier and goes straight into the bloodstream and then target organs.
          You are free to do as you wish, but please educate yourself and consider facts. That's all I ever really wanted to encourage. Don't let the research suggestions deflect from the actual legitimacy of the subject matter that justifiably prompts the concern and mindfulness.

          • do u just read comments to write how people need to be educated where did u get these facts that you are spouting off anybody can write anything just like you did and it not amount to a hill of beans

          • I can vouch for the Tide solution! My husband shampooed all the carpets in our home using the Tide solution and afterwards I rubbed our newborn baby daughter across the carpet several times. She suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and did develop a webbed neck, but other than that, she had no reaction to the Tide solution.

          • I “get” that Tide most likely has very harsh chemicals, but when you’re talking about substituting carpet cleaners, you’re already talking harsh chemicals, and I can’t help but think that most people are desperate for something that will WORK towards getting their most disgusting stains up, which often requires something strong.
            Now, I would suggest *after* using the Tide carpet solution that we all consider healthier alternatives, like vinegar and water type solutions. It’s still frugal = a big gallon for about $3 = and much healthier. And the vinegar smell goes away.
            But honestly, with foot traffic, I can handle using this Tide solution about once/month, especially if the next day I come back in with the vinegar idea, so it will pick up most of the chemical residue (hopefully).
            Just my two cents.

          • Lighten up luci

          • Thank you for your research – however, I must say I feel very educated and I will continue to use the Tide in this recipe. Risk is minimal, benefit is great for my cleaning needs.

      • Goodness, I agree. But a century of repeated unfortunate events as a result a specific substance backed up by not just ‘Wikipedia’, but the fact that the FDA was created as a result of this chemical & it’s devastating/lethal results says a lot more.
        Wikipedia was merely a means to incorporate a more active sense of mindfulness. And it is just a good start considering all of the legit info & history cited there.
        I don’t live by Wikipedia or any media for that manner.
        But that is a good disclosure to keep in mind although it is not the point I was trying to emphasize in the first place.
        Perhaps ‘google search’ would have been better.

        • I have growing concerns for the level of exposure to chemicals and toxics in our home on a daily basis. Pollutants found to harm the environment are not wanted in or around my home these days. Any natural formulation that gets good results on these carpets that I can do economically, with real results (spot removal, clean, and user-friendly) is what I’m interested in. I lean toward eco-friendly, and organic these days. The more I learn about industrial consumerism, chemicals and our health…I’ll use as little as I can when it comes to ‘store bought’, packaged anything! The price for convenience is too high for my choosing.

          I want clean carpets, and I like the idea of making my own solution, safely.

          Any comments or studies that are meant to inform me of potential hazards to my health that the FDA & EPA either make or profit from (stake holders, Board Members) I appreciate the heads up. The exposure to toxins in fabrics, cleaners, and pesticides on our food may not cause harm in any single exposure…it’s cumulative…even the darn carpets are treated with chemical retardants known to cause illness and give off gases for months when new…

          For me it’s being healthy, happy and informed…I’m not a preacher, and while my Mom was preachy….I share her zest to share…take what you find valuable and pass it on or trash it…don’t kill the messenger 🙂

          • I’m bewildered that someone commented about the dangers of Tide as a “heads up” to be help helpful and gets attacked like an internet troll. Such defensiveness, my gosh.

            There is a concern about tide and commercial laundry detergents…look it up, or ask your doctor. I’ve been warned for the last few years to only by detergents for which salts are their base and active ingredients….like what you can buy from trader joe’s, whole food, sprouts or other environmentally conscious store… or simply make your own. It couldn’t be easier. Detergents do not rinse out of fabric completely and can be absorbed through the skin so you might think twice about what you use to launder. And for the person who commented that she rubbed her baby on the floor to see if there was any reaction, are you a troll or is there something terribly wrong with you?

          • The person saying she rubbed her baby on the carpet had to be joking, but even as a joke she has some serious issues. But her post did remind me that all carpeting contains formaldehyde, kids, animals should not be allowed on it until it’s been shampooed. I learned the hard way losing a good friend to Industrial asthma that our homes are full of formaldehyde, including kitchen and bath cabinets, not to mention most insulation. Her specialist told her she would need to move out of her house and find a mobile home built before 1965, to avoid breathing the formaldehyde! This is off the subject of carper cleaning, but a good FYI,

          • If you are going to ingest it, sure, it’s a bad chemical. This small amount will not hurt anyone. So enough with the save the world preaching!

    • Hi. I was wondering if you can suggest a replacement for the Tide in the carpet cleaner. Something non toxic?

    • Most artificial cleaning agents and some natural cleaners are toxic. You should never allow children to eat soap or detergent of any kind. Keep your cleaners locked up and away from babies. Duhr…

    • Saying the ingredient is also used in antifreeze is just a scare tactic. It has no validity in proving it harmful. Water is used in antifreeze. You say you have no idea of the amount used in the formula. Is the exposure to it cumulative? Caffeine is will kill you in large doses as reported in the news lately. I appreciate your concern but what have you told us? You maybe told us that cleaning ingredients may not be good if they get into our bodies. I think that’s why we keep our cleaning supplies away from toddlers who might try to drink them. Check and see how much arsenic is in your drinking water, whether bottled or municipal, and decide if you will only drink distilled water.

    • Did you check the MSDS sheet for Tide in your research? Do you know what the MSDS sheet is?

      • Why yes Mike (aka Smart Ass) I did. Being an Electrical Engineer and not a Chemical Engineer I have no idea what Ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine, or Anionic surfactants are, but I do know what vinegar is. 🙂

    • I have to wonder if the other ingredients in the Tide or other detergents change the composition causing it to react differently? I’m by no means a scholar or scientist, but have noticed such subtle changes in products as when mixing hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish detergent. I left said mixture in a clear mason jar. It was of course blue- the mix. But by the next day or so had completely changed to clear.Obviously something changed. A chemical reaction. But it cleaned perfectly just the same. Shower never looked better!!

    • I am sorry to sound sarcastic or rude or just dumb, but are ppl licking the carpet?
      I have 2 grown healthy kids 30 and 33 never freaked out of laundry detergent still dont use less.
      I rinse and rinse my carpet and am excited to try the first recipe.
      To the person that uses Basic H, what an awesome product.

    • Jesus Montana says:

      We want opinions whether this recipe work or not, not an opinion on how much of an environmentalist you are.

  7. I never knew you could buy small packs of Tide. Where did you purchase that small packet of laundry detergent?

    • Amanda Boerst says:

      I’ve seen them in the travel toiletries section at Target and Walmart. 🙂

      • Just wanted to tell you somewhere else you could probably get the Tide. Stop by a Laundry mat. They useally have them in their machines. That way you wouldn’t have to by a large bottle of Tide. My problem allergy to Tide. Not good. lol

        • I know Tide is expensive and strong, but something else you could consider is using whatever one does not hurt you and add a a few DROPS of Dawn! That stuff is called a degreaser for a reason, and would be great at getting rid of more of those stains.

    • Barbara Lancaster says:

      Try a ‘coin laundry’ in your community…they usually sell small boxes of detergent in a vending type machine.

  8. Also, to answer questions regarding alternatives to Tide, I’m sure most would be interested to know that Consumer Reports did their own research and noted that Tide was less than impressive when it came to results. In fact Wisk and the Costco brand of laundry detergent performed better than Tide.
    If it were me and I made the first recipe, I’d definately go with Wisk. Just my 2¢ though.

  9. I cannot find awesome cleaner anywhere! Is there something else I can use?

    • I can’t find it either. Is there a brand name equivalent (more expensive, but that’s ok)?

      • I don’t think there is a brand equivalent that I can find unfortunately. I know that totally stinks for folks out of the country or not having access to dollar stores. I will tell you that the reason I add it in is for degreasing power, so maybe if there is something wonderful for degreasing you like out there add that instead!

        • I wonder if simple green concentrate would work? It’s a biodegradable degreaser and it’s sold pretty much everywhere around me. (Walmart, lowes, Home Depot, sam’s club). The only thing is it only comes in a gallon and has a funky-licorice smell, but it’s got a ton of uses, everything from paint remover to window cleaner. Any way first time reader and poster; thought I’d contribute.

          • Simple Green is far worse than the Tide in terms of toxicity. I definately wouldn’t substitute it for the Awesome. If it is any indication at all, Simple Green is routinely used to degrease truck engines in auto shops. I’d say it’s innapropriate for household use unless used to spot clean followed by several series of rinses of clean water, followed by soaking it out each time up with paper towels. (I’d guess you arent cleaning auto engines on your carpet.) If anyone needs that much of nasty chemicals to clean up their carpet, I’d suggest switching to something more practical than carpet anyhow. 😉

          • I love the smell of Simple Green and how it is great for cleaning certain areas but the Green Simple Green burns my eyes and I start coughing. yet the lemon scented one my lungs can tolerate..have no problem with it. I almost died from an auto immune disease in 2002 called Polymyositis and I have to be real careful what cleaning products are used in my house. My cleaning lady like to use Soft Scrub with bleach and I had to find something else. Our bathrooms do not have windows in them but I always open the bedroom window when she is cleaning the Master bathroom and turn on the ceiling fan. I don’t want her to pass out from fumes either.

        • Karrie,
          I just wanted you to know that I found ALL of the ingredients today and will mix up a batch tomorrow. I will make it to the EXACT portions your recipe calls for. This is exactly what I was searching for and I’m very excited to see the results. I don’t feel that I am compromising anyone’s safety and I don’t want to find substitutions for any of the ingredients. I will report back with my results. Thank you for your post and for the time and efforts you put into this. It’s people like you that make a difference. Jim

          • Simple Green also comes in lemon scent and while the green scent takes my breath away, the lemon scented type doesn’t bother me. I grew up with 4 1/2 acres of Carolina pine trees and always loved the smell but sure can’t take the green pine scented Simple Green. Been away from that pine smell for 60 years, guess that is part of the reason. LOL!

      • Awesome can also be found at WalMart, Dollar General and Family Dollar.

    • If you have a Dollar General near you, you can usually find Awesome there. I have never found it in a Walmart or any store similar. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, or Family Dollar is usually where it’s found.

    • I found awesome at Wal-Mart today if that helps!

    • Awesome is an ammonia-based cleaner so much more toxic than the Tide that’s being whined about on here. I’m not saying that Tide is a great thing, only that Totally Awesome is much worse being ammonia and at a concentration that is much higher than Windex (another ammonia cleaner). Totally works though.

      I’m also adding TSP to my solution because why not if we are just playing chemist.

    • I found Awesome at Rite-Aid..Hope that helps.

  10. These products may be cheaper..but I suggest looking at the Environmental Working Group’s website for their safety. They are extremely toxic.

    • I don’t think people are drinking it. My carpet cleaner sucks the cleaner back out of the carpet until it is almost dry. I can’t imagine there being enough of any of these ingredients left behind to be toxic. You use these products in your laundry yes? Don’t most children “chew” on their clothing or blankets etc. at some point? Do you think about that, most likely not, you feel your washing machine rinses the detergents (toxic or not) out, maybe it does maybe it doesn’t. As with any cleaning products you have to keep them out of reach of the little ones and use common sense when using them.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! The store bought stuff is so expensive!

  12. Kristine says:

    @rocquelle to eliminate urine odor, you need an enzyme solution – period. The “Out!” stuff you can get at Walmart works, but really anything with the neutralizing enzymes. And you need to know approximately WHERE the peeing happened, because you want to saturate down to sub-floor or carpet pad.

  13. Would this work with a Kirby? I’ve been trying to find an alternative to their shampoo. I’ve tried vinegar and essential oils, and it doesn’t make much difference on the carpet stains. I make homemade laundry detergent, so I can always try subbing that for the tide. I guess I’m wondering what kind of soap this is a substitute for. Dry foam? Regular wet stuff?

  14. I’m curious about your machine, do you like it? I haven’t previously owned one, just rented or borrowed from a friend. But after becoming allergic to a zillion things over the past year, including our pets. The cats are gone but I’m still having some trouble. I really want to have one on hand to clean the carpets more frequently. I was looking closely at one of the similar Bissell models you have. My concern is how much water it pulls back out of the carpet. Would you mind sharing your opinion on the machine?

  15. I was also wondering if I could use this with my Kirby! But I would substitute with Melaleuca’s laundry detergent and the stain remover, both kid friendly and non-toxic (absolutely LOVE their products!!) If anyone out there has tried this with a Kirby, I would love to know! The Kirby shampooer attachment is so awesome because it cleans the top of the carpet, and not clear down to the floor underneath, and dries pretty quick.

  16. I just made this and tried it out. I quit using comemercial carpet soaps years ago because of the expense and the unpleasant odor some of them have. It performed as advertised: spots came up on the first pass. The smell is subtle, which i like. Smells like fresh laundry. Thank you, also since i had everything except the “awesome cleaner” on hand (which i found easily at our local dollar tree) this recipe only cost me a dollar to make.

  17. angie merkle says:

    Ok…so i’d just like to add in my 2 cents after seeing the white vinegar being used. I’m sorry if this is a repeat…I didn’t have time to read the dozens of comments. 🙂
    From personal experience, PLEASE PLEASE do not use white vinegar in your shampooer machines!! After a short time the vinegar eats away at all the rubber seals and cracks them..then your shampooer will A. start leaking soap from the soap dispenser, B. start leaking water from the water dispenser, C. refuse to dispense the soap, or D. refuse to dispense the water. Or ALL of the above eventually. I, too, saw a fantastic tutorial on how to make homemade soap for a shampooer machine. I don’t like the smell of the Bissell or Hoover cleaning solutions and they are expensive to boot. (And they don’t go far)
    So I started making my own homemade solution in which vinegar was involved and let me say, that stuff rocked my ivory colored carpets!! Took out EVERY stain..even the stubborn ones that had come with this house when we moved in 3 years ago…the ones that NONE of the commercially made solutions wouldn’t touch!
    I am a neatfreak, cleanfreak and according to my kids, I have COCD. Cleaning OCD. Lol
    I faithfully shampoo my carpets at least once a month. After using the vinegar solution for about 5-6 months, my machine started acting funny. The soap would come out but the water wouldn’t. I’m embarrassed to admit that I shampooes half of my teen daughter’s bedroom before I noticed that NONE of the water dispensed onto the carpet. Hubby and I emptied it, cleaned it, took it apart and cleaned it some more and tried it again. SAME thing. No water dispensing. Took it to the repair shop..the guy bends down to dismantle it and first thing he says is “You use vinegar in this, don’t you?” I had to admit I did. He said vinegar is the number 1 liquid that is seriously HORRIBLE for carpet shampooer. Ruins the inner workings. It was going to cost me upwards of $80 for my shampooer to be worked on and remitted with all new rubber seals. I junked it and went out and bought a new one. I’ve had it so far for almost a year and the ONLY cleaning solution i’ve ever used has been the commercially made stuff. Same goes for the oxyclean powder..I used that before and no matter how you rinse that out when you’re done, there will always be residue. It plugged up all the dispenser holes and had to be poked out with wire by my hubby. He was none too happy, I can assure you. 🙂
    Any kind of liquid laundry detergent is bad news as well as liquid fabric softener. They both gum up the works bigtime. Trust me, i’ve tried all the homemade concoctions because I HATE wasting my money on the commercial stuff. First time I used liquid laundry detergent and liquid fabric softener, I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed the empty soap dispenser out. The next morning, everything was gunned up and before I could get water and soap to dispense for the next cleaning session, I had to do quite a bit of poking and prodding with toothpicks. Not fun.
    So….these homemade concoctions may save you money at first…but in the long run, if you need to take your machine to a repair shop because the use of vinegar ruined the rubber seals, or if the repair shop guy tells you you’d be better off going and buying a new one because the repair costs too much, there goes your money…..:(
    Just wanting all of you to learn from my mistakes and actually save your money 🙂

    • I am a professional housekeeper. I use a Hoover carpet cleaner that I purchased 4 years ago for a little over $300. I shampoo carpets with my machine about every other week on average. I have always made my own cleaner that is similar to the one posted above. The only difference is I do not include laundry detergent (not because it’s toxic, I use Tide at home with a toddler who has SEVERE allergies, eczema, and asthma. It’s perfectly fine, and My opinion is, if it were really causing deaths and such for decades, then it would be off the shelves, and if the FDA was created for this specific chemical, then why is that chemical not banned in the US? That doesn’t even make sense.) or fabric softener, and I add white vinegar (amongst it’s many uses, it is also a natural fabric softener). I pretreat by sprinkling baking soda down, waiting 20 minutes, vacuuming, then spray bad spots with a mix of Hot water and peroxide.

      I have never had to replace my machine or seals. However, as insight… You spoke of clogging up your filter with oxyclean…. I question what concentration of solution/vinegar to water you are using? I think that could be the problem. People often use the mindset “if some is good, more must be better” and that is not the case. If you are cleaning with vinegar, it should be about 10%-20% vinegar and the rest water. The only time you really need more is if you have heavy soil, and then you you only go up to 25-30%. Oxyclean should always be completely dissolved before adding it to your tank. Never put straight oxy clean, or any powder, straight into your tank.

      Also, if you are using your machine that much (or even if you aren’t) you should always empty it completely, run some plain clean hot water through it on a hard surface (like a bathroom floor. Just pray and suck up for a minute or so and wipe the remaining moisture up with a towel when done.), wipe down all seals and wipe out the filter (even if it doesn’t look dirty) before you store it. If you do a little regular maintenance on a good machine, it should last you a while.

      I hoe this helps! Good luck!

    • Toasted Marshmallow says:

      No matter how long I wait for the oxyclean to dissolve, there is always undisolved granules. Heres the best way I’ve found to remedy this. First mix up the oxyclean, then strain it through a paper towel. Now add it to the 1gallon jug along with the rest of the ingredients.

  18. Ann Marie says:

    I *LOVE* this! Luckily we have a hand me down rug cleaning machine from my parents. But it just irks me to have to spend $20 a bottle on rug cleaning solution. And our rugs are in desperate need of a thorough cleaning. Thanks for this! 🙂

  19. I am so thankful that i found this one. I just tried it this morning and it does wonder on my carpet 🙂 and its cheaper than buying those carpet cleaners 🙂 thank you!

  20. columbia vac says:

    some cleaners and especially VINEGAR are corrosive to any and all metal in your “steam” cleaners. You can suck them up off of the floor, but if you run the solution through the machine you better be ready to whip out the charge card. Repairs caused by using solution other than the recommended stuff is usually not covered by any warranty.

    • I agree with columbia vac……I was told by a carpet cleaner repair guy to only use what is recommended by manufacturer, or it can mess up the machine.

      A spot cleaner that works great for me is blue Dawn and peroxide. I have also poured a cap full of peroxide on a stubborn stain and let it dry naturally. Of course, test this first on your carpet.

    • Jalane Hancock says:

      well damn it all, was just in here trying to clean 2 rug runners and spots off the carpets. Ran out of RESOLVE, came flying in here to check for a good home made recipe. Well I put the distilled water and vinegar plus 4 drops of Lavender essential oil in my pristine ORECK steam cleaner, then it smelled like something burning. came back and read this comment and now have emptied my steamer, holes are clogged, so I put my last 2 cups of just plain distilled water in, hoping to cleaN IT OUT BEFORE I RUIN THE THING TOTALLY…NOW NOTHING COMES OUT I AM PISSED, BROKE, AND STILL HAVE DIRTY RUGS.
      Never fails if I try to do something while husband is gone I end up making a bigger mess than I had at the start…Any sugestions??

  21. Kristin says:

    I just tried this and it worked amazing! I think even better than the store bought. It cleaned up marker, dirt and oil stains, and coffee stains. (3 kids, 2 dogs and a husband’s messes) thank you so much for sharing it will be saving me Alot of $$.

  22. I have used a diluted mixture of Dawn and hydrogen peroxide, works great.

    • Hi Debbie,
      I really love Dawn, could you please give me your recipe? I am on a fixed income and simply can not afford to keep buying the brand name rug shampoos.
      Thanks in advance 🙂

  23. Do you need those professional cleaning vaccume cleaners or can it be any kind?

  24. Rachel T says:

    Silly question, I’m sure… But, how much hot water am I adding to the original mixture going into the gallon jug? Thank you, I can’t wait to try this on our carpets.

  25. angie merkle says:

    I just wanted to add in my 2 cents and say that the one recipe with the vinegar in it is a BIG no-no..I’ve owned 3 carpet shampooers in the last 14 years. The first two ended up getting thrown out after about 6 months or so..My husband and I couldn’t figure out what in the heck was wrong with them. We took them both apart, cleaned them REAL good and they still wouldn’t dispense either the water or the soap. When I received a third one as a gift, I VOWED to keep this one longer than 6 months! I faithfully cleaned and rinsed every part of it after every use and took very good care of it. However, after about the 8th month, it started not dispensing the soap. My husband and I were dumbfounded! So……we took it to the local vac repair shop with lots of questions. As the repairman started the initial “checkup” on it, the first thing he said was “You use vinegar as a part of your cleaner in here, don’t you?” After I said that I did, he said “I thought so. As soon as I opened the cap to the soap dispenser, the smell of vinegar hit me in the face. That, right there, is your problem.”
    You see, i too HATED paying so much for the commercial carpet shampoo solution and have always made my own all-natural solution using white vinegar, laundry detergent, oxy-clean powder, and fabric softener. He went on to explain to us that vinegar, over a short time will eat away and wear down all of the tubing and rubber seals in a carpet shampooer and that is why the soap dispenser stopped dispensing soap . Also, if you use the oxyclean powder, it will eventually plug up any holes..causing your soap not to dispense. Same exact thing happens when you use fabric softener. No matter how well you rinse everything after you’re finished, the residue from the oxyclean and the fabric softener will totally gum up the works bigtime. My husband and I had to, at one point, talk a thin, sturdy wire and snake it up the tubing because the residue from the oxyclean had hardened inside it and it took was nearly like cement! Also, when the repairman took apart the bottom of my shampooer, some of the parts under there were so gummed up from the fabric softener that it was I had run my machine through jelly…..and my homemade cleaning solution only used a tsp of softener per gallon of water. The repairman eventually gave our shampooer back to us and told us nothing really could be done and we’d be better off to buy a new one b/c the fee just to look at it started at $80. The rubber seals and tubing was too far gone. So with some Kohl’s cash, a 30% coupon and a birthday gift card, we bought our 4th carpet shampooer. I’ve ONLY used the commercial cleaning solution made for it and with three kids, a very active pet ferret and a nephew who stays with us more than he’s home, it gets used quite often. I’ve now had my shampooer for 1 year and 1 month and it works just as well as the day I bought it.
    ***There is a reason the manual says to ONLY use the solution designed for the machines!!!

  26. “There is a reason the manual says to ONLY use the solution designed for the machines!!!”

    Yes, but I suspect the reason is mostly related to their business model. I plan on using a rental. I dont plan on buying the $40 bottles of soap. … $40? LOL

  27. Hi thank you so much fire posing this! I’m hoping it will work for my carpets as I’m going to attempt to try this very soon. I do have one question… does it have to be downy fabric softener out can I use a different kind? Thanks!

  28. angie merkle says:

    Joe, Not only did I read this info in the manual, but the guys at the repair shop told me the exact same thing. Only use what your machine recommends. And no, I don’t stick with just my machine’s brand. I buy other brands when it goes on sale. I just make sure to never put vinegar, liquid laundry detergent, fabric softener or oxy clean in MY shampooer. I spent a pretty penny on it..I want it to last, so I take excellent care of it. Yes I would agree with you that if you’re paying to use a rental, you could put whatever the heck you wanted to in it. All of the above and then some…
    And I just have to ask, WHERE IN THE WORLD are you buying bottles of carpet cleaner for $40??? Ripoffs ‘R Us?? Wow. I have NEVER paid more than $11 for a bottle of Hoover or Bissell carpet cleaner at our local department store. And those are the largest economy size bottles. I use a manufacturer coupon (which the company sends me for free by me simply asking for them), I buy ONLY when they’re on sale (which is twice a month) and they usually have a coupon stuck right to them. $11 for a 60 oz. bottle..which lets me do 5 room fulls of carpet and all my rugs that are too large/heavy to throw in the washing machine. The only downfall to using this kind of solution is some of the brands do not smelly best. That’s where essential oils come in. I can use whichever scent i’m currently into. An added bonus to certain oils: some are disinfectants (carpet is double clean and germ free), some are calming/soothing (helpful when u have a fussy baby) and they all smell wonderful which makes for a very pleasant smelling home.

    • So you are willing to pay $11 every time you clean your carpets?

      Bissell cleaning solution is $14 for the small one at Lowe’s and $30 for the large bottle of the Pro grade cleaner. I did buy a bottle so I could test it against this homemade.

      • I agree _I have not seen Bissell for less then $18 + and I don’t have time to constantly look for coupons 🙁 . There is nothing wrong with looking for more economical and possibly better ways of cleaning. I do not mean to sound rude but if money is not a problem for you _ why are you reading this blog?

  29. Thank you!

  30. Stephanie Jones says:

    I did a little bit of a different variation of your first solution just a few minutes ago and it worked great and smells really good to!
    2 Tablespoons Liquid Tide
    1/4 cup Awesome cleaner
    1 scoop Oxyclean
    1 teaspoon Downy
    Hot Water, one gallon

    1/2 teaspoon Dawn dish soap (always add last so it doesnt suds up when adding water)
    1/4 cup Awesome cleaner
    1 scoop Oxyclean
    1 teaspoon Gain Fabric Softner (its what i had)
    Hot water

    Also for anyone who is interested i also have a variation of the vinegar recipe as well. I have 4 big dogs, 2 cats, a 3 year old and a boyfriend so we have lots of stains and smells so maybe once every 3-6 months i use this recipe to clean my carpets and my house smells SO clean when im done.

    1. Sprinkle Baking Soda (lightly) all over the area you want to clean (if its a large area then do it in sections )
    2. Put half white vinegar half water into a spray bottle and spray over the area that you just used the baking soda on. (the strong vinegar smell is gone once your done with the carpet cleaner)
    3. Let sit on the carpet for 5 minutes.
    4. Fill your carpet cleaner tank ALMOST to the top with hot water.
    5. Pour in 1/4 bottle of peroxide
    6. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap (blue kind)

    When you are done your carpets will be stain free and odor free and i have personally used this on a room with way to much cat pee (that cat is now an outside cat) and smell and stains are gone!

    • You listed 1/4 bottle of peroxide(3%)..what size of bottle are you referring to? That sounds like a lot of peroxide. I’m dealing with normal wear and tear from traffic flow plus leakage from an incontinent senior citizens. My Bissell Quick steamer machine has not been used in at least 4 years. Usually I hire a professional to come in and clean all the carpets. His system is truck mounted and he will not come for the small area that I need cleaned now. I just looked at the size of my bottle of peroxide and it is 16 oz. so I would add 4 oz. of peroxide? I have a spray bottle that I keep white vinegar and water and lemon scented essential oil in when I find a new spot or spots (usually in my barefeet during the wee hours of the morning) Talk about starting your day off wrong!

      I had planned to try this with my Bissell steamer today but woke up not feeling good. It’s going to be hard to keep him off the wet carpet while it dries as he makes lots of trips to bathroom. I can’t afford for him to take a fall.

  31. Just made this and cleaned my carpets…AMAZING. that is all….

  32. I just finish cleaning my carpet with the solution works great . Thanks for sgaring ….

  33. Holy holy crapola!!!! I have NEVER in my life seen a carpet shampoo do what your recipe has done for my carpet! I have a potty training son, two other children as well and my carpet gets to the point of being sticky. It’s old apartment carpet to boot, so it always gets a “wet dog” type of smell even if I use high end Rug Doctor shampoos or others containing Febreze. I have just spot cleaned with your recipe and it actually smells CLEAN! It got out old cakes in pizza sauce and ovaltine in the first pass, with the handheld attachment that does not have a beater bar. So friggin wonderful… Absolutely awesome!

  34. Ashli Marts says:

    OK, so after reading your post and all the comments I tried this a couple weeks ago. It did an awesome job and it smells so much better in my house now(I have 3 stinky boys). Now I have this gallon jug of awesome cleaner and nowhere to go with it. So I got to thinking about the ingredients and realized every single one can be used in your laundry, off I went. I do kids clothing resale and often buy clothes in bulk so some of the pieces diet are awful with stains, especially the baby clothes. I did a presoak with the awesome oxy then I added a little bit of this awesome concoction to my soap and you’ll never guess what happened. I can sell the clothes now!!! After so many tries of getting some of those out I had just about given up. Now, there were some really bad ones that only lightened up but all in all, it did great.

  35. Thanks for the great recipe. Even though there are a few nay sayers here I am still going to try this out on my new carpet for sure to try and keep it going strong! Thansk!

  36. How would I get charcoal and ash stains from a dutch oven off of my white carpet? I do not have a carpet cleaner. Is it possible to use your recipe and basically hand scrub it out?

  37. I stumbled on this looking for a way to salvage my new carpet from the horrors of renters. The carpet is only 6 months old, but they had pets and something spilled on the living room that I still have yet to identify. So sitting on my counter are all the ingredients. I use Tide pods and I think I can pop one for the Tide. I came back to read measurements and got caught up in the comments… Even after reading each one, I am still game for anything that will save my carpet. I will let you know how it works. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • I used one Tide pod (the whole thing) and it made the 2 tablespoons that the recipe called for. Some spots required me to go over them twice, but since they were undetermined, I really did not mind. The messy water I poured out looked like DARK CHOCOLATE milk… YUCK… But my bedroom carpet is restored back to good looking. Thank you so much for this tip. Next… the living room and more unnamed spots. I think the worse of them I will pretreat to see if they will come up on the first pass. I am sold on this stuff and will try it as a laundry pre treatment next… Thank you so much,.,

  38. Jack Harris says:

    Tried this “secret recipe” and this did no better than any other carpet cleaner we’ve used. This was used on cream colored carpet in a high traffic area and we have no kids in the house. Was really disappointed in this because the only solution is tear the carpet out and put down tile.

  39. I’ve had success with using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap (liquid). I’ve used a little under 1/4 cup of it to clean about 400 square feet.

  40. IMO best spot remover/carpet cleaner is Spot Shot (non-toxic, safe around children & pets) sold at Walmart. It works! Purchased a home with nice carpets except one area. Nothing worked until I sprayed Spot Shot…gone for good in less than a minute. My husband & I were shocked & relieved! Have also been advised to spray cleaning solution (50%water/vinegar) directly on carpet prior to cleaning as opposed to putting it directly into the machine. I will be adding Downey to my next batch of homemade solution. Great tip!

  41. I have all the ingredients to make the cleaner. I just need to rent the machine. My question is can I spot clean or use some of the solution for smaller rugs that I can do by hand with a brush or is this solution only to be used with machines that will suck up the water? After reading so many disturbing comments I want to be safe, yet I need my carpets cleaned and I can’t get my hands on a machine just yet. Any suggestions???

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You know I have only used this in my machine and not used it as a spot cleaner. Try it out and see how it works!

  42. Thanks so much for this homemade rug cleaner recipe! I decided to give it a try, whipped up a batch, and have used it once on my living room carpet. The living room carpet that has endured an occasional dog accident, that is, so I was up against a lot of smells. After just one application, my carpet smells much better and looks 100% cleaner. I’ve tried many other expensive cleaners and suggestions, but only to still look at a dirty, smelly rug in the past. Definitely a thumbs-up from me and, again, thanks a million! Finally something that works without having to pay through the nose for it!! I just whipped up a batch for a work friend, and I’m sure she’ll like it as much as I do!

  43. I’m glad the fabric softener is ‘optional’. Though it may smell pretty, it has chemicals that can be flammable. Look at any fabric softener bottle, and you’ll see the warning in fine print. And it’s one of the reasons I stopped using fabric softener in my laundry. So, if you used fabric softener on your carpet and happen to drop any spark from a candle, cigarette, etc, it catch fire in the carpet a bit easier.

  44. I would be very careful using hydrogen peroxide on a carpet. I used Woolite pet stain + odor remover + oxy and wound up creating bleached spots all over my rug. Luckily my rug is very light beige or this would have been a disaster. I believe the “oxy” is basically hydrogen peroxide .

    • As I read through this post about the Best Ever Homemade carpet cleaner, I shook my head in amazement on the ingredients used to clean carpets, remove stains, etc. Having spent most of my career (40+) in design related to floor coverings, selling synthetics, as well as natural fibers (wool, wool/silk blend, sisal, seagrass, etc), and for the past decade being owner of a carpet cleaning business with my husband, who is the certified, trained technician, with niche certifications from Wools of New Zealand and WoolSafeUS, in cleaning wool carpets and rugs, I, too, like to use more “natural” homemade ingredients for cleaning the home, like window cleaning, natural laundry soap, etc. But, when it comes to carpets, one of the major expenses of home furnishings, you really need to read what the manufacturers (Mohawk, Shaw, Beaulieu, etc) recommends for cleaning, and the fiber manufacturers (DuPont Stainmaster, Anso, etc) recommend, or even CRI, Carpet and Rug Institute’s recommendations for cleaning. Wool manufacturers will have different recommendations, so best to check their sites. The number one caveat to be aware of, if your synthetic carpet is under 18 months old, is that you WILL void your manufacturer warranties for stain and wear if you do not have your carpets professionally hot water extraction cleaned every 18 months, at a minimum! Second, every stain will require different methods of spot cleaning. One solution will not clean every stain! Manufacturers, CRI, and other sources have spot cleaning tips and solutions to use for different spots. Any organic stains, i.e., urine, feces, vomit, etc, need to be cleaned with an enzymatic type cleaner, since enzymes “eat” bacteria produced by such stains. We always recommend to our clients, when we can’t get to them right away, to remove any solids, use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water to neutralize odors and stains, saturating the spot thoroughly, let it sit for a few minutes, then BLOT, do not rub, scrub, brush, until stain is removed, cover with a thick layer of towels and put a heavy weight on the spot (a stack of books), and let sit several hours or overnight. Hydrogen peroxide is appropriate to use for certain spots, in small amounts. Using solutions that include detergents, like Dawn, need to be thoroughly rinsed with a neutralizing rinse to prevent residue that can cause dark stains to appear after a short time. It’s usually not the spot, but the detergent residue left on fibers that literally clean the dirt off your shoes, feet, paws, or general soil circulated through your home by air conditioners, (also a reason for the dark edges around the perimeters of a room, next to the walls. A good carpet cleaner, worth his salt, will clean carpets first with a pre-spray of a solution to break down the soil and grease that accumulates due to normal living environments. That is followed by, very importantly, a pH neutralizing rinse that is then suctioned out removing both the soils and the detergent solution. This leaves a carpet that is soft, thoroughly cleaned, and residue free, without affecting the stain resistant features that you pay dearly for when you purchase new carpets. Years before we even started our carpet cleaning business, and stain resistant fibers were fairly new in the market, I shuddered when I learned people were buying their own carpet cleaners, because I saw more than a few who ruined carpets with their own machines, either through over cleaning, or using high pH cleaners with no way to rinse that out. IF YOU MUST use your own machine, a product I would recommend, have used for almost 30 years, and even use in our business, AND we do not get any remuneration for recommending it, is a product called TECH, found at many home improvement stores, hardware stores, etc. It is a plant based, non toxic cleaning solution that works wonders on carpets, clothes, etc. I always have this product on hand for all types of spot removal.
      I realize everyone likes to save money wherever they can, but this is one that I would carefully research before jumping on the bandwagon. Do your research, and not from Wikipedia, but from reputable sources.

  45. If you can wash your clothes with tide and these other ingredients then why could you not shampoo carpet with it……anyway if your smart wouldnt you after shampooing go over it with clean water with nothing in it to get out left over soap???? common sense goes a LONGGGGGG WAY. I am mixing some of this for my carpet.

  46. I have never seen the AWESOME cleaner. What is it? What is it used for otherwise?
    Is there a substitute if i can’t find it?

  47. I got so excited about finding this recipe that I didn’t read all the way through and used the cleaner straight… oops! I poured the whole gallon in there. I have to say though, it cleaned my white carpet like a dream! lol I need to get the foam out of the carpet machine before returning it, but fortunately this mishap was more of a win than a fail for my white carpet! 🙂

  48. angie merkle says:

    “So you are willing to pay $11 every time you clean your carpets?”

    Daniel^^^……YES I absolutely am! $11 for a big enough bottle that lets me clean 5 huge rooms, an 18 ft long hallway and about 5 large rugs that will not fit in my washing machine. $11 to me once a month to do all that is a drop in the bucket compared to the expense of a brand-new carpet shampooer. I would happily pay the $11 a month for the commercially made cleaners rather than risking the “homemade” concoctions” that contain vinegar, or fabric softener, or liquid laundry detergent or oxy-clean powder. I’ve been there, done that…and it ruined my previous shampooer after only 5-6 uses. Vinegar is highly acidic and over time, eats away at all the rubber seals and insides of tubing. Also, no matter how much you rinse and rinse and rinse everything out, all the fabric softener, the laundry detergent and the oxyclean powder leaves lots of residue and will plug up your tubing and all the holes your soap and water gets dispensed out of. My husband and I AND the vac shop repair guys were LITERALLY digging the “hard as cement” oxyclean out of the tubing with wire. (And NO I didn’t use more than what was specified in the recipe.) I will stick to my “custom-scented by me” company-recommended cleaning solution. The repair guys said the same’s recommended for a reason in the manual. And not just for reasons everyone thinks. Because it’s considered safer for the machine. Another thing the repairman told me is that if you do use something other than the cleaning solutions recommended for your machine and something happens to it, your warranty is no longer valid.

  49. I’m trying it out, so far it cleans great but I don’t smell the downy at all 🙁

  50. I have a Hoover Floor Mate Spin Scrub for my hard wood floors. I don’t have any carpet in my house. I absolutely love my floor cleaner. It gets my floors spotless without breaking my back. The only downfall is the cleaning solution is expensive, especially when I use it at least 2-3 times a week. I was wondering if I could use this solution instead or if anyone had any other ideas for my cleaner and floors.

  51. I use Genesis 950 for my carpets and my cleaning. It is the best cleaning product I have ever used. I completely get the homemade remedies and I had tried many of them but for set in stains, and to really clean deep I love the 950. It is expensive if you buy the small sizes, but being frugal, I get the 2.5 gallon because the price breakdown for large sizes is great. It is a concentrate too, so I pay for the solution and nothing watered down. Then when I clean with it, I can choose how much I want to use with water based on the stains. On top of that, it’s green.

  52. Wow! This is what I’m looking for. A homemade cleaning solution for carpets that doesn’t involve vinegar. The result looks pretty amazing based on your photo. You can definitely save time and money when you use these techniques. Thanks for sharing your secret!

  53. So, I just made this. I added the hot water very slowly, avoiding bubbles. Then, it happened. Apparently the oxyclean (Tide brand oxi) reacted to something! As I’m writing this, the foam is still “erupting” (okay, oozing, but that doesn’t sound as cool!) out of the milk jug, with no end in sight! I’m thinking perhaps this scoop size is bigger than the scoop you used. I could use this for a school volcano project! I hope when it wears itself out, there will still be some ‘oomph’ left to the oxy portion of the program! Lol

  54. reyne mahon says:

    I tried this today and it works GREAT!! I used Arm &Hammer laundry detergent instead of tide and it was amazing. I have 4 kids and 2 large dogs and the carpet was a mess 🙂 not anymore! It works better than any cleaner I have used before! Thanks so much for posting!

    • Thanks. Arm & Hammer is what I buy as well and I was going to try that first. I live alone so my carpets don’t get that dirty but they do need cleaning once in a while.

  55. Do you think that this would be safe on a dark colored carpet??

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I think it works pretty well on most carpets but I would test it on a corner or in a closet first to make sure!

  56. Julie Slayton says:

    Oh boy Kerri!!! You poor thing! I’m sure you’re reading these comments and just saying – “Ladies, ladies, ladies….I’m just posting an alternative to expensive carpet cleaning solution!” Goodness! It’s like being in a hen house! One lady offers some advice; another lady insults her; another lady says she’s spouting off; WHO CARES! Try the carpet cleaning solution – don’t try the carpet cleaning solution! But anyway, thanks for the post. I was looking for something to use because I ran out of my expensive brand and I wanted to finish up the house. Now….on to the next argument… And if there are more than two women reading, there will be a “next argument”! 🙂

  57. Just some information I received from a service. I have a 12 yr old maltipoo and she became blind from diabetes and urinates frequently in the house now. She use to bark to go out but not anymore. I would shampoo up the urine as soon as I noticed her doing it but could not get rid of the smell and was getting worse no matter how much I shampooed. I have since learned to NEVER EVER clean up urine with HOT water especially if it is a spot that you didn’t notice and it has been sitting. The hot water causes the urine smell to infuse into the carpet fibers. So glad I learned this.

    • Hot water doesnt cause the urine smell to infuse into the carpet fibers. The more water you add, the farther the urine will travel into your carpet though. Where a small urine stain used to be in your carpet fibers, adding too much water could cause it to travel down into your backing and pad and spread into a large spot. The only way to deal with pet urine is to buy a strong enzyme product and to completely saturate your urine spots. (To the point you can stand on the spot and you see liquid forcing its way to the surface), then to rinse it out completely with highly pressurized hot water. If the carpet is too saturated with urine, sometimes you even have to lift the carpet and pad to get to the problem areas.. It’s not a cheap fix, but it is the only way to fully get rid of your problem.
      -Professional Carpet Cleaner

  58. Janis Craft says:

    This solution took pet stains out of my carpet and wow!!! looks and smells so much better.

  59. I used this idea, but used Downy, Wisk, hydrogen peroxide, Mr Clean muscle, and vinegar then topped off with HOT water (I didn’t have many of the original recipe ingredients). It worked very well on some old set in stains from having teenagers, a toddler, potty training, 3 dogs, and dog messes (throw up and urine) My carpet looks great. House smells like vinegar, but once it wears off it will be fantastic. I previously used a recipe containing mouthwash, vinegar, and peroxide. But adding the other ingredients worked much better! Thanks for the tip.Will be using next on my throw rug!

  60. Is a scoop of oxyclean more like a tablespoon? I have a scoop that’s about a half cup in my big oxyclean box. I’m assuming that’s too much. Can you specify the scoop measurement please? Also, to make it less smelly I’m thinking of using a no scent tide and fabric softener. Has anyone else tried this? I’m assuming they have the same cleaning (or softening) power. I’d also like to add pureayre enzyme cleaner to it. Any thoughts?

  61. This worked wonders in our Hoover Dual Power Pro! I was skeptical because it seemed so diluted but it worked great. We are renters in an unit with older carpet and vinegar/ Eco friendly options just plain didn’t produce results.

    I found the Awesome cleaner, generic Oxyclean, and generic fabric softener at Dollar Tree. I was able to find 10 oz bottles of Tide for $2.39 at Target which are a better deal than the single serving sizes like you see at laundromats. $5.39 will produce at least 15 gallons of cleaner with extra supplies to spare! We paid $20 for a 1/2 gallon of cleaner when we bought our machine. That would be $600 for the same amount of store bought cleaner!

  62. Hi,

    I am interested in knowing if the Tide Solution gets really soapy? I use like resolve or other carpet cleaning solution in my carpet cleaner and it suds up so bad and does NOT take it long before I have to empty the container.

  63. This solution worked well for me, but I had to use an alternative ingredient. I don’t know where you are suppose to buy a tiny bit of Tide liquid detergent. The people who use a website like this wouldint use Tide as there regular detergent, knowing how expensive it is. Even a small bottle I saw was 5.00 so spending that would defeat the purpose of making my own carpet cleaner. I did look in two self-Laundromats for travel size packets, but all the machines offered powder detergent. Finally I found one place that had a small packet of liquid detergent for 1.00 but it was Wisk, so I used it in my concoction and it worked fine. No problem finding the awesome cleaner for 1.00, and the dollar store oxi-clean powder. The only thing I had for fabric softner was snuggle, so in the pot it went. I actually used three plastic scoops of the Oxi-clean, because that stuff is mild enough to use with laundry or anything. So I dumped everything in a plastic milk gallon, added Hot water, put the lid on and shook it all up till I saw the Oxi -clean powder was dissolved. Now my family room carpet had not been done for about two years, and we have two kids under 10 and a foxhound so the carpet looked like my backyard, but without the leaves and grass. I rented the rug doctor, put in the concoction and let it rip. Our light cream Berber carpet came up like new! I have to admit, the rug doctor machine is a LOT of work pulling it in reverse which is when it sucks the fluid out. I am a big guy and it gave me a serious workout to just take care of my 12×12 family room, but I went over the carpet about three times and all is well. I did two rooms in my house and used much more concentrated concoction to water mix ratio then needed. The whole gallon is gone since I changed the rug doctor fluid that looked as black as coffee about six or seven times, but it cost me so little that I’m fine with it. Thanks for the recipe!

  64. So this makes a gallon. Do I use the whole gallon or is it like buying a gall from the store where you only use so much of it to mix in with the water? Know what I mean?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      No, don’t use the whole gallon! This is the concentrated mix and should last a while. Follow the detailed instructions from your carpet cleaner machine. Example – For my machine I use 1/4 cup of soap to a gallon of water and that fills up my carpet cleaner machine!

  65. Hi Karrie,
    I have a furniture attachment on my cleaner, have you by any chance tried this on furniture?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I haven’t. I would say try it on a part of the couch that can’t be seen first just to make sure! 🙂

  66. As a professional carpet cleaner, I can assure you this solution will do more harm than good in the long run. Not only will you almost certainly void the warranty on your carpet, using anything on your carpet with “Oxy” in the product title is a mistake. Oxygenized cleaners will make a spot look incredibly good, but not because it is cleaning the spot, it is becuase the oxygen inside of the cleaner is actually causing color fade. Thats not even taking into consideration all of the different chemicals than can react together from the plethora of products you are having us mix together. I once mixed two soaps MADE for cleaning carpets together and it ended up foaming up so much my entire truck mount clogged with foam. You dont have a clean spot, you have a spot that the color has faded or been removed entirely. They are also very strong cleaners that tend to break down carpet fibers, so you could end up with “Bald spots” eventually. If you rent, I can understand not caring much, but if you bought your carpet (which is not cheap by any means) then I dont understand how not spending 20-30 dollars saves you a bit of money when you just ruined your carpet worth far more than you could ever save in a lifetime making these solutions yourself. You dont even need to hire a professional carpet cleaner to clean your carpets well. BUY solution, chemists create these products specifically for carpet. Spray your carpets, rinse thoroughly with JUST water. If you put soap into your carpet cleaner, you arent cleaning your carpets. You are spraying soap and water down, then sucking 75% of it back in within seconds. You are leaving them a soapy mess, and soap attracts dirt. Spray your cleaner on the carpet before hand, and let it dwell for 5-10 minutes. That step is the most important in the process, it is like pre-soaking dishes with tough grime. Put JUST water in your machine to rinse out the soap unless you enjoy cleaning your carpets every few months. If you go cheap, expect cheap results or worse, you ruining your carpet.

  67. Thanks for this! I have an area rug in my family room which I adore and so does, unfortunately, my doggie. I am going to take it out on the deck tomorrow morning and power wash it but wanted something other than the chemically smelling carpet cleaners I can buy at Home Depot.

    As an aside…some of the comments made me giggle. LOL! Glad I found your site!

  68. I’ve tried a lot of different solutions to get carpet clean that have worked; however, the stains come back. So, for years I have used Stanley Steamer; however, the stains come back. I have concluded that the dirt is pushed down into the carpet or chairs and just resurfaces in time for another cleaning. The last carpet I purchased was Stainmasters carpet with a guarantee. I have had my stainmaster carpet professionally cleaned and get the same results–it looks clean for a little while then the same stains resurface. My solution is putting in wood and/or laminate flooring and use throw rugs.

  69. A point of confusion:

    1)The steam cleaner I have has a reservoir for “cleaning solution” (it recommends its own brand). This fits probably 1 quart of solution

    2) The cleaner has another reservoir for a gallon of hot water.

    3) The steamer instructions says it will mix the cleaning solution with the gallon of hot water.

    You recommend diluting the solution, 1/4 cup in a gallon of water before putting into the cleaner.

    Does this mean I put the diluted-per-your-instruction solution into the “cleaning solution” reservoir, which will then be diluted again by the steamer? Or do I just dilute the solution like you suggest then dump it into the water reservoir and not use the cleaning solution reservoir altogether?

    Thanks for the concoction!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I think you could do it either way. I would probably put 1/4 cup of the cleaning solution in the reservoir and then add the full gallon of water in the gallon spot and let the machine mix it as you clean!

  70. 1. Many have written about toxicity, so I wanted to address that. Many people don’t know that the effects of toxins on the immune system are cumulative. This means that any one substance, like Tide, may have minimal effects on its own, but it will add up with all of the other types of toxins you are exposed to in and out of the home. Some recent research showed that part of the population has genetic defects that make them unable to clear certain types of toxins, making them susceptible to autoimmune diseases and other illnesses from accumulated exposures. A subset of these can’t clear most toxins. These are the people who get sick once their bucket runneth over, and they will suffer from Tide. If you’re one of those, you should worry about managing your exposures from all sources. If not, you can afford to be more cavalier. Your family history should give you a clue. Not surprisingly, this research is largely being ignored by the traditional medical community. (Side note to one commenter who believes that the FDA will protect her: do you actually, really believe this?)
    2. Several professional carpet cleaners have commented on this site and almost no one responds or acknowledges their input at all. I understand that people assume they are biased because they are financially invested, but they appear to me to be making an effort to inform people about their area of expertise to help people save their investments in their carpets. I’m not suggesting their viewpoints are the be-all, end-all, but I do want to acknowledge their contribution and thank them for it. Because of their input, I am having trouble making up my mind for my upcoming cleaning!

  71. Totally understandable to want to save money, but there are some concerns with the recipes listed above. The first is the use of Oxi Clean. Oxi Clean works by the principal of oxidation. Through this, a reaction takes place in which oxygen released causes a chemical reaction. While in most cases the reaction is positive, it can have severe problems. The most common issue is that Oxi can discolor carpet. Oxi has been known to tint carpet with an orange or pink tint. While this doesn’t always happen, if it does, your carpet is ruined. It can also clump up and harden in the carpet as some readers commented. Another issue is with the laundry detergent. These are soap based cleaners. Soaps actually attract dirt. They also leave a residue behind that is hard to rinse out.

    The next issue is the suggestion of the use of vinegar. If you are a pet owner, DO NOT use vinegar. because the pH level of vinegar is similar to that of urine, your pet may mistake the vinegar smell as a previous marking and in turn continue to go to the bathroom in that spot. If your cat or dog keeps going in a spot you keep cleaning, it is because the vinegar odor is attracting them to it.

    If you really want a good, solid clean that is green safe and won’t harm your carpet or family, go with Genesis 950. It uses water to make stains break down naturally. In doing so, it also deodorizes and kills germs, bacteria and any growth that might be in the padding. It can be a little expensive if you are buying a small size, but the large size is priced ridiculously low when you break it down as far as the amount you get and how you mix it with water. It also can be used to clean everything else in your house. If you are having trouble with cleaning carpets, you might want to give it a try or look into it because it is shocking how well it works.

  72. I had just ran out of the expensive solution and was looking for a solution that I could put together and found this one. I did not use the Tide, I used All and let me say that this is the best solution!! Its been 2weeks now and stains that would come back before still have not reappeared! I am so sold!
    Thank You for sharing!

  73. Angelica S. says:

    Hello everyone, I am about to use this recipe to clean my carpets. I am actually moving so I wasn’t really thinking about the residuals, so that one poster made me think a little. That being said, I really don’t believe that the author of this page trying to be malicious in posting this recipe. I mean, come on, it’s quite the contrary, she was posting a useful, tried-and-true recipe to clean carpets. It seems that the person posting the warning was also being helpful with the information that she was sharing. But, we all have the ability to do our own research on what we decide to use in our own home. What happened to personal responsibility? I looked up the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and it only stated that if you ingested it you would have “gastrointestinal problems”. The only precautions were in regards to the perfumes: “Perfumes contained within the products covered by this MSDS comply with appropriate IFRA guidance.” On a scale of 0-4 it was listed as a “1” Slightly Harmful.
    Here is the link.

    Happy cleaning everyone!

  74. I was excited, but sorry still have the same dark spots. :/
    I’m sure it’s because my spots are old?

  75. How much is a “Scoop” of OxiClean? The scoop in my container is rather large (maybe 1/2 cup). Is that how much you used?

  76. Thank you so much for this article! I have three children and two dogs and I know how hard is to keep the home clean and tidy. Thanks again for the great tricks! Regards!

  77. I’m looking this up for a friend of mine who has a carpet he needs to clean. As for me—I was smart enough to strip out all the carpeting ! Carpeting is the gross and disgusting…if you could see what is under it and in it…you would be horrified! Carpeting is all chemicals…no matter how much you clean a carpet the chemicals they use are not going to come out…I have all wood floors now. No more allergies- no more lung problems-I don’t break out—all the problems were caused by the carpet!
    Get rid of the carpets and you won’t have any problems.

  78. Lysol just came out with an all-purpose cleaner…Lysol Power and Free with Hydrogen Peroxide. I have light colored burber carpet (not by choice). We have a country boy teen and 3 dogs. To spot clean, I spray a little of the Lysol Power and Free…scrub lightly for a couple of seconds, then almost, saturate (have to for doggies ooopsies), and cover with a clean rag, let sit til dry. Not only does it take, up the stain…it gets up all the dirt too. I just wish Lysol made the same thing for carpet cleaners! Plus, it works better than Resolve Carpet spray for animal ooopsies. It’s also great for cleaning stuck on foods on the stove top! No need to rinse unless you let it sit foe 10 minutes to disinfect! This is now the only cleaner, I will buy for everything!

  79. Thanks for sharing this recipe. With 3 kids, a big dog and 2 cats my carpet gets dirty fast. I just mixed this solution and used it and it worked great. I put some of the solution in a spray bottle to spray on the really bad spots then used my carpet cleaner. So clean! I will be doing the rest of the carpet tomorrow.

  80. I used the Tide solution and I rent a home that has white carpets ughhhh can you believe someone would put white carpets in a rent home!!! Well anyways WORKS perfect, white carpets clean and soft again, I have 3 big dogs and a toddler still on a bottle and sippy cup and had surface spots every where from this… that has changed now but it cleaned everything up.. cheaper then the solution you have to buy at 15 dollars a bottle and I would have had to buy 3 of them to clean what I had…. Thank you!!!!

  81. Can I relace Tide with another Washing liquid?

  82. Hmm I’m wondering what the effects would be if I used Tide, Downy, white vinegar, and tea tree oil mixture. I really love the idea of all natural but on the flip side of that I want my carpet fluffy and soft for my baby to play on.

  83. Glad I found this I live in an apt the recommend professional cleaning of carpets every six months and will charge you for full replacement if dirty plan to clean right after New Years. I hope this works for me

  84. This is really awesome!. Making your own homemade carpet cleaning solution is really a great idea. The recipe of the solution is easy to find and it can be seen in your own house.

  85. I’ve been using Greased Lighting in the same proportional amount of the commercial solutions. Works great and saves a lot of money, Knowing that soapy residue is the enemy of a good carpet cleaning I do the carpets twice, the second time in a half vinegar, half water solution.

  86. I tried the homemade carpet cleaning solution, and it worked so well! I saved SO much money compared to what I would have had to spend using the “recommended” solution, and it even worked better! My apartment looks practically new; thank you so much for sharing!

  87. I use the not so natural recipe all the time!! I didn’t have fabric softener so I just threw in a bit of shout cleaner. It works amazing. Going to do the vinegar one tonight thanks to the new puppy. Lol. With a toddler, puppy, cat, and constant company… Our EGGSHELL colored carpets are always messy. This stuff works wonders. Thanks so much for this page, I would be lost without you!!

  88. kelli bowen says:

    Be careful with the awesome cleaner. This last summer, my mother got this product in her eyes. After much research, a trip to the ER, a call to the company, and a few trips to the eye Dr., we now know it will literally burn holes in your lens and it is a carcinogen. Please be careful if you use this product, especially if you have children.

  89. I cannot wait to try this. I use a pretty expensive branded one the same as my carpet cleaner and although it cleans up dirt it isn’t very good at removing stains at all! So i hope this one will.

    Jennavon x

  90. Karrie,

    I received my Bissell Powerlifter Powerbrush today and I can’t wait to start cleaning my carpets using your 1st recipe! I have three questions.

    1) Have you ever premade your recipe, poured it into a gallon jug, and added the hot water right before using it? Or does that matter since it’s concentrated? I’m planning to make 2-3 gallons at one time just to have a “stock pile” always available.
    2) My Bissell isn’t heated. Due to my pets I opted out of that kind. Do you know how long it approximately takes for the carpet to dry using a non-heated cleaner? Drying time wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the paperwork that came with my cleaner.
    3) Have you ever used Gain instead of Tide? I don’t know anything about the sudsing of either one.

    Thank you for your blog,

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      1. When you make this recipe it makes a full gallon of concentrated mix then when I am ready to use it I add the water to it in my machine. I think that’s probably the best way for me but I haven’t tried it any other way. Let me know if you feel like your way works better for you!
      2. I am not sure about how long it takes to dry. Sorry! 🙂
      3. No, I personally haven’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it out!
      I am excited for you to try it out!

  91. I say we all pull up the carpets and put down linoleum just like the good ole days

  92. Nick And Jessica says:

    This Was Good, But Not At First. There Was To Much Cleaning Stuff And It Clumped Up. So, We Had To Add More Water. But, I Do Think This Was Good And Recommend It. There Might’ve Been A Mix Up With What Was Put In There By The People Helping. So, Thank You For The Cleaning Tip.

  93. Really impressive!!! I used All Free And Clear clothes soap in place of Tide and Purple Power in place of Awesome because that is what I have. This stuff took stains out that remained after 3 carpet cleanings with the regular carpet soaps for our home shampooers. This recipe took every stain out. Even petroleum based. Thank you very much for this recipe and keep up the good work.

  94. There is nothing like a clean carpet to make your house feel fresh! Thank you for sharing your great recipe! I’ll give it a try!

  95. Great solution! The homemade recipes rocks! Thumbs up for the post! Greets!

  96. Tiffany W says:

    Can a different detergent be used? My husband is allergic to Tide

  97. I made this recipe and followed the directions exactly. The rug doctor I rented said to use 1 3/4 c cleaning solution with each tank full. I tried it on my first cream and beige color area rug. It smelled exactly like the cleaner you buy at the store and cleaned really well. I saved the rest of my rugs for the next day. I’m glad I did.
    In the morning when the rug was mostly dry, i found it RUINED! Something in the mixture I think stripped the cream color dye and now my cream rug is a brownish red color and splotchy at that. 🙁 I’ve used oxiclean on the rugs before just fine, so it was either the tide, awesome, or fabric softener. I finished my house using just water in the machine and none of the other carpets had issues, since.i didn’t use this solution.
    Always always always do a test portion first, and let it dry! I am so upset!

  98. I’m extremely grateful for the tips in this post and for the tips in the comments about cleaning sheep skin rugs! I have a smaller sheep skin that I’ve had since I was little and I’ve always wanted to know how to clean it without ruining it. I’ll have to try some of the tips mentioned and I will definitely have to tackle my living room carpet soon!

  99. First let me say good job on trying to make a cheaper alternative to standard rug cleaners. However, this is not safe for pets or children to touch the carpet afterward. Aside from the issues with tide that have already been pointed out. Every single product you have used should not be used on things for children or pets. Not only do they absorb the fragrances and chemicals through their skin but they are likely to lick themselve or put their fingers in their mouth thus orally ingesting those same chemicals. This can cause digestion problems, cancer, organ failure and even death. And we haven’t gotten into what breathing in these chemicals does to ones lungs.

    I would advise that anyone with children and/or pets stop using these chemicals immediately and hope you can repair the damage that has already been done to their delicate bodies.

    It’s a lot cheaper to buy a steam cleaner and use baking soda/vinegar/peroxide (not all at the same time of course) when you have a stain that won’t come out.

  100. My guess is that carpet cleaning solutions are specifically made for cleaning carpets. Soap powder is made for cleaning cloths. Dish soap is made for cleaning dishes. And so on,,,,

  101. Thank you for the recipe! I love to try new cleaners and the fact that it is homemade is great! Lovely post! Thank you for sharing!

  102. Rohmell Brills says:

    For those of you that are concerned about damaging your carpet cleaning machines, there are many different types, and the types of pumps used to convey the cleaning fluids vary, some of the types used include rotary vane, diaphragm and solenoid pumps. The chemical composition of the hoses varies as well, machines may use polyethylene, vinyl, polypropylene, etc. Some are more resistant to chemicals that others. The ‘rubber’ seals used in these machines might not be rubber at all, but a synthetic vinyl butyl or viton seal. Again, some are more resistant to chemicals that others. A homemade solution that may possibly damage one type/brand or machine after a few cycles could very well work perfectly fine in another for years due to the composition of the hoses and seals used in the machine. I have replaced hoses on many machines with chemical-resistant Tygon and polyethylene hoses, upgraded to Viton O-rings and have received zero callbacks.The cheaper machines use cheaper materials, that are more likely to be damaged over time by chemicals .If you are really concerned about protecting your carpet cleaning machine, I would suggest using the homemade carpet cleaning solutions in a pump spray bottle, and then use a wet/dry vac to vacuum it all up.
    Additionally, perhaps users can chime in with the brand/model of the carpet cleaning machines that have failed when using this carpet leaning solution, so that others can avoid that brand/model. Finally, please note that the formula listed in this thread is for a concentrated solution, which sould not be used at full strength, it should be diluted according to your machine’s directions. For example, on the Bissel 1653 series(LGCM), the ratio is 8 oz of cleaner, then add enough water to make 40 oz of solution.


    When in doubt about a surface, always spot test first.

    Remove any gross soils from surface.
    Mix 1 oz. Simple Green per 1 cup of water.
    Dampen stains with clean water.
    Spray solution onto stain.
    Allow a few minutes for the solution to penetrate the soil.
    Gently rub and blot with clean damp towel or absorbent cloth.
    Allow cleaned area to completely dry before resuming traffic.

    Mix 4 oz. Simple Green per ½ gallon of water into a pump type sprayer.
    Apply solution onto the carpet in sections.
    Agitate by brushing or scrubbing (a push broom or soft nylon brush work well).
    Extract with the carpet cleaning machine with clean water (add a small amount of white vinegar to reduce foaming in the recovery tank).
    Allow cleaned area to completely dry.

    Do not allow Simple Green solution to dry onto carpet or upholstered surfaces. If residues are allowed to dry onto the surface, use vinegar or a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda solution.
    If you aren’t sure if Simple Green is compatible with a specific upholstery, vinyl, or other synthetic type of furniture, contact the item’s manufacture for confirmation.

  104. Sally Mayflower says:

    I have a Hoover Steam Vac with a solution compartment and a water one as well. How would you recommend using the solution in this two compartment carpet washer? If anyone has used the above solution with this type of Steam Vac, please feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks!

  105. I was wondering if it has to be tide or can I use any detergent and also what would I use if I have one that has fabric softener and detergent in one?

  106. This looks good to me. My only question regards the oxy clean. It is designed to release oxygen when mixed with water (similar to hydrogen peroxide). It works great for cleaning, but only when mixed up fresh. as it is only active for a short time (~20 minutes). It would likely have no effect in a concentrate that is stored longer.

  107. Oh my goodness, girl!! This recipe works great!! I made up the batch as you stated here. (Dollar Stores are wonderful when you’re looking for something specific. Even the Tide! And a larger tub of Awesome Oxy!) The woman at the counter even said the Awesome cleaner works great as a spot remover on clothes before washing. At any rate, got it all fixed up. And broke the machine! Cleaning the thing at that! Sigh. In the meantime, I’m looking at the spots he has on his beige carpet (caused in part by MY dog when he’s kept him) and I’m thinking ‘Hm…..You know what…..’ So, I filled a spray bottle (also the $ store!) half full with the solution and the rest with water. I know, that’s too much, but these stains are years old!! I mean, YEARS! And went to spraying them. I let them sit ….oh,….hours really…. and took some sheets of paper towels (he doesn’t have any rag bag!! Yet..) and put them on a wet spot and stepped on the thing. Easier than bending over and blotting! Spraying that way got my back going! LOL. And VOILA!! NO STAIN! Most AWEsome!!! The tougher ones I’ve been blotting and re-spraying. But they’re really not that tough. Now all we need to do is fix the cleaner and go over the whole carpet. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! And thanks for helping me show him that those expensive cleaners are worthless AND toxic!! 🙂

  108. Have you tried your homemade laundry detergent instead of the tide?

  109. Please know that using any chemical that brightens, such as Oxiclean or Awesome, will damage carpet over time. I have settled many claims with carpet that is literally falling apart from the effects of Oxiclean. It also negates any warranty you have on your carpet!

    • many things damage and void a carpet warranty, even using my dyson vacuum does, cause its too strong.
      Suggestion is to personally inform yourself on what you use and what makes you comfortable. Right.

  110. This is more of an FYI in re-gards to Oxi-Clean and its use. Although the formula sounds great, and I have no doubt it works, OxiClean works by creating a bubbling effect by its introduction into water. This most potent part of the reaction only lasts for roughly 6 hours. It is recommended that any unused oxiclean based solutions be disposed of after six hours.

  111. margie galarza says:

    Thanks for the advice i have a bissel.shark and bissel liguid really dont work.well i tried this and omg my carpet is soft and smells.awesome and carpet is spotless thanks so much for information

  112. Just Someon says:

    So do you just use the whole gallon in the machine since you’re only using 2tbsp of tide in the mixture? commercial cleaners are ultra concentrated so i only use like 1 capful for a gallon.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      No, you don’t use the whole gallon in your machine. This recipe is concentrated cleaner that you dilute according to your machine’s instructions just like the commercial cleaners. So for your machine use 1 capful for a gallon recipe in your machine if that is what you usually use with other cleaners. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  113. Well since my wife and mother-in-were were in Mexico on vacation, and I stayed home because of business obligations I decided to use my spare time to clean the carpets in our home which is 50/50 carpet and flooring. I sat down and began that tedious journey searching the internet to see what know-it-all claims that their homemade carpet cleaning solution is “space age best ever #1 in the universe.”
    Well I found your web page and thought that what you proposed as a cleaning solution was an original and decided to try it out. Well I went to the local dollar store and picked up the Awesome and oxygen cleaners and used Wisk instead of Tide since it’s our household brand. Mixed as instructed, got out the Bissell steam cleaner and went to work on three area rugs that were pretty dirty. WOW.I only wish I could of posted a video or attached photos of before and after to this testimonial, and guess what, NO FOAM FILLING UP THE TANK. Well once the rugs dry I’ll clean the carpet, which I know will be fun. Thank you young lady for you brilliant carpet cleaning solution (no pun intended).

  114. Karrie,
    Once again you have done it to perfection. I have tried many different home made carpet cleaners but this is simply the best. I did adjust the cleaner everyone is talking about from the dollar tree to Odor Ban from home depot, for the simple fact when my puppy makes mistakes on the carpet this will kill some unneeded extra, as well as added peppermint essential oils to the mix, and you would never know I had dogs on my carpet. Now I am on too trying you home made vanilla extract.
    Good luck with the new property/land, wishing you all the best of time.

  115. Could I use Purex free and clear liquid detergent instead of tide? And vinegar instead of downy? My husband is allergic to most chemical scents, so we try to go as scent free as possible. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!

  116. You are a Goddess! A Goddess I tell you!

    (Used in my new Bissel 89108 and it worked like a champ)

    Where were you in college so I could have married you???

    Brightest Blessings!

  117. Thanks for the article Karrie! I noticed a few of my customers tried this type of solution on their Persian rugs. I’m not sure if this is where they got them from (although I’m sure your site is huge in Los Angeles because they used the same ingredients) but I just wanted to inform people that this will not work with cleaning your rugs at home! Carpets are a different story, but doing this to your rug, especially if they are Persian or Oriental will result in color bleeding. I get these all the time at my business! Hopefully this’ll save a few people, but if you could also leave it in your article, I’m sure that would help people too.

  118. Thank you for these nice and natural tips! They seem really easy and economical! I am keen on eco-products because they are non-toxic. I’ll recommend you my all-purpose-natural cleaner: 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 3 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp sea salt and 30 drops essential oil of lavender (optional) – mix the ingredients and pour them down in a spray bottle. Thank you again for inspiring me! Good luck!

  119. Here’s the thing about carpeting: the plush, dense fibers we love to feel underfoot are also really great at clinging to dust, dirt, smoke, pet odor, and whatever other grime comes through the door. I really needed a hand because I’m on budget. Thanks for helping you’re Awesome!

  120. Harley Gato says:

    I have tried the stuff you buy and it tends to leave a residue that attracts more dirt, so you have to clean more often (According to a friend of mine in the carpet cleaning buss). So just use what she says and how she says to use it and you will be happy with clean carpets. I rent and the carpets are about 15 years old and this did wonders for them, still worn but now cleaner then when I rented the Doc and bought the solution and spent a whole day moving stuff and cleaning. Thank Tiffany for us all.
    By the way I picked up a carpet cleaner at a thrift store for 8 buck because it was dirty and nasty. I tested the operation and took a chance and bought it. Took it home and cleaned it up (couple hours) and it works great and I saved better than a hundred bucks.

  121. I have a 280lb Great Dane Lab mix,so needless to say he can get my carpets rather smelly, I have used Odor Ban for years in the water tank portion of my carpet cleaner, it does not cover the smell it removes the smell, I have 2 other dogs and a cat…so needless to say I needed something that would work to keep one animal from trying to cover the smell from the other. I bought mine at Sams club and have had it for years, it is highly concentrated and I also have some in a spray bottle with water incase I need to clean up a small animal or even human stain…I have seen it also at either Home Depot or Lowes..
    Thank you so much for this carpet cleaning recipe I will put it to good use.

  122. I dont know why anyone would want to use downey which has a greasy feel to it when vinegar softens just al well and it does not attract more dirt like downey, the same with laundry soap, you never get it all out and it also attracts more dirt so you have to shampoo more. just use plain vinegar in your water and mabe a little peroxide. Carpet is much cleaner and does not attract more dirt. just keep up on spot cleaning and you wont have to use any soap.

  123. I made this exactly as instructed, used it in my carpet cleaning machine, and this recipe is LIFE CHANGING for me. Thank you SO much. It cleaned even old stains that the store brand cleaners didn’t. I have tried so many things for pet stains on my white carpet, and this is the most effective, best-smelling one I have ever used. And so cost-effective. And the Downy, I imagine, for the commenter above, is for the scent mostly. My carpet is like-new now and the house just smells like clean laundry. Thank you thank you!!

  124. I don’t know how y’all are reading the list of ingredients to make up the carpet cleaner. All I see is a big bunch of computer garble and no ingredients

  125. Louisa Russell says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing solution. I made it last night for a large stain on my living room carpet. I live in Scotland UK so can’t buy the Awesome cleaner here. For those who might like to try this, I used these products instead and I couldn’t believe how well it cleaned the carpet.
    I used the recommended quantities above in the recipe and these are, Aldi’s Almat liquid bio washing soap, Flash all purpose cleaner for walls and floors ( I used the blue one with the Febreeze) Wizz Oxi from Poundland, Lenor and I also put 1/2 a cap of Ace bleach into the mix. I didn’t get the big carpet cleaner out as it was late when I started cleaning the dirty patch. I put just under 1/2 of the solution into a spray bottle and spot cleaned the carpet. I can’t believe how well it has removed the dirt. The US gallon is 6.6 imperial pints and I got 4 litres and 3/4 of a pint of solution from the recipe. I can’t wait to try it in my Vax. Thank you so much again for this recipe. It has saved me a lot of money as the Vax solution costs around £7.99 a bottle. Definitely recommend.

  126. When a mfg puts a ‘notice’ in the manual telling you that your warranty will not be valid if you use such and such cleaner, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true….

    Car mfgs tried to dupe the public this way, and the courts found that so long as the 3rd party consumables in question (in this case, motor oil) were compatible (more specifically, were not INcompatible) they could NOT void a warranty. However, it’s not illegal for a mfg to claim this. So they do, hoping you will always buy from them out of fear of voiding your warranty. Same has been found with inkjet printers (who still warn of warranty voids, but never try to get out of standing behind a warranty).

  127. Awesome! Thank you!

  128. I want to try that homemade carpet cleaning solution can you give me the steps on how to make it I want to try it on my carpet?

  129. Where can I get some of that shampoo to try

  130. Wow, this post has a lot of reviews and comments. I have been working on our nasty carpets the last 2 days. Have 2 super messy elementary school-aged girls who’s rooms often look like a bomb went off. We also have 2 dogs one who is a mega shed breed of lab/shepherd. So, if you can imagine the wear and tear we have. This recipe is AMAZING and I have already been using the homemade laundry soap for about 2yrs. Nothing better than making that stuff up only 2 times/year. I found both the Tide (small bottle for 6 loads in a yellow bottle), the Awesome cleaner and the generic Oxyclean all at Dollar General. The rest is easy to find anywhere. I am super impressed with the stain removal in this cleaner and of course the cost as well. I did add 2 cups of peroxide to the gallon as well to give things a bit of a boost.

    Here is what you will need:
    2 Tablespoons Liquid Tide Laundry Detergent (small yellow bottle for 6 loads at Dollar General)
    1/4 cup Awesome cleaner (Dollar General store brand)
    1 scoop Oxyclean (Dollar General store brand)
    1 teaspoon Downy Fabric Softener (optional)
    2 Cups Peroxide
    Hot Water, one gallon

    Denzell & Tom. The recipe above is for the steam cleaning recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do. Mix all the ingredients together in a gallon milk jug then add the hot water slowly so that the ingredients do not bubble up. One of the posts on this site said that adding peroxide helps keep the solution from not becoming too bubbly. I have a Bissell Pro Pet Heat Carpet steamer that is a year old and this stuff worked really well in it. I have a zillion little pet accidents in one of the rooms to get out and am using the carpet tool to work the solution in first and then going over it all with the steam cleaner.

    Thanks Karrie for your awesome recipes!

  131. This is a little unclear….I mix all the detergents and then dilute to 1 gallon?

  132. Karrie, does the fix mixture leave a soapy residue?? Do you usually have to go back over it with a rinse? That’s my biggest concern. I don’t have time to do a rinse, but I don’t want a soapy residue either!
    Thanks for your help! Love this recipe! Excited to try it!

  133. ?Q? How would I use this recipe in a TWO COMPARTMENT carpet cleaner? 1 small compartment holds the soap the other larger container holds the water. Please and Thank y’all so much! 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

  134. Baking soda and vinegar works pretty good on pet stains and it will not leave a soapy residue. Vinegar will actually breakdown residual!

  135. Karrie, I just want to thank you for this recipe! I bought a barely used carpet cleaner for only $20 at Goodwill, and tried this recipe for the first time using the machine. I was hopeful, but skeptical. Let me tell you, my carpets were really BAD! I had dog urine stains (that had been spot cleaned, but still stained the carpet), coffee stains, a rust stain, high traffic hallway, and you name it….trust me….they needed to be cleaned but I didn’t want to spend a fortune with a carpet cleaning company. This recipe worked like MAGIC on my carpets! I did have to go over and over some of the tougher stains, but I did not have to spot clean first, the stains eventually lifted. I am super sensitive to scent, as most cleaners give me migraines. Super bonus, there is NO odor, no chemical smell, no perfume smell!, and I’ll be able to sleep in my room tonight! My husband couldn’t BELIEVE the difference, and said the carpets look like new again! 🙂 This stuff was all the way around fantastic, and I’ll use it from now on! Thank again!

  136. Vanessa says:

    Holy cow. My carpets have NEVER come so clean with any other storebought solution. The only change I made to the recipe was that I dissolved the oxi granules in a little hot water and poured it through a washcloth into a bowl first. I then added the other ingredients to that liquid. I did this because it just doesn’t dissolve that well and I didn’t want those little granules running through my machine. I did a once over water only rinse, too. Great formula!

  137. Vicki Ullom says:

    We have 2 dogs, 3 married sons and soon to be six grandchildren, yep our carpets get dirty! I was spending a fortune on carpet cleaner that did an ok job. So I googled homemade carpet cleaner and found your blog. I LOVE this recipe. I’ve used it about 4 months now and I’m never disappointed. Very affordable and does a GREAT job. Thank you! 🙂

  138. Beth Bishop says:

    I believe I was able to figure out the ingredients and the measurements. Are you aware how all those random words etc are listed as part of the recipe? I’m fairly certain it is because the are “affiliate links”, or something like that. Thanks for the recipe! I will not repin it until it becomes easier to understand. I hope that is something you are able to accomplish! Thanks again!
    Beth Bishop
    [email protected]

  139. I read your ingredients then ran to my cleaning supplies and found I had some Oxyclean stain remover and Pet Stain and Odor “Eliminator” from a pet store and mixed those sparingly with very hot water. There some stuff at Costco called “Incredible” that you can put a drop right on a stain. This stuff works all by itself, but I was cleaning my whole couch that had blood stains from my little dog being in heat. I think some Oxyclean stain remover in some very hot water would work by itself. I used the Hoover hose attachment to clean the whole couch and pillows.

  140. I’m SO glad I came across this! Carpet cleaners are super expensive, plus I don’t like embedding my carpet with chemicals for the cats and dog to sniff. Thanks again!

  141. Catina Lattimore says:

    Thank you for your the carpet cleaning idea… it worked great! Of course I mis-measured and had too many bubbles, but a little extra back breaking work and the carpet look and smell great. I also used your breakfast bowl recipe! Tastes great!

  142. I use AWESOME cleaner. Don’t need to add Tide, Oxy, or Downey.. AWESOME removed cherry kool-aid in one shampooing. It never came back through the carpet.

  143. The recipe is very….broken. It reads like a broken URL address and I can’t make heads or tails of it.
    Could someone please list the ingredients for me?

  144. Annette gomez says:

    I like to use a cheap bathroom cleaner to mist the carpet in high traffic areas. It loosens up the ground in dirt on the carpet fibers nicely without saturating the carpet down to the padding. I love the shampoo recipe. I thought I w as the only one to cheap to use those high priced carpet cleaning solutions.

  145. Thank you for this recipe! I am cleaning out my Grandmothers house. Carpet is old, smelly, and stained. This homade solution cannot hurt it or void any warranties since they’re long pass. Found a carpet shampooer in the closet. Again it works and I’m not worried about damaging it. Only can go up from here!

  146. How do you use the natural carpet cleaner in your car to get out stains?

  147. I’m going to give the all natural recipe a try this weekend. I’m trying to get more toxins out of my life. Thanks, I’m glad I found this recipe.

  148. Harriet says:

    I have no comments on cleaning the carpet, but the Awesome Cleaner concentrate spray is something I use and love it. Yes, the fumes can get to you if you use it straight with no ventilation. You know those gray streaks you get on your countertops if you slide an aluminum pan across them? Soapy wet dishcloth won’t touch them. But a spritz of Awesome gets it right up. Same with fruit stain or child’s watercolor stains on a clear coated wood table. And the Awesome powder in a tub? THE only thing that has ever gotten that musty “husband” smell out of the sheets and pillow cases and I have tried every combination of washing soda, Borax, baking soda, vinegar, bleach and detergents. Even after double washing the sheets would still come out of the dryer with smelling like body oils. But the Awesome powder, used with the detergent = no more smells! Love the stuff!

  149. Louise Bean says:

    Oh my Gosh. Seriously I was crying last month (yes literally crying) because even after I used Rug Doctor machines and carpet shampoo I still had dark stains on my carpet AND the whole living room smelt like a piss sauna. I just made this and used it on 2 dark stains and it hasn’t even dried yet and I can very clearly see they’re gone. I made this in spray bottle form and just hand scrubbed the stain. Thank you!

  150. I don’t mean to criticize, but Fabric Softener will deactivate the solution. It’s made from oils & beef fat which neutralize the surfactants & chelating agents found in Laundry Detergent. (Which is why it leaves your Laundry so soft 🙂 )

    You know.. maybe if you replaced it with Baking Soda, or Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate).. you’d really be onto something.

    Whatever you do… anytime you clean your carpets with a Home Machine, use a full half-cup of Vinegar, and fill your machine with HOT water, and go over the area again. This will remove most, if not all of any residue left behind from the soap.. leaving your carpets cleaner, and not leaving a residue to attract further dirt. Plus.. you know it’s safe for little ones to walk on later 🙂

  151. Jesse Larsen says:

    I love your cleaning solution! I used it to spot clean right after I had the carpet cleaned from I split red wine and nearly had a heart attack until I found your article! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  152. I bought all these exact same ingredients and tried it 2 times in a row and still did not get the simple dirt out of my yellow indoor carpet. I’m not trying to accuse this as a false solution – simply saying this did not work at all for me.

  153. I followed this recipe exactly and it did a great job on my carpets, however, when I stored it I found that over time it caused the plastic milk jug to implode, crack, and leak all over my cabinet. (Unfortunately, I didn’t notice until nearly half of the gallon ran all over the wood cabinet and ruined the shelf.) Has this happened to anyone else? With my moderate knowledge of chemistry, I’m thinking it’s the Oxyclean that’s responsible, but I’m not certain.

  154. We had a TERRIBLE experience with this solution. I think I broke my brand new Hoover carpet cleaner. The oxiclean solidified in the tube. Now it doesn’t work. There was oxiclean residue EVERYWHERE….all over the carpet cleaner, my tile and my kid’s carpet. I followed the directions exactly. I dissolved the oxiclean first. I wish I would have just used regular carpet cleaner. It wasn’t worth the mess and breaking my carpet cleaner.

  155. I don’t have plane Liquid Tide Laundry Detergent so I will use 2 Tablespoons HE Liquid Tide Laundry Detergent
    I don’t have Awesome cleaner so I will use 1/4 cup 409
    I do have Oxyclean so I will use 1 scoop
    and I will use 1 teaspoon of Snuggle Fabric Softener instead of Dawn Fabric Softener
    Hot Water, one gallon

  156. I’ll let you know when I use it.
    Hopefully tomorrow.

  157. Hi,
    Suggestion: I don’t have Tide but I use Persil detergent Proclean 2 in 1 laundry detergent which is from Walmart, which has enzymes and fragrance in it, low suds clean rinse formula and smells great, I was thinking this may work better than tide, already has the smell to it and enzymes mentioned. ? I will get back to you.

    I am going to try this.

    2 Tablespoons Persil 2 in 1 Laundry Detergent
    1/4 cup Awesome cleaner (dollar store brand)
    1 scoop Oxyclean (I used generic dollar store brand)
    1 teaspoon Downy Fabric Softener (optional)
    Hot Water, one gallon

  158. Bob Allen says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for this! I was planning on renting a rug doctor but didn’t want to spend the $20 for cleaners. I found your recipe and I happened to have all of these things already, so my net cost was next to zero for cleaning supplies. I used All Free and Clear instead of Tide, and had unscented oxy clean. The only scent is from the Totally Awesome cleaner, which I also already had on hand, and even then, the house smells fresh and clean. And, the carpets are so much cleaner. I just wanted to thank for for saving me at least twenty bucks.

  159. Can you fix the broken measurements? I can’t read it. Would love to try this. Or make the list on a separate message? Thank you .

  160. We used this today on our carpets and it worked perfect. I will never use store bought carpet cleaner again.

  161. Wow. That is really something that is worth trying out. I can say I had problems with DIY carpet or rug cleaning that is why I have hired Silver Rug Cleaning ( to have mine done. But I may try your solution out and see if I get the same results. I hope it would. Thanks!

  162. Pretty awesome stuff guys, well done. Cheers from Down under

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