This homemade carpet cleaner solution cleans carpet stains left from food, accidents, pets, and life’s little messes. And with a cost of $1 per gallon to make, this secret formula is gonna save you a TON of money!
This is the original homemade carpet cleaning solution recipe – all others out there are just simple copycats.
This formula was created by my amazing sister – who tried & tested out many different products on her carpets and came up with this recipe. She’s the best.
This one is guaranteed to become your favorite and you’ll make this diy carpet cleaner recipe over and over again, year after year like I do.
Watch My Video: How To Make Homemade Carpet Cleaner Solution
But Does It Really Work?
I have four messy kids and a big dog. My carpets are downright gross much of the time. I am also one of the worlds biggest cheapskates and hate having to rent one of those Rug Doctor machines for shampooing AND pay $20 or more for carpet cleaning solution.
But I’m telling you, this carpet cleaner solution diy recipe is tough on stains. And when I say tough…I mean crazy TOUGH on stains! This stuff is even stronger than those store-bought expensive ones.
Its cleans clean carpet stains left from food, spills, pets, and life’s little accidents. And yes, it will get rid of pet odors too, and leave your house smelling amazingly awesome. It’s a Rug Doctor copycat recipe, only better.
Here is a dark stain that was in my son’s room. Now you see the spot.
Then you don’t. Boom!
Best ever homemade carpet stain remover.
I love the way this cleaner works. And when you add in that teeny bit of Downy fabric softener it leaves your carpets sooo soft too.
How Much Does This Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution Cost To Make?
It’s ridiculous how much money the store-bought carpet cleaning solutions cost. I mean, $20-$30 per bottle of concentrate? And sometimes you need several of those bottles if you’re shampooing your whole house. It’s too much.
This ultra concentrated carpet cleaning diy solution with Oxiclean (or Dollar Store knock-off), liquid Tide laundry detergent, LA’s Totally Awesome cleaner, and Downy fabric softener only costs $1 per gallon to make vs $20 for 1/2 gallon of Rug Doctor solution.
You will save so much money using this DIY carpet shampoo recipe instead. Plus these ingredients can easily be found at your local Dollar Stores.
For my homemade carpet shampoo recipe I spent:
$0.97 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)
$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.
The Rug Doctor concentrated formula runs around $19.59 for a 1/2 gallon.
Yeah, that is some serious SAVINGS folks!!! Wow.
It’s Super Concentrated
This diy carpet shampoo recipe makes a CONCENTRATED MIX just like the fancy $20 Bissell solution where you only add in like 1/4 cup of the solution to a gallon of water.
You will mix together your ingredients and add them to a gallon of hot water. THIS becomes the concentrated solution.
Even though it seems like a small amount of ingredients, a little goes a long way. 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. I’ve used this carpet cleaner solution for my Bissell machine with no problems.
OTHER GREAT DIY CLEANING RECIPES
- All Natural Carpet Cleaning Solution Using Vinegar
- DIY Carpet Cleaner Powder Dry Shampoo
- Homemade Armor All Car Cleaning Spray
- DIY Liquid Hand Soap recipe
- Make Your Own Swiffer Wet Pads
- Homemade Laundry Detergent
SUBSTITUTIONS & FAQ
WILL THIS SOLUTION WORK ON ANY CARPET CLEANER MACHINES?
I’ve personally used this recipe with Rug Doctor rental machines, my SpotBot hand held machine, and with my upright Bissell carpet cleaner machine. Never had any issues. And I’ve had my machine for over 6 years, with no problems. It really is the best carpet cleaning solution for machines of all types.
That being said I suggest you 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.
WILL THIS WORK ON UPHOLESTRY? RUGS? IN MY CAR?
I have used this solution on my carpets, rugs, 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. It’s powerful enough to remove stains yet gentle on fabrics.
AND of course, always test a small area of carpet or fabric for colorfastness before you do the whole project.
CARPET CLEANING SOLUTION SUBSTITUTIONS
I get a lot of questions about substitutions for this recipe. Especially for the LA’s Totally Awesome Cleaner, which some people can’t find or is not available in their stores.
But before I go any further, I will say that this homemade carpet cleaner solution recipe is the BEST and most perfect way to make it. If you sub other ingredients I can’t for sure say your solution would work as well or remove stains as well.
- Liquid Tide Laundry Detergent – You can substitute the liquid inside of the Tide pods, just poke a hole in it and measure the 2 tbsp. You can also substitute other liquid laundry detergents if desired.
- LA’s Totally Awesome Cleaner – this USA made product is so amazing and can usually be found at dollar stores. I haven’t tested it myself yet, however the Mean Green cleaner might be a good substitute.
- Oxiclean – substitute the generic dollar store brand for the more expensive name brand.
- Downy Liquid Fabric Softener – You can use any fabric softener you prefer as a substitute.
Now if you need to have an all-natural homemade carpet cleaner for shampooer recipe that is non-toxic, organic, scent-free or dye-free I have another recipe using vinegar to clean carpets. It’s not quite as tough on stains, but is a great alternative.
DOES DIY CARPET CLEANING SOLUTION EXPIRE?
If I have any solution leftover after shampooing, I just add it to an empty gallon container, label it and store with my other cleaners.
Store it in a cool and dry place and it will stay good for 6 months or longer.
WILL THIS WORK ON PET URINE & ODORS?
Yes, this recipe is the best carpet cleaning solution for pets! It’s worked it magic on my pet odors from urine, pet stains and years of accidents. You may need to shampoo it a few times depending on how bad it is, but it’s worked amazingly well on all my pet accidents.
HOW DO I USE THIS TO PRE-TREAT STAINS?
I like to pre-treat my stains by using a 50-50 mix of the concentrated solution and water. You can add it to a spray bottle or just use your fingers to dab a bit of it on the stain. Let it sit for 5 minutes then shampoo over it. Repeat if necessary.
FINAL CARPET RINSE OR NO?
After shampooing your carpets with this homemade carpet cleaner solution should you then do a pass over your carpets with water only?
This is a personal preference as most die-hard carpet cleaners out there say that if any cleaning product is left on our carpets, it will attract more dirt and you’ll end up with dirty carpets. So if you’d like to take that extra step, feel free.
I personally like the smell and softness the downy fabric softener leaves behind and my carpets haven’t had stains come back in the same places. The solution is so diluted down that I’m not worried about it. So I don’t do the extra rinse personally myself.
But it’s totally up to you to do what you feel is best here.
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 colorfastness before you do the whole floor.
Homemade Carpet Cleaner Solution
- 2 Tbsp liquid Tide laundry detergent
- 1/4 cup LA's Totally Awesome cleaner
- 1 scoop Oxiclean (3 tbsp)
- 1 teaspoon Downy fabric softener optional
- 1 gallon hot water
MAKING THE SOLUTION
- In a small bowl, combine the liquid Tide, Awesome cleaner, Oxiclean and Downy if using. Stir together with spoon until well combined.
- Add mixture to a gallon of hot water, stirring gently so you don't make bubbles. Stir slowly and gently until all Oxiclean particles are completely dissolved.
- Use immediately in your carpet cleaner machines or pour into a gallon-sized container with a lid. Label outside of container: Concentrated Carpet Cleaner.
HOW TO USE SOLUTION
- Before you begin carpet shampooing, make sure that your carpet has been thoroughly vacuumed.
- It's a good idea to test this homemade carpet cleaner on a less visible area of flooring to make sure it's safe for your carpet and wait at least 24 hours for the test spot to dry to see the results.
- Read the directions that came with your carpet cleaning machine for how much cleaner to add as some reservoirs are smaller than others. For typical carpet shampoo machines, fill your reservoir with hot water. Then pour 1/4 cup of this concentrated solution into your water filled reservoir. (**The ratio I use is about a gallon of hot water to 1/4 cup of this concentrated cleaning solution.)
- Then you can run the machine over your entire carpet, making sure to show special attention to stains or spots. Wait least 24 hours for the carpet to dry and you're done!
Add leftover concentrated solution it to an empty gallon container, label it and store it in a cool and dry place. It will stay good for 6 months or possibly even longer. PRE-TREATING STAINS
Make a stain pre-treat mixture by using a 50-50 mix of the concentrated solution and water. You can add it to a spray bottle or just use your fingers to dab a bit of it on the stain. Let it sit for 5 minutes then shampoo over it. Repeat if necessary. FINAL CARPET RINSE NEEDED?
This is a personal preference as most die-hard carpet cleaners out there say that if any cleaning product is left on our carpets, it will attract more dirt and you’ll end up with dirty carpets. So if you’d like to take that extra step, feel free. I personally like the smell and softness the downy fabric softener leaves behind and my carpets haven’t had stains come back in the same places. The solution is so diluted down that I’m not worried about it. So I don’t do the extra rinse personally myself. But it’s totally up to you to do what you feel is best here. 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 colorfastness before you do the whole floor.
Happy cleaning everyone! And happy saving money too.
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