7.04.2010

Homemade carpet shampoo

About a month ago, I decided to shampoo the livingroom. It needed it. It's whitish carpet and we have a dog, a cat, and a kitten who runs around here like she's barely tame.

And, let's face it... we aren't total neat freaks. Our house is tidy- for the most part- but it is very lived in. Shoot, I painted and stained the coffee table in here a few days ago :). And, I had some mishaps in a room upstairs this week too. Enough of my faults and on to my disgusting shampoo water....

I shampooed it with some homemade solution that I'll advise you NOT to try. It was mostly water, but had a rather large helping of laundry detergent in it (like maybe a cup?) and a smidge of vinegar. It isn't the ingredients that were bad... but I didn't have the best proportions going.  After a month, this is what we had...


Tracking. And just dirty, dirty carpet. Can you see the lines that run through the middle? This is THE highest traffic area in the room. Those lines are from the carpet cleaner dispersing my solution. And the dark spots of nastiness? Apparently my mixture was too foamy for the carpet cleaner and just right for looking clean temporarily.

So, today, I gave it another attempt. This time, I used MOSTLY all water, about 1 TBS of Gain, 1/3 cup of vinegar and about a TBS of OxyClean. It worked GREAT. It was still a bit foamy, but ended up being ok. Then, I went over the entire carpet with plain water and sucked it all up. I did this twice. Overkill? You tell me...


This sink of nastiness is after one rinse with just plain water in the cleaner. (Please note the lack of the first round with soap photo. Nasty.)

I'm sure that I could have done this ALL day and still would have had dirty water results. It never fails. Every time I clean the carpet, I am bound and determined that we are getting hardwood in this room. We are... it's just a matter of when :).

If you are thinking "oh, our carpets aren't that bad.." I dare you. Clean them. You will want to rip out every square foot of the stuff. 

If you try out your own cleaner like this, let me know. And, if you ever stop by here and I say "oh, I just cleaned the carpets, don't take off your shoes" I mean it. I don't want your crisp white socks wet with this nasty brown/green/gross water from my "clean" living room :).

Does the living room smell like vinegar? YUP. Will it fade? I hope. :)


It doesn't seem to bother the girls. They have congregated to the corner where I didn't go ALL the way to the wall though.

I won't mention that immediately after this picture was taken, a certain cleaner/blogger/photographer let the beagle outside where she immediately started digging. The cleaner/blogger/photographer thought the beag was after a snake so the digging was allowed. Needless to say... no snake... it was an ant hill. And I wonder why the "clean" carpet water is still so nasty :)

I also did the couch, love seat, and rocker. I used a different method on them though. More on that soon.



65 comments:

  1. I've had good luck cleaning with just vinegar & water. The smell does leave and my dirty carpet water is ALWAYS just as nasty (or worse!):)

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    Replies
    1. I too, have had good luck with using Vinegar! If I do use any type of carpet cleaner, I then follow with Vinegar, and My carpet comes out smelling great, and Looking great also!

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  2. Ugg did you use a machine? I need to do this soooo bad.

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  3. I will give this a try! It bugs me that the carpet gets dirty again so quickly, is there something to put in the tank to seal the "clean" in? Perhaps a bit of liquid fabric softener? Good tips, thanks!

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  4. Thanks for the tip on getting the right proportions of ingredients. It really does make a difference. My mother used vinegar for all sorts of cleaning, and its still one of the cheapest, safest ways to clean, and yes the smell does go away. Thanks for a posting on Modern Craftswoman Monday a really valuable tip we can all use! Rory

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  5. Not having a carpet cleaner, but with 2 dogs and 2 cats running around, we finally gave up on the idea of having clean carpets... We just bought a TON of hardwood and are about to rip up all the old carpet. We got it on sale at Lumber Liquidators, and seriously, it cost us just barely more than putting in new carpet.

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  6. White vinegar will help take out the suds...its the suds that ruin the carpet...I used to have a professional carpet cleaning business...the less carpet shampoo you use, the better off you are....many times you have to clean with water and vinegar many times just to get out your previous detergents...just thought you might want to know...

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  7. This is why we ripped out every inch of carpet in our home the very first week. :-) You can't ever get them really clean. We have hardwoods all throughout the house, and are slowly purchasing area rugs for the wintertime. Your pets are adorable!

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  8. I agree about carpet its not nice its pretty freaking nasty allergen and dirt trapping grossness. There is an alternative flooring i would not recommend. White Ceramic Tiles. I have it on my entire first floor ( i didn't put it there i promise it was there when we bought our house!!!), go for hardwood. your knees will thank you! I think i will be trying your recipe for carpet cleaner for the rest of my house later this week!

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  9. I have given up cleaning my carpet. I have two yorkies who have to see who can out mark the other. They are both very well housetrained just very territorial. Anyway, my carpet looks and smells worse after I clean it.

    We too are getting hardwoods very, very soon.

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  10. There is nothing better than clean carpets. I get them professionally cleaned twice a year because I can't handle the thought of the dirt that is captured in them. I also clean them myself 4 times a year. I know...a little freaky. I never thought about making my own. I will try it next time.

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  11. Thanks for joining us for Anything Related #14! ~Bridgette

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  12. What a great idea! Having 2 cats myself, I know our carpets could use a good cleaning.

    Thanks for stopping by for Friday Favorites!

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  13. Wow, that looks like a fantastic temporary alternative to commercial brands! I believe that's especially useful when you are yet to buy a carpet cleaner. It is also recommended to go to a professional carpet cleaning (Bucks County-based) service if the damage to your carpet is unmanageable by ordinary means.

    With their carpet cleaning (Montgomery County, commonly) expertise, you can make sure that your carpet will be clean and the integrity of the carpet won't decrease in any way.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For those who have pets- I foster dogs and found out my landlord was coming over to do a blacklight test. I bought one of my own and did NOT like what I found! I had been using Nature's Miracle, which took up the smell but left the mark. Anyway, I did some research and tried 'Get Serious'. Best cleaner out there! I sprayed it on the stains at night, blotted a bit, then the next morning I cleaned the carpets. That night I tested by blacklight again, not a stain to be found.

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  15. We have a lovely chemist here! I wish I could try that home-made shampoo on my carpet. Cleaning Naperville’s carpeted hall will be much easier if I will use that. So, what’s the smell? Cherry? Apple?
    We all do it by ourselves here. Carpet cleaning Naperville Illinois’ old but still pretty carpets may sound tiring, but with the help of other town mates, this thing became easier.
    I’m mystified by your shampoo. Hope we can have the formula!

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  16. I agree, this homemade carpet shampoo is so amazing. I will try this to my carpet. I wish that I can also get the amazing result.

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  17. I use vinegar to clean carpets all the time, no soap though, and the bonus is that it rids your home of fleas!

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  18. If you cannot afford hardwood or PErgo, there is inexpensive floor tiles that look like wood...OR under this same site, check out the hardwood flooring someone made with PLYWOOD...looked beautiful...lots of work, but decent result.
    ps...dont feel bad, I am walking on cold cement floor because I cannot afford to replace flooring but could not live with the carpet one more minute!

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  19. Cool! I actually use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for my carpet. If that doesn't work, then its time for the pros to clean it up.

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  20. The best and least expensive cleaner to use in your machine to clean carpets is LA's Totally Awesome cleaner. You can get a bottle at Dollar General for a dollar. Just mix with water 12 to 1 (twelve parts water to one part Awesome) and then rinse with plain water. You'll be amazed!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Omg this product is great I use it for everything and yes it works wonders on carpets if used correctly I LOVE AWSOME!'n

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  27. Cleaning a dirty carpet is definitely a chore. When you clean and the dirt still doesn’t fade away, it’s like you almost want to remove the whole carpet. That’s a common problem of homeowners that have a carpet at home. But not me, thanks to the professional I hire to clean my carpet; he makes it look new and fresh again. I know it might mean another expense sometimes, but it’s definitely worth every penny

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