Thursday, March 1, 2012

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

There's some stuff you just don't want on the carpet
when you have kids and pets.
Photo by renjith krishnan

One of the “joys” of having kids around is utter trashing that your rugs receive.  If there is something to spill, they will find a way to do that.  Between two kids, parents who like to drink soda, and a cat who had what appeared to be some sort of eating disorder, our carpets look like a Jackson Pollock painting. 

The other issue with having kids and cats underfoot is that the usual carpet cleaners you can purchase on the cleaning aisle are right next to stuff like Drano.  In other words, nothing you want your kids or your cats playing with.  They also tend to be one of the most expensive items on the cleaning aisle, especially since so many of them really only have one or two uses in them. 

So I was pleased to find a carpet cleaner that doesn’t contain anything horrifying that I can quickly whip up in my own kitchen, from stuff that I always have hanging around.  The trick to this cleaner is that you can’t just spray it on the carpet and let the foam sink in, you have to actually scrub it a bit.  I used a sponge and applied it and then scrubbed the dickens out of it.

It actually works pretty well.  Unlike some of the other homemade cleaners, I can’t say it works as well as the chemical stuff you buy on the store, but it wasn’t bad either.  I think it’s going to take another application, but I have hope of salvaging out poor living room carpet yet.  One thing it didn’t help with was a bright pink stain that I think might be the result of a spilled soda or some kind of juice.  However, it did great with a number of other stains.

The recipe is simple.  Not as simple as the dishwashing detergent, but just about.  Just mix equal parts salt (we used Kosher salt), Borax, and white vinegar into a thick paste.  I used about two tablespoons of each and that made enough to treat several stains. Just so you know, this isn't something you can keep.  You just mix some up as you need it.  It's just as fast as pulling a can out from under the sink. We also sprinkled baking soda on the carpet and then gave it a very thorough vacuuming.  I plan to treat it again tomorrow to see if we can get anything more up.  I’m thinking I might try adding a bit more vinegar into the mix so I can “dribble” the cleaner on, instead of dab. 

Not bad though.


  1. I just spent what seemed like an entire week cleaning our carpets and we only have two! I had a ton of stains between the dog and the boys and instead of a paste and scrubbing I just sprinkled a liberal amount of baking soda over the stains and poured on the vinegar, it would foam like mad and then after the foam subsided I would suck up the mess with the carpet cleaner, you could blot as well though and let it dry and vacuum. It got out a surprising amount of the stains as long as they were organic in nature...

    1. I have to laugh because a couple days later you can see the spots where I scrubbed... they are these little clean spots on the carpet! lol We are going to try your method and see if we can get more grime out of the carpet. It'll be like a little science experiment! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Good to know about your blog and i have read your article and i am very inspired from Amee she have shared awesome ideas about Carpet Cleaning Melbourne hope she will be update us more
    Thanks for sharing with us.