Friday, August 6, 2010

Frugal Friday - Carpet Cleaning

Well, last Friday I posted a ton of make-your-own cleaning supply recipes only to discover another one to add to the list...carpet cleaning solution! If you own your own steam cleaner or rent one from time to time you know the cleaners for these machines can be quite expensive, especially if you use it as much as I do!

With an aging dog, accidents do come into play sometimes and my oldest is 18. There aren't many, but it only takes a few to make the freshness disappear (: I tried everything! Carpet cleaners especially made for pet odors, industrial ones made specifically for the steam cleaner I owned, even ones that incorporated oxyclean in the mix. Nothing seemed to get the lingering odors out.

Then a few days ago I decided to research online and see if there might be any homemade concoctions to answer my carpet woes and low and behold a recipe was found! A solution made from liquid laundry detergent and water! I was a little concerned at first because every machine I encountered said to only use the cleaner made specifically for the steam cleaner...can we say money maker for the ones who make the machine (: But after reading many reviews from those who used it themselves I was willing to give it a shot.

I'm so glad I did because it worked!!! Not only did the odors come out, but it softened the carpet too!! I usually make my own laundry detergent, but used liquid Gain for this application. Great smell and gives at least 64 cleans per bottle, but I'm sure any laundry detergent will work. Try several until you find the one that works best for you.

After cleaning with the laundry detergent solution, I add an additional step. Fill the water chamber with cool water and 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar to remove any residue the soap may leave behind on the carpet. If all the soap isn't totally removed out of the carpet, it will attract dirt and we don't want that (: This process not only gets up the soap residue, but also adds another level of odor neutralization and cleans your machine at the same time!

Here's the recipe...
  • Fill the laundry detergent cap to the first line and empty into steam machine water chamber. (Every laundry detergent has measuring lines within the cap and just go by the lines of whatever laundry detergent you decide to use.)
  • Fill the water chamber with water and make sure you get it as hot as possible. The heat will help work with the detergent to release dirt from the carpet.

Now you're ready to steam clean away! Make sure to do the vinegar rinse for the best results. Good luck!

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  1. I'm trying it today! Thanks for the recipes. We are going to try and make some homemade cleaners for my MOPS group later in the year! I will add this to the list.

  2. Hi Michele,

    I'm assuming this is liquid laundry detergent...not powdered.

    I'll definitely try it. We, fortunately, only have carpet left in the bedrooms and they really need to be cleaned. Good timing on this one. Thanks!

  3. I'm so glad you mentioned that Heidi! I'll make sure to clear that up in the post. It's good to be specific since the info is new to many.

  4. Hi Michele! Another great post...boy, you're good! ;) Paulette

  5. Thanks Paulette! You made my day (:

    Lindy, that's such a great idea! I hope your MOPS group enjoys them. Good luck!

  6. We generally use peroxide for pet odors and stains (we have off white carpeting). We've never met a commercial pet odor/stain remover that worked as well as they say.

    I may try this tip, however, I since I can't do fragrance maybe I'll try my own liquid laundry detergent.

    This carpet was good quality, expensive, and it's only a few years old, but looks much older due to various reasons.

    Our eventual plan is to rip the carpet out completely and replace it with bamboo and cork, but until we can afford to replace it, it is what it is.

    Thanks for the tip!

  7. Carole, you so right about the peroxide. It does work wonders! I wasn't sure if I should include that in the post since it can discolor the carpet, depending on the material, quality and color. Ours is a neutral beige and it doesn't alter the color for us. When I see that my little one has had an accident, the peroxide immediately goes down, I blot it up and then steam clean. That does the trick!

    But there are times when she's had an accident and I didn't know can smell something, but aren't sure from where it might be coming (: Using this new carpet cleaning recipe has allowed me to clean everything without the worry of missing the mark and the odors are gone.

    Thanks so much for including that tip, because peroxide does neutralize things wonderfully... if you know where the secret spot is (:

  8. always so helpful!

    hoping that you are going to post and join in the Barn chicks blog party.


  9. Okay - I desperately need this tip. I have tried everything I could think of for pet odors and accidents. We have our own steam cleaner so I am going to definitely be giving this a try. Off to stick this in my favorites.

  10. Hi Michele,
    Great suggestion, do you own your own carpet cleaner? I am always unsure on which one is worth buying. Let me know which one you own!

  11. Hi Michelle,
    Yes, I own my own steam cleaner. I tried several brands (owned a Bissel but didn't like it and then borrowed friends to see how theirs worked) and settled on the Hoover SteamVac With Clean Surge. I found one at WalMart for $89 on sale and it's the best steam cleaner I've ever used including the rentals. It dries much faster, is easy to clean and gets the job done. Hope that helps (:


  12. Bonjour Michele,
    SO glad you came by to follow along, because now I have found your fantastic blog. SO many great tips. I just spent some time exploring you posts. I'm a new follower and will be back soon.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  13. Thanks for the reminder! Our carpets are due for a carpet cleaning with our three playful cats...thanks for the recipe!

    Congratulations! You have been awarded with the "I Love Your Blog" award...and I also love your heart for nature! You can check it out on my blog:

  14. Great tips, I will be cleaning mine next week.Thanks Kim

  15. thanks for the *recipe!*

    my problem is at old sweetwater we have well water that is very hard mineral water. i just cannot get my clothes clean looking. stains and dirt just don't come out like they do at our lake house 150 miles north (which is on city water). can you help me or tell me a site that can?

  16. When I get more inspired to clean I'm going to really check out all your ideas! Stoppin over from the Barn Chick blog-have a great day!

  17. Great post and will certainly try your suggestion but we too have hard water here so not sure if it would work but worth a try

  18. Great idea! I will give it a whirl next time I clean my carpets. Which sadly, isn't nearly often enough.

  19. Janean, you know...we have hard water here too, but I've never had a problem with our clothes coming clean. Turns out, after some research online, washing soda and borax is the key (the main ingredients in my laundry detergent recipe). I'll email my laundry recipe for you to give it a try and see if that works. Hope it helps (:


  20. Hi Michele,
    I hope you don't mind me offering a tip, but with three children potty-training in my house in the last 4 years, we've had lots of wee on the floor hee hee. I keep a spray bottle on hand with a mixture of 15-20 drops of tea tree oil, 15-20 drops of lavendar oil, topped up with cooled, boiled water. Whenever someone has an accident, I blot, then spray till saturated, blot again (clean towel) and let dry. No odours left at all! It works on mattresses, too (thank goodness - we have a co-sleeping toddler) and I've used it where the neighbour's cat has sprayed by our back door. Actually, this solution is a brilliant non-toxic all-round cleaner and is very antibacterial to boot.

  21. So glad I came on over to visit! I'm definitely going to use this! We're just getting ready to move out of our rental and I wanted to clean the carpets with my steam cleaner before handing the keys back over, but I didn't want to go out and buy a whole new bottle of cleaner since our new place doesn't have an inch of carpet in it. This will work perfectly and give the house a nice clean/fresh scent! Great idea!

  22. I read your post, then I tried it. I LOVE IT! I can already see a huge difference and my carpet is not even completely dry yet! Thank you

    1. I'm so glad you liked it Lanae!! It's really made a difference for us so I had to share it with others (; Take care and thanks for stopping by!

  23. Another great use for this is cleaning any silk flowers and plants.
    Morphy Richards steam mop

  24. I'm trying it today! Thanks for the recipes. We are going to try and make some homemade cleaners for my MOPS group later in the year! I will add this to the list.
    الفلل من اكثر الاماكن التى تحتاج الى العنايه دائما لاظهار جمالها فاذا كنت تفكر فى اقناء الفيلا وتبحث عن كيفيه القيام باعمال التنظيف والحصول على افضل النتائج المميزة فاعلم ان شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض تهتم باعمال التنظيف لفيلتك من الالف الى الياء ولا تكتفى فقط باعمال التنظيف من الداخل فهى تقوم بكل ما تحتاجه الفلل فى التنظيف والتلميع والتعطير والحصول الى افضل النتائج المميزة فى مقابل اقل الاسعار المتواجده فى الاسواق شركة نظافة فلل بالرياض اصبحت تحتل المركز الرائد بين الشركات التى تساعد على تحقيق افضل النتائج المميزه فى التنظيف للفلل ونظرا لان الفلل تحتوى على العديد من الامكانيات التى تحتاج الى القيام باعمال التنظيف وتحتوى على الكثير من الاشياء التى تحتاج الى التلميع والتعطير فعليك ان تتصل شركة بسمة الرياض افضل شركة تنظيف فلل فى اقل الاسعار المتواجده والحصول على افضل النتائج التقليدية التى تصل اليها
    تعتبر شركة اليسر من اهم وارقى الشركات التى تتعامل مع كافه خدمات الفلل من اجل ان نصل الى افضل النتائج والخدمات التى تساعد فى الحصول على كل ما يتمناه عملاءنا الكرام فلا داعى للقلق من شان التنظيف لفيلتك والسعى الى تحقيق افضل النتائج من خلال شركة نظافة فلل الان .

  25. شركة تنظيف بجدة
    تخلص الآن من البقع والشحوم التى تصيب الكنب الخاص بك بأفضل الطرق الحديثة والتى لا تحدث اى ضرر بالكنب كاجهزة البخار فشركة المنزل هى شركة تنظيف كنب بجدة تقدم لكم الخدمة بأفضل الاسعار وبأعلى جودة
    شركة تنظيف كنب بجدة


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