Do you know that carpet cleaning is 65% less expensive than cleaning hardwood flooring? If you’re like me, you cringe every day to see your carpet getting dirty and panic when it’s finally the time to call a professional carpet cleaner for the regular clean-up.
In my previous post, I discussed how you could keep your carpet clean and healthy by following a regular schedule and bearing in mind certain carpet cleaning tips and tricks. Today, I am going to dive deeper into the DIY carpet cleaning solution so that you can have these handy whenever you require them. Also, there are some solutions to spot removal at the end of this post. Bring in your notebook and a cup of coffee, and start reading!
What’s the best DIY carpet cleaning solution?
It’s impossible to pick just one. So, I have five favorite solutions.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide Shampoo
You can prepare this cleaning solution in less than a dollar, and it’s ideal for cleaning your entire carpet. What you need is:
- 6 cups of water (200 ml)
- ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 & ½ tbsp of vinegar
- 1 & ½ tbsp of dish soap
- ½ whole Lemon
With a hint of lemon, this solution makes your carpet smell good after cleaning. Also, as this solution is very cheap to prepare, it’s a cost-effective solution to help you clean carpet.
2. Vinegar + water solution
If you’re looking for a solution for basic maintenance purpose, this easy-to-make two-ingredient solution is apt for it. What you need is:
- 3 cups of water
- 1 & ½ tbsp of vinegar
It’s safe for regular carpet cleaning, and you can use it in areas that are extremely dirty. For example, I sometimes leave mud stains at the entrance of my house, even when I have placed rugs. That small spot faces this practical solution and is clean in a few seconds. Don’t forget to let the place dry properly. It’s crucial as even a small wet spot can trigger mold growth in your carpet.
3. Dry carpet cleaner solution
If you live in an area with highly humid climate, it’s going to be tough to dry your carpet. When the climate gets too humid in my area, I use this dry carpet cleaning solution. What you need is:
- 3 cups of borax
- 1 & ½ cup of baking soda
I wouldn’t suggest you to use it as a regular cleaning solution, but it is a good alternative when you want the spot to dry quickly. You should read What are the best ways to dry a carpet?
4. Scented shampoo
If you live in a house full of pets, your carpet sometimes starts smelling bad. Oh sorry! It happens all the time. While the pet lovers are completely okay with the scent, your guests might not like it. So, here’s a solution for that. You need:
- 16 cups of water
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- ¼ cup of laundry detergent
This solution makes your house smell so good. Also, vinegar is a great way to get rid of the scent left by pet pee or poop on the carpet.
5. Stain removal solution
Now, this won’t work for all kinds of stains, but this solution is very effective for spot treatment. What you need is:
- 2 cups of water
- 3 tbsp of vinegar
- 1 tbsp of baking soda
As this solution is more concentrated, it works better on stains than the other cleaning solutions I mentioned above. Do remember not to rub on the stain. Just dab dab dab.
Some more cleaning solutions to help you deal with common carpet stains
1. Salt to stop wine stain from setting
This will help when you spill red wine on your carpet and now don’t know how to treat the stain? Acting quickly on stains is critical. The stain should not be allowed to set; else it will be much difficult to remove it. So, while you run to your emergency cupboard for some cleaning solution and supplies, sprinkle some salt over the stain. It will keep the wine from setting in and hence save you from a lot of trouble.
2. Shaving cream to treat juice stains
Blot the affected area, in mild dabbing motion. Use shaving cream on the affected area and then wipe it clean with a sponge or a towel. Then clean the area with a regular carpet cleaning solution.
3. Beer to treat coffee or tea
If you accidently spilled coffee or tea on your carpet, immediately pour some beer on the affected area. The stain will disappear in about a minute. Don’t forget to clean the area afterward with your regular cleaner.
4. Rubbing alcohol to treat glue
It happens all the time to people who have kids. Rubbing alcohol is a magic stain removal solution. In the case of glue, use the rubbing alcohol to wipe over the surface until the glue melts and gets wiped off with the towel or sponge you’re using. Do it very smoothly to avoid damaging your carpet fabric. Also, please don’t confuse rubbing alcohol with regular alcohol. Both are different!
5. Vinegar and ammonia to treat different kinds of stains
Vinegar and ammonia are like magic stain removal products. They can remove some stains like:
- Food die
One thing you should use as a mantra to treat stains is to act quickly. No waiting to finish that last sip of wine to treat what you spilled over the carpet. No procrastination. Just get up, run for the supplies (which should be kept separately in a cupboard which you can easily access), and start cleaning. Or you can wait, let the stain set in and then pay a large sum of money to a professional carpet cleaner for stain removal. The choice is yours!
Spot removal guides for everyday stains
It’s clearly impossible for me to cover all kinds of carpet stains and give you tips on how to remove them. I can just tell you about the ones I have had and treated. These solutions worked for me.
The magic cleaning ingredient for these stains is hair spray. Spray it on the stain as it will soften the stain. Use a white towel (we’re not using a colorful towel as it can leave color on the carpet which will again be a problem) to blot the area. Let the area dry, brush it and then vacuum.
If it’s solid waste, remove the waste first. Then bring in vinegar, pour it on the stain and sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area. Let it stay for 1-2 minutes. Once the stain is completely absorbed, blot and dry the area. You can also read more about dealing with pet accidents.
If the stain is wet, use water to remove it off. If it has dried off, use hot water and dish detergent to blot over the stain. It will soften and then can be easily scraped off using a knife.
Spray some vinegar on the affected area. It will absorb the vinegar and then you can wipe it off quickly using a towel dipped in hot water.
Blot cold water on the stain. Make sure you’re very quick and don’t let it set on the carpet.
Apply hot water and ammonia on the stain and leave it for 2 minutes. Then blot the spot with a wet towel (dipped in cold water).
We have already discussed how to remove coffee and wine stains. Well, this list is certainly not exhaustive. These are the stains which I have treated using some DIY carpet cleaning solution.
If you’re a person who forgets everything quickly, you will forget whatever I told you in this post in a couple of days. Either bookmark it, or schedule to read it every once in a while or just remember that ammonia and vinegar are the best cleaning solutions that can treat some stains.
Do let me know if you've faced a stain that hasn’t been mentioned in this post.