Carpet Cleaners {Homemade & Chemical-Free}

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We have reached the potty training stage in our home. There have been a few instances of running with a full potty saying “Mama look!” followed by tripping. Needless to say, our area rug was developing a less-than-pleasant odor. I refuse to use commercial carpet cleaning products. Have you read what’s in those things? My kids spend the majority of their day playing on this rug and I guarantee that no amount of going over it with the machine will rinse and suck out all the residue. No thank you!

Carpet cleaners contain nephthalene. Nephthalene is made from crude oil or coal tar. It's found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and is used for carpet cleaners.

The Today Show did a piece a few years back that really struck home for me. It was called The Dirty Truth About Cleaning Products. They take a look at the words danger, warning, caution and the lack of transparency with these products. What I find amazing is that, once again, the EU has a stronger stance on chemical transparency and usage than the US. Have we not seen this before with GMOs and Egg Safety?  I digress…

Nephthalene

The biggest issues with carpet cleaners comes from nephthalene. Can I just say “yuck” for all of us? Nephthalene is made from crude oil or coal-tar. It’s found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes, and is used as a pesticide in the US. It’s also used for moth balls and carpet cleaners, as well as over a dozen other cleaning products. If you can smell the moth balls, you’re inhaling it. If you get cleaner on your hands either through splashing some on your hand or in today’s case, walking on the damp carpet, you’re absorbing it into your skin and it’s damaging your skin cells. Picture your children playing in a tar pit. Yup, that’s carpet cleaner for you.

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So what are you to do?  Make your own healthier carpet cleaner:

Carpet Cleaner for Machines

  • 1 tbsp. Dawn Detergent
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 1/4 c. 3% Peroxide
  • Hot Water

Add the detergent, vinegar, and peroxide to the machine’s reservoir and then fill the rest of the way with the hottest tap water you can get. Do not use boiling water because it could melt the plastic reservoir. Use as you normally would, then repeat cleaning with just hot water to remove any residue.

Spot Cleaner Foam Cleaner

This one works great on pet and toddler stains.

  • 1 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Dawn Detergent
  • 3/4 c. Hot Water

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on high to create foam. Use the foam to spot clean your carpet. Rinse area with a damp cloth.

I am sure you will find these homemade carpet cleaners work just as well as the commercial varieties and they’ll have you breathing easier (figuratively and literally).

Carpet cleaners contain nephthalene. Nephthalene is made from crude oil or coal tar. It's found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and is used for carpet cleaners.

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I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

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About Jessica Lane

I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

Comments

Carpet Cleaners {Homemade & Chemical-Free} — 10 Comments

    • I’ve heard really good things and really bad things about vinegar and urine. Some people swear it does just that – eliminates the odor to prevent re-soiling. Other people say it heightens the smell or encourages the dog to re-mark the area. If I were you, I’d clean the carpet and when it’s dry, sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Really work it into the carpet fibers and leave it for 24-48 hours and then vacuum. We’ve done that with pet oopsies and had great results.

  1. I should really deep clean my carpet soon. It’s been so long! I love the DIY carpet cleaner recipe you shared. I’ll definitely have to try that sometime. I didn’t realize that detergent could be used to clean things other than dishes or laundry! Do you happen to know how to steam carpets? I’d love a DIY tutorial.

  2. I would have never thought that you could make carpet cleaner that easily. Does the spray leave any sort of smell or does the detergent help to give the good smell. I know vinegar doesn’t have the best smells but it is better than other odors.

    • It’s practically odorless when dry. The vinegar has that typical vinegar smell when first applied, but it evaporates and deodorizes in the process, so then there isn’t much left of a scent. If you’d like to add scent, a drop or two of essential oils wouldn’t hurt anything.

  3. Would you say that this could get any carpet stain out? I honestly have seen and read about many different organic sprays and cleaners, but never one like this. I really want to try it out, but want to make sure that it can get grape juice or red wine stains out of the carpet. We have a couple of spots in our carpet with those stains.

  4. Nice! I printed out these recipes. I need this as I have a dog and 2 kids … not sure which makes the bigger messes on our carpets though 🙂

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