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Homemade Natural Carpet Cleaner for Steam Vacuums

Homemade Natural Carpet Cleaner for Steam Vacuums

What’s the best natural carpet cleaner? Learn from my mistakes with homemade carpet cleaner when you clean your carpets naturally. 

I have a few things to say about this photo of dirty water from cleaning my carpet:

First of all, isn’t it lovely? The image of a job well done.

dirty water from carpet cleaning

Second, my apologies.

Normal food bloggers are posting mouthwatering pictures of well-lit, finely staged food and then will share the delectable recipe (that you’ll never get to look quite as good as theirs).


I’ve got pictures of dirty water from homemade carpet cleaner.

Oh, yeah. Nothing but class.

At least I’m going to tell you how I did it, too, and you can probably replicate it at home just fine!

Do You Clean Your Carpets Naturally? 

I’m sure there’s a balance between the philosophy of “a little dirt is good for you” and “I don’t want any germs in my house.” I lean toward the former, but when we moved into a new home, it just felt prudent to pretend I was in the latter camp for a few weeks and clean everything really, really well.

With no furniture in the house, how could one NOT steam vacuum the carpets?

Note: We also had the ducts cleaned out, a $400 mistake that I would NEVER do again. The result was an incredibly dusty basement (that I had already cleaned top to bottom for two hours) and people sneezing for a few weeks. Want to create more dust in your house? Pay to have your ducts cleaned. I would have rather all that stuff sat still under the vents…to be fair, many in the comments really appreciate duct cleaning…sounds like we had a terrible company. 🙁

My in-laws own a steam vacuum and offered the cleaner that came with it, but with a soon-to-be crawler who will be ingesting everything on the carpet and my general tendency toward natural green cleaning products, I knew I had to figure out a green alternative homemade carpet cleaner, and one that I could find fast. John also was sleeping on the floor while I was working at the new house, another reason not to have fumes, well, fumigating his nostrils!

Enter the power of social media.

I got a bunch of advice on Facebook and Instagram from the KS community – brilliant, experienced ladies out there, always impressing me!

Options for Non-Toxic Steam Vacuum Solutions

Here is the full list of ideas for natural carpet cleaners from readers out there, and I’ll tell you what I ended up using (and why it probably wasn’t the best choice!) at the end:

  • Just hot water (a few times) – a few people said don’t use soap at all, because soap attracts dirt.
  • Water and vinegar – half and half OR vinegar in the amount you’re supposed to use cleaning solution Note: vinegar sets some stains (dyes); I wouldn’t use it anymore
  • 2 parts water, 1 part castile soap, and a shot of vodka for sanitizing (that sounds like too much soap to me…maybe in different models?)
  • 1 DROP Sal Suds, 1 c. vinegar in rinse cup (my model didn’t even have a special rinse cup; I wonder if I would have done it twice with this method)this site discusses more about the Sal Suds treatment, including a spot cleaner. Note: no vinegar for me anymore
  • After we thoroughly cleaned all the carpets, we’ve been using a new product for spot cleaning carpets naturally that does a great job, and it can also be used as a steam clean option.
  • Tiffany at Nature Moms uses Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate and swears by it.
  • Someone hypothesized that Simple Green might work
  • A few recommended soap nuts liquid (you make it DIY by boiling soap nuts in water). They said to use the same proportions as whatever soap is called for in the cleaner tank and water in rinse tank, or “just boil a few nuts 30 minutes and use that water.” For me, for that stage of my life, that was too much extra work to even try, although I considered trying a bunch and doing side-by-side tests! Also I didn’t know how many times we’d actually need to refill. It ended up being quite a few, maybe 5?
  • Biokleen Bac-Out, diluted
Homemade Natural Carpet Cleaner for Steam Vacuums

What Did Katie Use to Clean the Carpets Naturally?

Because it seemed super easy and I use vinegar to clean many things, I went with two cups of vinegar and hot-hot water to clean the carpets. I thought folks had a point I’d heard before about soap attracting more dirt, so I didn’t want to use castile soap just in case, and my Sal Suds bottle was still all packed up.

Obviously, we got a lot of dirt up, but I wonder now how it would have gone with just the water.

I received a comment in my Charlie’s Soap review from a fellow who owns a carpet cleaning service. He’s looking for an eco-friendly cleaning solution for professional use, and apparently it’s quite tricky:

“The difficulty in finding a good home brew carpet cleaner is that many have the affect of setting stains. Many that are “green” also leave residues in the carpet that cause premature re-soiling.”

He reminded me:

“When fiber artists want to set dyes in fabric they use vinegar. On the right kind of spot vinegar can work fine. On the wrong kind it can take an easily removable spot and make it a permanent stain never to be removed.”

Um. Oops. Like maybe this one?

stain set in carpet from vinegar carpet cleaner

That’s in the thoroughfare of our living room, likely never to be hidden under furniture, although the sellers had an oddly placed couch covering it when we viewed the house.


That’ll teach me to listen to the wisdom of the Internet! Winking smile

If I had to do it over, I would just use hot water, since everything else leaves questions of residue or setting stains. (Biokleen Bac-Out was a close second since I love it for stain treating laundry, but I wondered if it would have residue problems. It’s an enzyme-based cleaner that smells like lime, which was more appealing than vinegar! The vinegar didn’t actually make the house smell like vinegar at all, by the way.)

Deodorizing Carpet Naturally

I used to suggest deodorizing carpet issues, especially tinkle on the carpet, with baking soda, but I’ve since learned why NOT to use baking soda on carpet. Baking soda never fully gets vacuumed up, and even in small quantifies it’s so abrasive that it can wear out the carpet fibers prematurely.

Fascinating! I learned all this in the comments! Anyone want to share an idea for something to deodorize carpets that won’t end up damaging them?

How do you naturally clean your carpets? Or alternately: what “natural” cleaning mishaps have you made? I’ll feel better if you tell me…
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

77 thoughts on “Homemade Natural Carpet Cleaner for Steam Vacuums”

  1. I borrowed a steam cleaner from a friend and went to Pinterest to find something I could use to clean that I already had on hand – Hot water & BioKleen Bac Out is what I’m trying! I actually got excited when I saw you posted that. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I’ve enjoyed reading this post, AND the various threads that followed. I’m trying to find out which steam cleaners do the best job of disinfecting (via hot enough steam) hard floors and carpet before I go buy one. I’ve looked online and am getting differing opinions. Can anyone share a link or info they have on this? Maybe I should head to the library and read Consumer Report’s annual issue??

  3. I’m not really sure how green this product is, but we recently discovered Folex. It’s non-toxic and the website says it will not break down into dangerous byproducts. We have cream colored carpet on our stairs (bad choice, I think). We used a mixture of Folex with hot water and I have to admit that our stairs looked brand new! The carpet is at least 10 years old, if not more, it was there when we bought the house. I was very impressed, and it’s also great for spot cleaning.

    1. AmandaonMaui

      That’s the name of the stuff my MIL let me use. It looked alright, but I didn’t research it heavily.

  4. AmandaonMaui

    I don’t even have ducts! My home has no air conditioning or heating. Most homes here don’t, unless they’re down by the water and sometimes they’ll have central a/c but mostly they use window units. The homes on the cold parts of the mountain usually don’t have heating either, but they have wood stoves or fireplaces.

    I have a Thermax, which I love, and I used a natural carpet cleaner in my tank last time I did the carpets. It was something my MIL had though, so I can’t recall the name. It worked well. If I were to do it again I might just use water.

    Be careful using soaps as you might need a de-foaming solution too to keep it from ruining your machine.

  5. Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain

    Last time I steamed my carpets I used a vinegar/water solution, but didn’t think about it setting in stains. Fortunately, I don’t think my carpet had many spots, just general grossness and it worked pretty well. I wonder if Borax would work better?

  6. Carpet Cleaning

    Indeed a very nice post. I also came from Carpet Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas, Door Side Vent industry. I am your regular post reader and I love to enjoy reading fresh post on this subject. Thanks.

  7. Michelle via Facebook

    I’ve had great luck spot cleaning with Dr. Bronner’s baby mild castille soap; it even took out undiluted 100% cranberry juice from a light carpet! 🙂

  8. We recently moved into a house of new wall to wall carpeting. With three kids and pets, I need something to clean it. It looks to me like plain water is the way to go. Any recommendations on a steam cleaner??

    1. Jenny,
      I don’t have a clue one way or the other, but Tonya (in the comments above you) had some suggestions…

  9. PS, the other great thing about hoover carpet cleaners, vs bissells, is that hoovers apply heat directly to the carpet vs. heating the water (as bissells do). this is good at getting the cleaned carpet dry faster & may help in disinfection.

  10. it looks like you have a hoover carpet scrubber which is by far & large the best one out there. I’ve had one for 2.5 years & I love it. I’ve seen it clean up some serious messes & it almost always will draw up so much dirt that it leaves sediment in the dirty water tank. recently i have experimented with vinegar (including straight vinegar) on pet accidents with reasonable success. i also bought a 6 lb bag of baking soda at costco & sprinkled nearly every carpet in the house (when dry) & the couch & let it sit overnight before running the vac. That really helped the next time my bf spent the night, as he had previously been having allergy issues due to my dogs.

  11. Not my rugs, but my couch needs help!! My dear dog licks (yuck) the front of the cushion. And (gross) it gets rough – whatever is on the dog’s tongue does not bode very well when left on the couch. It’s a fairly new couch and I’ve tried a couple of different non-toxic cleaners. I’ve though of getting it professional cleaned and putting the mouse traps back up (it’s a deterrent for our dog). Thoughts?

    1. Your Sofa has a Hot Spot! LOL Which is much easier and less expensive to deal with then the dogya having one that he can’t stop licking and not finding a pharma or homeopathic resolve.

  12. Christine Robinett

    Did I mention before my entire household must remain gluten/grain/legume/chemical free? That means I must prepare everything I eat at home and schlep my food, drink, water everywhere I go. I could never think about going to a comedy clubor anywhere they bake with wheat flour without risking asthma and neurological reaction so my social life is limited. Being frugal and doing things for myself is great but there’s only so much one person can do before stuff starts falling through the cracks.

  13. Christine Robinett

    Owning a colloidal generator is very cheap. They can be purchased for as little as $50-60 and go up into the $2,000-10,000 range for commerical grade units that treat pools. The small ones make hundreds of gallons if not thousands. Buying it in little bottles gets very expensive.

    I don’t get the hypocrisy of the medical-indstrial complex when they use silver for wound treatment, like with Diabetic ulcers that don’t heal well. Further proof of how much they want to control everybody and profits.

    I looked at that enzymes cleaner recipe and I don’t think it’s practical for me as it produces a lot of mold while fermenting. I.would be wheezing and coughing all the time. I’d also be afraid my cats would be tempted and citrus is really toxic to cats. I practice in my home and I wonder about others’ allergies, being effective for clinical use as a disinfectant, etc.

  14. We know of a fellow who has a denerative illness and is a quad now…his wife and him use colloidal silver to disenffect his canulas (trach ) and everything else. He swears by it. Very spendy and our 50/50 solution works for us at a much lower cost. What ever works though.

  15. Christine Robinett

    I’m sorry your SIL died but it was porbably due to a lack of knowledge of her condition and not colloidal silver per se. Professionally or personally, I wouldn’t treat without consulting experts and having very recent lab values for liver enzymes, CBC, etc. Your SIL obviously has a diagnosis but did she have a current status update. What was she doing at home with an acute case of Hep C? There’s plenty of questions I’d ask about her care in the medical industrial complex

    1. Deborah Jennings

      We talked with our doctor and asked him about her death. She had had a viral infection in her lungs and was taking breathing treatments. Well, we don’t think that she had told her doctor that she had had a tachycardia attack a year or two before. Our doctor told us that if she had a heart condition, and they gave her breathing treatments, that could cause her death.

      I go to ONLY one doctor and if he sends me to a specialist, I tell him all my health issues!

  16. Christine Robinett

    Using Colloidal Silver is no more dagerous than eating food. I’ve been using it for over 20 years. I’m a licensed professional with degrees in Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy.

    Colloidal’s a great antimicrobial both topically and ingested, when used used properly. Of course the are some people that over do everything, taking extreme dosages on a daily basis v. as needed basis.

    The mainstream (or should I say Lamestream media) make a big deal out of it because they want to maintain the status quo of of the medical-pharma-industrial complex and their propaganda machine.

    1. Deborah Jennings

      All I know is what I have been told. I stand corrected.

      I do know that my SIL took it for Hep C. I don’t think it did her any good. This was last year. She was found, by my husband, her brother, deceased in bed on Dec. 23, 2011. As yet, we do not know the cause of death. I hope and pray that it wasn’t due to anything preventable.

    2. “I’m a licensed professional with degrees in Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy.” Humbug! I have heard snake oil works wonders on carpets too.. Or you can rub Tarot cards on the affected area.

      1. You DO realize that this is a natural foods and at least mostly natural healing focused blog, meaning that most of us here are well aware of the efficacy of such things as Chinese Medicine and chiropractic, even if you are not? And that it is generally considered to be good policy to keep a civil tongue in your head?

  17. We live in northern Iraq and carpets are seasonal here. In the winter, the women lay down carpet throughout the entire house (including kitchen!), and before summer hits, pull up all the carpet (since it’s so hot). How do they clean the carpets? They take them out on the hawshe (very large front porch), hose them down, scrub scrub scrub w/ detergent, then hang them over the front wall or roof to dry. And they do this every year. Quite the spring cleaning task! I’m not strong enough to do it on my own – I have to call my Kurdish friends over to help! But this is considered a woman’s job (as most house tasks are), so these strong women can not only get their dry carpets hauled outside and scrubbed, but they also have the strength to hang the carpets, wet. Unbelievable! Aren’t you glad you have steam cleaners? 😉

    1. in jordan, too, rugs are seasonal. but we take the rugs up to the roof to clean, and hang them to dry over the 1/2 wall that encircles the roof. the couches (cushions that sit on the floor and lean against the wall) also are taken out to air or be cleaned. the covers can be taken off and washed and then put back on and stitched closed.

      there are drains located in the floors of the kitchens, bathrooms, roofs, courtyards, and sometimes hallways. the floors are cleaned by dumping or spraying water on them and then using a squeegee to push it all down the drain. houses are generally so much cleaner here. i’m sure it’s much healthier this way, but i do miss wall-to-wall carpeting.

      1. Yes and yes 🙂 My husband and I live here and work for a non-profit organization that he helped start called Preemptive Love Coalition. PLC brings in medical teams to provide lifesaving heart surgeries for Iraqi children, and at the same time trains the local hospitals so that God-willing, in the future, they’re able to provide the necessary medical care on their own. Lots of sacrifices to live & work here, but the reward of being on the front row seats of this remarkable work brings joy that outweighs the sacrifice of living far from “home”!

  18. Ugh, it’s too bad you had a bad duct-cleaner! We lived in an old farmhouse for years, and every winter we would break out in hives after the furnace turned on. (and it would smell) So we finally got them professionally cleaned – you can’t imagine the junk they sucked up. They sealed all the vents with hoses and sucked out everything. Then we turned on the furnace – no stink, and no hives!

  19. Christine Robinett

    I’d like to point out that MRSA is bacteria: Methylosporin/multi-drug resistant Staph Aureus to be exact. Viruses are quite different from bacteria (animal kingdom) or fungi (plant kingdom).

    When I need an antiseptic (topical) or oral antimicrobial to use on humans or pets, I rely on Nutribiotic Grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, essential oils and/or herbs combined with acupuncture. I haven’t used antibiotics, sulfa or antimycosomial drugs in 30 years.

    1. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, to be exact. I’ve had it in my sinuses. The upside is if you get admitted to the hospital and they find out yoour have MRSA, you automatically have a private room.

  20. DON’T use baking sodas on your carpets! Or any of the store powder carpet fresheners. Even the best vacuum cleaners (the ones that use water to trap the dirt–Rainbow or Hyla or a couple of others) don’t necessarily get it all back up–and the kind of vacs you can buy at Target are really pretty bad, even the HEPA filter ones (I have not seen a Dyson in action, so have no opinion on those. I used to sell Hylas, doing home demos, and the only vacs that were a match in how well they cleaned were Rainbows). That baking soda in your carpet gets ground in by your feet, furniture, toy cars, whatever, and actually cuts up the carpet fibers over time.

    1. Cuts the carpet!!?? Oh, that’s so very bogus. It’s a salt and dissolves in water. How on earth can it cut carpeting? It’s a lot less abrasive than the dirt you’re tracking in on your shoes. Where did this logic come from?

      1. Baking soda is not going to dissolve on a dry carpet. It is absolutely an abrasive–in fact, my dentist has advised that I should not use it in homemade toothpaste, as it is too abrasive for teeth (and she’s the holistic type–never even says “Fluoride”). You sprinkle it on your carpet, it doesn’t get vacuumed up all that well, especially by what most folks are using for vacuum cleaners, as they do a very poor job even on obvious dirt, and the baking soda gets ground deep down into the fibers of your carpet by feet, and does what any abrasive is going to do, be it baking soda or sand–cuts up the fibers. Have you ever removed an old carpet from a house? The last time I did, it was carpet we knew the previous owners had put down only 3 years ago (there was a decent floor under it, and it was _magenta_. Need I say more? OUT it went.). There was a ton of grit under it, much of which was obviously baking soda.

        Baking soda will absorb odors. It does NOT get rid of whatever is causing the odor, which needs to be addressed, and it does help wear your carpet out faster.

        With the possible exception of Dyson machines, which I have never seen in action, so I won’t say anything about, if you have a vacuum cleaner that can be bought at one of the big box stores, a used version of something better quality is going to do a FAR better job for the same money. A vac like a Rainbow or Hyla, which use water to catch the dirt, do the best job, but high-end Electroluxes, or even Kirby, are going to do a lot better job than that Dirt Devil or Eureka you bought at Target. I used to sell Hylas. They do the home demo thing, where they basically put your vacuum against theirs. The list I gave is what I found was doing the best job against what I was selling, times many different vacuums in many different homes.

        1. Dysons are great – if you can get them clean enough between uses to keep up suction. I’ve used a few better model Eurekas for about two years now, cleaning a church about 4 hours a week, and they’ve been good – easy to clean and cheap to maintain. Thanks for the info about baking soda – I’ve been contemplating what to use on the mud that tracks in that the vacuum doesn’t get. Too many churchmembers have fragrance allergies for me to use any chemicals.

  21. I’m obviously new to green cleaning, since I had to google all the cleaners suggested. Bac-out looks awesome to me. But since I recently found this homemade enzyme cleaner I’d love your opinion of it.
    Do you think it would work like Bac-out?

    1. I LOVE Bac Out!! I have been using it for years for animal issues! I have used it in my carpet cleaner but not enough to have an opinion. I mean as far as residue?? How do you determine residue issues?

  22. Deborah Jennings

    Up until lately, I have used the Bissell cleaner that was recommended by the Bissell cleaner that I have. But now, just hot water is all I use. In fact, come spring, they will be cleaned again. Ad for the ducts getting cleaned. We haven’t had that done, yet, but need to. I need it done due to severe allergies. I am also in the process of getting new flooring and the carpet OUT. Pollen is aweful!

  23. We use a natural product called XOXO Buy it full strength and dilute it to spray/clean daily. It is non flamable, kills everything viral including MERSA bacteria if it is around. Can spray it around the room where quad son and I spend most of our time and it kills the dog oders as well. For cleaning his trach devices and skin area which is done frequently due to copius secreations and natural body oil I use a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and saline sterile water. For daily bed baths I heat water in the microwave that is just for that purpose and use Doc Bronners peppermint soap.

  24. Christine Robinett

    As much as I love essential oils, I don’t think it’s a good thing to use on synthetic fiber carpets as they can break down the fibers. Also, they leave a residue which can atrract dirt, just like soaps and detergents. Like any natural oil, they can go rancid too. You’d be amazed how much baking soda really gets left behind. That’s a big reason we removed all the installed carpet and went with area rugs. The hardwoods in this house are damaged so we hope to replace them in the next few years with cork

  25. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Super cute picture! 🙂

    For spot cleaning, I’ve just been using Seventh Generation all-purpose cleaner. It’s gotten red tea, blueberries, and a number of other EEK stains out of the carpet…if I get to them right away. I can still see an unusually clean spot across the room where my daughter spilled red tea last weekend….

    Haven’t done the whole house with a carpet machine for 3 or 4 years, and at that time, just used whatever came with it. I’d probably try the hot water, then the soap nuts. Maybe with a drop of some EO — tea tree, lemon?

  26. My dh used to clean carpet professionally. He will only use the Host system in our home. We’ve been extremely happy with it!
    Check them out at

  27. I worked cleaning carpets when I was in college for a while, and we never used anything except hot water, even in the super-high traffic areas like foyers and computer labs. We just kept cleaning that area until the water was clear. At home, I may use a tiny bit of soap to spot clean for grease or bodily fluids, but otherwise, it’s only hot water.

  28. I’ve been getting my air ducts cleaned twice a year for a while now. I have NEVER had any problems like you had and yes… I do have a basement also. My Mom (who lives with us) has an autoimmune disease that appears like really really bad asthma. Ever since we started getting the air ducts cleaned it has really made a HUGE difference in her health. Maybe the company that did yours missed a step or didn’t do it right… I don’t know, but it works for us really well… Oh and we only spend about half the amount you did. I am sorry that it didn’t work out for your though. It is hard when you think something is going to help and then does the opposite..

  29. Hailey via Facebook

    I mix 1 tbsp oxyclean, with 1/3 cup vinegar, and 1 tbls of our homemade liquid laundry soap ( Google duggars laundry soap).. and clean with the rug Dr for deep clean, or with ny bissel for touch ups. It’s the beat clean my carpet has ever had. 🙂

    1. Samantha Anastasiou

      be careful with oxyclean! i used it and it’s basically bleach! ruined my carpets. i had a professional come out to try to “fix” it and i told them what i did and they told me oxyclean was practically bleach =(

      1. Oxyclean is an eco-cleaner, that chemically reacts when placed in hot water. The chemical reaction produces hydrogen peroxide, and then just water. It is the hydrogen peroxide that bleaches. Best not to use it on carpets, as the hydrogen peroxide can bleach fibers and react with the carpet pad underneath, bringing color through the carpet.

  30. It’s funny that you posted this today. I cleaned my basement carpets yesterday. I have a powerful carpet cleaner which does a great job. I did use comercial carpet cleaner on most of it. however I ran out toward the end and didn’t feel like going to the store for a small amount. I used very hot tap water and I can’t tell the difference. I might have to use this way again (plus it’s cheaper). Another benefit of using just water is you don’t have the smell of the carpet cleaner lingering around the house (I’m not sure if I like the smell or not).

  31. Christine Robinett

    I quit using vinegar several years ago when I figured out it’s too harsh on my skin, causes hives and makes it peel. I’ve since learned that all grass grains (and legumes, particularly soy) can be cross-reactive for those on the Gluten Spectrum. Distillation and processing doesn’t seem to remove all the grain ingredients. I got rid of installed carpet. I have area rugs mostlly made of wool that have been hosed down after major flooding. The only cleaners I use on them is enzyme based cleaner like Bac Out. I spot clean the stains and use purified water steam as I don’t like vaporized chlorine and VOC’s, etc. Every time I’ve seen steam cleaning demos for tile, finished, wood, kitchen surfaces, etc, they don’t use anything but water.

  32. Back in the day (before I switched to natural products and whole foods) when my kids got red popcicle on the carpet I used dawn dish soap mixed in water put it on the stain then used an old white t-shirt with a hot iron. It lifted the red stain out of the carpet and transfered it to the shirt. It took a little while of adding more liquid and then ironing but it got it all out. I would think it would work with a natural soap, have not tested it out since they do not eat things with red dye in it anymore.

    1. Just be careful with this- Iron on carpets can be BAD BAD BAD. It depends on the carpet fibers and the heat setting of course, but I wouldn’t do it unless you knew exactly what kind of carpet you had.

  33. Bio-Kleen! I bought a hal gallon of their carpet shampoo from Azure. It’s under $10, lasts several cleanings, and actually gets dirt & stains out better than the Rug Dr. stuff–even in a Rug Dr. machine (better yet in my $20-at-the-flea-market Hoover steam cleaner! I do think that I am going to catch a good Groupon and get some pros to do the carpet (we only have it in the living/dining (actually sewing–we have little kids & an eat-in, tiled kitchen) room next time–and soon, before the baby starts crawling. We’re renting, the carpet is far from new, and I’d like to get it done super well just once. But Bio-Kleen carpet shampoo in the Steam-Vac does do a very nice job.

    1. I don’t want to discourage you, but I’ve had experienced both professional carpet cleaning and what I’ve done myself, and the main difference is in the amount of work for me, not the quality of the cleaning. The professional just wants to get in and get done, and I spend extra time on the places I know need it the most. It is nice to have somebody else do the “heavy lifting”, but the last time around I was disappointed b/c the result wasn’t any better than what I’d done myself. Carpets just get worn to the point where no amount of cleaning will make them look nice again, 🙁

      1. Then you haven’t hired a good cleaning company! The major differences should be the temperature and water pressure. A professional steam cleaner should have better results with better equipment.

  34. We have only used hot water, but I’m tempted to add a little Bac-Out next time, b/c my husband swears the living room carpet smells a bit funky. I don’t smell it, but a little lime couldn’t hurt…

    1. Erin,

      To get an off smell out I sprinkle the carpets with a baking soda mixed with a few drops of EO. Take a broom and pound it into the carpet let it rest and then vacuum it out.

  35. Rachel via Facebook

    Earth Friendly Products makes a carpet shampoo with bergamot and sage. Smelled so good cleaning!

  36. I use a little lavender Dr. Bronner’s and a little Bac-Out. It smells great, and works well on pet stains. I haven’t noticed any residue issues.

  37. I was just thinking I need to research this topic myself! Our 6mo. old keeps pushing up on his knees, and I keep telling him, “you can’t crawl yet! This carpet is horrible!” I think we will go with just hot water…

  38. I also had a good experience with duct cleaning. As our previous owner had a dog, and I am slightly allergic, I wanted all that junk outta there. It was gross before the cleaning, and absolutely sparkling after. Plus the guy found a hole in the duct and told me how to fix it.

    Anyway, as for sanitizing carpet. Bac Out works pretty well for that, and I’ve never had a problem with it attracting dirt like soap can.

    Congratulations on getting the carpets cleaned. I’m not a germaphobe, but carpets can get kind of gross. And if you’ve just moved in to a new home, well, other people’s germs just seem more gross, right?

  39. I had my ducts cleaned last year – they were REALLY bad – and it turned out fabulous! If there ever is a next time, I can tell you the name of the company, located near Grand Rapids.

  40. I am a clean-aholic and germa-phobic. And I have only been woken up and started to go green about a year or two ago. That means the other 30-some years have been spent using toxic cleaners with harsh fumes. I used to clean my carpets at least once every 2 months, in the 2 carpeted rooms that our dogs are allowed in. One carpet is beige, the bedroom carpet is hunter green. Not anymore! After way too much cleaning with the regular over the counter carpet machine soap, it has lightened the carpet and taken the hunter green out. It’s now a blah very light and irregular green. We can’t rearrange our bedroom furniture because you’d see how nice it looks under there. I now use Shaklee products a lot, but have been happy with them cleaning the carpet too. And I don’t do it near as much anymore. I have not had any stains set in further, only come out better.
    I use Shaklee’s Organic Basic H, Basic G and Nature Bright. They are non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about what chemicals are on the carpet that your kids play on all day. Did you know that carpet cleaners are some of the fumes to inhale? I use Organic Basic H to wash the carpet (about 1 T per gallon), Basic G to disinfect the carpet (about 1 T per gallon) and Nature Bright to bright dull carpet if needed (several scoops depending on your carpet – if you use this make sure to rinse well and vacuum after dry). I put all these in at once.

  41. I’m a ‘just water’ kinda girl when it comes to cleaning my carpets. If they are really stained, I will spot clean the stains with resolve and then steam clean the carpets. But since we’ve taken juice away from our kids, we no longer have the stains.

    I use baking soda and a vacuum about once a month for smells. But only because we also have a dog and 2 cats in the house.

  42. I’m so sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the duct work. Our experience was the total opposite of yours … I loved it and wish I had the extra $$ for it more often. It’s been almost 20 years since we had our duct work cleaned out (previous house) and just recently I was thinking about having it done at this house. I do believe we got lucky with the team that did ours and they had a system that enclosed all the dust and dirt — I’m sure there are companies that aren’t nearly so careful. Our house was immaculately clean when they finished – not a speck of dust anywhere. They scrubbed and sanitized the intake and output vents and everything smelled fabulously clean. I probably didn’t have to dust for 6 months – maybe longer – it was amazing! I hope this one bad experience won’t ruin you forever and when/if you decide to try again hopefully you can find a reputable company that will do a really fantastic job for you! 🙂

    1. I have found that sometimes, when I receive less-than-stellar service from a local company, if I call them and let them know I wasn’t impressed but am willing to give them another shot (since I prefer to support the local economy… yaddah yaddah…) they will go out of their way to do it right the next time. I don’t go into it with the mindset that they owe me money back or a freebie or whatever (unless whatever it was, was truly atrociously done), but sometimes that happens as well.

  43. Ty-Megan via Facebook

    With a trached daughter rolling all over the carpet, I want to really do a deep clean, but first I need a better vacuum. At least we put the carpet in and never had pets on it.

    1. We here you with the hygeine w/the Trach. My son is an adult and the worse thing is when he goes out to social events that are in a smokey enviroment he is big into Comedy Clubs. Talk about gross the next morning when he coughs. Lucky for him he has a very strong cough (15 ft without the trach mask cover) and so it does not settle in the bronchs.

  44. Alice via Facebook

    I wonder if Red Juice would work?

  45. Laura via Facebook

    Thank you for this! With two little kids, we NEED to clean the carpets, and I’ve been trying to figure this out. Can’t wait to read it!

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