Easy Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines

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If you clean your own carpets or have ever considered buying a machine to do it yourself, this Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution will knock your socks off!  In fact, I’m certain you’ll never buy expensive machine cleaners again!

I’m very picky when it comes to my carpets and I don’t like stains.  For years I bought expensive “professional” cleaners to get my carpets the cleanest (or so I thought).  This simple homemade version works better and costs just pennies to make!  And, there are no harsh chemicals involved!

Easy Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution for Machines

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HOT Water (approx. 1 gallon of water)
1 Tablespoon Dawn (or other dish soap)
1 1/2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1/4 Cup 3% Peroxide

First, fill your machine’s water reserve with HOT tap water.  You’ll want this as hot as you can get it from the tap.  Leave space for the other ingredients.

Then add 1 tablespoon Dawn dish soap.  Other varieties work well, but don’t use any “with bleach”.  Then add the vinegar and peroxide.  3% peroxide is the type used on cuts and is found in any store in the first aid section.

Be sure to add the dish soap after the water or you’ll have a full container of soap bubbles before the water nears the top of the container.  Resist the temptation to add extra soap!

Clean your floors with your machine as you normally would.  You can rinse by using hot water, but I’ve found there is actually no need for rinsing.  It’s truly amazing how well this simple solution works!

I have two machines that work really well on my almost white carpets!  The Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge is an impressive cleaner with no frills. It gets the job done and the carpets clean!

If you are serious about your carpets this Hoover MaxExtract 60 PressurePro Carpet Deep Cleaner  is another great option.  I have it (and love it) and it makes my nearly white carpets look brand new after using my homemade solution.

If you have high traffic stains or stubborn spills that won’t come out of  your carpet, don’t give up. This recipe took stains out of my carpet that have been there through cleanings with professional cleaners!

Check out our Homemade Spot Cleaner you can make yourself which does not require a machine.  This solution is stronger and effective on pet stains, grease and stubborn dirt!

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Comments

  1. im definitely trying this ive tried a couple with just dawn baking soda and vinegar and got nothing but i am going to add the peroxide and see if i get anywhere. I have an older hoover all in one (hard floors and carpets as well as upholstery attachment) atm my parents have 4 grown cats and 5 half grown kittens (that will be leaving) add my 4 yr old captain mess maker into the mix and there are dark spots and a high traffic path area that i can never seem to keep clean! Top it off the carpets are (were) light beige and were in a rental! Will post back in a week or so whenever i can get to the carpets again!

  2. Shelbie says:

    What about for dark colored carpets, still use peroxide?

  3. I have a tan living room rug and it has bad dirt stains ,as soon as u walk in my door your in my living room, so it’s hard to keep clean , what would u recomaned me using ,i tried laundry soap and dawn but it doesn’t get the stains out .

    • I highly recommend using the recipe provided for machines. You may have to shampoo the room up to 3-4 times. This has worked for me several times! Good luck!

  4. Hello michelle I just got a hoover steam cleaner and want to clean my couches which have huge stains. Does this solution work on upholstery? Thanks for your help

  5. Could I use castille soap in place of dawn? I’m out of Dawn, but have some lavender dr. Bronner’s.

  6. OldNick says:

    Any thoughts about using more Peroxide? I make up my own 10% peroxide from a 50% bottle and distilled water and I have used it, neat, as a spot remover on our living room rugs. It cleaned up a dog sick stain and did nothing to the carpet. I also spray it on our lounge chairs and it does an amazing job there, too, without damage to the chairs. We were sold a “magic” (and expensive) cleaner and I soon found out it was just Peroxide.

  7. Thank you so much for this! I was fully prepared to remove and replace my carpet due to stains. Trying this recipe was supposed to be a temporary fix until I could have the new floors installed but I don’t have to anymore. My carpet looks so clean and fluffy. You have saved me major $$ with this recipe. Thank you! Thank you!

  8. Hey there!

    I recently purchased a house, and the carpet is atrocious! More on that afterwards if you’re interested. I was reading around on the internet and have seen a few various recipes, and I wonder what you think of alternate or additional ingredients.

    First, soap. A few recipes I saw used laundry soap instead of dish soap. Have you tried laundry soap? if not, do you think it would be better, worse, or on par with dish soap?

    I saw another recommendation to use ammonia instead of vinegar, stated by the users that it does a better job in place of the vinegar.

    Thirdly, I read about baking soda, and I read a comment with your reply – what do you think about combining baking soda and vinegar, or baking soda and ammonia? I know vinegar and baking soda react, I use the said reaction to clean my shoes (with great results!), but the level of dilution would minimize or even negate it.

    Finally, about my carpet, if you’re interested. I purchased from a family friend, when he purchased it, approximately 15 people lived in this 3 bedroom house for around 5 years, as told to me by the neighbor of 20 years. The family friend had his son living in this place, and he was a heavy party person. The friend said the floor has been doused with every negative thing you could imagine, pet stains, vomit, blood, red wine and alcohol, all sorts of food, they used the floor as an ashtray and a bit of a trash can… so I very much want to clean and disinfect this carpet as much as humanly possible.

    Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your reply!

    • First, I would admit, I have never cleaned carpet that dirty. I have used different solutions using ammonia but never baking soda in my machine.

      ***Personally, if I was you, I would use a combination of methods. I would sprinkle my entire carpet with baking soda over night. (don’t walk on it). Vacuum it up the next morning. This should eliminate odors lingering.

      I have a spot cleaner recipe on my site (containing ammonia) which I would use on the heavily soiled spots. Then, I would mix up the exact ingredients in this recipe and run them in a machine over the entire carpet.

      Good luck!

  9. Rosemarie M. Buchanan says:

    I own a professional cleaning company. When people ask my advice on cleaning carpets, I usually say “rip it up, roll it up, and throw it away”. Carpets are extremely unhealthy, particularly if you have children who are playing on the floor. No amount of cleaning will remove the allergens and pathogens which can contaminate carpets. If you are “totally anal” about your carpet, I’d suggest removing them and having machine-washable cotton area mats (with that lovely non-slip product which is not attached to the mat). Your allergies, children and pets will thank you.
    However, if you insist on keeping your carpets, any of the homemade solutions should work very well, without leaving the chemical residues of the commercial cleaners. I have two Bissell ProHeat and I put a small amount of the homemade solution in the big vinyl bladder inside the machine (keeping water in the solution container, so the machine will work properly). My clients are happy with the results, particularly those who have been through some health issues (cancer and asthma), and who have become very sensitive to chemicals (as am I).
    I would strongly urge everyone to look at the chemicals they use to clean their homes, and to go as natural as possible.

  10. Would this be safe to use on area rugs? Mine is like an oriental type.

  11. I have the bissll pro heat and there is a comparent for the hot water and a little compartment for the solution, how would u do this?

  12. I tried this on my carpet yesterday and it was AWESOME! Thank you so much. I’ve tried almost every cleaner there is out there. It does the job but leaves a film of sorts that seems to attract more dirt, in my opinion. Thank you again!!

  13. Bill Brooks says:

    Will it fade light brown color carpet?

  14. Does this work on tile floors? I have a Hoover machine that does both carpet & hard floors.

  15. This sounds fantastic! Is there any reason I couldn’t use it in a Rug Doctor machine, the kind you rent at the grocery store?
    Thanks….

    • Mrs. Harris says:

      I just used it in a rug doctor my carpet was very dirty..now it looks brand new again…this solution really works I was so amazed.. my carpet had not been cleaned in 4 years n we have a dog n 2 kids now its backto life…who ever came up with this solution, thank u so much even my husband was happy he didn’t think it would work..

      • That’s so good to know, I’m heading out for the machine right now.

        Thanks, Ms. Harris, this is gonna be great!

  16. Stephanie Jones says:

    I saw this recipe online except instead of the white vinegar it used baking soda, have you ever tried this? If so does one work better then the other?
    I have a room that my cat peed in and i bought the Bissell urine eliminator carpet solution and pre treator and cleaned my carpet THREE times and it seemed like it just kept getting worse instead of better. I used that solution with the baking soda and the smell isnt totally gone but it is WAY better!

  17. Can you use the cider vinegar?

  18. Bernard says:

    Just received my bissell in the mail today. The solution that came with it didn’t really do the job. I found this recipe from a google search. It worked wonders. I had stains 15 years old and they are pretty much gone. I have a light gray colored carpet and didn’t notice any discoloration or bleaching. I printed out two copies. One for me and one for a friend.

  19. I found this recipe through google and used it when I ran out of store bought cleaning solution. In this comparison on light beige carpet with cat, dog, and coffee stains, it worked as well as the pre-made purchased solution. I used a little more vinegar on accident but saw no ill effects from it, and the smell was minimal and completely gone when dry. Thanks for sharing this. I won’t bother with bottled stuff again – this is so easy and cheap. No bleaching of the carpets either, btw.

    Now the real test will be in 6 months to see if the stains come back.

  20. I printed out the instructions of how to make your own carpet cleaning solution. I was very annoyed when I needed to see what the recipe was for the high traffic area. Low and behold everything in blue and double underlined ended up with some stupid John Deere tractors. Why? Its over kill.

  21. Brittney U says:

    OH and I put mine in the hot water receptical, not the solution container, and just used the “Hot water rinse ” option.

  22. Brittney U says:

    THANK YOU!
    I was out of my normal solution and didn’t have time to run to the store. I don’t think I will ever buy store cleaner again!! MY carpet is sooo fluffy!

  23. so after reading these … I’m still not sure where this homemade cleaner goes ??? I have the Bissell Prosteam 2X Pet Steam Cleaner… it has one large compartment for clean water and a little compartment for the cleaning solution… where does this solution go ?

    • CORRECTION… I have an empty compartment in the front to collect the dirty water… the back is for cleaner and water combo…. so I’m good… it all goes into the solution compartment… will let you know how my results are… THanks !!

    • I mixed the solution in a separate gallon container. I filled the large collection container with hot water and filled the small cleaning container withe the pre made solution. I have to say, this solution was great! I nearly poisoned my cats with the bissell solution last year. Thanks soo much for this recipe. Great!

  24. Guessing this recipe is for light carpet only as the peroxide could have a bleaching effect. Any ideas for dark brown carpet?

  25. I was curious about the smell. I love the taste of vinegar, but not the smell. It looks like a small amount. Just curious if you can smell it. I also thought maybe using a form of dawn with a scent. Has anyone tried that? Thanks for this recipe! I’m tired of paying $15 per bottle! :)

  26. Just used this for my Pet Steamer and it worked very well. I placed it in the cleaning solution side and I am very pleased :)

  27. Is it ok to use this solution with a Kirby vacuum system?? haas anyone tried it?

    • Pamela C. says:

      I am wondering the same thing. I have a Kirby vacuum with the carpet cleaning system and don’t have the money to buy the Kirby shampoo right now. I have tons of horrible stains on my floor right now from my 2 year old and would really like to try this. I’m guessing it would work the same with the Kirby as it does with any other machine.

      • Pamela,
        This solution should work the same in the Kirby as all the others. Please try it and come back to let us know what you think. As the others stated, this is an AMAZING recipe. It cleans carpets beautifully and doesn’t leave chemicals behind! Clean and fluffy carpet is what you’ll end up with for a few pennies!

  28. I have the MaxExtract 77 (similar to the 60 you have listed above). I assume you put this solution in the “solution” reservoir (separate from the water)? Do you dilute it with water at all?

  29. Will this discolor carpets at all? I have very light carpets, and I am completely anal about keeping them clean. I would love to try this but I am worried about discoloration.

  30. I hate stains as well but i don’t have a machine to clean the carpet. I just try to clean it and deal with the stains myself using some natural solutions. If the stains are really worst, i call on a professional carpet to the remove the stain for me and to do a deep cleaning as well. Anyway, been thinking about a cleaning machine though. I will be taking note of this homemade solutions so i can use it once i get myself a machine.

    • If you do not have a steam cleaner, and just need to get out stains, use this solution mixed up in a spray bottle (I cut it in half depending on the size of the spray bottle. Then spray the carpets. Place a towel on the carpet and iron the towel. It will pull out any stain you have. I am telling you it is amazing.

  31. Brandette W. says:

    Michelle,

    You ROCK again! I have done much research but have never found a homemade recipe that I could inexpensively use in our Bissel Spot Bot machine. We have a toddler & 2 cats and this Spot Bot gets good use. Problem is, each bottle of the concentrated cleaner costs about $10 and doesn’t last us very long. We are probably forking out close to $100 in cleaner per year, and the bottles are small!

    I tried another recipe I found online several months back, but it was not cleaning up after cat throw-up hairballs well at all. You could totally see the “circular” cleaning spots and they looked dingy. So, I stopped using it and we went back to the expensive store bought stuff once again, sadly.

    I am very particular about our carpets. We built our home a few years back, therefore I want to make sure we keep things nice and clean carpets are a huge part of this for me. I do not do carpet stains, everything gets cleaned up immediately.

    I want to try this recipe out in our machine and see if it works undiluted in the Spot Bot as a straight solution. If not, then maybe the Spot cleaner you mentioned posting soon would. I am willing to try because maybe eventually I will find something that will work amazing well yet cost me pennies, instead of $10 per bottle, to make myself!! I so look forward to the next post!

    • Brandette,
      I used this cleaner in my steam cleaner and did the entire floor. I was absolutely amazed that it came out looking like brand new carpet. I am very particular about our carpets also. I don’t do stains either. But when I moved my furniture I noticed some spots and a high traffic pattern I didn’t like. I am still waiting for this to be too good to be true. 24 hours later my room is still looking amazing! This is better than anything I have ever purchased! I am now ashamed of myself for paying $12-$17 a bottle for cleaners that did half the job and were toxic to my pets and kids! Never again!

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