It goes without saying that spills are inevitable. Whether it’s coffee, food grease, or some paw prints —rugs and carpets are magnets for accidents. That’s where carpet cleaners come in, always ready to save the day! But what happens when you run out of chemical cleaners? Do you throw your carpet away or do your best to hide the stain?
Thankfully, there are many alternatives that are just as effective as regular carpet cleaners. And best of all, most of them are made from everyday kitchen ingredients, meaning that you can easily put them together without spending a dime! So, let’s check each of these DIY mixtures and see which makes for the best cleaner replacement.
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DIY Solutions You Can Use Instead of Carpet Cleaners
Homemade carpet cleaners are great for removing stains and cleaning high-traffic areas. While there are many recipes you can try, these are some of the cheapest, most effective, and safest. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Although it might seem unlikely, steam can indeed handle most types of stains and spills. It is perfect for those who don’t want to deal with dangerous chemicals and expensive ingredients. All you need is a handy steam mop or a similar product and some water. Sure, some models can be pretty expensive. However, they are 100% worth it, especially if stains are common in your home.
But if you don’t want to purchase a steam mop, you can use a regular steam iron. Even though it lacks the sanitizing and deodorizing options that professional equipment offers, it will still be able to remove small spills and help clean your carpet.
2. Salt + Vinegar + Water
Another pretty easy solution is to use three of the most common kitchen ingredients: salt, vinegar, and, of course, water. First, get yourself a spray bottle and fill it with two parts water and one part vinegar. Then, add one teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water to help bind the stain particles.
If you want to give the concoction a deodorizing effect, you can also add 10 drops of essential oil per each cup of water. However, remember to use clear essential oils instead of colored ones in order to avoid staining the carpet. Most people recommend lavender, but you can also choose lime, juniper, peppermint, or geranium, depending on your taste.
Once you’ve added all your extra ingredients, shake the bottle and spray the solution on the stain. Wait for it to dry, and then vacuum the spot. In case you don’t have a spray bottle nearby, you can dip a cloth in the mixture and dab the stain with it. Remember to avoid rubbing the stain as it could damage your carpet fiber.
3. Vinegar + Baking Soda + Water
Vinegar and baking soda are a classic combo for removing all types of stains. Start by sprinkling some baking soda over the stain and let it sit for at least one hour or overnight. Similar to the previous method, you can use a couple of drops of colorless essential oil for some extra deodorizing effect.
Next, you’ll need to mix water and vinegar at a 1:1 ratio and spray the solution over the baking soda. After the fizzing reaction, dab the area using a cloth or rag to blot up the mixture. Keep in mind that some stubborn stains might require you to repeat the whole procedure a couple of times.
For more information check the video below:
4. Borax + Salt + Vinegar
For this method, you need to combine borax, salt, and vinegar in a container. Most professionals recommend you use ¼ cup of each ingredient for the best results.
Apply the paste to the carpet and let it sit for a few hours or until it fully dries. Then, vacuum the paste and inspect your carpet. If the stain has not disappeared, you can wipe the area using a wet rag, and finally, vacuum the spot one last time after the carpet has completely dried.
It’s important to mention that borax is an irritant chemical. That means you should wear gloves during this process to minimize skin contact with borax and avoid any allergic reactions. Additionally, you should make sure to keep your children and pets away from the carpet, as ingesting the mixture might be hazardous.
5. Cornstarch + Borax + Cornmeal + Baking Soda
To make one of the best natural cleaning mixtures, combine ½ cup cornstarch, ½ cup cornmeal, 1 tablespoon borax, 2 cups baking soda, 3 dried bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor. Blend them together until you have a fine powder consistency, then transfer the mixture into an airtight container.
To remove the stain, sprinkle the powder over the carpet, making sure it’s dry before applying the cleaner. Use a hand brush or a broom to spread the mixture as evenly as possible to maximize the absorption, and then let it sit overnight. The next day, vacuum the powder up, and voila, you’ll be rewarded with a clean and neat carpet. But again, be extremely careful when using borax, as ingesting it is incredibly dangerous.
6. Ammonia + Water
Ammonia is a very powerful stain remover known for its strong, pungent odor. Mixing one cup of ammonia with ½ gallon of warm water will create a strong concoction. Apply it to your carpet and leave it for 15 minutes, then blot the area using a light-colored cloth.
While ammonia is very efficient, it also requires a lot of precautions. For starters, open the windows and allow fresh air to circulate through your room. Secondly, if you have a cat, keep it away from the carpet. That’s because it can confuse the smell of ammonia with its own urine and think that your carpet is a brand new litter box. And lastly, never mix ammonia and bleach, or you’ll end up creating a toxic substance that can put your life in danger.
7. Window Cleaner + Water
Apart from making our windows spotless, window cleaners are also useful for removing stubborn stains. In fact, by mixing the cleaning substance with water, you can create a cheap and effective carpet cleaning solution. To make this concoction, combine equal parts hot water and window cleaner like Windex. Then, just spray the stain and let the mixture sit for a few hours before drying it with a cloth.
8. Salt + Rubbing Alcohol
No need to worry if you’ve soiled your carpet with oil or fat! A simple mixture of salt and rubbing alcohol is more than enough to easily remove grease, ink, and other stubborn stains. Start by combining equal parts rubbing alcohol and salt and apply the mix to the carpet. Use a toothbrush to gently rub the area, then leave the solution to sit for 15 minutes, and finally vacuum it up.
9. Dish Detergent + Water
If you have a dog, you already know how annoying it is to deal with mud and paw prints on your carpet. Typically, you’ll want to wait until the stain dries, so you can vacuum it. But, if you have some stubborn mud residue left on your carpet, you’ll have to use a detergent-based cleaner.
For this homemade solution, mix 2 tablespoons of dish detergent with one cup of water. Dip a cloth in it and then bloat at the stain until it’s gone. You can repeat this process as often as needed until you eradicate the stain.
See also: Can You Use Pine Sol on Carpet?
Carpet Cleaning Tips
Even though cleaning a carpet might sound easy, it requires specific tools and knowledge. As a matter of fact, if you don’t know how to tackle the procedure, you might end up damaging your carpet. That’s why we’ve compiled a few handy tips that should help you get started and save your carpet:
- Act Fast: The longer you wait, the harder it will be to eliminate the stain. So, make sure to prepare your cleaning solution as soon as possible.
- Avoid Rubbing: Rubbing your carpet will only spread the stain further and possibly damage the carpet fiber. Instead, bloat and dab using a cloth or rag for maximum efficiency.
- Inspect the Stain: Before using a stain remover, it’s best to do a spot test. Be on the lookout for discoloration or physical damage, as commercial and handmade carpet cleaners might worsen the situation.
- Don’t Overdo It: Saturating your carpet with too much cleaner can make removing stains more difficult. Actually, an excess of cleaning substance tends to attract dirt and cause dark spots. To prevent this, you’ll have to apply the solution to a cloth or sponge instead of the carpet itself. That will allow you to better control the amount of cleaner you use.
- Check the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Some carpets are sensitive to borax and ammonia. Therefore, you should check the label to determine the safest way to clean it. Or, you can just search the manufacturer’s website for detailed instructions.
To Sum It Up
Cleaning carpets is integral to home maintenance, but you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to get the job done. Everyday items in your cabinet, such as baking soda, vinegar, and salt, can help remove stains and odors from your carpet in no time. So, grab your trusty spray bottle, choose your favorite solution, and get rid of all those pesky stains today!