Have you ever wondered how much time and money you spend cleaning your carpets especially after the mess created by your kids and pets? It’s obviously quite a lot! While nothing much can be done about the amount of time you spend cleaning carpets, it’s possible to save some money by making and using homemade carpet cleaners.
Not only do these homemade stain removers save you money, they are perfect for those homeowners who dislike the smell most commercial carpet cleaners leave in their houses for hours together. Besides, there are some other important and interesting reasons to start making your own carpet cleaners at home.
Why it’s better making your own carpet cleaner
The most important reason is of course the safety element it offers. You can safely use these carpet cleaners even when your kids are around. It’s quite normal for children to follow you while you clean your carpets in the bid of ‘helping you’. While it’s dangerous with commercial cleaners, you can safely give your children a sponge and some homemade cleaner so that they can imitate your moves and thus ‘help you’.
Natural carpet cleaners also keep your air clean as commercial cleaners contain toxic chemicals which pollute the air and is hazardous to your health when inhaled. Of course, as mentioned earlier, non-toxic cleaners are a cheaper cleaning option as they are mostly made using common ingredients available at home or any grocery store. You can reduce costs even more if you make your cleaner in bulk after buying ingredients in bulk.
Homemade cleaners are also safe on the environment as all cleaners seep into the water. While the homemade ones don’t cause any problems, water treatment plants find it difficult treating the large volumes of chemicals in conventional cleaners.
With time, this poor treatment of the water can affect the balance of wildlife and natural resources. Moreover, most of the commercial cleaners are petroleum based, which reduces our natural resources.
Last but not least, there is a reduced risk of these homemade carpet cleaners damaging or discoloring your carpets when used. Of course, as there is a miniscule possibility of it damaging your carpets, it’s always better to test it on a small part of your carpet.
Let it dry for 24 hours and then if it’s safe to use, you can use it to clean the entire carpet. Do read your carpet cleaner machine’s warranty information as some warranties for some machines are worthless if you use the machine with some other product.
Natural carpet cleaners
Now about making your homemade carpet cleaners for machines, you needn’t make a variety of them. You just need to have a basic all-purpose on-hand all the time to use immediately in emergencies, and know some recipes to use as required for different accidents.
Recipe for oxiclean carpet cleaning
You need to make this cleaner mixing 2 tablespoons liquid Tide detergent, a scoop of Oxyclean, quarter cup Awesome cleaner and a gallon of hot water together in a pitcher or mixing bowl. If required, you can also add a teaspoon of Downy Fabric Softener.
Just make sure the hot water is added to it gently so that you don’t end up making too many bubbles. Keep mixing till Oxyclean dissolves and store the mixture in a jug. Being a concentrated mix, a small amount added to water is all you need to use with your carpet cleaning machine. It effectively removes stains and is lots more cheaper than commercial concentrated carpet cleaners.
All-natural carpet cleaner
Here’s another non-toxic and very cheap carpet cleaner. All you need is equal amounts, say half part each of of water and vinegar and a few drops of some essential oil for a pleasant fragrance. Mix the ingredients, add to your carpet cleaner machine and start shampooing. Though its vinegar smell may be rather strong at first, once it dries, you will love the smell in your house.
Another DIY carpet cleaner
This is another carpet cleaner you can easily make at home using vinegar and salt. Mix a cup of white vinegar and two cups water in a large spray bottle. Add about 2 tsp. salt and 15 drops lavender essential oil to the mixture, cap up the bottle and shake. (You can also use some other clear essential oil if you like! However as some essential oils like orange essential oil has color tints, choose an oil where the color won’t get transferred to carpets).
Your homemade carpet cleaner ready, liberally spray it on carpets while shaking the bottle in between sprays and vacuum the area after the carpet dries. This can be repeated for stubborn stains.
Vinegar is great for removing stains, especially pet stains and also has some deodorizing properties. However you add water to it to reduce its potency. Salt is used as it helps bind up stains. Adding lavender oil to the cleaner enhances its effect with its deodorizing properties and helps eliminate all the bacteria and virus in your carpet. Moreover, it’s a safe ingredient to add to your cleaner and use around your pets and children.
In case of tough stains of red wine and cranberry juice, you could perhaps first pour some salt on the stain first. This helps absorb the liquid. Wait for about 10-15 minutes for the liquid to dry, or get absorbed by the salt, and then vacuum. Then use your DIY carpet cleaner to thoroughly remove the stain.
Homemade carpet shampoo
This homemade carpet shampoo is made using hydrogen peroxide, your preferred essential oil and dish detergent for the oils of some stains. Mix about 4 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (easily found in the first aid section) with a tablespoon of dish detergent and about 5 drops of your chosen essential oil in a lidded mason jar.
Shake the bottle thoroughly for the easy distribution of your cleaning agents in 1-1/2 quarts of hot water. Your homemade carpet shampoo is now ready to use as required. Adjust this shampoo for use with full-size carpet cleaners by doubling or tripling the ingredients as necessary. While you may substitute the hydrogen peroxide with vinegar if you have color issues, never mix the two.
Whichever carpet cleaner you use to remove a stain, you need to first blot up any excess liquid on the stain to prevent the stain from setting into the carpet. However do not rub the liquid stains into the carpet as it only leads to the stain spreading, and harms carpet fibers.
You then use your homemade carpet cleaner once you have blotted up as much of the liquid as possible. Solid stains too have to be picked up as much as possible before using your homemade carpet cleaner for best results.
So you can see there is no best home carpet cleaner. All of them are equally effective at removing spots and stains on your carpet. Instead of spending so much on commercial carpet cleaners, these homemade variations are a better option as they are so much softer on your pockets, health and the environment!