During the winter, your home’s carpet can begin looking pretty sad, what with all the coming and going of wet, snowy boots, drops of hot cocoa, and whatever else lots of interior-dwelling brings. You may be less than enthusiastic about spraying chemicals on your carpet, especially with kids or pets around. Here’s a simple DIY carpet cleaner that uses only natural ingredients that you probably have on-hand already.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 8-10 drops clear essential oil (this tutorial uses lavender)
- 16 oz or larger spray bottle
- Narrow funnel (optional, but recommended)
Put the funnel into your spray bottle and pour in 1 cup water and 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar. Vinegar has stain removal and deodorizing qualities, which makes it an essential ingredient for homemade carpet cleaner. Straight vinegar is a little too potent, however, so must be diluted with water.
Add into the spray bottle 1 tsp salt. Salt is a key ingredient for binding up stains. Actually, for stains that are really hard to remove, such as cranberry juice, pour some salt onto the stain first off. This will absorb excess liquid and help to keep the stain from setting before you even use this carpet cleaner. Let the salt dry before you vacuum it up, then move on with this carpet cleaner.
Carefully add 8-10 drops of a clear essential oil, such as lavender, to the spray bottle. Essential oil in this recipe helps to deodorize the carpet area and should keep bacteria at bay as the cleaner does its job. Please note that you should avoid any essential oil that has any kind of color to it (particularly sweet orange essential oil), as this will inhibit the stain removal abilities of this carpet cleaner and actually make it worse by transferring additional color onto your carpet.
After all ingredients have been poured through the funnel, use the end of the spray top tube to push any excess ingredients (such as salt) through the funnel.
Screw the spray top onto your spray bottle and give your carpet cleaner a good shake. It’s ready to go.
Find the spot on your carpet that needs cleaning. If you have a fresh liquid stain, blot up (DON’T rub) excess liquid before applying this carpet cleaner. If you have an older or solid stain, pick up or vacuum the area first before applying this carpet cleaner.
Spray a generous amount of carpet cleaner onto your stain; it should saturate the entire stain (but you don’t have to go overboard with this – it doesn’t need to be soaked through and through). Shake your spray bottle a couple times between each spray. Let carpet dry.
Once the stained carpet area is dry, vacuum up the treated area.
If your stain was treatable, it should come right up!
For a tougher stain, follow the steps above except go ahead and soak the entire stain area thoroughly with carpet cleaner.
This stain was tar-based, a remnant from someone’s shoe.
After soaking the stain, letting it dry, and vacuuming it up, the stain was still visible, but upon closer inspection, it was beginning to break up (photo shows after first application). After several repetitions, the stain should begin to lighten. Consistent use of this carpet cleaner will keep your carpets looking – and smelling – great!