DIY Carpet Cleaning Solution & Best Natural Brands

Say goodbye to carpet stains and dingy rugs! From the best carpet cleaning shampoos that won’t break the bank to advice on avoiding harmful chemicals in commercial carpet cleaners, we’ve got your back when it comes to achieving that spotless, toxin-free clean. What’s the best DIY carpet cleaning solution? What chemicals should you avoid in carpet cleaners? What are the best pre-made brands?

Keep reading to learn more about the best natural carpet cleaning brands and the best DIY carpet cleaning solution.

Rug cleaning chemicals

Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning In On Around will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps us maintain the site. As always, we value full transparency & only work with brands we love and trust.

Author: In On Around Founder & CEO, Catherine Power. This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Ana Engelhardt.


Table of Contents

Importance of Carpet Cleaning

Carpet cleaning isn’t just about keeping your home looking fresh; it’s a vital step in maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Regular carpet cleaning helps remove allergens, dust, and pet dander that can accumulate in your carpet fibers, improving the air quality in your home. Furthermore, it extends the lifespan of your carpet, saving you money in the long run.

Whether you opt for a DIY carpet cleaning solution or choose the best natural brands, this simple maintenance routine can transform your living space and contribute to a happier, healthier home.

Many carpet cleaners use chemicals that should not be used in a home, especially if you have young children or pets.

Why Choose Natural Brands

When it comes to carpet cleaning, why go the natural route? Well, for starters, it’s all about keeping things safe and simple. Natural brands mean you’re steering clear of those dangerous fumes and harsh chemicals, which is a win for your family and your furry friends. Plus, they don’t just clean – they tackle stains and odors like a champ (just as much as conventional cleaning products). It’s all about keeping your home clean, green, and toxin-free.

This is especially important if you have pets, like cats, who can ingest the chemicals on your carpet when they self-groom.

If you’re looking for the best non-toxic carpet and rug options, check out this article: The Best Non-Toxic Rugs, Carpets, and Rug Pads

DIY carpet cleaning solutions

Ingredients Found In Carpet Cleaners

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you might find lurking in your carpet cleaners:

  1. Proprietary Fragrance (Perfume): The fragrances in carpet cleaners are often undisclosed, making it challenging to determine the specific chemicals used. These fragrances are designed to mask odors, but they can contribute to indoor air pollution.
  2. Surfactants, like Ethoxylated Alcohols: Surfactants help loosen dirt and stains, but can contain a host of synthetic chemicals.
  3. Solubilizers: These components are responsible for keeping the ingredients of the cleaner mixed together in a stable solution.
  4. Chelating Agents (e.g., Sodium Citrate, EDTA, NTA, Polyphosphates): Chelating agents help bind to minerals and metals in your water.
  5. Foam Controllers: These are added to control the amount of foam produced during cleaning.
  6. Preservatives: To extend the shelf life of the product, preservatives are often used. While necessary, they can be irritants or allergens, depending on the specific chemical.
  7. Oxidizing Agents: These agents are used to help break down stains and brighten the color of your carpet. They are linked to skin and eye irritation.
  8. Bleaching Agents: Some carpet cleaners may contain bleach to tackle tough stains. Bleach can cause a host of negative health effects.
  9. Emulsifiers: Emulsifiers work to keep oil and water-based ingredients mixed together, ensuring a uniform cleaning solution.
  10. Enzymes: Enzymes are used to break down organic matter, like pet stains… and more. [1]

Health Impacts From Carpet Cleaning Solutions

Let’s delve into the potential health impacts of carpet cleaning solutions and why it’s essential to choose safer options:

  1. Respiratory Irritation: Many carpet cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and strong fragrances that can lead to respiratory issues, such as coughing, wheezing, and exacerbating conditions like asthma.
  2. Skin Sensitivity: Direct contact with carpet cleaning solutions can lead to skin irritation, rashes, or even chemical burns.
  3. Allergies: Residues from carpet cleaning chemicals may linger in your carpets, leading to allergic reactions and skin problems for sensitive individuals.
  4. Eye Irritation: Harsh chemicals and fumes can irritate the eyes, causing redness, tearing, or discomfort.
  5. Toxic Exposure: Some carpet cleaning chemicals contain toxins and carcinogens, which can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, potentially causing long-term health problems.
  6. Indoor Air Pollution: Carpet cleaning solutions can release harmful chemicals into the indoor air, leading to poor indoor air quality, headaches, and a feeling of being unwell.
  7. Chemical Sensitivity: Prolonged exposure to carpet cleaning chemicals can lead to chemical sensitivities, making you more reactive to even low levels of chemicals in the future.
  8. Environmental Impact: Many traditional carpet cleaning solutions can have detrimental effects on the environment, contaminating water systems and harming aquatic life.

Your home should be a safe and healthy haven, and making informed choices about carpet cleaning products can help you achieve just that.

The Best Homemade Carpet Cleaner Recipes

Let’s delve into the world of carpet cleaning solutions, and many of the ingredients you’ll need are likely already sitting in your own home. These oftentimes work with carpet cleaner machines, like Hoover.

DIY Carpet Cleaner Recipe:

To create a homemade carpet cleaner, mix equal parts of warm water with white vinegar (NOT apple cider vinegar). You can usually pour this into your carpet cleaner’s reservoir tank as usual. The vinegar smell will dissipate after it dries. You can also add a teaspoon of dye-free castile soap to the mixture for additional cleaning power (not too much or it can make the carpet crunchy and foamy).

Note: do not mix vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. This can create peracetic acid which is toxic to inhale. There are MANY “DIY” carpet cleaner solution blogs that recommend mixing the two – I do not recommend that.

For DIY Spot Cleaners:

Baking soda (either alone or with a bit of vinegar) will usually do the trick. Sprinkle it on the stain for about 4 to 6 hours before vacuuming it up. Don’t add baking soda to your carpet cleaning machine – it can clog it.

For tough stains, like from wine, try blotting it with cold club soda and salt.

The Best Natural Carpet Cleaner Brands

Opt for brands that are fragrance-free and free of ingredients found in the Clean Beauty Checklist E-Book. Making your own carpet cleaner is the least toxic option, but if you’re looking for pre-made carpet cleaner solutions, check out the best brands here:

AFM Carpet Cleaner

This is a highly-concentrated odorless carpet cleaner that’s zero-VOC. This is the best pre-made option available.

Puracy Carpet Shampoo

This is one of the better pre-made carpet shampoos that I could find, although it does contain Benzisothiazolinone (BIT) which I prefer to avoid. BIT is potentially linked to lung damage when inhaled and is linked to allergic contact dermatitis. It’s best to only use this in highly ventilated areas.

Most other pre-made carpet cleaners on the market do not meet my standards. Even Biokleen (which is touted to be non-toxic) has 2+ ingredients that I prefer to avoid. [2] Grove Collaborative’s Carpet & Upholstery Stain Remover contains Benzyl Salicylate, which I prefer to avoid, however, this could be another “better” option.

DIY carpet cleaning solution

Carpet Refresher or Deodorizer:

For the best DIY carpet deodorizer, mix baking soda with natural dried spices or herbs, like rosemary. It’s best to avoid using essential oils, as these can stain. There are many other non-toxic pre-made carpet deodorizers available, like the Carpet Refresher from Aunt Fannie’s.

Homemade carpet cleaning solution

Tips for Effective Carpet Cleaning

Follow these cleaning techniques and maintenance tips:

  1. Always do a spot test first! Dampen a cloth with the solution to test it on the carpet. Wait overnight to see how it dries or if the carpet’s dye is impacted
  2. Clean immediately after a spill or stain.
  3. Synthetic vs. Natural: Natural fibers and synthetics may require different treatments.
  4. Read Instructions: Before cleaning any rug or carpet, if possible, read the cleaning instruction label to better understand cleaning instructions.
  5. Never mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar – this can create a toxic gas.
  6. Don’t add essential oils to your carpet cleaning solution – they can stain.
  7. Regular maintenance: If you struggle with allergies, clean your carpets often. Here are more tips for preventing allergies: Helping Hay Fever Naturally: 20 Holistic Tips For Seasonal Allergies
  8. Vacuum & Dust: Carpets trap dust, so make sure you vacuum and dust regularly.
  9. Focus on air quality: If possible, add a high-quality air purifier in each room of your home. You can learn more here: Best Air Filter Buying Guide.
  10. Proper ventilation: Open your windows and doors while cleaning your carpets to reduce indoor fumes.
  11. No-Shoe Policy: Avoid tracking in dirt, pesticides, and grime by taking off your shoes at the door.

You can try steam cleaning your carpets as well, but it’s best to work with a professional for this.

Never mix hydrogen peroxide + vinegar – even if other blogs say so! It creates a toxic acid that can be dangerous.

Final Thoughts - Non-Toxic Carpet Cleaner

Opting for non-toxic carpet cleaners is a smart move, whether you’re dealing with everyday spills, pet accidents, or deeply embedded dirt. These DIY & eco-friendly options not only rejuvenate your carpets but also create a safer space for your family. Opt for non-toxic options – you’ll be surprised with how well they work!

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Carpet Cleaning

Frequently Asked Questions – DIY Carpet Cleaning Solution

Click on the below FAQs to learn more about best carpet shampoo, carpet shampoos, best carpet cleaner solution, best carpet cleaning solution, carpet cleaning shampoo, products for cleaning carpets, homemade carpet cleaning solution, carpet cleaner solution, rug cleaning chemicals, homemade carpet cleaning solution, diy carpet cleaner, and best carpet cleaning solution.

Yes, DIY carpet cleaning solutions can effectively work on pet urine stains when addressed promptly and appropriately.

Yes, non-toxic carpet cleaners can be highly effective in removing stains, dirt, and odors while being safer for both your health and the environment.

No, you should not mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, since it can create peracetic acid which can be potentially harmful if inhaled or come into contact with the skin.

No, you do not need to use pre-made carpet cleaner solutions for carpet cleaner machines. You can use DIY or non-toxic alternatives that are compatible with the machine, provided they won’t void any warranty or damage the equipment.

Have you tried this homemade carpet cleaning solution?

Let me know your thoughts and key takeaways in the comments below!

You can watch our web story here.


Want to read more? Check out my other articles here!

Other references on DIY Carpet Cleaning Solution: Hoover, Bane-Clene, Little House Living, Aspen Clean, The Spruce, Business Insider, Mom 4 Real, EasyClean Solutions, End of Tenancy, Clean Mama, The Spruce, Insider, Happy Money Saver, Green Building Supply

Copyright In On Around LLC 2023 ©. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this website should not be used as individual medical advice and you should always consult your doctor for individual recommendations and treatment. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis. Related to this site, there are no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. In On Around LLC assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.

About Catherine Power

Catherine Power is the Founder and CEO of In On Around. She is a Harvard-educated Ingredient Safety and Environmental Toxins expert. Catherine has a background in Food Science, Personal Care Quality, and Regulatory Compliance.

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