A Natural Alternative to Shampooing Your Carpet

Updated on November 26, 2016

A dirty, stained carpet can really distract from the appearance of an overall clean house. As a mother of 2 young boys, and 2 dogs (1 large, 1 small) I am no stranger to dirt, spills, and "whoopsies." After about 2 years of only spot cleaning our carpet, it was starting to look worn down and just dirty all over. I needed to do something about it.

Not only can the cost to rent a shampooer or steam cleaner be costly, you then have to buy their shampoo or cleaning solution to use with it. Many off the shelf carpet cleaners use chemicals to get your carpet clean. These cleaners sometimes actually leave a residue that can cause your carpet to get dirty again faster! Having small children who spend a large portion of their days on the floor and put everything, including their hands, in their mouths, make this even less desirable as I definitely don't want my kids or pets ingesting these chemicals.

Here's What I Use

After searching and asking around to my natural momma friends, here is the solution I ended up using that worked for me.

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup washing soda**
  • About 3 liters of hot water

*Add the ingredients in this order! If you add the water first, and follow with vinegar and washing soda you will overflow! I learned this the hard way.

**You can probably use baking soda instead if you prefer, but I haven't tried it.

To clean my carpet I used a friend's Kirby vacuum with the shampooer attachment, only instead of using their foaming shampoo, I used this. It wasn't foamy, but man was the water in that thing dirty, and my carpets haven't looked this good since we moved in! It took up all of the stains in our carpet, including a coffee stain that had been sitting for months, as I was too lazy to move the couches to clean it.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        mary 16 months ago

        Can you use cleaning vinegar?

      • Ken Burgess profile image

        Ken Burgess 3 years ago from Florida

        Great article, I've been doing more reading lately about how natural and non-toxic products work best... so many chemicals in our lives today, and we wonder why Autism and Cancer and so many other ills are running rampant... we eat crud, our air is toxic, and our homes filled with chemicals.

      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        Thanks so much. We do not have carpet but I am going to try this one my car seats. They are just embarrassingly dirty.

      • April Reynolds profile image

        April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

        Thanks! I think I'm going to give this a try too. Wonder if it will work on my sofa

      • pollobowl profile image

        pollobowl 5 years ago from North Carolina

        I have not tried it for spot cleaning. If you want to try it, you could always test it somewhere like a closet or some other discreet place to make sure it won't discolor your carpet. For spots (and I get a lot of them with 2 kids and 2 dogs) I use just regular club soda. It works as well as any chemical cleaner I've ever tried. It was actually recommended to me by a family friend who used to clean carpets professionally. Hope this helps :)

      • greenhealthguru profile image

        greenhealthguru 5 years ago

        Do you know if you can use this for spot cleaning also? We have a carpet with a lot of spots and we don't have a shampooer, I am wondering if I can use it on spots with out altering the color of the carpet.

      • pollobowl profile image

        pollobowl 5 years ago from North Carolina

        No problem! I hope it works well for you both!

      • profile image

        4youreyes 5 years ago


        This is great I've been looking for a all natural way to clean my carpets. Now I've a job to do thanks.

        Have A Good Day !

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

        Thanks much for putting this together for us. I am looking forward to giving this a try!