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A Natural Alternative to Shampooing Your Carpet

As a mother to two young boys and two dogs, I'm no stranger to dirt and spills—here is my natural alternative to carpet shampoo.

Use white vinegar, washing soda, and hot water to make a natural carpet shampoo!

Use white vinegar, washing soda, and hot water to make a natural carpet shampoo!

DIY Kirby Carpet Shampoo Substitute

A dirty, stained carpet can detract from the appearance of a clean house. As a mother of two young boys and two dogs (one large, one small), I am no stranger to dirt, spills, and other accidents. After about two years of only spot cleaning our carpet, it was starting to look worn down and dirty all over. I needed to do something about it.

Not only can the cost to rent a shampooer or steam cleaner be costly, but also 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, makes this even less desirable. I definitely don't want my kids or pets ingesting these chemicals.

Instructions for Natural Carpet Shampoo

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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


mary on December 24, 2016:

Can you use cleaning vinegar?

Ken Burgess from Florida on May 16, 2014:

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.

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Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 23, 2012:

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 from Arizona on September 02, 2012:

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

pollobowl (author) from North Carolina on August 29, 2012:

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 on August 29, 2012:

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 (author) from North Carolina on August 21, 2012:

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

4youreyes on August 21, 2012:


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 on August 21, 2012:

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

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