Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Carpet Spot Cleaner

 I've been using a DIY carpet spot cleaner for a while now, and for the life of me I can't remember where I got the original recipe.  So...

Dear Person Who Originally Made This Carpet Spot Cleaner,
If by a 1 millionth chance you stumble across this blog and see that I did not give you any credit, please know that I am not plagiarizing on purpose.
A women who recently lost all her brain cells due to a new carpet cleaner

So here is the carpet cleaner I use.
1 1/2 quarts of hot water
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1 1/2 Tbsp. of white vinegar
a few drops of an essential oil such as tea tree or on guard (optional)

WARNING: hydrogen peroxide can act as a bleaching agent.  If you have darker carpet you should test this mixture before using it all over your carpet. 

Like I said, I have been using this for awhile and I love it.  I use it with my Bissell, but you can put it in a spray bottle, spray the spot and scrub with a carpet brush, then blot it dry with a clean rag.

Recently I was able to really put this stuff to the test.  Long story short, the carpet in one of our rooms turned brown due to a leak in the roof.  A professional carpet cleaner came over to deep clean the carpet and make sure mold wasn't going to grow.  Before he left, he told me the brown spot may come back again, once or twice, and he left some of his carpet cleaning solution so I could scrub the carpet myself and not have to call him to come back. 

Two days later the spot came back and I wanted to see how my simple DIY carpet cleaner measured up to the heavy duty professional cleaner.

So I got my Bissell and my bucket of the professional stuff and headed upstairs.

I'm not sure why my camera refused to get a good photo of the brown stain, but if you look hard enough you can see the brown, especially towards the baseboard on the top right.

I poured the professional stuff into my Bissell and scrubbed half the floor. I cleaned out my Bissell, refilled it with the DIY stuff and scrubbed the other half of the floor.

The Verdict:  The professional stuff was crazy.  I slightly touched the carpet and the stain was gone.  It took no effort on my part to get the brown stain up.
The DIY took some scrubbing for the brown to come out. But it did come out, and the carpet is just as clean as the professional stuff. 

So even though it takes a little more effort, I'm going to stick with the DIY carpet cleaner.

However, just 2 days after this incident my trusty DIY carpet cleaner failed me.  *sigh*

My son painted a picture at school that day, and even though he washed his hands at school, drove all the way home, washed his hands at home then had a snack, he still managed to get red paint on the carpet.

To add insult to injury, I mowed a wet lawn that day and without thinking, walked across the carpet with wet grass on my shoes. I didn't notice any of this until the next day so these stains had a good 24 hours to set in.

I tried my DIY carpet spot cleaner but it did nothing on the paint and it sort of lightened the grass stain.

 For the last few months I kept seeing a carpet cleaner on pintrest but I always ignored it because it involves ammonia. I have never used ammonia and was never planning on it.  I have always heard how strong the fumes are and I was afraid that if I ever used it, my overly sensitive nose would pack up and walk right off my face. 

However, I needed something more heavy duty since my DIY had turned it's back on me in a time of need (ice cream anyone?)

I know what your thinking, why didn't I just use more of the professional stuff that the carpet guy had left?  While that would have have been the logical thing to do, I foolishly thought I wouldn't need anymore and had dumped the rest out.

So here is what I tried. 
fill an empty spray bottle with
1 part ammonia 
1 part hot water
spray the spot liberally
lay a clean towel on the spot and iron the spot
the stain will be absorbed into the towel

So I bought a small jug of ammonia and went to find a spray bottle. I really should buy more of these because I can never find an empty one. 

I ended up using my sons spray bottle that he got for his birthday.  It goes with a kids gardening kit. 

I prepared myself for the worse and opened the ammonia bottle..... I should have prepared harder. 

Those fumes were like a smack punch sledge hammer to the face.  My sinuses immediately started to burn and I felt very lightheaded. 

I decided to work as fast as I could.  I mixed up the water and ammonia and sprayed it on the paint and grass stain.

My iron was already on and hot so I ironed as quickly as I could.  If I had been in my right mind I would have known not to lean directly over the iron because as we all know, when something hot hits something liquid we get whats known as steam, and I got a lovely ammonia steam facial.  

The fumes and I then floated over to the next spot and worked quickly, doing what I could to avoid another blast in the face.


The Verdict: It worked wonders.   It got out the paint and the grass stain in just seconds.  However, I had a headache the next day and it was 2 days before my sinuses felt normal.

If I use this carpet cleaner again I will play it safe and wear a haz mat suit.


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  3. Really impressive post..i will keep in mind these info when doing my carpet cleaner work..thanks you share..!!!!

  4. Your carpet looks really clean and brand new! It’s as if the spots weren’t even there! I should try doing that DIY carpet cleaner mix next time!

    Kirk Kubik

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  7. Hmm… it really did wonders, Jannie. Comparing the before and after pictures, it looked like the paint and grass stains didn’t leave a mark. You did a good job on that! Though next time, I think you should wear some protective gear, like a face mask, so that you won’t directly inhale the strong smell of ammonia.


  8. The DIY worked wonders, but it seems it can only do so much. It’s great that it worked as fine as the professional stuff when it came to stains, but you definitely need a different approach for tougher ones. It’s great that you have another method available, in situations where you run out of the branded cleaner. Thanks for sharing!

    Sheryl Patton @ Xtreme Clean

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