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Non-Toxic DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner

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Toss toxic cleaners and dangerous chemicals! This recipe for non-toxic homemade carpet cleaner uses just 5 simple ingredients. It’s inexpensive and super effective!

DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner solution in a glass pitcher.

*This post was first published in March 2016. It was updated in May 2020 to reflect updated information and recommendations.

When we put our house on the market a few years ago, we had a few punch list items to go through to get our house ready to list, including steam cleaning our carpets, which (thanks to our adorable kittens and their less-than-adorable hairballs) had quite a few stains on them.

So we went to Lowe’s to rent a professional steam cleaner. But when we got home, we realized we forgot to buy the actual carpet cleaning solution. Doh!

Before and after photos of a homemade carpet cleaner solution.

So I decided to make my own and see what happened. As you can see from the photos above, the results were incredible!!

Turns out, after looking up the ingredients, we did ourselves a favor. The store-bought carpet cleaning concentrate was full of dangerous chemicals, like cancer-causing alcohol ethoxylates, endocrine-disrupting and allergy-inducing fragrance and environmentally-unfriendly copolymers and methylisothiazolinone. I dare you just to try and pronounce that last one.

RELATED:  DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Fortunately, I had all the makings of a super safe carpet cleaner in my pantry and medicine cabinet–all you need is:

I love buying oils at Plant Therapy, whose oils are 100% pure, free from any additives, adulterants, or dilutions. Their facility is USDA Certified Organic, and their prices are also SUPER reasonable! Get 10% off your order of $50 or more sitewide with the coupon code ROOT10!

Distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and essential oils on a table.

Not only was this DIY Homemade carpet cleaner just as effective (if not more so) than conventional store-bought cleaners, but it was WAY less expensive, infinitely safer and a breeze to make. Once again, I’ve found DIY recipes to be as easy as pouring liquids into a bowl and stirring.

You can swap out the essential oils you use if you prefer a different scent–something about citrus just smells clean to me, but lavender would be beautiful, too. To learn more about the benefits of essential oils, see this post on aromatherapy + my top diffuser picks.

Download a free copy of R+R's DIY Natural Cleaning ebook.

Where can you use this DIY homemade carpet cleaner?

You DON’T need a professional steam cleaner machine or shampooer for this to work–I’ve tried bottling the solution and just spraying it directly onto a stain, letting it sit and scrubbing with a bristle brush, and it works just as well.

Next time you reach for toxic store-bought carpet cleaner, give this a try instead. And share your results in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Don’t forget to check out these other DIY cleaning recipes. Happy Cleaning!

DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner solution in a glass pitcher.
4.46 from 11 votes
Servings: 52 oz
Non-Toxic DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner
Prep Time
2 mins
Total Time
2 mins
This recipe for non-toxic homemade carpet cleaner uses just 5 simple ingredients. It’s inexpensive and effective!
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large jug or pitcher and stir gently.
  2. Pour into carpet steam cleaning machine and use according to directions. Or apply directly to carpet stain and scrub with a bristle brush to remove.
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Cleaning
Author: Kate Kordsmeier |



DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner ingredients and before and after photos.

Natural carpet cleaner ingredients.

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

Kate Kordsmeier

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Recipe Rating

21 comments on “Non-Toxic DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner”

  1. Don’t do this!!!! Please remove this article for health reasons! This is a dangerous and toxic mixture. Vinegar and peroxide CANNOT mix. 

  2. This worked to get my carpets clean but now there’s a thick scum left in the container for the carpet cleaner. Seems like the soap clumped 

    • Hi, Caelin! Thanks for sharing. The soap shouldn’t have clumped at all so I’m wondering if it is a combination of the liquid and the dirt that was in the carpet itself. My advice would be to try to vacuum up as much dirt, especially in high-traffic carpeted areas before using this carpet cleaner in your carpet cleaning machine. Please let me know if that works!

  3. 5 stars
    great article for cleaners! Can you suggest to me how can I clean my trampoline

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe

  5. 5 stars
    Worked wonderfully well to clean carpets. I used Bronner’s lavender soap, so didn’t need the essential oils. Also skipped the hydrogen peroxide. The ratios recommended in the recipe for soap & vinegar were right on. Thank you

  6. 1 star
    Peroxide and vinegar mixed together create toxic fumes. This recipe is potentially dangerous. 

  7. Finally, a perfect carpet cleaning tip for me. I never thought it is possible, but after reading this I have tried and found an amazing results. It is much cheaper as compare to the solutions available in the market. It is less harmful, it has less side effects, and more importantly it cleans carpet very nicely.

  8. 5 stars
    I never would have thought I can make a cheap DIY homemade carpet cleaner just at home with no expense! These are really helpful and can save you an extra dime! Not that this is cheaper but this is also safer because normal products are surprisingly harmful.

  9. Okay what! This article is coming at the PERFECT time. We need to spot clean our carpets bad… toddler + dog = my floors are a wreck. I’m SO excited to try this out!

  10. 5 stars
    This is eye opening! I figured most mass-produced cleaning products were harmful so i’m always looking for good alternatives.

  11. 5 stars
    These are so helpful! I never realized how dangerous normal products are!

  12. You should NEVER EVER mix vinegar and peroxide!!! The chemical reaction is toxic!

    • Hi, Nicolle: Hmm, I haven’t heard anything about this in the research I’ve done. What kind of chemical reaction does it create that is toxic? Would love to learn more. Thanks!

    • 3 stars
      Correct. You are supposed to spray one first, let it sit for 5 minutes, wipe it off/down then spray the second one. You are to never mix the two together in the some container. It creates parecetic acid which can cause respiratory issues and irritate the skin.