westside779

Carpet cleaner using detergent

Jody
4 years ago

I hope I am not putting this in the wrong forum, but I have only communicated with people in this forum, so I feel more comfortable putting it here.

I am buying a steam cleaner and have heard that you can make your own carpet cleaner using liquid detergent, Oxi clean and Simple Green.

Has anyone done this and does it work? If you have your own formula, will you share it with me please. The store bought cleaners are very expensive and frankly smell horrible.

Comments (53)

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    Jody thanked Laundry Mich
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  • Donna-37
    4 years ago

    I get a gallon of carpet cleaner, no foam formula at Home Depot for around $10.00.

    Jody thanked Donna-37
  • rpsinfoman
    4 years ago

    http://www.carpetbuyershandbook.com/carpet-cleaning/diy-carpet-cleaning/

    Wouldn,t recommend it. At minimum check the manufactures recommended cleaning methods.

    Jody thanked rpsinfoman
  • Jody
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thank you everyone for the replies. I have a lot to think about. I certainly don't want residue that is going to attract even more dirt. I will look at the home depot formula, thanks.

  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    Mich there's no phosphates in any thing anymore in the US.

    Jody thanked mamapinky0
  • Pawprint
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Let me say, always follow manufacture recommendations on what carpet cleaner soap to use in case you have warranty & repair issues.

    But for my Bissel Proheat, I use a few tablespoons of Fabuloso, oxi-clean & lots of hot water. Stir well. The oxi is gritty & takes a minute to dissolve. I like this mixture for easy cleaning.

    For heavy pet stains I still use the special Bissel Pet formula, but agree. $29.99 for a little bottle is excessive.

    Jody thanked Pawprint
  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    I've read that Fabuloso is great on pet odors in carpets. Wonder if the Mexican store has any carpet cleaner lol.

    Jody thanked mamapinky0
  • sparky823
    4 years ago

    Jody: I wouldn't tell you something that intentionally is going to mess up your carpet. I don't care if you use Bissell or Hoover or Sears brand carpet cleaning detergent if you don't rinse it in vinegar water you WILL HAVE leftover residue and you can feel it when walking through it. I actually talked to one lady at random in a store one day that worked for a cleaning service and she said they used nothing but Cascade in the steam machines. Made the house smell clean and the carpet was clean. I promise you won't smell the vinegar after it dries and you will be glad you used it. Now buy you some Bissell cleaner and a gallon of white vinegar. That way you are in the clear.

    Jody thanked sparky823
  • sparky823
    4 years ago

    Mitch: You are saying that detergent leaves residue, do you think Awesome doesn't leave any? I have actually taken the paint off an A/C return grill with Awesome before. Spray it on you and it is slick as glass and hard to rinse so just saying, all has residue but a vinegar rinse will stop that.

    Jody thanked sparky823
  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    I thought all of the newer carpet cleaners gave directions for clean water rinsing...once a detergent any detergent dries it attracts dirt, its also damaging to carpet to remain on it, makes the carpet stiff, and isn't healthy for pets in the home.

    Like clothing, your not going to wash them and not do a rinse right.

    As for distilled white vinegar, it leaves no scent after it dries, but you could use clean water as some carpet padding can be damaged with vinegar.

    Jody thanked mamapinky0
  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @sparky. When I use the "La's Totally Awesome" (what a mouthful) I'm diluting with almost 3 gallons of water with my machine. I have no idea what the normal machines hold, water wise.

    I'm using 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of Solution, to a gallon of water. It's fairly diluted. I also add a 1/2 a tablespoon of Fabric Softener to the "Water Recovery Tank" (dirty water) to prevent foaming, which can hurt the motor.

    I always just, go over the carpet once (after pre-treating anything bad) with the Carpet Cleaner & Soap... and then again, with just plain hot water, to remove any detergent residue which seems to be minimal.

    I'd actually avoid any product... containing "Sodium Carbonate" on your carpet. I just don't think, it'd do any good chemically, and might harm it. I'd try to stick with pretreating everything, and maybe using OxyClean as a pretreater from time to time, but not using it in a solution for your whole house.

    You don't have to use Vinegar. It'll help... but, so will plain water, and for me, it works. But... Vinegar will definitely help, if somehow your carpets become saturated with detergent. And once-again please... don't use, Laundry Detergent for your carpet.

    I've already received my security deposit on two places before. No problems with my method, and no Stanley Steamer, lmao.

    Jody thanked Laundry Mich
  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    I agree about the sodium carbonate in carpet...that would be almost impossable to remove and you will have a nice stiff carpet

    Jody thanked mamapinky0
  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    @Donna. I used to be able to find the Institutional Formula Shout Carpet Cleaner at Lowes years ago in gallon jugs. It worked wonderfully... I should probably go look again, sometime.


    Jody thanked Laundry Mich
  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    @mamapinky0... There's hidden phosphates in everything ;)


    You just have to know how to look ;)


    Lots of the LA's products, contain phosphates. Colgate & P&G are still using them in toothpaste. It's in my Cheerios. It's everywhere, lol :-)

    Jody thanked Laundry Mich
  • Jody
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I love the LA awesome as a degreaser. It is actually very hard to find where I live. As soon as it gets to the dollar store, people grab it up. I like the fabuloso idea too. I will use the vinegar rinse for sure.

    I have always used the red pro carpet cleaner you rent and always used the carpet cleaner sold with it. I never had a problem, I am just looking for ways to do the same good job for less money.


  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    Ya Mich and it makes me mad we can feed it to our kids but not wash clothes with it...there's just not any other some trace amounts in Detergents. Mich I don't think any detergent in the US has more than 0.07 trace amounts.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    @Jody, save save and save, and try to get yourself a Rug Doctor machine. There's also Black Friday coming up, which may be the perfect time to snap one up from Kohl's.


    You won't regret it. You'll have something that'll last forever, and will keep the largest investment (flooring) in your home, clean. And I mean, really clean.


    That... And it's awesome for cleaning the carpets in your car ;) There's a Audi dealership here, that uses them exclusively for detailing.


    I know I probably sound like a shill. But you'd love one of these machines ;)

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    @Jody, Dollar General sells the the "yellow" LA's totally awesome in a clear refill bottle. I think Walmart carries it as well, so there's two places to check.


    There extremely reluctant giving out MSDS sheets to anyone. But I know it has phosphoric acid. That's what the magic is, as well as a orange oil extract.

  • Jody
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    @Laundry Mitch, yes I would love one, but that is a very tough nut to crack right now. I may have to settle for something a bit less expensive right now, just like I had to settle for a Whirlpool washer instead of a Speed Queen. I know the washer was an emergency and the rug cleaner is not....we'll see. :(

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I'd also look into a Carpet Rake. Every month (or week) or so, you take the high traffic areas, rake the pile and vacuum them thoroughly.

    That prevents that God-awful, this area is dingy but the rest of the carpet is spotless look. It also allows you to actually get areas pretreated well, and save bits of carpet from getting permanently crushed.

    I grew up in houses, with wall to wall hardwood flooring. Not to hurt anyone's feelings, but I hate & hate the stuff to no end.

    Yeah. It's very nice looking. And it adds home value, that's for sure. But ugh.... It's hard as a rock, it never stays warm, and well... I've never been able to clean it the way I want to.

    Steam Mops are said to cause all sorts of issues. Even Martha Stewart did a piece on this. You're apparently not supposed to use anything with water on them. You're told to minimize anything involving water with them. And "dust" as much as possible.

    Just frustrating. I'd take carpet or marble tile anyday, just for cleaning alone :p

    Now I'll stop rambling... Lol.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The other most important tip, is to vacuum thoroughly before cleaning your carpets.

    This will remove most of the surface dirt.. and loosen up the embedded dirt.

    Any knowledgeable, well trained company you ever hire will spend much more time vacuuming before hand... Then actually steam-cleaning. Remember that ;)

  • sandy1616
    4 years ago

    I use charlies soap or Tide he powder to clean my carpets. I do go over them with plain water as a rinse. I've never tried using liquid as I would be afraid that the ingredients added to maintain viscosity would bond to the synthetic carpet fibers. Use very little detergent. My carpets are extremely light, almost an off white so I don't know if this would affect the color of a darker carpet.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @sandy1616, The problem with Tide Powder is it contains Zeolites & Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate).

    That stuff is hard to rinse to begin with. But imagine trying to do so with Carpet. You can't toss it into a machine to rinse and spin, over & over. Even if things looked rinsed, I'd worry about the residue left behind hurting the carpet pile.

    This is one of those things, where Citrates or Phosphates are going to work best. I'd really avoid the Sodium Carbonate, just because of the residue and toll it can leave on fibers.

    I have no idea personally what's in Charlie's Soap. But... I know it has a substantial amount of Soda Ash. Which... alone, I'd recommend avoiding for the reason above.

    For small patches of carpet. Yeah, go ahead with OxyClean... but don't do your whole house with the stuff. I think you'll have a disaster later on.

  • sandy1616
    4 years ago

    Tx Laundry Mitch. Husband is a commercial chemist. The polymers added to liquid detergents bond very well with the fibers most carpets are made from. I've never had a problem with sodium carbonate in any form but my main living area is vaccuumed 2x a day as I wear a lot of black and have dogs. For whole house cleaning we use activate plus which you may be familiar with :). For single rooms, heavy wear areas washing soda has done no damage. If not rinsed well I suppose there could be powdery residue. Charlies soap is coconut/ palm oil based soap, soda ash, some solvents and anti caking.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    Activate Plus. I do know what that is. It's a non-ionic surfactant. It's geared towards farming and agricultural use.


    Um... Are you saying, your using it to clean carpets?

  • sandy1616
    4 years ago

    Its almost straight enzymes. Geared towards odor neutralization and removal of organics. Can't think of an agricultural use.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    Let's get one thing over with. Anyone who tells you about some magical cocunut liquid or powder soap... Is talking about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It's no new wonder ingredient, it's been arround since the beginning of synthetic detergents made after the war.


    It's just a fun marketing Gimmick, because it's actually derived from coconuts. But it's nothing special.


    As for the Charlie's Soap. It's my opinion, that you'd be better off washing in just plain water then that horrid mess.


    It doesn't actually contain, enough ingredients to sequester and suspend hard water minerals, for the majority of water conditions found in American homes.


    Even in soft water, it's not something I'd be excited about. It's basically a blend of Soda Ash (Bulider), Some Surfactant, and probably metasilcates to prevent rusting/corrosion in a machine.


    Assuming you even had perfect conditions, cleaning performance on anything soiled would be mediocre at best.


    Realistically, you'd need Enzymes or some sort of other ingredient to actually provide some cleaning action.


    Detergent's from the 80's and 90's typically contained a mix of Surfactants, and Phosphates and this worked. It worked well. But... When you eliminate a good cleaning builder, it has to be replaced with something else.


    I'd run from the thought of Charlie's Soap. Any Kid in a garage with a basic understanding of Chemistry could produce something better.


    Heck... even a box of simple Table Salt, would produce similar results.


    I just don't understand how people get so excited about it. It's useless.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    @sandy1616, no surfactant is going to provide enzyme like performance.


    You need a bulider, to work alongside it. And even then... It's not going to work so great, unless it's a "universal" or "super" bulider like the Phosphates.


    You really need 5-8 different ingredients to replace, what one super-bulider can do. And Charlie's soap.. Doesn't have that.



  • sandy1616
    4 years ago

    @Laundry Mitch

    http://www.interconchemical.com/products/quarts-specialty-products/activate-plus.htm.

    That is activate plus. Cleaning carpet is totally different than cleaning clothing unless your the kinda guy who has an exclusively nylon and polyester wardrobe.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @Sandy... The "Active Plus" formula that I know of, is a commercial grade herbicide. It's about the one of the closest ways, someone could obtain pure-surfactant.

    https://www.winfield.com/cs/groups/lolweb/documents/web_content/mi0w/mdu3/~edisp/ecmd2-0057927.pdf

    With that said... the product you pointed a link to. Is completely different. It doesn't appear to be a herbicide, but instead of some sort of commercial cleaner for porta-johns & greasy pipes in restaurants.

    Before I even start about the formula itself. I'd like to say, I've never seen any product, that was just "straight-enzyme". Even if someone wanted to produce this, in a liquid... it'd be very unstable, and would have a extremely short shelf life.

    Most Laundry & Dishwasher Detergents containing Enzymes, are in the amounts of 0.01% or 0.02%, which from my testing... is about one or two small particles (almost the size of a grain of salt) per tablespoon, if that.

    I'm not sure, exactly what company pointed you in the direction of using "Active Plus" for household cleaning. But... I'd be quite concerned to use chemicals like that, anywhere near my textiles or flooring.

    Even... if you had access to pure surfactant. It wouldn't be enough on it's own to clean flooring. You'd need a builder. Without a builder, you'd have just surfactant action, with nothing to pickup the rest. Dirt *may* be loosened up, but it wouldn't be, grabbed onto by anything preventing resoiling.

    This just isn't a good idea. Whatsoever. Another thing worth noting... Not all surfactants are biodegradable. This was a huge problem in the 60's & 70's before, the United States & Canada passed laws, requiring the use of biodegradable surfactants.

    Basically after wash water went down the train. It'd go through sewer or water treatment, and survive the process. It'd then be discharged into our rivers & lakes, where persistent suds would wash up on shores.

    It was a huge mess. But... the biodegradable surfactants worked just as well. I'd be cautious of using, something like your using... for that reason alone.

  • Debbi Branka
    4 years ago

    I use a Hoover Steam Vac with Professional Resolve for Carpet Extractors liquid cleaner (Resolve-Professional-Extraction-Cleaner-Concentrate). Have had the carpet cleaner for years. When we bought our house, the carpet was disgusting. I thought we could only replace it (first picture). The second picture is after about 4 cleanings.


  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    Debbi, wow what an amazing job but we need to talk...about that pink chair, that is a mamapinky chair if ever I saw one lol.

  • xhappyx
    4 years ago

    I have been using laundry detergent in my hoover upright steamcleaner for years. I use All Free & Clear which is low sudsing (just make sure you get the HE compatible formula). I use about a teaspoon in the tank and the rest hot water. I do however rinse with going over my carpets a second time with just vinegar and water to rinse and deodorize my carpets. In high traffic areas, I add a bit of oxyclean to the tank with the laundry detergent and that helps a lot. I have never had an issue with it causing any problems for my machine nor on my carpets.

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    To reiterate this old thread.. I cleaned carpets over the weekend. This time using a 1-Gallon Commercial Carpet Cleaner Concentrate from Sam's Club, made by Ecolab. It's very concentrated, and seems comparable to other formulas I've used. I'd probably go for the Institutional Shout if you can find it in your area though.


    Anyway. While I was pouring in the solution.. a idea popped in my head. Why not add Oxygen Bleach & STPP? ;)


    I've seen a few carpet cleaning formulas that contain, straight Hydrogen Peroxide... and the truth is, if the water is truly hot-hot, the stuff will activate and do it's thing.


    So.. after boiling water on the stove (MamaPinky will love that).. I poured the two gallons of Water into a Bucket, and then poured in Two Tablespoons of STPP, 3/4 a cup of Hydrogen Peroxide, and 1-Cup of the Commercial Concentrate.


    Needless to say, I think I might be onto something. Mostly everything came clean with just one pass over, instead of multiple. And I feel like it pulled out a lot more dirt. The same solution was also a miracle for a few spots of upholstery, that regrettably had a little while to set in.


    I also went over the carpet afterwards, with Vinegar. And while there wasn't a ton of residue, I probably should have adjusted downwards on the Carpet Cleaner Concentrate.


    Anyway.. I thought I'd throw that out there, for anyone curious. I really don't like the thought of Sodium Carbonate in Carpet. And this might be a better solution. :)


  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    Oh.. and for any machine you use, I'd really suggest adding the small amount of Fabric Softener to the Dirty Water Tank. It'll improve suction, and prevent foam from ruining the motor.

  • a1an
    4 years ago

    For carpet cleaning, I use the following in my mix


    ultrapac

    citrasolv

    dry slurry

    bac out/bio kleen


    And FWIW. The dilute ration is 32:1 so it's really kinda cheap to use....well, a decent extractor not. But chemicals, IMO, cheap !

  • Harlow
    4 years ago

    I removed all my carpeting for health reasons, but before I removed it, I cleaned them myself. I did a lot of reading before I cleaned my carpeting myself. And I would recommend that to anyone. Specially made for carpeting shampoo is your safest bet. I liked to pretreat stains, and then spray the whole carpeting with the shampoo water let it sit a few mins, and use the machine to spray water, and extract. Then rinse again with vinegar water. And Mitch is right about fabric softener in the extraction (dirty water) tank, it works nicely to defoam. Don't mistake the shampoo tank with the extracted water. Fabric softener is a cationic surfactant, and cationic surfactants can damage the protective finish on carpet fibers. Unless your carpeting is so old, and you don't really care about It, I guess. I also wouldn't use sodium carbonate in carpeting, just too difficult to rinse and remove it.

    @Mitch, I think La's totally awesome is 2 butoxyethanol based. Also called butyl cellosolve. It is a glycol ester solvent. Also what Mean Green and Krud Kutter are made of. It is very effective at dissolving oil, grease, and a lot of stains. I believe carpet stain treatments like resolve and spot shot are 2 butoxyethanol based as well.

    IIRC, the Charlie's soap all purpose cleaner has butyl cellosolve in it as well. I haven't used and Charlie's soap products so I can't compare it to mean green or Krud kutter

    Idk if I should admit this or not....

    But diluted mean green makes a really nice laundry stain pretreater. The 2 butoxyethanol is heavy duty and a serious chemical, but I feel like I take precautions with rubber gloves, and minimize inhaling any spray. It was the only thing that dealt with my husband's neon work t shirts that had deodorant build up. After we married I took over his laundry. And his t shirts were other worldly in the underarm department. I couldn't toss them since they were specialty work shirts. Mean Green totally eliminated the build up.

  • Jody
    4 years ago

    I will never use resolve carpet cleaner again. It ruined my carpet in my old house; it actually turned the carpet a different color, like it was bleached somewhat.

  • sspeer9
    4 years ago

    I often pretreat with liquid Charlie's APC (indoor/outdoor now), oxy powder, and HOT water. Does a pretty darn good job.

    Rinsing is VERY important..Residue will just attract dirt. I always go over everything again with plain water.

    I tried using Tide years ago, and it took forever to get the suds out. I also had some type of industrial strength Arm and Hammer Pet oxy stain remover and to this day, I have a couple spots that still have residue from it

    Currently, I'm working through a couple bottles of BioKleen carpet cleaner..does on OK job for day to day stuff. By far the best stuff I've used is Bissell 2X Pro.

    I had/have an old Hoover SteamVac, but the nozzle broke, Ordered the part, but backordered.. It just showed up literally a year after I ordered it. I totally forgot about it.

    So I rented a Bissell Big Green machine from Lowes..and with the Bissell shampoo, it amazed me, I bought the home version (only difference is the non-detachable power cord). It's big, bulky and $400..but it literally saved me from buying new carpet


  • ci_lantro
    4 years ago

    I used Simple Green on a very light beige carpet; ended up with a light green carpet. Restored with multiple rinses.

    IMO, Simple Green is a pretty mediocre cleaner. I had only the one jug and after it was used up, never bought any more.

    Right now, I have some Zep carpet cleaner solution that I'm using in combination with Zep High Traffic carpet cleaner. (Home Depot carries both.) That works a lot better than whatever brand it was that I had before that.

    Have seen good reviews on Folex carpet cleaner (also at Home Depot) so I plan to give it a try next.

    I've had a couple of Bissell carpet cleaners and both gave me problems. Knock on wood, the used Hoover Steam Vac that I paid $15 for at a garage sale has been trouble free. I've already gotten more use out of it than I did either one of the Bissells plus the Hoover does a better job vacuuming up the water. The Bissells left the carpet just sopping and I would have to go over it with a wet/ dry vac.

    I don't care for the Resolve products that I have tried...Although it appears to clean quite good, the stuff that I have used is really sudsy and very difficult to get rinsed thoroughly. If you don't get the suds out, you have a dirt magnet in the residue.

  • stchuck14
    4 years ago

    I have been using dry slurry to clean my carpets for years and have been very happy with the results. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents :).

  • a1an
    4 years ago

    It's been ages since I've got the scientific wiki on the carpet cleaning products I use....I'm a sorta find a product I like, and then I'm more about process/workflow sorta guy. I don't use the wand/extractor as much as I don't have much carpet in the house. I do USE my sapphire upholstery wand alot with my cleaner though. Furniture, auto carpets, area rugs.


    Anyhow, sorta blown away by some of the responses in the intial part of this thread. This is a laundry forum afterall, but there are TONS of dedicated carpet cleaners out there - each with a specific purpose/stain.

  • mamapinky0
    4 years ago

    A1an, you will find this is a lot more thsn a laundry forum. .it a Family of Friends.

  • a1an
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    MP. What I meant by the last sentence of my post.....was that while quite a bit seem to have some level of success with laundry products for carpet, why not use carpet cleaning solutions that are dedicated for that ~medium~. Some of these dedicated carpet TLC are the cats paws when it comes to just that - cleaning carpet fibers...

  • sspeer9
    4 years ago

    I suppose there are similarities in that it's detergent and carpet is a textile in some sense. But there are considerations such as sudsing/rinsing and safety of stain protection and glues.

    Folex is pretty good, so is KidsNPets for odors.

  • Kathy W.
    4 years ago

    I just wanted to add that the LA Totally Awesome Carpet stain and spot remover took out old large royal blue latex paint stains on light brown carpet in a rental home we own amazingly well for me. I couldn't believe it! It disolved and removed that paint mess completely and relatively easily! I though for sure that bedroom carpet was a goner. I also find it works great on oil and grease type carpet stains. Great thread!

  • Laundry Mich
    4 years ago

    I forgot to mention my latest thing. The dirty water/recovery tank in carpet cleaning machines, can sometimes take on smell after being unused for extended periods of time. Even if wiped out thoroughly, and left clean.


    So... what I've been doing, is leaving a small amount of water in the tank, along with a tablespoon of Lemon Lysol Concentrate. This leaves a active-disinfectant, which prevents the growth of Mildew or Mold, and leaves the tank smelling Clean.


    Maybe it's overboard, but it makes me feel accomplished ;)

  • HU-207026232
    last month

    What is STPP

  • georgect
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @HU-207026232 STPP stands for Sodium Tripolyphosphate