We give our steam cleaner a good work out. With three small boys, three cats, a dog, and two parakeets, we have to clean our carpets a lot. We go through a steam cleaner about every two years, when they break or wear out. I also get tired of paying the high price for carpet cleaning solutions, but I finally found an easy, inexpensive DIY cleaning solution that works as well, if not better, than commercial carpet cleaning solutions.
It actually happened by accident. I ran out of carpet cleaning solution one day and NEEDED to clean the carpet. I had some of my homemade general all-purpose cleaner on hand, so thought what the heck it probably won't hurt anything. I will be buying a new carpet cleaner soon anyway.
To my surprise, this all-purpose cleaner worked great in the steam cleaner. It got all the dirt out of the carpet and the carpet looked very clean and smelled fresh. Later when I did some research on homemade steam cleaning solutions, I actually found that many recipes called for these exact same ingredients, so I had been on the right track all along.
Here is the recipe for the all-purpose cleaning solution:
- 2 Tablespoons ammonia
- 1 teaspoon dish soap (any kind)
- 2 cups rubbing alcohol
- a few drops of your favorite essential oil (opt)
Combine the above ingredients in an empty gallon sized milk or juice container, and fill it up the rest the way with water. Walmart has many varieties of essential oils in their candle and potpourri section that you can use to scent cleaning solutions like this one. I found an orange cilantro scent that I really like and that smells clean and fresh.
Use this solution just like you would use any steam cleaning solution. This mixture is not concentrated, so don't add any more water to it when you put it in the machine.
What's great about this cleaning solution is that not only can you use it to clean your carpets, it is also a great all-purpose cleaner that is great for mopping floors or cleaning bathrooms. Now that is TRULY an all-purpose cleaning solution, and it is VERY inexpensive.
Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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