Deep Clean Your Carpets Without Chemicals

Plastic cup with brown beverage and ice tipped over on carpet being blotted with paper towels

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Whether you’ve got pets, kids, or just a klutzy friend, chances are you’ve gone online and looked up, "How do I get a stain out of carpet" in the past few months.

Some of the results will tell you to bring in a professional, while others suggest all kinds of concoctions and old wives’ tales about what will work with certain stubborn stains.

For those who take the time to buy organic at the grocery store and shop at farmer’s markets, it seems a bit contradictory to turn around and pour unknown chemicals onto carpets every time a spill occurs. Think about the time that kids spend playing on the floor or that beloved pet cuddled up on the carpet. No one wants to worry about the chemicals in the carpet while playing Chutes and Ladders or petting Fido.

Here are five ways to deep clean your carpets without using mysterious chemicals, so that you can have both peace of mind and fresh, spotless home.

Homemade Vinegar-Based Cleaner

You knew it was only a matter of time until white vinegar showed up on the list, right? White distilled vinegar is a secret weapon to have in the pantry. There are deep carpet cleaner recipes available that include white vinegar, baking soda, and salt.

Deodorize with Baking Soda

Another secret weapon for cleaning is baking soda. A simple carpet-cleaning powder made up of a half a cup of baking soda with 10 drops of your preferred essential oil will quickly deodorize your carpet. Sprinkle it over the carpet and leave for at least half an hour, or longer if possible, then vacuum it up well. You can also use this process on the mats in your car.

Essential oil drops sprinkled into glass bowl of baking soda

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Carpet-Cleaning Machine

You can run your vacuum over the same spot in four different directions, or you can spot clean like crazy. Sometimes, however, the job calls for a carpet-cleaning machine. If you have a home that is mostly carpeted and you have pets and kids to clean up after, purchasing a carpet-cleaning machine or a vacuum with deep-cleaning options makes a lot of sense. If you don’t have a high-traffic home, renting a carpet-cleaning machine may do the trick. Just don’t buy the carpet cleaning liquid that is usually encouraged by the machine instructions; instead, make the one listed next

Homemade Detergent Cleaner

Isn’t it great when you can get a two-for-one deal? With this deep-cleaning homemade carpet cleaner, you can both save money and know exactly what is going into the cleaner. It costs around $1 per gallon. While this does include detergents and stain removers, at least you’ll know exactly what is going into it.

Ingredients laid on wooden surface for homemade detergent cleaner

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Bring in a Green Professional

Sometimes you don’t have the time or the willpower, to create your own homemade solutions and concoctions. You’ve already got enough on your schedule, and learning to clean carpets isn’t high on your list of priorities.

Thankfully, more and more professional carpet cleaners are becoming aware of the push for eco-friendly cleaning that is safe for kids and pets. Be sure to do your research about professionals that claim to be organic or chemical-free; some, unfortunately, use the terms loosely.