Clean carpets don’t stay that way very long in our home.  That’s why I was so thankful to my parents for letting us borrow their small carpet cleaner for a few months.  One of the first things I wanted to do was come up with a homemade carpet shampoo that I could whip up for small stains with ingredients we already had around the house.  After a few weeks of experience we had a formula that addressed stains and smells without having to rely on purchasing carpet cleaner that had undesirable chemicals.

We use white vinegar for its antibacterial property and its ability to remove smells.  We began with a simple half water and half vinegar solution.  This smelled really strong.  It definitely cleared the room for at least an hour until the smell dissipated.  We all knew the smell would go away.  It was just so uncomfortably strong.  Check out these other cleaning uses for vinegar in your bathroom and vanity.

So we cut out the vinegar and added a little hydrogen peroxide.  This provided extra stain lifting and diluted whitening power.  Obviously, this will be effective on very light carpet and rather destructive for darker carpet.  Use your judgement and test small, unseen spots before treating your carpet with hydrogen peroxide.  Of course, I turned to hydrogen peroxide since it does such a great job whitening my teeth and my laundry.

Sometimes stains were a little more greasy and substantial.  We found that a small amount of dish detergent helped cut the grease and gave that extra oomph that some spots require for removal.

Finally, we added a yummy scent.  Lavender is my hands down favorite.  It is so soothing and peaceful.  Choose the scent that you love the most and proceed from there.  You can skip the scent if you’re in a hurry.

Homemade Carpet Shampoo Recipe


  • 4 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide 3% solution (This is the strength you’ll get in the first aid section.)
  • 1 tablespoon dish detergent
  • 5 drops essential oil (if desired)


  1. Mix the ingredients well.  I shake mine thoroughly in a lidded mason jar.  This makes it much easier to distribute the cleaning agents into the water.
  2. Blend this mixture with 1-1/2 quarts of hot water.
  3. Use in carpet cleaner as directed by manufacturer.
Love essential oils? I’m a self-proclaimed oil-junkie! Read up on the brand of essential oils I absolutely love and currently use for everything from warding off strep, to eliminating my daughter’s asthma.

This recipe can easily be adjusted for full-size carpet cleaners.  Double or triple quantities as needed.

If you are concerned about discoloration, substitute vinegar for the hydrogen peroxide. But never combine hydrogen peroxide with vinegar.

Please make sure to leave a comment below to let us know how this homemade carpet shampoo works for you.

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