Carpet Cleaning

Before I do the unthinkable and show you my carpets, let me explain. I have 4 kids under 5. (Although, the Little Miss will be 6 next month, which kind of makes me sad.) And I have 2 dogs. And I’m clumsy. So, lots of spills. Second, my carpets are cheap. And I rent, so there is no replacing them. Yes, in an ideal world, I wouldn’t have cheap beige carpet, but my world isn’t ideal. My world just is. I am thankful for a home, even if I don’t own it. And I do absolutely everything I can to make our rental house a home. (I do occasionally get pretty bummed about the whole renting thing. Then I remind myself that I’m not in a tent in the desert following a cloud, and I realize I’m extremely fortunate for God’s provision, even if it isn’t a home we own and even if our rent is astronomically expensive. God has been faithful to provide for us each step of the way and this is not the worst place I’ve ever lived, though pretty close to the most expensive.)

I’m going to share with you my carpet cleaning tips and tricks. Bear in mind, my carpet is cheap and awful. There isn’t much I can do to make it worse than it already is. Also, using anything other than the carpet cleaner made by your steam cleaner manufacturer voids the warranty. But if you want clean carpets, their stuff just won’t work. So, you can either void the warranty and have clean carpets. Or follow their rules and still have stained ugly carpet.

** Update: If you’re looking for a natural cleaner, go see my post over here. **


These are the before pictures. I know. Don’t judge me. 4 kids. 2 dogs. Clumsy me. Plus we host a lot. Okay, I’m justifying. But this carpet has made me a carpet cleaning pro. I clean it often. I do this thorough steam clean about every 2 months. (Yeah. I know.)

Step 1: Clean you carpet with your steam cleaner with one scoop of OxiClean in the hot water. Do not use off brand OxiClean. Only use the real stuff. Believe me. The cheap version leaves a white residue on stuff. Plus it smells weird. So good stuff only. And when I say “clean your carpet” know I refilled my steam cleaner 6 times to get step 1 done.

Tip: Don’t forget your shoes are wet when you step from the carpet to your linoleum/hard woods to dump and refill. You’ll get hurt.

After you steam clean with OxiClean, you’ll look at your carpet and it will be miles better. At this point, some people would stop. Not me. Clearly it is better, but it isn’t great just yet. (And believe me, I do know that some amount of staining is just inevitable and I can live with it.)

Step 2: Get a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush (I use some cheap dish scrubber I got at Dollar General the one time I was in that store.) and scrub the spots that didn’t come up. Today, I had several spots of chocolate. Why not scrub first? Well, over half of the “stains” on the carpet will come up with the steam cleaner, as you can see. So, saving the spot scrubbing cuts down on the number of spots you scrub. Don’t be afraid to get the carpet wet and soapy.

Step 3: Rinse your carpet with the steam cleaner. I rinse one time with just hot water in the cleaner. Then I go over it a second time with a few shakes of tea tree oil in the water in the steam cleaner. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial. Since I have a crawling baby and a toddler who often eats off the floor, I like feeling like my carpets actually are clean, not just look clean. Plus, the tea tree oil makes  the carpet smell really great. So, if you’re keeping count, that is 8 times I have filled up the steam cleaner. And yes, a couple hours of work. I didn’t claim it was easy. Just awesome.

Make sure you let it dry a bit before you put your furniture back in. (Tip: If any of your furniture is metal or has metal on the base, let the carpet dry COMPLETELY before putting the furniture back on it. Trust me, it will rust. And rust is not a stain that comes COMPLETELY clean.)

143 Replies to “Carpet Cleaning”

  1. I’m trying this this weekend. I’ll let you know if that 2 year old coffee stain finally comes up!

    1. We’ll be carpet cleaning buddies! I’m cleaning mine this weekend, as well. (I got a new fancy schmancy carpet cleaner for free to review. And just in time, my in-laws are visiting this weekend, so it is a good time to clean the carpets.)

      1. I started with reviewing the things I was buying. Some things I review here on my blog. Other things I would review on Amazon or wherever I purchased the item. Over time, my Amazon review ranking went up, my blog got more hits, and I started being able to review things given to me. I still review things I buy. But reviewing just has to be something you enjoyed in the first place. You need a blog, for sure. But you need to like the process, even when things aren’t free for review.

      2. I review items, so occasionally I am given free items in exchange for my review. (And then clearly I set out to see if they can be destroyed by not following the directions.) I got this steam cleaner free for review through the Amazon Vine review program, which I am no longer a part of.

    2. This article should have more info. Please good read this before anyone tries the oxi clean or other harsh cleaners. These carpets look great now however as soon as you get them professionally cleaned with steam more than likely you will get spots from where the residue has remained for years and it will list the color right out of the carpet. It’s like cleaning a shirt or blouse that says dry clean only but some people feel they can clean them themselves. Sure sometimes that works however more often than not it destroys the garment. Please understand there’s a reason we are called professional carpet cleaners.

      1. LOL, LINDSEY! You little rebel! I have the same carpet, and I rent. 3 kids, 1 dog and a diesel mechanic husband! No matter how many times you hire a “professional” carpet cleaner. At some point in time the stains will resurface, that’s why I have decided to just do this junk myself. I was sick of spending money only to see another stain appear that I know had been there years before me and my family moved in. Thanks for the tips!

        Sorry, gotta go get the dry cleaning out of the wash!

      2. Weird every time we have got our carpets professionally cleaned or rented an apartment where it’s been professionally cleaned it dirties so fast. I feel like old stains resurface or there is some kind of residue left on the carpet that you can feel and the dirt just sticks to it. When I steam clean I don’t have that issue. I know this is an old post but I’m glad I found it since I planned to try OxiClean ….after blotting a spill the other day with it I realized how well it worked… I know they have a carpet cleaner now too.

  2. Thanks for the clear directions. I’ve been looking for an alternative to the carpet shampoo that doesn’t work. I’ll be trying this next week. My carpet is pale gray and my 2-year old grandson did a number on it when they lived with us for a while! My carpet cleaner is old and out of warranty anyway.

  3. I have been reading horror stories of people using oxiclean on nylon carpets and turning them orange, or bleaching parts of them to white. Have you ever had any problems with this? I am desperate to clean our terribly stained carpets and the shampoo does NOT work. I want to try oxiclean but am quite nervous as we rent and cannot afford to replace the carpet should we completely ruin it.

    1. I have never had issues with the OxyClean turning my carpet strange colors or lightening in spots. The key with OxyClean is to use just enough. You don’t want to add 2 scoops, thinking, if one is clean, 2 will be super clean! You’ll end up with white residue everywhere and possibly the color issues. You just do one scoop of OxyClean, halfif you are feeling particularly nervous. You’ll just have to go over and over and over the carpets.
      We also rent. I was nervous to try cleaning my carpets with non-approved cleaner, too. I just figured I couldn’t live with my crappy carpets any longer and if I loose my security deposit keeping my junk carpets clean, so be it.
      I have one spot in my bedroom that both faded and turned bit orange around the edges. In my desperation to get up a truly awful stain left when our giant dog got sick, I turned to some diluted bleach. That was not a good idea. In fact, it was a pretty bad one. Don’t do that and you should be fine.
      I have also tried spot cleaning with Shout and similar products for Clothing stains. It didn’t really work as well as you would expect.
      If you’re really nervous about the OxyClean, try a small are of carpet.(make sure you’re using proper dilution) steam clean the inside of a closet or something to see if the carpet is going to do something crazy.

    2. Could also be the oxy brand at the dollar store that does that, I’m not sure but could be 🙂 I’d stick with the good ol brand at the grocery store 😉 now if your carpets are a brown, green, any color like that I would most definitely test an inconspicuous spot!!!

  4. Now that’s a professional carpet cleaning job! I for one know how hard it can be thoroughly clean dank, dirty carpets, and really work the cleaning agents into the carpet fibers. With all my carpet cleaning clients I also make sure to use a little tea tree oil in the second steam clean – it really makes a difference!

  5. Thank you – I appreciate your thorough listing of all the steps you took, especially the rinsing step. I’d read this was critical to cleaning carpets correctly with Oxiclean, but your pics are proof positive. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for sharing. That’s a very profressional job you have done! The tea tree oil is very good advice – especially as if, as you say, young children are using the carpets as plates!

  7. Just a silly question that could lead to a huge mistake… In step 1 you said use 1 scoop but the you said you refilled you tank 6x does that mean you used 6 scoops total to get the entire area done or was that 1 scoop for the whole carpet and the others were just water to rinse carpet?
    Second question. In step 2 the soap in your water what did you use?
    I am getting my off white highly stained carpet ready so I can put the house on the market and not have to give a couple thousand in carpet allowance.
    Thank you for answering my questions and possibly avoiding a huge mistake in how much Oxiclean I put on the carpet

    1. Good questions! I use 1 scoop of OxyClean each time I refilled my steam cleaner, with the exception of the tea tree oil rinse step. I use regular blue Dawn as the soap to spot clean. You can use any dish detergent you have, but plain blue Dawn is awesome for difficult stains. (I use it on clothes, too.)

      1. Thank you I am at the store now buying the Oxyclean. I wonder have you used this process and had any success on rubbed in ink stains? My 4 yr old chewed on a pen, broke it open, dropped the ink charger on the floor and the proceeded to spit out the bad tasting ink. Then for a finale she was kind enough to open my table linen drawer and use an antique lace table cloth to clean up the yucky ink. Once she properly ground it into my carpet she came to get me from the laundry room to show me her amazing cleaning job. Oh and gave me the very naughty yucky tasting pen that was at fault. So among life and pet stains I am hoping this process will help with the ink disaster. I guess my rather lengthy question is do you know if this will work on ink?

    2. On the ink stains soak with rubbing alcohol, as the stain starts to bleed loose dab up with cotton rag or I like to us Vivi paper towels that can be thrown away! I also use this on clothing that get ink on it!

    1. This was with the Hoover Max Extract 60. I really like the spinning brushes on Hoover steam cleaners. I just received a Bissell Deep Clean Lift Off Deluxe Pet that I am excited to try out. (The Hoover didn’t die or anything, I was sent the Bissell for reviewing purposes.)

      1. I am assuming you put the oxy directly in the water tank? And if you do what do you put in the small soap dispenser tank/compartment?

      2. I have a ProheatPet Bissell that I just bought and have gone through so much of the cleaning solutions and only really have done two carpets in my house. I am not impressed with the cleaning solutions and still have stains on the carpets even when using the special pet scrubbing handle. I have 3 seatings on my carpet cleaner and if I understand the directions the settings are for how much solution comes from the spot you pour the cleaner with water in. I was thinking if I do it the way you do and put in with the big water tank that I would just put my setting on the water rinse. I am going to buy some Oxiclean today and try it on other areas of my house this week. Also where is the Tea tree oil located at in the store usually?? Thanks so much for your help.

      3. It is an essential oil, so check the organic/natural section- possibly with the bath and body products in that section. Or head to a store like Whole Foods.

  8. great job and don’t forget even if your carpets don’t look dirty carpet cleaning is a service recommended for households once a year in order to extract all the dirt, stains, grit, sand, and allergens, which accumulate over time from regular use

  9. Ok , so stupid question. Do you put the one scoop of oxiclean in with the rinse water, the larger holder on my machine or do you put it in where the cleaning solution goes and just water in the rinse area. Also I have options of level of cleaning like heavy traffic, normal and light. I would assume to use the heavy traffic.

    1. I put the scoop of OxiClean in the large rinse water part. When I have put it in the cleaning solution part, it doesn’t get diluted enough and just kind of sits there. It mixes in with the rinse water better.

      The setting is up to you. I do the higher setting on my downstairs carpet, but usually just a regular strength on my upstairs carpet since it doesn’t take quite the abuse of my downstairs carpet.

  10. Also a solution of 1 part peroxide and 1 part ammonia is an amazing stain remover. Open a window for ventilation. And the stains won’t come back to the surface. Then clean. But make sure oxyclean is ok with ammonia. (Clear non-sudsy ammonia only)

    1. I’ve never tried ammonia, but after my home birth, I did have to do some spot cleaning with peroxide. It worked beautifully. I have also used a peroxide/baking soda/Dawn mixture on my boys’ mattresses to get urine out. It works. Gross that I know that, but it does.

  11. Hi there. You mentioned in an earlier comment that you now had a Bissell Deep Clean Lift Off Deluxe Pet – how did this compare to the hoover?

    1. The Bissell cleans really well. I didn’t have to repeat cleaning as many times as I have to with the Hoover. However, the Bissell is much more difficult to maneuver. The shape of the Bissell makes it more difficult to use. It is also heavier than the Hoover, which adds to the maneuverability issues.

      1. Just tried your method on half of our carpet–THRILLED!!!!!
        I just got a new Hoover power scrub deluxe and LOVE IT!! Between ur steps and the new cleaner my life has just been madecwaaaaay easier. Thanks Lindsey!
        I have a Bissell lift-off pet cleaner and was really disappointed with it as an upright. The brushes were not auto-spinning so only rolled forward as I moved the machine. So really did no scrubbing at all. It is handy for the lift off portion though.

  12. New Puppy popoo on beige carpet. Was a smeary clean up and stains persist. I have tried everything. It has been cleaned many times but brown stain persist. Any suggestions. I plan on trying the oxyclean method.

    1. I, unfortunately, had a similar incident when *someone* decided to switch the dog’s food. If you’ve ever seen the size of an old english sheepdog, you can imagine the mess. I used just hot water to get the initial mess up. Once there was no longer, um, substance (shiver), I started the OxyClean process. I skipped the Dawn detergent part, because there were no little random things to get up, just one giant mess. It took me a few more passes than normal, but it did clean out with OxyClean. I also tripled the tea tree oil after that one because of the smell and ick factor.

    2. Feces is the worst. It stains.
      You do have to get as much out as you can asap. Here’s what is recommended by for professional cleaners using the Host Dry Extraction carpet cleaning system. 1) Clean with spot remover, gently brushing it in and blot. 2) Clean with ammonia and blot. 3) Add Host pre-clean and blot. 4) rinse with water and blot. 5) Clean with Host sponges – a plant-based fiber which contains moisture and detergent – available at some vacuum cleaner stores. Allow to dry completely and vacuum.
      It’s a long process – and some stain may remain.
      In CA – North Bay Area, just call me.

  13. I googled cleaning carpets with oxyclean and your post came up. I followed you directions today! I did one wash, using oxyclean, and 2 rinses. It worked well. I have pink (I did not choose the colors in the house! We can’t afford to replace them yet) carpet in my living area and entrance and mint green in my family room. The oxyclean did not hurt the colors for those who are wondering. My carpets are over 15 years old, and we have 7 people in our house (3 of them young boys!). My carpets are nasty and I haven’t been good at cleaning them. But they look better now than they did this morning. And they look better than they ever have after a cleaning. Thanks!

    1. I put it in with the water. When I put it in the cleaning solution container, even if I mix it with a little water, it always gets thick and doesn’t seem to mix well. So, I just put it into the clean water part.

  14. My Hoover doesn’t have a clean water tank, just one where I add the cleaning solution & add water to it. Should I add the oxi clean since its my only option? I have cleaning solution tank & dirty water tank-that’s it.

    1. Then, yes, I would add it to the cleaning solution tank. As long as you can add water, you should be fine. Use hot water and the oxiclean will dissolve quicker, too.

  15. Wow! You work really hard to have clean carpets. I admire your determination to have your floor clean for your young children.
    My concern is that you use so much water. The danger is that if the water doesn’t dry out completely in 24 hours, you risk mold and mildew in your carpet, backing and pad. That’s probably more harmful than the soil you removed and it won’t come out.
    Consider a much dryer method of carpet cleaning, which uses 1/10 of the water and cleans better. Check out the video demonstration at
    If you’re in Northern California, call me. As a part-time pastor myself, I’ll extend a generous clergy discount.

    1. I understand your concern about mold. We live in a coastal area, so this is an ongoing battle. One thing to remember is that she uses tea tree oil in the rinsing process. Tea tree oil kills and prevents mold from forming. Depending upon the concentration of tea tree oil to water, there should be enough to prevent mold throughout the drying process.

  16. Thank you for your post. I am about to clean my carpets and will use your method. My carpets are light like yours. I also like what you said about your life and how the Lord is providing for you. I live in fl. now and hate it but I am also thankful to God for his provision and hope that I can go back to pa. one day.
    I will keep you in prayer about your situation and that you are blessed. Take care and again Thanks!!

  17. Thanks for the post. My husband and I put an offer in on a house and the carpets are in really terrible shape. The home had renters as the previous tenants and they did a number on the place. Because of the cost involved in replacing 3000+ square feet of carpeting, we were hoping for a miracle way of cleaning. I plan to try this as soon as we finish closing, but my question was; do you know a way to get out sticky, clump spots. I’m not sure how to describe it…..looks like someone spilled something on the carpets and its now just completey smashed matted spots all in the upstairs bedroom. I have no info on the age or grade of the carpeting, but to me it looks to be on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Any words of wisdom to help me???

    1. The step to scrub with Dawn dish soap will help those spots. It should help break up the gunky stuff. If your steam cleaner has an upholstery attachment, you can spot clean those spots as much as it takes to get clean.

  18. pure lemon juice will get most rust stains out of carpet. I was skeptical but it worked for me!Squeeze the lemon on it,squash it in and blot up – repeat! It took a couple times but it all came out and mine was from cleaning the carpet and putting the metal legged coffee table on the wet carpet. Just thought to share since it worked for me!

  19. Thank you for sharing your expertise on home carpet cleaning. I had a large family room area rug that desperately needed cleaning. I too was concerned about mold and mildew from so much water but also about ruining my hardwoods underneath it. I cleaned my kitchen floor and then rolled my area run into the kitchen and began the process you described. I tried a little experiment though. The first application of cleaner in the machine, I used the recommended type of carpet cleaner for the machine. The water was dirty but my carpet still looked soiled.. The second time, I filled the machine with Oxiclean and hot water and the water in the return tank was unbelievably dirty. Then I rinsed it with just the hot water. That was the most amazing part to see. The return tank was simply filthy. It just goes to show you how much more powerful the Oxiclean is than the commercial cleaners. Then I let the top air dry some and pulled both ends up toward the middle so the back of the area rug could dry. I’ll continue this process until all areas of the back can dry. It made for a long process but I certainly feel satisfied.

  20. Just thought I’d leave a note on the part about not putting your furniture back until it’s dry. I always have to put mine back to get things out of the way so I always put any of the feet of my furniture on pieces of aluminum foil it doesn’t rust.

  21. Thanks a lot for the tips you shared. This is really helpful, I accidentally spilled ink while I was refilling my pen when suddenly my dog pet jumped in my arms, and using the tips you mentioned here, my office carpet seems a new one.

  22. This is awesome… I began reading and I swear it sounds like I wrote it myself. 3boys (two teens -just as messy :)) 2dogs and even with all the first stain we got was from my own orange juice ugh! Anyways your carpet looks great after. Oxyclean it is!! Thank you. P.S. i use mr clean (the teal mr clean one) for spot cleaning here and there and sucker works magic! Its like a little bald mr clean comes out of the spray nozzle and works his muscle on that stain himself :))

  23. Thanks for such a wonderful post. I really like the information which you have shared in your post.

  24. Thanks for this guide. I too have had dogs with issues and not much seemed to work. I just did the oxi clean and it looks great. My only question is do you put any sort of detergent in the detergent bin? I did because I wasn’t sure, but I figure I am wasting some money doing it, but wasn’t exactly sure

      1. Lindsey, I love your posts and very timely. I am in the process of buying a carpet cleaner and can’t decide between the hoover Steamvac and the Bissell. Can you recommend the machine you like the best and that you think does a better job? I was able to borrow my friend’s Hoover Steamvac yesterday and it did a wonderful job but there were a few puppy accidents that I couldn’t get up so not sure if it was the machine or just the stains. I do have very cheap Berber carpet and it is a bear to keep clean but an’t afford to get buy new carpet right now. And thank you so much for the Oxiclean idea. I will try that today

      2. I was given both a Hoover and a Bissel for review purposes. I used the Bissel all the time. I just like it more. The Hoover did a good job, and I wasn’t disappointed with it. But when I have both, I choose the Bissel every time.

  25. We stumbled over here different page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

  26. I tried this and my carpets looked phenomenal. Good as new. For one whole day. By the time they were dry, the stains had come back. Not quite as bad and the carpet smelled much better. It also took out a lot of dirt. Evidenced by the black water. But still a little disappointing.

    1. Sorry to hear that! I haven’t ever noticed that with mine. I have heard that from professional carpet cleaners. They say there just isn’t enough water used in a non-commercial machine. I have not found that to be true for mine, though. They come clean. Stains only reappear when kids and pets make more.

    1. Whole Foods or stores like that. You can also buy from if you wanted to buy Young Living brand. (Tea tree oil is also called melaleuca.)

  27. Gpd Bless you and your ministry !!!
    I have a question regarding the OxyClean that you use. You mean the OxyClean that you normally put in the wash load on laundry day, right? It’s like an additive that boosts your laundry detergent. I buy the laundry detergent that OxyClean makes. I guess there are 2 different kinds. Also, do you use the powder or the liquid for the 1 capful per hot water fill up in the carpet cleaner. Also, do you put anything at all in the detergent holder? THANK YOU Soooo much!!! I have a puppy that has finally been house trained … That ammonia smell is horrible! I had my carpets professionally done and now the odor is sitting there refusing to leave !!!

    ~ Tamera Sawyer

    1. Yes, the OxyClean additive not detergent with OxyClean. I add it in with the clean water because the powder doesn’t dissolve well in the detergent compartment. I use one scoop of the OxiClean powder in with the clean water in the tank.

  28. Do you know roughly how many sq ft that room is? Cause I refill mine 4 times (2x with shampoo, 2x with water alone) to do my living room. I want to try with oxiclean as you suggest on the next round. This is my first month using a steam cleaner and we’re just trying to hang in there with these carpets for a few more years…they’re pretty gross. My living room is about 200 sq ft. Thanks.

      1. Thanks Lindsey Jane (and pastor!). I guess that means I need to go a WHOLE lot slower when I do it with the oxyclean because that is about the same size and a lot more emptying and refilling. It takes me about 3 hours to do the floor with the shampoo and water- will let you know if the oxiclean works/takes longer… I’ll probably start with a test patch- unlike my hair, the carpet can’t grow out. I never used to do the test patch when I dyed my hair… too much random right now. Must drink more coffee. Blessed Sunday to you!

      2. I do go very slow when I clean the carpet. The pros have super high powered machines. A home steam cleaner just doesn’t have the same power. So go slow! Spray forward, pause to let it sink in a bit, then slowly suction it back up. Carpet cleaning is an all day event here. (For both this room and my dining room. Who on earth thought carpeted dining room floors were a good idea?!)

  29. Thanks for your post. I really like the information which you have shared in your post. Keep sharing such informative post in future also.

  30. Thanks for your post. I really like the information which you have shared in your post about the carpet cleaning

  31. I just found this post and I think we must be related somehow haha!! I also have horrible, cheap, beige carpet in my rental with 3 boys (one is a mechanic so you can imagine), 5 cats and a large dog. I loved reading your part about remembering that you could be out in a tent somewhere as I, too, get so frustrated and depressed about paying a ridiculous amount for rent every month! I would like to maybe make you feel a bit better 🙂 when I admit that your before photos are NOTHING compared to the swamp rag I have on my floor! Here’s hoping the Oxi-Clean works as well on the carpet as it does in my washing machine!! Thank you for taking the time to help out those of us who were looking for ways to do what we can with what we have at the moment 🙂

  32. GREAT contribution from Lindsey! Great feedback from readers! My carpet is the same color and make as Lindsey’s, and I managed to get it to what I thought was beyond hope. I spent 3 hours yesterday with Step 1, and realized it was late and I was tired. I was about 1/2 done with my area. So I decided to do the 1st rinse phase the next day (today), and tackle some more areas with the initial OxiClean treatment as time allowed, followed by the first rinse within 2 hours..

    I learned that giving a day between Step 1 (apply and remove OxiClean) and Step 2 (initial rinse) is not as effective as doing both within 2 hours or so. I had both conditions today, and found that the 1st Rinse Phase produced much more liquid and dirt, and the carpet was cleaner than the areas I let rest overnight. I’m guessing that the evaporation overnight allowed embedded dirt to get a better grip on the carpet.

    My recommendation: plan on treating as much space as you can with Steps 1, 2 and 3 in one session. Take on your project in manageable chunks. There is a big improvement in results!

  33. Hi, I have a light creme colored carpet, two dogs, a toddler, and a husband that works in an auto shop. Needless to say my carpet was sad looking and in dire need of cleaning. I tried your cleaning instructions and my carpet looks amazing. Thank you for the oxyclean tip. It really worked wonders! I am no longer going to stress about having family over for the holidays because my carpet looks fabulous.

  34. My husband and I just did the carpet cleaning as per your instructions but not as many go throughs. We have no small children and no pets…However we do have a teen.
    Results were awesome. We have the same beige carpet and very old stains. It came out better than when we hired professionals! It really got rid of the stains in the high traffic area!
    Thank you!

  35. I only have the old fashioned carpet scrubber with a tank and the two spinning bushes – not a steam cleaner. Can… or how… can I use OxiClean with my tried-and true yet older carpet scrubber? Thank you in advance.

    1. I have never used that kind of cleaner before. If it sucks the water back up, you can use the OxiClean and then rinse method used with a steam cleaner. If it does not, this method might just use too much water for your machine. If it does not suck water back up, I would spot scrub first, and then use the rinse method and not use the OxiClean at all. The OxiClean really has to be rinsed or it’ll leave residue on your carpet. If your carpet scrubber does suck water back up, then proceed as if you had a steam cleaner. Your water just won’t be as hot, but essentially, everything else is the same.

  36. Great info! I need help getting out orange Gatorade that my 2 year old spilled. I’ve tried carpet stain removers, peroxide, bleach water and everything else except Oxi. Can I use the oxi on it in a paste or is that just not recommended? I may try the peroxide with ammonia as I have not tried that. Any tips on the removing orange is appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Peroxide is usually best for organic stains- think blood. An Oxi Clean paste would work, just make sure you rinse well since Oxi Clean leaves a residue if you don’t. Sometimes hat steam cleaning the carpet with plenty of water is enough to get light stains out.

  37. First time on your website and first time cleaning my carpets with Oxyclean.
    Thank you ever so much!!! Grandkids and 2 elderly dogs with incontinence made my carpets a horror story even though I was shampooing them EVERY week with commercial products. Yesterday I used Oxyclean, today my son came over and thought I had new carpets!!!

  38. I’ve read your post and ur carpet looks amazing. My cat had an accident so will this method work to get that pee smell & stain out? I’ve also tried a method that called for Borax and cinnamon and guess what a huge mess. So will this method work on beige burber carpet and can you use your method in a rug dr machine?

  39. I’ve just read your post and your carpets look amazing. My 3yr old cat had a accident so I found this other post that said to use borax and cinnamon and yup guess what it made a huge mess. Will this method work to get that pee smell & stain out? and will your method work with a rug dr machine?

    1. It works for me getting pet stains and smells out. Our old dog got senile and would mark his territory around the house. Not fun. I think the tea tree oil rinse is the biggest help with the smell. As for using a rug doctor, I can’t exactly tell you to rug doctor rentals say you can only use their products. All steam cleaners say this and using something else voids the warranty. Have I used this in a rug doctor? Yes. But you technically are not supposed to.

  40. “Use the name brand! It’s so important!”

    Bullshit. You have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. You might have bought some chi-com POS off brand, but the stuff you get from dollar stores/walmart/target/etc is just fine and costs a fraction of the price.

    Oxiclean is nothing more than sodium percarbonate and when you mix it with water it turns into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate…what you might know as “washing soda”. So PLEASE don’t bullshit and advocate how superior oxiclean is. All they did was make a huge gimmick to sell it.

    That being said, I won’t be back to this site. I came here for information, not some soccer mom posting crap she has no idea about.

    1. I suggest using the name brand simply based on my personal experience using the store brand versions. The store brand versions tend to leave more of a residue and leave my carpets feeling a little bit crunchy, causing me more steps by having to rinse them at least twice.

  41. Thanks so much for such an informative post! We are moving to a rental that has carpet in ROUGH shape. I am afraid most of the stains are old and possibly old pet stains (ICK). Any experience with cleaning old pet stains successfully out of carpets? Would you recommend the Oxy Clean method over the natural method in this particular situation?

    1. Absolutely the OxyClean. My natural carpet cleaning method, while I like it and it works for just basic cleaning, won’t handle stains or deep cleaning. I wish it would, since I prefer it. But the OxyClean just cleans stains so much better.

  42. Hoping I can clean the brown tracks in my bedroom carpet. My son rented a steam cleaner from the grocery store to steam clean carpets while I was out of town. I smiled yet inwardly cringed. It looks like he cleaned it with mud. I’m thinking too much water and I’ve read a process called ” wicking” that happens with the short looped carpet. He meant well and I love him for it.

  43. Hoping to not ridicule but I think I need to say that if you are clumsy, why don’t you give your children some work to do? After all they will be happy to help mama clean home. Haha 🙂 Just Joking. But your story is real truth of life and very much likable despite all the clumsy things. Everybody gotta a tough time in some sense. But you know keep going is biggest thing you can do. I wonder if you don’t feel luckiest in the after seeing such cute babies smile.

    One more thing your tips are awesome to get carpet clean at our own then spending money by giving work to professionals.

  44. Cleaned my carpets yesterday using a rug dr. Today I have plate size brown spots on my lite beige carpet…4 or5 of them that I initially thought we damp areas. What do u suppose they are? I know they’re not old stains, could I have gotten the carpet too wet and it leached up from the pad and wood floor underneath? Could I try cleaning them with a pre treatment method? My carpet is totally ruined if I can’t come up with something! HELP

    1. Ah! That sounds awful. I wouldn’t even begin to guess. I am not a professional and haven’t personally had this particular problem. All our stains are little people or fur ball made!

  45. Hi I googled cleaning carpets with oxy clean and found your blog. Plan on doing these steps. My only question is in the last “rinse step” how many drops of tea tree oil did you use in the water??? Thank you. Emily.

    1. It depends on the brand of oil I am using and how strong it is. If I am using a cheap brand, like Now or Aura Cacia, I’ll use about 30-40 drops in the tank of water. If I am using a better quality oil, like DoTerra or Young Living or Liberty Natural, then I will use 10-15 drops in the tank of water.

  46. Can’t wait to try this, but my carpet is brown., very cheap that came in our brand new modular home. We cannot afford to replace it at this time. Just curious, has anyone tried this on brown carpet?

  47. Can’t wait to try this, but my carpet is brown, very cheap, that came in our brand new modular home. We cannot afford to replace it at this time. Just curious, has anyone tried this on brown carpet?

  48. I am a carpet cleaning obsessive, and while I do appreciate your views, I must say, 8 fills on a carpet that size? I would probably look at more like 30. But I inherited pet stains, then added some of my own. I usually do multiple hot water passes alone, then try the cleaner after getting the surface. Soak the carpet with hot water, let sit 15 minutes, then hot water, hot water, hot water. When I think it is clean, I then do it with cleaner in the machine.

  49. Excellent point on waiting until your carpet is completely dry before replacing metal furniture on it. Rust stains are near impossible to remove without professional help, even then they can sometimes still be difficult to remove.

  50. What are your thoughts on having a professional come in once a year to clean your carpets? I ask because it seems like when I’ve tried to do it myself I never get all the water up and so I feel like I have to clean my carpets more often. Plus it takes forever!

    1. It does take quite some time. And if you can afford to have someone do them, that is perfectly fine. I have had mine professionally cleaned twice. I still find that even after they do them, I need them cleaned again in 8 weeks or so. Such is the life of a large family. I simply can’t afford to get them professionally cleaned as often as they need to be cleaned.

  51. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but when you say OxiClean, do you mean the traditional laundry OxiClean, or the OxiClean carpet shampoo?

      1. Ok, thanks 🙂 Does it foam up a lot, or can I put it into the reservoir before the hot water?

  52. I have a tiny one-bedroom apartment with off-white Berber carpet and a regular Bissell steam cleaner from Kmart. I use one scoop of OxiClean in the tank after I have dissolved it in boiling water. It cleans the carpet beautifully and leaves no residue. I usually put a little bit of white vinegar in the water as well. They say vinegar is good for odors, baking soda is good for soil. I would never consider steam cleaning my carpet without OxiClean. I never use the soap because it requires too much rinsing and it always leaves a clingy residue.

  53. You mentioned putting the OxiClean in the big tank or rinse water tank, do you have to go back over the carpet with just rinse water afterwards? I have a Bissel.

    1. I do go back and rinse because I can feel the Oxiclean residue under my feet. I rinse with a couple drops of tea tree oil in the clean water tank. That keeps my carpet smelling nice and fresh after I’ve cleaned it.

  54. Would you recommend your OxyClean method for a couch I am buying off craigslist??? I would prefer to use Thieves Cleaner ….but thinking for the first cleaning maybe I should go the OxyClean route.

    1. I used OxyClean on mattresses and upholstered chairs. It works like magic. I haven’t tried the Thieves cleaner on anything but carpet, but I know it isn’t as good at stain removal as the OxyClean is.

      1. Thank you so much ~ I shall give it a go. So glad to have discovered your blog! In the night when I couldn’t sleep I was reading about using Dr Bronners which I always have on hand for everything from Pudel bathing to washing my own face …now I know I can even wash the carpet with it. Fabulous!

  55. My Bissell cleaner arrives Tuesday. I’ve never used Oxiclean – never knew there were so many different types to choose from. I went with the Oxiclean Free with no dyes or perfumes. Is this the one you would recommend? I want the one that works the best!

    1. I actually usually buy the original OxyClean powder. You may have to rinse a bit more with free and clear. Having never tried it, I don’t know that for sure. But free and clear detergents tend to leave more residue for me.

      1. Do you clean your carpets and upholstery until the ‘dirty’ water is close to clear?

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