Ask LJ: Carpet Questions

I get a lot of questions related to my Carpet Cleaning with OxiClean method and my Carpet Cleaning with Young Living Thieves Cleaner method. I figured I would answer them all in one spot for you today.


Dear LJ,

When I am cleaning my carpet, do I stop when the water is clear?

Cleaning For Hours


Dear Cleaning For Hours,

No! Oh my goodness, I don’t think I could ever get completely clear water in a home carpet cleaner. Stop when the floor looks clean. If you want it clean until the water comes back clear, you’ll need to hire someone. I suggest Master Cleaners.



Dear LJ,

What does it mean when you say “rinse the carpet”?

Confused on Details


Dear Confused on Details,

Rinse simply means you are using your carpet cleaner with water only, no soap. Just don’t add anything to the cleaning tank. Just water. I use tea tree oil in my rinse because it makes the carpet smell nice and disinfects.



Dear LJ,

Can I use OxiClean in a rented carpet shampooer?

Rebel of Carpet Cleaners


Dear Rebel,

Your rental agreement likely says you cannot. I am not going to tell you to do it because I never have. The rental machines state you can only use their product. I have used them before with their product. Buy the pet version, it is better. And follow my same steps or washing, scrubbing, and rinsing. If you want to use OxiClean, buy your own machine. It will still void the warranty, but you won’t be potentially messing up a rental.

As for the long term effects on OxiClean on my machine. It creates more residue than the cleaners suggested by the manufacturers. The rinse cycle does help clean some of that out. But you’ll notice white powder residue in several places on my machine. So far, in the years I have been using OxiClean in my machine, it hasn’t killed it. But I’m not sure I’d risk it on someone else’s machine without their permission.


Dear LJ,

Can I use Thieves Cleaner in a carpet shampooer?

Natural Cleaner


Dear Natural Cleaner,

Yes, you can! I wrote about that here. It doesn’t clean as deeply, but it leaves the carpet pretty darn clean and soft! Try it. But yeah, it is still going to void the warranty on your machine, so make sure you are okay with that.



Dear LJ,

Can I use bleach in my carpet cleaner?

Giant Mess


Dear Giant Mess,

No. I have tried. Don’t do it. And I’ll just go ahead and address the next question. Don’t use peroxide either. I’ve tried that, too. Bleach will unevenly bleach your carpet. It looks bad. Peroxide will turn it orange in spots. It looks bad. So don’t do either of those things. Seriously.

Other things I have put in a carpet cleaner:

Dawn dish detergent: way too foamy. You can barely keep the machine going with all the foam. It takes forever to rinse all the suds out. Definitely not the trick I was hoping for.

Laundry Detergent: It cleans clothes, carpet seemed logical. While it smelled amazing, it was too sudsy and too slippery and just didn’t deep clean all that well. It took a few tries to get the amount right, and then it just didn’t clean any better than straight water.

Fabric Softener: I know. I was going for a good smelling carpet. It wasn’t the best. You have to use very little to not end up with a blue hue and then it doesn’t do much. Carpets shouldn’t be that soft. It is more creepy than cozy.

Lysol: I was attempting to disinfect my carpets post tummy bug. It did nothing. Skip this and use cinnamon oil or tea tree oil or Thieves Cleaner instead.

Febreeze: Again, I wanted the carpets to smell good. Just spray it on your carpet. It was way overkill and didn’t clean or do much of anything. Tea Tree Oil works so much better on fixing carpet stink.

Essential Oils: These are great. They work. They help with smell. They don’t stain, someone asked me that. They could potentially break down the plastic of the carpet cleaner, but I haven’t had issues. I also put them on my vacuum bag. I’ve tried many, but tea tree oil and cinnamon bark are my favorites for carpet cleaning. You can try others. I’ve done orange, lemon, fir, frankincense, lavender, and a few others. I still prefer tea tree or cinnamon.



Dear LJ,

Will you come clean my carpets?

Needs Help


Dear Needs Help,

No. I am not a professional cleaning service. See my recommendation above for Master Cleaners.



Did I miss your question? Feel free to ask in the comments. This post contains some affiliate links.

Carpet Cleaning with Young Living Thieves Cleaner

Some of you recall that I have posted about carpet cleaning before. Once again, I’m telling you how to clean your carpets. I now have 5 kids ages 7 and under. We homeschool, so we spend most of our days here in this house on this cheap rental home carpet. (Still dreaming of owning my own home one day so I can be rid of carpet- at least in the main areas of my home.) I also have 2 dogs. (One is small and is now senile. He has taken to marking his territory in the house. Fun, right? Anyone want a small senile dog? One is a large English Sheepdog. He tracks in mud on his massive, hairy paws.) I clean my carpet often. Way too often. (Spot cleaning constantly thanks to the senile dog and the toddler.) And while my Oxiclean system works really well, I always holdout hope for a more natural product. (Especially since I have a little one crawling around on it all the time.)

mainI was introduced to Young Living oils a few months ago. They have an all natural cleaning product called Thieves Cleaner. (That is a link to my personal Young Living site where you can find Thieves cleaner to purchase.) It is a multi-purpose cleaner for everything from countertops to hands to floors to windows to laundry. It does it all. Of course, my first thought upon buying a bottle was, “I’m going to put this in my steam cleaner and see what it’ll do for my carpets.” I’ll go ahead and give you my pros and cons up front and then go step by step though carpet cleaning with Thieves Cleaner.


First, this cleaner is all natural. No chemicals. No harsh fumes. No RINSING necessary. No worries about baby crawling around on it.

Second, because of that no rinsing bit, this is much faster than my traditional OxiClean route.

Third, your carpets will feel softer when they dry using Thieves Cleaner than using OxiClean.

Fourth, it smells amazing.

Fifth, it kills germs and viruses and fungus.

Now, this is not going to get your carpet as super duper white as OxiClean, Dawn, and TTO. If you’ve got thick gummy gunk in the carpet, you may want to go the OxiClean route. I personally now view the OxiClean routine as my heavy duty carpet cleaning and this Young Living Thieves oil as my routine, most-of-the-time carpet cleaning.

beforeStep One: Clear out all the furniture. Yes, you need to. And this picture is why. I found about a dozen empty fruit snacks wrappers from some sneaky little person. I also found random toys, papers, rubber bands, buttons, change, a glow stick, a straw, several crayon nubs… you get the picture. If you don’t move your furniture, all that stays hidden. Also, if you have pets- they tend to mark their territory on chair legs, table legs, side of the couch, etc. So, if you don’t move the furniture, you won’t get to all of that. Plus it is just easier to clean a big empty room than clean around stuff.

before 3

before 2

Vacuum. Note my before picture. You’ll see chocolate milk stains, turmeric stains, jello stains, slime stains, muddy dog feet stains, dog pee stains (it wasn’t set in, fresh, yay- see my sarcastic font?), something red, and something blue. And yes, I cleaned this carpet in full less than 2 months ago.

cleanerNow, add one capful of Thieves Cleaner into each fill of clean water in your steam cleaner. It does foam a little, so add the water (preferably hot) and then the cleaner. Steam clean the entire room. I used 4 fills of my steam cleaner (4 capfuls). Then I used my upholstery attachment and spot cleaned the stains that didn’t want to let go. (This is different from my OxiClean routine where I scrub the spots with Dawn.) Since this is an all natural cleaner, it leaves no residue, so I have no reason to rinse the carpet. And I’m done. Like that. That fast.


after 2

Chocolate milk stain- gone. Senile dog pee- gone. Slime and jello- gone. Tumeric- still there. (This turmeric has been in my carpet for over a year now. Even a professional carpet cleaner couldn’t get it out. Moral of the story- keep turmeric laden foods off your carpeted areas.) Red stuff- gone. Mud- gone. Blue stuff- gone. Bright and shiny carpet again.

Let your carpet dry fully before you put your furniture back.

Now, more shout out about this Thieves Cleaner- I used it to then clean my brick fireplace, baseboards, windows, back door, outside windows, kitchen countertop, and coffee table. And I cleaned all that with one capful of cleaner. My bottle is still about 3/4 full! Now that is awesome.

**Disclaimer- Using any cleaner in your steam cleaner other than the brand your steam cleaner company makes will void the warranty. I want my carpet clean and don’t care how I have to get it that way. Warranty schmarranty. You, however, might care. And now I have informed you. Do as you wish with this disclaimer. **