Present-day carpeting is a complex textile, composed of numerous fibers, weaves, and finishes. You’ll need to consider if these DIY mixes are safe to use on your carpet.
There are clear benefits to using these familiar, cheap ingredients. However, do you know how much the creator of the recipe knows about textiles, fibers, dyes, staining, allergens, or carpet cleaning?
Most DIY carpet cleaning solutions use some common chemicals like vinegar, peroxide, dish soap, laundry detergent, ammonia, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and fabric softener. The instructions usually call for the combination of these ingredients in a bucket in specific amounts, mix them, and add a few ounces of the solution in hot water to use in carpet cleaning equipment.
The majority of these ingredients can be mixed without a problem, however, you should never mix ammonia with bleach, vinegar with bleach, alcohol with bleach, or vinegar with peroxide. These combinations produce potentially dangerous gases. Not to mention, household bleach can damage your carpet and machine. It’s best to avoid any recipe that lists bleach as an ingredient.
Fabric softeners should be avoided as well because they’re comprised of cationic surfactants, and these are known to react with the factory and aftermarket installed stain blockers on the carpet. This negative reaction will make the stain blockers ineffective. As a result, employing a fabric softener means the expensive stain protectant on your carpet will be useless.