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My carpet needed a serious deep clean. With a 4 year old, a husband, and a cat, it gets its fair share of wear and tear. It is also old and secretly wants to be laid to rest, but hardwood floors aren’t anywhere near the top of the to-do list. I make do…grudgingly.

We used to get the carpet professionally cleaned once a year. Because of the chemicals, cost, and inconvenience, I held off this year until a better solution could be found. I could rent a cleaner from a local grocery store, but there’s still the cost and the chemical cleaners that those machines use. Plus, it’s anyone’s guess what was in the carpets of the other homes it cleaned.

Picky much? I know.

I am lucky enough to have thrifty in-laws who take ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ to heart. Here is their carpet cleaner:

I’m pretty sure it is older than I am. It is also missing one of the brushes and tilts drunkenly to one side. As soon as I find the brush and put it back on, it will look a little better and work a little faster.

The benefits? I know where this shampooer has been. I know that I can use my own cleaning concoctions in it without damage to the machine. I also know it’s FREE. And it worked pretty darn good.

I use a combination of 1:1 white vinegar and warm water. This shampooer has a reservoir to hold the cleaning solution and is squirted directly onto the carpet. Vinegar helps deodorize and clean the carpet without leaving a soap residue. Soap residues left after cleaning will quickly collect dirt and leave your carpet looking dirtier and dingier than it did before you cleaned it. If you do use a soap solution, running over the carpet a second time with vinegar water or plain water will help wash out some of the residue.

Carpet Cleaner Solution

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Check with your manufacturer’s instructions to see if this solution is safe in your machine. Many people use their own regardless, but it is done at your own risk. You can also use a scrub brush and some good old-fashioned elbow grease in place of a machine. I plan to do this on my stairs in the coming weeks. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum the area to lift up any residual dirt and fluff the pile. Don’t forget to spot check it first to be sure that vinegar will not damage your carpet.

Look mom! I’m learning to be frugal. 😀

This post is part of GAPS Friendly Fridays.

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