Spot Cleaning Carpet With a DIY Solution

5 Materials
30 Minutes

Do you ever have those small accidents that happen and then the carpet needs to be cleaned, but its not big enough for going through the trouble of renting a full size carpet cleaning machine? Yes! We do too so I decided to get a small very portable carpet cleaning machine. We have the machine you see below, its the Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner. (Direct link to this machine is on our blog, click HERE)
If you keep watch, you can get a lower price on this machine.  The one we got is an open box return that was never used and in brand new condition for $109.00.

Now, here's my tip:  For several years we've been using our own DIY Carpet Cleaning solution which works great, but its made to be used with the full size rental machines.  This recipe is the same, but made for a smaller, more portable cleaner and it works just as awesome! Winner!
DIY Carpet Cleaning Mixture (for smaller cleaners):

1 cup of vinegar
1 scoop of OxyClean (1 TBLSP and a 1/2)
Warm/Hot Water to the fill line on the tank

The clean water tank on this particular machine is 3/4 gallon capacity so its quite a bit smaller than the full size cleaner rental tanks.

NOTE:  Although this mixture worked for our light colored carpet, I'm not sure about using OxyClean on darker colored carpets, so be sure to test it before you start just to be safe.

Yes, there will be a slight vinegar odor, but it dissipates in about 24 hours time.
Step one:
Using a kitchen funnel, add one scoop of Oxyclean to the tank.
Step two:
Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to your oxyclean in the tank.  Remove the funnel and carefully swish the combination to mix together.
It will foam up like you see here.  This is normal.
Step three:
Add about 11 cups of hot tap water to the fill line on your tank.  Replace the cap and secure the water tank back on to the machine.
This is a coffee stain.  It's a full cup of coffee with sugary creamer added.  This stain is about a week old.

Picture this:  You're half awake.  You've just made yourself a nice hot cup of coffee and your heading back to your cozy bedroom.  Suddenly, the kitten runs in front of you!  To miss stepping on her and causing drastic bodily harm, you side step her and spill your nice cup of coffee on the light colored carpet.  You try to clean it up, but its dark in the room.  You "think" you've done a great job cleaning up the mess.  Nope, not so much!  Next, I get a text from my honey (I'm already at work) telling me that this near miss just happened but he's already cleaned it up so no worries.  It totally slipped my mind until a few days later when after I vacuumed there was still a dark spot on the carpet.  The following weekend it was cleaned with our new carpet cleaner. Yay!
First turn on the machine.  Now, using the trigger on the carpet cleaner handle, just spray the area with your solution and let it stand for a couple of minutes (2 to 3 minutes).
Next, do not squeeze the button and scrub the solution into the carpet using the brush on the head of the nozzle. Lastly, in slow straight lines in a backward motion, suction up all the liquid you've just sprayed on the carpet.
And just to help the drying process along a little quicker, I get several paper towels, lay them over the damp spot and step on the area to blot up any extra moisture.  This little Bissell machine worked really well at suctioning up the water because there was very little moisture on the paper towels when I finished blotting.
I know, ewww, gross but here is the end result after I cleaned the carpet spots.  I say spots because I also had a few cat "burp up" spots to clean as well.
Here's the original coffee spill spot, all clean now.  I'm so glad we decided to purchase this little machine because so far, I'm loving how it works!  I'm also glad that we can still use our homemade carpet cleaning solution in this machine as well, that's the best part of it to me!
I'm hoping this will keep our carpet looking cleaner in between full on carpet cleanings.  I'm still wishing for a nice new tile floor in here in the living room sometime soon! *wink wink*. Want to see the tile we picked out?  Click right here.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 15 questions
  • Cinda Besrdsley
    on Feb 12, 2019

    Can this be used on upholstery?

  • Linda Collins Amazon
    on Feb 18, 2019

    I have an unknown stain on one of my sweaters. I have tried everything to get it out. It has lightened up but not down completely, what do you suggest.

    • Pam
      on Feb 23, 2019

      It depends on the fabric your sweater is made of. If it is a polyester, you can almost always use Rit color remover. Since polyester is colored in the production of the yarn, the color does not fade. My last resort is straight oxygen peroxide. Be careful with that, it can remove color in natural fabrics. Good luck.

  • Kerrie Babineaux Jager
    on Feb 18, 2019

    You may not find this of any importance, but to me, it is of the utmost importance! Where did you get your measuring cup? It looks like a Pioneer Woman product and would match my kitchen PERFECTLY! I’ve looked and searched for hours on end, but to no avail. If you’re allowed to let me know where you got it/what brand it is, I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks for this extremely helpful post. I will be looking into purchasing a Bissell carpet spot cleaner very soon!


    • Betsi
      on Oct 1, 2019

      I got a set last Christmas on Amazon, comes with the measuring cup and little bowls in 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 sizes.

Join the conversation

4 of 54 comments
  • Rene Calabrese
    on Feb 19, 2019

    I would love the full size machine recipe as well. I have an entryway that needs cleaning and I haven't found anything that works that isn't full of harmful chemicals.

  • Suzanne
    on Mar 25, 2019

    I have 2 small dogs and I use vinegar and Febreze, it rids any odors plus cleans.

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