Cleaning your carpets can be a hassle, but having the right cleaning products and the right tools can make it way easier. Using a proper carpet cleaner is one of the best ways to get your carpets looking fresh and clean.
But have you ever found yourself wondering “Can you use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner?” You wouldn’t be alone, as it’s a question on lots of people’s minds.
The answer isn’t as simple as a yes or no. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner, plus some tips to make sure you’re doing it safely.
Is It Safe To Use Laundry Detergent In A Carpet Cleaner?
Using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner can be risky (e.g. you will void your warranty on models such as the Bissell Proheat Carpet Cleaner), and it’s important to understand the potential risks before attempting this cleaning method.
Laundry detergents are designed for use on fabrics, not carpets. Carpets have different fibers and require specialized cleaners that won’t damage them. Using laundry detergent could cause permanent discoloration or even ruin your carpet altogether.
What Are The Risks Of Using Laundry Detergent?
The main risk associated with using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner is that some laundry detergents contain bleach which can discolor carpets if used incorrectly or left on too long.
Laundry detergent may not be strong enough to remove tough stains or dirt buildup from carpets and can also leave behind residue that attracts more dirt over time, leading to an even bigger mess than you started with.
What Are The Alternatives To Using Laundry Detergent?
There are many options available when it comes to cleaning your carpets without risking damage from using laundry detergent.
If you are not comfortable using laundry detergent in your carpet cleaner, there are alternative options available. Some of the most popular options include:
- Carpet cleaning solution
You can purchase a carpet cleaning solution that is specifically formulated for use in carpet cleaners. This type of solution is designed to be gentle on your carpet fibers, which means it is less likely to cause damage over time.
- Baking soda
Baking soda is a natural cleaning solution that is safe for use in carpet cleaners. It is effective at removing stains and odors, and it is also affordable. To use baking soda in your carpet cleaner, simply mix a small amount with water and use it as you would a traditional carpet cleaning solution.
- White vinegar
White vinegar is another natural cleaning solution that is safe for use in carpet cleaners. It is effective at removing stains and odors, and it is also affordable. To use white vinegar in your carpet cleaner, simply mix a small amount with water and use it as you would a traditional carpet cleaning solution.
The best option when it comes to cleaning your carpets with a carpet cleaning machine is always going to be purchasing a specially formulated product specifically made for this purpose.
Store-bought products come pre-mixed so you know exactly what ingredients they contain and how much of each one should be used; plus, they will generally come with instructions so you know exactly how much solution needs to go into the machine before starting up the cycle.
Next, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Laundry Detergent In A Carpet Cleaner?
Overall, using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner may have some advantages, but there are also potential drawbacks. Knowing the pros and cons of this method can help you decide if it’s right for your needs.
Pros of using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner:
Laundry detergent is an easily accessible cleaning solution that can be found in most households. This means that you do not have to purchase a separate cleaning solution for your carpet cleaner, which can save you time and money.
Laundry detergent is formulated to remove tough stains from clothing, which means it can also help to remove stubborn stains from your carpets. This makes it an effective solution for those who want to get their carpets looking like new again.
Laundry detergent is often less expensive than traditional carpet cleaning solutions, which makes it a cost-effective option for those who are looking to clean their carpets on a budget.
Cons of using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner:
- pH level
Laundry detergent is formulated to have a high pH level, which can be harmful to your carpet fibers. The high pH level can cause the fibers to become stiff and brittle, which can lead to damage over time.
Laundry detergent can leave a soapy residue in your carpet, which can be difficult to remove. This residue can attract dirt and dust, which can make your carpet look dirtier than it was before you cleaned it.
- Deterioration of carpet fibers
The high pH level of laundry detergent can cause the fibers in your carpet to deteriorate, which can lead to fraying, matting, and other forms of damage over time. This can be especially problematic if you have high-quality carpeting.
In the next section, we’ll look at tips for safely using laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner if you decide that is the best option for your needs.
How to Use Laundry Detergent in a Carpet Cleaner
If you have decided to use laundry detergent in your carpet cleaner, it is important to follow these steps to ensure that you are using it safely and effectively:
- Dilute the detergent
Before you use laundry detergent in your carpet cleaner, it is important to dilute it. This will help to reduce the high pH level of the detergent, which will reduce the risk of damage to your carpet fibers.
To dilute the detergent, mix 1/4 cup of detergent with 1 gallon of warm water.
Before you use the detergent on your entire carpet, it is important to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. This will help you to determine if the detergent is safe to use on your carpet and if it is causing any damage to the fibers.
- Use the right amount
When using laundry detergent in your carpet cleaner, it is important to use the right amount. Too much detergent can leave a soapy residue in your carpet, which can be difficult to remove. Too little detergent may not be effective at removing stains.
- Rinse thoroughly
After you have used the detergent in your carpet cleaner, it is important to rinse the carpet thoroughly. This will help to remove any residue from the detergent, which will reduce the risk of attracting dirt and dust.
Tips for Safely Using Laundry Detergent in a Carpet Cleaner
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that both you and your carpets remain safe when using laundry detergents in a carpet cleaner.
Read Labels Carefully And Follow Instructions
It is essential that you read all labels on the cleaning solution before using it on your carpets. Make sure that you understand exactly what ingredients are included, as well as any safety precautions or special instructions for usage.
Additionally, make sure to follow all instructions precisely when mixing the solution with water and applying it to your carpets.
Test On An Unseen Area First
Before using any new cleaning product on your entire carpet, test it out first on an unseen area such as under furniture or inside closets. This will help ensure that there won’t be any unexpected reactions between the product and the fibers of the carpet which could cause discoloration or other damage.
Use The Appropriate Amount of Detergent
Too much detergent can leave residue behind which may attract dirt more quickly over time, while too little may not provide enough cleaning power for tough stains or odors.
This is a game of trial and error, so it’s super important to test it on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first.
It is possible to use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner. However, it is important to consider the pros and cons of doing so before making this decision.
While using laundry detergent may be cheaper than purchasing specialized cleaning solutions, there are potential risks associated with using this type of product that could cause damage to your carpets if not used properly.
If you decide to use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner, make sure to follow all safety precautions and tips outlined above for the best results.
Ultimately, whether or not you can use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner will depend on your own personal preferences and needs.
Make sure you check out the video by Money Smart Family after the FAQ section. They share some awesome tips, tricks, and cleaning solution recipes for you to try.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use in place of carpet shampoo?
There are a variety of options to use in place of carpet shampoo. Baking soda is an effective and natural alternative that can be used to deodorize carpets, while white vinegar and water can be used as a cleaning solution. For tougher stains, you may want to try using club soda or hydrogen peroxide mixed with dish soap.
Additionally, there are many commercial products available for purchase specifically designed for cleaning carpets. Be sure to test any product on an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire carpeted surface.
Will laundry detergent ruin a carpet cleaner?
No, laundry detergent will not ruin a carpet cleaner. However, it is important to use the correct type of detergent for your specific machine.
If you are unsure which one to use, check the manufacturer’s instructions or contact customer service for advice.
Additionally, using too much detergent can cause residue buildup in the machine and on carpets over time so be sure to follow directions carefully when measuring out detergents.
Can you use other detergents in a Bissell carpet cleaner?
Yes, you can use other detergents in a Bissell carpet cleaner. However, it is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so as some cleaning solutions may not be compatible with your machine.
Additionally, make sure that any detergent used is specifically designed for use in a carpet cleaner and follow all safety precautions when using the product.
Lastly, always test an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to ensure there are no adverse effects from using an alternative cleaning solution.
What is the ratio of detergent to water when using a carpet cleaner?
The amount of laundry detergent to water for carpet cleaning depends on the type of detergent being used. Generally, it is recommended to use 1/4 cup of liquid laundry detergent per gallon of warm water when using a steam cleaner or extractor.
For spot cleaning with a sponge and bucket, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent in one quart (32 ounces) of warm water. Always test any solution on an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire carpet.