Can you use Laundry Detergent in a Carpet Cleaner?

The simple answer is YES! You can use a good laundry detergent for effective and thorough cleaning of your carpets. If you cannot afford expensive cleaners for carpets, you can make it at your home by using laundry detergent. It’s a cost-effective way of cleaning carpets. Moreover, laundry detergents are entirely safe to use as carpet cleaners. A small amount of detergent can effectively clean a rug in less possible time.

Laundry detergents work equally effective for manual and device carpet cleaning. Laundry detergent is an excellent substitute for carpet cleaner due to its high efficacy. Carpet cleaning devices perform equally well with a laundry detergent, just like they did with carpet cleaning shampoos.

Which laundry detergent is to be used?

Choosing a detergent for a carpet cleaner is tricky. As detergents are of various kinds, not every detergent is made for carpet cleaning. Some detergents might damage your carpets; some show slight effectiveness, while some can clog your cleaning device. That’s why carefully choose a laundry detergent to add to a carpet cleaner.

The best detergents for this purpose are those which have marked “HE,” which stands for high efficiency. These detergents are best to use for cleaning carpets and laundry. Such detergents produce less foam; thus, it is easy to rinse them off. Moreover, they clean carpets well and require less water for rinsing. Avoid using bleach-containing detergents as they can ruin your carpets.

How much amount for laundry detergents is to be used?

Laundry detergents have different characteristics. Some of them make less foam, while some produce more foam. Laundry detergents that produce more form are difficult to rinse off, especially from carpets. Thus, you need to choose a suitable detergent that produces less foam. Then try to take tiny amounts of detergents as possible. It’s better to take liquid laundry detergents in equal amounts as you prefer to take another cleaning liquid.

But if you have powdered laundry detergents to use, then take a much less amount of it than liquid detergent. Sprinkle the tiny amount of this laundry detergent over your carpet and start your cleaning process.

How to make carpet cleaner at home with laundry detergent?

Making carpet cleaner at home will offer you different benefits. First, you can save your money to avoid purchasing expensive carpet cleaners. Your home ingredients will work well to make a perfect carpet cleaner. Second, home ingredients are safe to use. You do not have to add harsh chemicals to your laundry carpet cleaner. Thus, you and your home will expose less to chemicals.

Making your home carpet cleaner with detergents is quite simple. You can make a cost-effective and high efficacy carpet cleaner with few ingredients at home. Following ingredients are required to make an effective carpet cleaner at home.

carpet cleaning ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of any liquid laundry detergent (preferable with “HE” mark)
  • ¼ cup of any ordinary carpet cleaner (whatever is available at your home)
  • 1 teaspoon of fabric softener
  • 3 tablespoons of Oxiclean
  • 1 gallon of hot water

You will get a fantastic and highly effective carpet cleaner by mixing the ingredients mentioned above. This cleaner will cost you less and is homemade, so it is completely safe to use also.

How to clean a carpet with carpet cleaner having laundry detergent?

Replacing a carpet cleaning shampoo with a homemade laundry detergent cleaner is a great idea. If you don’t have carpet cleaning shampoo at home, you can also use a liquid laundry detergent directly as a cleaning agent. Cleaning carpet with laundry detergent is relatively easier than you think. Follow the below-mentioned steps for a thorough and perfect carpet cleaning.

  • Take your carpet cleaning machine and remove its fluid canister. It would help to clean this canister thoroughly before adding laundry detergent into it.
  • Each carpet cleaning machine has a steam cleaner’s water tank/ fluid canister. You need to fill this tank with clean water.
  • After cleaning, add two tablespoons of laundry detergent to the steam cleaner’s water tank. You have to add these two tablespoons for every water quart in the tank.
  • Adjust this fluid canister to its place and power on the cleaning unit.
  • Wait for 5 minutes to heat the device and solution before starting your cleaning procedure.
  • Then use this cleaning machine just like a vacuum cleaner. The only difference is that you need to keep the speed of this steam cleaning machine lower than a vacuum cleaner. For better penetration of detergent and steam, cleaning will be done at a lower speed.
  • Clean your carpet gently till proper rinsing off to make it detergent free.

Carpet cleaning with detergent

Benefits of using laundry detergents for carpet cleaning

Laundry detergents work effectively as carpet cleaning agents. In most houses, these detergents are already used for carpet cleaning. Here are the few benefits of using laundry detergents to wash your carpets.


Laundry detergents are not costly, especially when you compare them with carpet cleaning shampoos and solutions. So, if you utilize a laundry detergent for carpet cleaning, it will cost you less than an expensive carpet cleaning solution.

Proper cleaning

Laundry detergents effectively clean carpets. The chemicals in laundry detergents are powerful enough to clean every kind of carpet thoroughly. Thus, for effective and detailed cleaning of your carpets, laundry detergent is a great choice.

Easy availability

Carpet cleaning solutions are hard to find compared to laundry detergents. The laundry detergents are easily and readily available in every house. So, if you ever run short of carpet cleaning shampoo, you can easily use laundry detergent as a substitute.

Carpet smells good

Most of the laundry detergents have pleasant scents. If you use laundry detergent to clean your carpet, then your carpet will also smell good for sure. And who does not like a good-smelling carpet? The pleasant fragrance will also make your surroundings fresh.

Tide pods can also be used to make a carpet cleaner at home. Read more.

Final Words

Laundry detergents are powerful cleaning agents that can be used for carpet cleaning as well. You can use them alone or make a cleaning solution by adding laundry detergents. They are cost-effective and offer high efficiency for carpet cleaning.

carpet cleaning

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Are laundry detergents as effective as carpet cleaning shampoos for carpets?

A laundry detergent is one of the best substitutes for carpet cleaning shampoos. It has effective cleaning properties that make it perfect for every kind of carpet cleaning. Liquid laundry detergents with high efficiency are best used in a carpet cleaner.

2. How much laundry detergent should be added to a carpet cleaner?

Laundry detergents are powerful cleaning agents. If you are using a liquid laundry detergent, then use it in equal amounts in which you would use any carpet cleaning shampoo. Use powdered laundry detergent in little quantity because it makes more foam than liquid detergents.

3. Is it safe to use laundry detergents for carpet cleaning?

Yes, it is completely safe to use a laundry detergent for carpet cleaning. But, avoid using powerful detergents as they can ruin your wool carpets. Besides this, also avoid using detergent in large quantities as it will become difficult to remove the foam after cleaning.

4. How to get laundry detergent out of the carpet?

Sometimes people struggle with taking detergent out of the carpet after cleaning. Follow the given steps to take detergent out of the carpet.

  • Spray hot water on the entire carpet surface. You can also pour hot water from the bucket.
  • Rub the carpet with your hand or with any soft brush.
  • Rinse water again until the entire detergent comes out of your carpet.


  • Stephen Powers

    Appliance repair guy from Washington. I am majorly experienced in dishwashers, water filters and refrigerators, AMA on my twitter account.

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