White vinegar is a safe and natural alternative to carpet cleaning solutions. It is a useful solution in homes where children or pets may come into contact with the wet carpet. In addition, since white vinegar is fragrance-free, it works well for those with asthma or allergies who may be more sensitive to fragrances used in conventional carpet cleaning products.
Move as much furniture out of the room as possible.
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Vacuum carpet completely; be sure to vacuum close to edges.
Mix one part white vinegar with one part hot water and pour into the reservoir on the carpet cleaning machine. For a fresh scent, add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil--such as lemon, orange or lemongrass--per half gallon of white vinegar and water solution.
Starting on the side of the room farthest from the entrance, clean one section at a time by saturating the carpet with the solution. Use the suction to remove as much of the dirty water as possible. Clean in straight, even strokes for the best results.
If the carpet is very dirty, rewash in the opposite direction.
Allow the carpet to dry completely before replacing furniture. This will prevent mold from forming under furniture. A ceiling or floor fan can help reduce drying time.