The types of vacuum cleaners on the market are numerous and sometimes confusing. There are dry-vacs, wet-vacs, carpet sweepers and small robotics that do the housekeeping for you. Each vacuum cleaner seemingly requires a slightly different type of carpet cleaning solution in order to function. If the choices stress you out, forgo the commercial cleaners completely and make your own homemade version.
Find a gallon-sized container that has a lid so you can combine and store your homemade carpet shampoo easily. A milk container that has been rinsed clean may be an ideal choice.
Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dish detergent into the container. Trial and error may help you determine the exact measurement for your carpets. One half cup of detergent may be too sudsy for carpeting with a very short pile.
Add an equal part (1/4 or 1/2 cup, depending on the measurement you use) of a liquid fabric softener to the container.
Measure out 1 cup of ammonia and add to the carpet cleaning mixture. You may want to wear rubber gloves to avoid getting the potent liquid on your hands and in your eyes.
Fill the rest of the gallon container with water. Close the lid of the container and shake well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Use your homemade carpet cleaning solution in your wet-vac or by hand to spot clean your carpet. Read the directions that came with your vacuum cleaner to know how much solution to add to your machine.
Create a rinse to use after you have cleaned your rugs with your homemade shampoo. Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon of water. This cleanser helps to draw out ground-in dirt that may be deep inside your carpets. Pour onto the affected area or use in a spray bottle throughout your home.