Many people are concerned about the chemicals used in carpet cleaners, while others are concerned about the cost. Unfortunately, Bissell states in its owner’s manuals that only Bissell carpet cleaning products made for Bissell carpet cleaners can be used. Other products will void your warranty and may cause fire and electrical shock inside the machine. If however, you decide to make your own anyway, there are natural and chemical cleaners you can make at home to use in your Bissell carpet cleaner. Be sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot first.
White vinegar can be used as a household cleaning product and is used by some to clean just about everything. Fortunately, you can even use it in a Bissell carpet cleaner. Test some first in an inconspicuous spot to test for colour fastness. To use, pour 237 ml (1 cup) of white vinegar into the Bissell’s reservoir tank and fill the rest of the way with hot water. Then use your Bissell as directed. This process should get your carpet clean without using chemical products. If you have heavy stains, you can spray equal parts of white vinegar and water (in a spray bottle) to pretreat stains. Then after about an hour, use the Bissell with vinegar, as mentioned above.
Because Bissell states that other carpet cleaning solutions can damage their machines, you may decide to go ahead and purchase Bissell cleaners. Before you do that, you can try using plain hot water. This method is actually recommend by professional carpet cleaners because residues left after using carpet shampoos can trap in more dirt later. You may be surprised how clean your rug can actually get with just hot water and save yourself some money.
To make your own carpet shampoo used by many Bissell owners (but still against manufacturer instructions), mix the following: a half cup of washing powder (no bleach), 118 ml (1/2 cup) of liquid laundry softener,237 ml (1 cup) of ammonia and 4.5 liotres (1 gallon) of water. Mix well and test on your carpet in an inconspicuous spot. If your rug’s colour was not affected, then store the mixture in a large jug. This will be enough for several cleanings. Read the directions that came with your Bissell to know exactly how much cleaner to add to your reservoir, but generally about a 59 ml (1/4 cup) will suffice. Be sure you shake your jug well before measuring. Afterward, if desired, you can rinse your carpet by going over one time with just plain water.