Carpets are often made of the same materials as the clothes we wear such as cotton, wool, and polyester. This may lead you to wonder whether or not carpet cleaners can be used in your washing machine.
Will they even wash your clothes when used in a washing machine? Will they damage the clothes?
You’ll find the answer to these questions in this article, along with a few pieces of advice on how you can use carpet shampoos to clean your clothes.
Using Carpet Cleaner in the Washing Machine
Using carpet cleaner in the washing machine is entirely possible. Laundry detergents and carpet shampoos all have the same basic chemical compositions.
They contain active agents called surfactants, which are attracted to the stains and bind them.
Surfactants use their connection to the water to envelop stains and dirt it into a bubble, which gets washed away with water.
However, laundry detergents are often a lot more concentrated. After all, they are meant to be used on large quantities of clothes at once, dissolving them in much more water than a carpet cleaning tool uses.
If you have run out of a laundry detergent but have a load to run urgently and happen to have carpet cleaner at home, feel free to use it.
Nothing bad will happen to your clothes or your machine from running one cycle with a carpet cleaner.
That being said, it clearly isn’t the ideal solution for continued use, and we’ll tell you why.
Can You Wash Clothes with Carpet Cleaner?
Carpet cleaners aren’t meant to be used in the washing machine and therefore they aren’t going to be as effective as regular detergent.
The fact that it is inefficient to use carpet cleaner in the washing machine doesn’t mean you can’t use this chemical at all for cleaning your clothes.
In fact, carpet shampoos are one of the most efficient tools for stain removal. They work optimally when the stain is still fresh, however, after some soaking, they can remove some of the most stubborn stains, such as blood, wine, oils, and grass.
To remove fresh stains, all you need to do is dissolve 60 ml of carpet cleaner in a gallon of water, pour it into a spray bottle, and spritz some of the solutions directly on the stain.
Leave it soaking for 5 minutes, and the dirt should be mostly cleared. If small traces of dirt are left, rinsing them in the machine will help remove them.
For dried-up stains, you should leave the fabric soaking for 30-60 minutes so that the agent has enough time to penetrate the threads and grab onto the stain.
Keep in mind that this method can only be used in high-quality materials that can withstand being exposed to chemicals in a more concentrated form.
Another group of washables you can apply this method to are the carpets themselves.
Machine-washable rugs, beddings, and animal beddings are the most likely to get stained to the point that regular detergent won’t be enough to properly cleanse them.
If your pet has sensitive skin, you can’t use harsh chemicals such as bleach or even oxygen bleach to remove the stains from their bedding. But you can use carpet cleaners, at least in the presoaking phase.
Advantages of Using Carpet cleaner for Washing Your Clothes
Despite not being the ideal cleaning solution to use in a washing machine, they are some advantages of cleaning your clothes with carpet cleaners. Some of the benefits of this method include:
- Removes stubborn stains – Carpet cleaners are designed to remove stubborn stains from your rags, and they can do the same for your clothes as well.
- You’ll use higher temperatures – Carpet shampoos are activated at higher temperatures, which is why they are used with hot water in the carpet cleaning tools. Washing on high-temperature cycles helps clean your washing machine.
- You won’t have to use bleach – By presoaking your clothes in a carpet cleaning solution, you can avoid using bleach, which can potentially ruin your fabrics, particularly if they have dark colours.
- You’ll create fewer suds – For washing some materials, such as pillows, duvets, covers, jackets, or small rugs, less suds is better, as you won’t have to send them through additional cycles to rinse them out.
Disadvantages of Using Carpet cleaner for Washing Your Clothes
Just as there are many advantages of washing your clothes with a carpet cleaner, so are many disadvantages of doing it. Some of the main drawbacks of using carpet cleaner in the washing machine are:
- The high costs – Carpet shampoos can be very expensive. They come in small packaging, and they are less concentrated chemicals than detergents, which further raises their costs.
- You use more chemicals – They are less concentrated because they are meant to be dissolved in much smaller water quantities than used by your washing machine. To get the same ratio as you have with a detergent, you would need to use a lot of carpet cleaner.
- They can damage your clothes – Using carpet cleaner in quantities that are well over the official guidelines prescribed by the cleaner manufacturer can damage your clothes.
While you can use carpet cleaner in the washing machine, it won’t be nearly as effective as using laundry detergents.
To get the same effects as laundry detergent you would need to use more of it so your laundry costs will drastically increase, as carpet shampoos cost a lot more than regular detergents.
Plus, using that many chemicals can damage your clothes and washing machine.
However, you can use a carpet cleaning agent to remove stubborn stains from your clothes, rugs, and upholstery, only you need to wash them by hand.
If it’s your only solution and you desperately need to clean some of your clothes, then feel free to use some carpet cleaner following the tips above.
I’m a mother of three who loves going on fun adventures with my family. With three little ones, I’ve learned the hard way how to keep a busy home clean! I want to share my tips and tricks to make your life as easy as possible.