Dr. Bronner's

Cleaning Carpets with Sal Suds & Castile Soap

Child with muddy yellow shoes standing on a carpet with muddy spots. - carpet cleaning with Dr. Bronner's products

My carpets have left me speechless.

Normally such speechlessness surrounding carpets stems more from, “What in the name of all that is pure and spotless is that?” Which is exactly how this situation started. This was a good number of years ago.

It had been a while since my sons’ floor had seen the light of day. There are times where days pass and as long as the mess is confined to their room, I pretend I don’t see it. But then a wave of awareness passes over me and I realize that such chaos is bound to sink into and wreak havoc on their very souls. And so the tragic-for-them day came when I required them to “clean up their room,” which somehow gets translated into “clean up their floor.” Not quite the same thing, but it was better.

Here’s what emerged underneath:

Oh my stars. How did that happen?! Who did that?! What even IS that?!

Naturally, my boys gazed down at it in complete mystification. They truly hadn’t noticed it before now, so they pointed all fingers at the usual culprit who lives deep in the recesses of my house: “I Dunno.” Someday I’d like to meet him. He’s very busy.

I ruled out the horribly obvious first possibility because firstly, my sons are, ahem, very well potty-trained. Secondly, I think the dog would have found it much more interesting if it were THAT. And thirdly, I would probably have started to smell it, too.

My second thought was chocolate, and while I’m not entirely certain that it wasn’t, I still think the dog would have been interested in it. Which he wasn’t.

My last two thoughts were rust or dye. Both involve something wet—swimsuit? bath towel? afternoon snack? makeshift pool for LEGO boats?—being dropped on something metal or dyed and then left there for hours. Or days. Maybe weeks.

Out came my carpet cleaner and my Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray. I’ve waxed poetical before on how well the All-Purpose Spray with either Sal Suds or Castile Soap works, but not knowing how long these stains had been there, much less what they were, I was dubious that it would work this time. I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

I promise it’s the same room. And I promise I have no idea how to edit photos to this extent.

Cleaning carpets with Dr. Bronner’s

I usually opt for Sal Suds on carpets because it is slightly better at stain fighting, but the Castile Soap also works really well. I’ve used both over the years.

(Spot test your carpets before trying any of this by spraying an inconspicuous spot with one spray of All-Purpose Spray and rubbing vigorously with a white cloth. If there is any dye transfer, use another option on your carpets. Sal Suds is gentler on color than traditional carpet detergents but do the test just to make sure.)

Spot cleaning carpets with the All-Purpose Spray

1. Pick up any loose soil. If liquid has soaked in, use a highly absorbent cloth like microfiber. Lay it over the spot and press on it with your shoe to draw the liquid up. If the cloth becomes saturated, use a new one and repeat until no more liquid comes out.

2. Spray the spot sparingly with the All-Purpose Spray, made with 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sal Suds or ¼ cup (60 mL) Castile Soap in 1 qt. (1 L) water. Do not saturate the carpet with the spray or else you’ll have too many bubbles in the spot. Alternately, if you want to spray more, make a “Lite” All-Purpose Spray by diluting the cleaner by half, using only ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) Sal Suds or 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Castile Soap in a quart of water.

3. Rub the spot with a wet (just short of drippy) rough cloth. Rub in multiple directions to scrub all sides of the carpet fibers. If that washcloth gets too soiled, use a clean wet cloth.

4. Rinse the area using another wet cloth until all the soil and cleaner are gone.

Cleaning carpets with a carpet cleaner

1. Wipe any loose soil and absorb any liquids as in step 1 above.

2. Spray spots sparingly with one of the All-Purpose Sprays. Do not saturate the spot with the spray.

3. Fill the main compartment of the carpet cleaner with hot water. *

4. Fill the cleaning solution compartment with roughly 2 cups of water and add either 1 drop of Sal Suds (Yes, one drop.) or ½ Tbsp. (7.5 mL) Castile Soap.

5. Run the carpet cleaner over the carpet according to manufacturer instructions. Take care not to oversaturate the carpet with the cleaning solution.

6. When finished, rub your fingers into the carpet to check for remaining bubbles. If you find remaining bubbles, go over again with clean water.

  • Optional: If you want to give your carpet a deodorizing treatment, fill the main compartment with hot water plus 2 cups (480 mL) distilled white vinegar. Leave the cleaning solution compartment empty, or if the machine doesn’t like it empty, just fill it with water. (If you’ve just cleaned your carpets with Castile Soap, do this only after checking there is no residual soap in the carpet. As a true soap, Castile and vinegar do not mix and the end result would be oily carpet.) 

*Note: If your carpet cleaner has a different compartment configuration, you may have to adapt these instructions. Comment below or email me if you need help.

I am always simultaneously horrified and satisfied by how dirty my rinse water is. Clearly the carpet is getting cleaner. I go over my carpet several times until the rinse water looks fairly clean.

A note about warranties

I also need to mention that using Sal Suds or Castile Soap in your carpet cleaner may void your warranty. Mind you, I’m not saying that either of these cleaners will break your machine. However, it’s oftentimes a little footnote in the warranty that if you don’t buy that company’s brand of solution, they won’t honor the warranty. You’ll need to make your choice with this one. You can see that I’ve already made mine.


Regardless of which of the above methods you use, it is crucial that no Sal Suds are left in the carpet. Sal Suds and Castile Soap—like any detergent or soap—attract dirt. That’s how they work—they hold on to it. If you leave Sal Suds in your carpet, you will get worse spots.

Removing smells with baking soda

1. For a quick carpet freshening and deodorizing, baking soda is my go-to. It’s always good to spot test a new cleaning technique before embarking on the whole floor.In a bowl mix 2 cups (480 mL) of baking soda with about 20 drops of a favorite essential oil. Sweet orange is always a favorite of mine. You could try lavender or something woodsy like eucalyptus. Use a fork to blend the mixture until no lumps remain.

2. Add the mixture to a big shaker jar—either a repurposed large spice jar or a mason jar with holes in the lid. Sprinkle this liberally over the carpet.

3. Use a broom to brush it down into the fibers.

4. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

5. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, using a vacuum with a decent HEPA filter.

Special note on cat urine

I wish I didn’t have so much experience cleaning up cat urine, but when we got adopted recently by a female feral cat and were able to woo her inside, our older female cat was not happy.

Follow the spot cleaning steps above. As a last step, saturate the area with a spray of distilled white vinegar spray cut in half with water. Let this air dry. The acidity of the vinegar will neutralize the alkaline salts that give cat urine its distinctive smell. The vinegar smell will dissipate when it dries.

Carpets are the largest horizontal surface in our living spaces. They need your attention. If you need the place to look clean fast, clean the carpets. If you don’t have time for a full-on carpet-cleaning, at least give them a thorough vacuuming. It makes a big impact.

Further reading

Sal Suds cleaner shows >60% biodegradation after 28 days per ISO 14593

This use and many more are in my book, Soap & Soul: A Practical Guide to Minding Your Home, Your Body, and Your Spirit with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, available now in hardback on or at your favorite bookseller, and as an eBook and audiobook (read by me!) from wherever you download or listen.  

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Brittany says:

Hi! I just bought my first bottle of Sal’s Suds because I needed a good cleansing solution for my new hand mop (which has a nice little self- fill reservoir tank 13 5 oz. which I can put any cleaning solution I want in there). When I did the math and conversions using the guidance of 1/2 Tbsp per 3 gallons water, that came out to about 5 drops Sal’s per full of my mop tank.

I’m trying to understand, why LESS Sal’s is recommended when putting it in a carpet cleaner. I have a Hoover Spot Clean upholstery cleaning machine (a Godsend) which has a 0.4 gal tank. It doesn’t seem right that I’d use 5 drops to mop my floors, but only 1 drop in the Hoover?

Any insight appreciated.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Brittany – Love the math! I always get a little nervous when someone double checks me, but we’re all good here! The issue here is rinseability. On hard floors, we are able to remove with the mop most to all of the solution that we put down. However, with carpets, it is more difficult to remove the moisture. This is why we want to err on the side of extra-diluted for carpets so we don’t have to work as hard to get it back out. If you put too much Sal Suds into your carpet, you will notice there are copious bubbles that you would have to go over repeatedly with a rinse cycle of the machine.

commercial cleaners auckland says:

Recently, I gave Cleaning Carpets with Sal Suds & Castile Soap a try, and I must say that I was extremely happy with the outcomes. After just one cleaning, my carpets looked as good as new! This product is one that I would strongly recommend to anyone searching for a method that is both safe and effective to clean their carpets. Come across and hope you can visit this too to get more information.

Rachel says:

Hi Lisa,

I have the Bissell Little Green machine which has one compartment for water and solution. Would I fill that with water and then add the one drop of Sal’s? Should I then run another cleaning with just water or is that unnecessary?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rachel – Yes, put the water + one drop Sal Suds in the compartment. As far as the need to rinse, check your carpet after your first pass. Rub your hand over it and see if any bubbles come up. It all depends on how good the machine is at extracting the solution. If you need to go over it again, you can use either just water, or even add 1 c. vinegar. (The vinegar smell disipates after it dries and it carries other odors away with it.)

Cindy says:

I have been using Sal Suds for laundry and cleaning for over a year now. While I am impressed with the cleaning power, it seems like the pine scent has changed and not for the better. I find myself using Pinelan more because I love it’s natural pine scent.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cindy – I’m sorry to hear that you have noticed a change in the scent of our Sal Suds. It still has the same blend of Siberian Fir Needle and Spruce Leaf essential oil. Essential oils are particularly susceptible to changes in their climate, so it is possible that there are fluctuations in the aroma, though we add the same amount. If you want to add your own essential oils to increase the scent, use just a few drops at a time as they make a big impact.

april says:

wow this is so amazingggg. I am having a blast using sal suds to deep clean my musty dusty little old grandma style rental apartment. I got a mini hoover pet power dash carpet cleaner and use about 4 drops of suds to a tank and my house is soooo much cleaner. I’m cleaning the walls with the all purpose spray, I washed the curtains, I dusted the curtain rods and everything else with the spray too!! Amazing just amazing!!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi April- Excellent! I’m so glad Sal Suds is tackling all these jobs for you. Thanks for sharing!

Grandma says:

Love the product Sal Suds but wish it would smell like it use to. Been using it for 9 years and the last 2 shipments do not smell. Makes me sad. So looking for something as good because I loved the smell. Yes it still works but no smell.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there – I’m sorry to hear that. We haven’t changed the formulation, but if think there might be a quality control issue, I am happy to connect you with our customer service: Scent is usually the first thing to go if bottles have lived in prolonged heat or sun, or are old. The product will still work great, either way, and you are welcome to add more of your own essential oils to boost the scent. The two essential oils are Black Spruce Leaf Oil and Siberian Fir Needle Oil.

Susan A Olson says:

I have an old electrolux rug scrubber. The compartment for the water holds 8 cups. There is no rinse compartment. Seems to me that 1 drop of sal suds would not be enough. How big is the compartment of your machine where you are using 1 drop. I really would like to try it but at am a standstill about the amount.

Thank You,

Susan Olson

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Susan- It is a small amount, I know. But Sal Suds is both highly concentrated and generates copious bubbles. You can try two drops but take care as too much Sal Suds and you’ll end up with an excess of bubbles requiring an extra rinse.

jill says:

I don’t have Sal Suds, only the 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castille Soap
can I use this as a spot cleaner on carpets and/or in my Hoover mini carper cleaner?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jill- I’ve only used Sal Suds in my carpet cleaner, but I think you could use the Castile Soap. Try just 1/2 Tbsp. of the soap mixed with water in the cleaning compartment. For spot cleaning, spray with the Castile Soap All-Purpose spray of ¼ cup soap in a quart of water – enough to get it wet, but don’t saturate the spot. Scrub the carpet with the wet cloth. Use a second wet cloth and scrub the carpet some more to remove all the soap.

Shannon says:

Hi Lisa,
I have a Bissel little green pro heat. It is a small portable carpet cleaner. I use it to clean area rugs and couches. It has 2 compartments. One is for water and solution and the other for dirty water. So my question is do I need to do an extra rinse? Thanks

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shannon- Sal Suds rinses exceedingly clean, so unless you end up with an excess of bubbles for some reason, no. Add just one drop (yes, one drop) Sal Suds to the water/solution compartment (not the other way around) and clean as usual. Also keep in mind that by not using the carpet cleaner’s brand of cleaner, you might void the warranty. I’m okay with that, though.

CarpetCleanerPicks says:

Thanks Lisa. At least, I found something perfect. It is amazing.

Brenda says:

You have no idea how much I love Salsuds. I use it for everything….almost. I tried it in my carpet cleaner and WOW! My carpets look like new. I have pets so I did the nose in the carpet test. I smells like….nothing. No pet smell, no foot smell, no anything! My goodness how I love your products. Don’t even get me going on how Salsuds cleans my laundry! Lol

Lisa Bronner says:

Ha! Excellent! That kind of testimonial never gets old. Thank you, Brenda!

Michele says:

Hi Lisa,
Thank you so much! I have a question regarding something similar. I have one of those pet bark bath to help save A LOT of water bathing my 3 Great Danes. It came with some no rinse dog shampoo and I was wondering if you had a recommendation of a dilution recipe that I could use instead of their product. The tank for the shampoo contains about 1.5 cups of product.

Thank you so much for making going green so much fun.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Michele- Thank you for your kind words! Great Danes always make me smile. I hope you have a ton of fun with them. I don’t think our soap would be the best option for the Bark Bath. From what I see, there isn’t a rinsing involved, and our soap should not be left on the dogs’ fur.

Gina says:

Hello Lisa,

Do you have any recommendations for getting dog urine stains and odors out of rugs and carpet?
Would sal suds alone do the trick or should I use something with it? I’m scared that agitating with baking soda with cause discoloration.

The foaming carpet cleaners that claim to get rid of pet odors are so scary! What kind of residues do they leave behind?!


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Gina- Try the Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray (1 Tbsp. in 1 quart water. Spray and blot with a cloth. But if the stains are deep-down and into the pad, Sal Suds won’t be able to pick it up, in which case you need an enzyme cleaner sold specifically for pet stains.

Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet | Going Green with a Bronner Mom says:

[…] Cleaning Carpets with Sal Suds […]

Jennifer says:

Lisa, you stated that your carpet cleaner “cleaning solution tank that holds about 2 cups”
Does that mean that I should add 1 drop of Sal Suds for every 2 cups of water?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- My carpet cleaner has three compartments: one for the solution, one for the clean water, one for the dirty water that comes out of the carpet. The solution and the clean water are mixed as they are applied to the carpet. My dilution is based on this model. If yours only has one compartment into which you put both the solution and the water, then use the 1 drop there.

Jennifer Salaz says:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have used Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for years but now bought Sal Suds. I love it! I love that I can use it for every household cleaning need! I used to get overwhelmed with so many DIY cleaning recipes. Now I just use Castile and Sal Suds! Easy! I am so happy to have things simplified, cost effective, good for my family and the environment and they really work!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- I’m with you on that – easy is good!

Tish says:

Re: SalSuds…I’m seeking a professional carpet steam cleaner who I can convince to use Salsuds. One person on another site said to use one drop of SalSuds per 2 gallons water, whereas your recipe states one drop per 2 cups water. I wonder if the other blogger misread your recipe and stated 2 gallons instead of 2 cups? If I can convince a pro to use the correct recipe, it would be a huge relief. Several say they use “clean” products, but the preservatives often have respiratory concerns per EWG. org. Please say whether the 1 drop per 2 gas. water is a mistake. Thanks

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Tish – Sal Suds works great in carpet cleaners. I am not familiar with a wide variety of models, but mine has three compartments: one for the solution, one for the clean water, one for the dirty water that comes out of the carpet. The solution and the clean water are mixed as they are applied to the carpet. If this is the case with yours, you would want to put one drop of the Sal Suds in the solution compartment along with two cups of water. If yours only has one compartment into which you put both the solution and the water, then use the 1 drop there. I estimate that compartment would hold about two gallons. If that’s still fuzzy, let me know what carpet cleaner you have, and I am happy to be more specific.

Deena J says:

Thanks a lot for your useful tips here. I usually take the carpets and wash them in water, of course, it takes time and tired. I come up with the idea to buy a vacuum cleaner but it’s costly. I should try to clean with sad suds.

Oxy-Genie says:

Wow you thoroughly covered types of carpet cleaning and cleaning products, even looking out the above pictures stains appears gone. Keep up the excellent job.

Sam says:

Hi Lisa,

What’s the difference between the Sal Sud’s and Castile Soap? Can’t both be used for cleaning carpets?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sam – Yes, they both can be used. Sal Suds has a slight edge in stain tackling ability. I know I need to write a post about this. The short answer is that the Castile is a soap and the Sal Suds is a detergent. This means a difference in molecular structure that I can’t explain, although they both are surfactants, which means they cut surface tension and they have one end that is attracted to dirt (hydrophobic) and another side that’s attracted to water (hydrophilic). Soap is also much “closer to nature”, as it is a one step reaction to turn the oils into soap. Detergent is synthetic, requiring a multi-step process. As such, soap can be organic, and detergent cannot. Our Castile soaps are made with all organic oils. So as far as which to choose, whichever one you have is fine. You’d need a bit more of the Castile – maybe 1-2 tsp. If you have neither and have to order, give the Sal Suds a try.

Sam says:


I have a rug doctor steam cleaning carpet cleaning machine.

I heard great things about Baking soda, white vinegar, castile soap and now sal suds.

Which product should I use to deep clean my carpets? Should I mix a spoon of each product or is that overload?

I will be using hot tap water and I was thinking of mixing a spoon of baking soda with a spoon of castile soap and a drop of sal suds, or will this leave soap residue on carpets?

No pets. Just need to deep clean using rug doctor machine.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sam – I prefer Sal Suds for carpets. There’s no benefit to combining Sal Suds with Castile. Just one drop mixed with water in the cleaning solution compartment. More than that and you’ll be dealing with a lot of bubbles. Tea Tree essential oil is a fine idea. I’ve never added baking soda to my carpet cleaner itself. However, it is a great use on carpets: sprinkle the carpets with baking soda and brush it in with a broom. Then vacuum it out. It is great for deodorizing the carpet. Maybe that would be better after you’ve cleaned the carpet and let it dry.

Jenny D. says:

We have 100% wool carpet, and were advised to avoid cleaning with hot water to prevent shrinkage (think: washing a wool sweater in hot water). Are there any modifications to your instructions above when using room-temp water instead of hot? Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jenny – Both the Castile and the Sal Suds work equally well in cold or room temperature water, so you’re good to go!

Helen@Freshhomeguide says:

I have two carpets and two dogs. You can imagine how hard is for me to keep the carpets clean. Thanks a lot for the advices here! Regards! I have recently buyed a vacuum cleaner from If you are also looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner then you can try!

Sonia Thayer says:

Thank you for just being you!

My question is high-traffic area with carpet, definite improvement but should I be on my hands and knees with a brush? How do I go about expediting areas that are high traffic? Pre-spray?

I think unit Vance for your time and look forward to your reply

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sonia – Pre-spray high traffic areas will help immensely. Take the All Purpose Sal Suds spray (1 Tbsp. Sal Suds in a quart of water) and spray the area. You may want to take a cloth and scrub it into the carpet. Let it sit 10 minutes or so (not til it dries, though) and then run your carpet cleaner over it. Be sure it is fully rinsed afterwards. Run just water over it if it needs more rinsing. Otherwise, the leftover Sal Suds in the carpet will attract and hold on to dirt, getting it dirty again fast.

Wendy Langdon says:

I’ve used Sal Suds when I started working as a professional cleaner and it’s quite efficient indeed. Your recipes are a bit different and seem to work a good job too. I have few cleaning solution recipes left from my grandmother and I’m using them when I clean my home. I give them to my regular clients if they need, between the regular seasonal cleaning made by our company. Thanks for sharing your recipes, I should try them. Greets, Wendy from !

AlbertaPro Cleaning says:

Product just seems perfect to clean the carpet but please tell me if it really work because I’ve very costly carpet which was made a piece of dirt after party was held in my house. I can’t see my costly carpet stored in room Instead I want o use it in my hall where my guest sits and praise my clean home and glittering households. Anyone? I think I need someone professional who can save me from disgrace and awkwardness that you feel if your home look dirty just only due to the stained carpet.

Lisa Bronner says:

I highly recommend you spot test any product on an inconspicuous part of your carpet before trying it on the whole thing. I use Sal Suds often on mine, but please do test it first.

Adrienne spangle says:

Hi, Im new to Dr. Bronners and just bought the hemp and rose soap. I have been using melaleuca (tea tree) oil by doterra for hormonal acne that I’ve suddenly been bombarded with when I turned 30!!! Boo! Anyhow, would the hemp and rose help with my bad red spots and pimples just as well as the tea tree soap? I’m worried that doubling up on the tea tree wash and essential oil may dry me out. What do you suggest?? Thanks

Amy says:

Is the Sal Suds 100% natural like the castile soap is? If I use it to clean my whole carpet, does it need to be rinsed or extracted? The machine I use sprays the solution on the carpet, and scrubs it. But it does not rinse or extract the solution. The cleaner you are suppose to use with the machine locks onto the dirt and then you vacuum away when dry. But I would like an all natural cleaner, so I am lookkng for ideas to make myself.

nuplenish eye says:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about carpet cleaning.

amarie says:

The vinegar sounds like a great idea, have you had any problems using the vinegar with cats in the house?
I thought I had heard that the smell might provoke cats to urinate(similar to the ammonia smell)?
Any thoughts?

Mirry Tindle says:

We have had one very sick dog the last few weeks, she always has flare ups of her gastro issues, so that means lots of vomiting and sadly she doesn’t always make it to the tile floor so i’m always cleaning the carpet. I have purchased every carpet cleaner available and none of them get the carpet totally clean, there is always that residue left that stains the carpet. This morning I decided to try Sal Suds, absolutely brilliant, you cannot even see where the poor pooch vomited. I didn’t even need to use hardly any to get the carpet clean which makes better use of my money and keeps the chemicals out of the house. Looks like I will be using Sal Suds from now on.

Tabitha Teeter says:

I got a Hoover Power Scrub today because the dog problems were too much for my little spot cop device. Forgot to use hot water (my machine only allows up to 140 degrees) and it still cleaned great! You can’t tell where the dog vomited or piddled before. Can’t wait to feel it dry.

Elizabeth says:

Hey Lisa, thanks for sharing all of these fantastic tips. Question though, I’ve heard of people having mixed results with using vinegar both in terms of whether or not the stain can be removed and what it does to the carpet. What impacts whether or not the the vinegar can negatively affect the carpet?

Crystal says:

Thank you so much for the suggestions using sal suds for carpet cleaning. I used one drop, no vinegar, just hot water in my Bissel Proheat 2x healthy Home. Mind you, we just had our carpets cleaned professionally a month ago, but with 3 kids and 3 dogs, they were already looking disgusting again. I can’t tell you how many tanks full of brown, yucky water I poured down the drain (based on some blog comments, I will now use the water on my plants). I was absolutely amazed!! The carpets are soft and clean without any weird chemical residue or strong smell. I use sal suds throughout my house to clean everything. My favorite is to use directly on clothing stains before they go into the wash – it will get out stains far better than your standard pretreater. Love this product!

Ali says:

Lisa, I love all of the Dr. Bronner products but I wanted to thank you for recommending Sal Suds it has changed the way I clean my whole house! I love it and I’ve stopped getting headaches since I’ve tossed all of my chemical cleaners, it’s amazing! I just tried the Sal Suds vinegar solution in my Bissell Pro-Heat Pet carpet cleaner it worked wonderfully. The solution removed the dog stains and my carpet looks good as new. I love that the carpet is so clean without the heavy gagging chemical perfumey smell that the Bissell solution leaves. Many thanks for running this wonderful blog!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ali – You are very welcome! Thank you for the encouragement.


trudy says:


I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing what type of Bissell cleaner you have? I am in the market for a good carpet cleaner, and am looking for feedback/recommendations based on what people have used–specifically people that only use non toxic cleaning products. And b/c of my health issues, I don’t use any chemical based products, (I make my own all natural disinfectant w/ Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap), so I need to make sure the carpet cleaner I get will work w/ products like Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds–which is one reason your post here caught my eye. As this is EXACTLY the way I would want to use a carpet cleaner. You seem to be rather pleased w/ the results of your cleaner, and I see by other posts, that you too have pets (I have 5 precious little therapy pups)so you have first hand experience the messes they can create 0_0 and what is involved in keeping carpets clean.
Thank you for your time and feedback

Lisa Bronner says:

@Trudy – Mine is a Bissell Pro-heat Turbo. It is easy to use and very effective. I got this one at Costco a couple of years ago. I don’t know what they’re selling now. I do have two dogs as well as the three kids, so my carpets see a good bit of action. I can bring out the carpet cleaner easily for spots or whole floor cleaning. Good luck!


Val says:

I have a Hoover carpet cleaner, $150-ish, WalMart. easier than vacuuming! All the labor is in the filling and dumping of the water. I’ve always done a rinse with vinegar (1/2 cup) to cut the soap residue and the rinse water is always dirtier than the wash used water! With Bronner Soap, I just use hot water to rinse unless there is a smell present (like fire place smoke) and then I rinse with vinegar water, but not needed to remove residue with the Dr Bonner Soap that I actually buy at Walgreens on line! Residue is the enemy! lol

Elma says:

Great tip about sal suds and carpet. We washed our carpets with ONE DROP as you said, and was amazed by how well that one drop worked. We also had our spray bottle of sal suds handy for some of the more stubborn areas. The carpets felt softer on our bare feet after the carpets dried, much softer than with a commercial carpet cleaner. We also use sal suds to wash dishes and clean sufaces. AWESOME. Hey – we just told a friend about the Dr. Bronner’s movie! It was great.

Lisa Bronner says:

@ Ronald – Your dilution all depends then on how much you use of the solution you’ve made. Perhaps you could do some trials and see what is the most diluted you can get and still get soapy suds. It might vary for the different uses. I’m glad you are enjoying Karen Logan’s book. It held my hand while I made the transition to the green world.

@ Deb – The soap might strip the protective layers on your couch. Try this solution – 2/3 c. olive oil, 1/3 c. white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. lemon oil. The vinegar can clean it, the olive oil can nourish it. Please spot test it to make sure you don’t see any problems. Let me know how it goes!

@ Wretha – Wow! It sounds you’re the one who should be writing the blog. The Sal Suds wash water is safe to pour on your plants. As you’d probably gather, though, and for others who read this, if you’ve used the Sal Suds to wash something really nasty (like something covered in motor oil, for instance), I don’t recommend pouring that water on plants. Thank you for your ink removal tip. I’ll store that one away!

Thanks for reading, everyone! Glad it’s helping.


Rainbow Luna says:

Thank you for this informative blog, I am a huge fan of Dr Bronner’s and I want to share his products with all my friends and family. Your blog really inspired me to clean up stains that have been lingering on my carpet for quite some time.. lol I just recently posted about Dr Bronner’s because most of my family doesn’t even know about these products and I feel that a blog is a great way to get the products out there. I linked Dr. Bronner’s website so they can browse his whole line of amazing products. Thanks again for sharing, check out on my blog on healthy living and natural beauty. Have an amazing day!
Lite N Love

Click here for more information on natural alternatives to health and beauty

Morgy says:

Thank you very much. I’ll give it a try, when I get the product, and post back how it went.

Wretha says:

I just purchased Sal Suds for doing laundry, I do it by hand, we live 100% off grid, we live like modern day pioneers. I love using Dr Bronner’s soaps, I use the magic soap (liquid) in various scents on my skin and did use it on my laundry until I learned about Sal Suds.

My question for you is this, is Sal Suds safe to pour on plants, I’m not talking about full strength, but diluted in lots of water, as in after the laundry is done and I have a bucket (or sink) full of Sal Suds, water and dirt, can I safely pour this on my food garden?

I used to use Shaklee products, and their liquid soaps (Basic H mostly) were not only safe to pour on plants when diluted with water, it was actually good for the plants, you could clean your floor then pour the leftover soapy water on your houseplants or other plants. I hope the Sal Suds are also safe. I generally pour the used laundry water down the drain, it goes into a pit in the front yard to be dispersed into the ground. If it turns out that Sal Suds are safe for plants, I’d rather use that soapy water on my plants.

Oh and for Morgy, you can use isopropyl alcohol to remove the ink, I would say to test it first to make sure it will not make things worse, but if you already have printer ink on your couch, I can’t imagine how it could be worse LOL. If you can remove the cover, or have access to the back side of the place that is stained, all the better, get a bottle of alcohol and a roll of paper towels and a bunch of cotton balls, you’ll need to put lots of paper towels on the backside of the fabric (if you can get to it), you can use cotton balls soaked in alcohol and blot the spot until the cotton ball is dirty, repeat with clean cotton balls soaked in alcohol, replace the paper towels as they get dirty, keep doing this until the cotton balls and paper towels no longer show any ink or until the ink is gone. Try your best not to allow the stain to get any larger, work slow and carefully.


Deb Spencer says:

Would Dr. Bronner’s work on my leather couch? We have 3 small dogs and a dirty backyard. They come in and all jump onto the cream-colored leather couch. We’ve been looking for something good to clean it with.

Ronald Kearn says:

Dear Lisa:
As you know, i have been using Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile peppermint soap for many many years. When I get one of your gallons i cut it by 50%. I use this for showering, hair and once in a while brushing my teeth.
Should i be cutting this by 1/3 or even 75% in order to save money? Please advise. Oh and also i use this same soap as a hand cleaner at the kitchen sink instead of the commercial hand soaps.
ron kearn
PS: I got Karen Logan’s book; “Clean House Clean Planet”, It’s very very informative and helpful.

Lisa Bronner says:

@Morgy – That definitely sounds like a mess! Different types of ink are made of very different materials. I haven’t had to clean off printer ink in particular, but the Sal Suds does work well with removing non-permanent marker, ball-point pen ink, most paint, and crayons. Definitely give it a try. If you have a carpet cleaner with a scrubbing hose attachment, that would be a good option on you sofa. If it’s on a part of the sofa that is removable, like a zippered couch cushion, take the cover off while you’re cleaning it so that you don’t accidentally saturate the interior and have difficulty drying it.

Let the Sal Suds sit on the spot for 10 minutes or so. You might also want to try scrubbing some baking soda into the Sal Suds with a soft toothbrush. (Testing for color-fastness in an obscure spot is a good idea, though.) Good luck!

@Best Carpet – Sal Suds is a gentle and non-toxic all purpose cleaner made by Dr. Bronner’s Soaps. You can read more about it at It’s available at many natural product stores in the house cleaning section.

Happy Cleaning!

best carpet cleaning services says:

I’m thinking that I will go get Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds (what is this? I just saw you mention this for cleaning your carpet), and vinegar. I’ll scrub the area really well and then soak it w/ vinegar and get a carpet cleaner tomorrow to finish the job.

Morgy says:

I am hoping to give your products a try. A friend gave me the url for your site so here I am.
I can’t wait to try this on ‘all’ the spots on my carpets. What I would like to ask is how does this (if it does) work on ink spots on furniture? My grandson’s managed to splash black printer ink on our off white couch and I would love to find a way to get rid of it. (no I’ve not told my husband about this instead I’ve hidden the stains with throw blankets)

Lisa Bronner says:

@ Rebecca – The only issue with any of the castile soaps on carpet is that if your water is hard, they probably will leave a residue on the carpets. It’s not soap left – it’s salts that form with the hard water. If you don’t have hard water, or you have a water softener, or are putting distilled water in your carpet cleaner, you may not have this. You can try it and see. It’s not going to hurt your carpets, and if you get the residue, you can go back over them with Sal Suds instead. Also, you don’t want to put vinegar in the rinse water that will come directly into contact with the soapy water. (Check out my blog about those two: However, if you extract all the soapy water out of the carpet and then go over the carpet again with a vinegar solution, that would remove the residue.

Beth – Since you’ve used the castile soap, can you share how it went?

All the best,

Rebecca says:

Hi Lisa… Thanks so much for your blog. It’s been so helpful to me. Would you use tea tree castille soap on your carpets? Is there a reason you wouldn’t use it? Thanks for your feedback…


Beth says:

Thank you Lisa for all your great tips! I actually just steam cleaned my carpets this past weekend with Dr. Bronner’s Lavender. Not only did it clean like a charm, but it had my whole house smelling divine!

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

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