How safe is your carpet cleaner concentrate?

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natural pet-safe carpet cleaner from doTERRA

I don’t know about you, but if I didn’t have children or pets, I probably wouldn’t need a carpet cleaner!

I’ve been using essential oils to spot clean my carpets when needed, but just today I came to the conclusion that I was either going to have to have my carpets cleaned, hire a grocery store carpet cleaner, or buy a carpet cleaner.

My fate was sealed when my Ma sent me some money for my birthday – which just happened to be the cost of the carpet cleaner I was looking at. No coincidences, huh!

Of course, when I got to the store, I couldn’t decide whether to add to the amount and buy a bigger, better model, or stick with the original model I had planned on buying.

You know where this is going.

I spent the extra.

My brand-spankin’ shiny new carpet cleaner came with a trial size “recommended” carpet shampoo. And, of course, I did my due diligence and researched what is in this fantabulous concoction. Let me tell you what I found:

  • Water (diluting agent)
  • Sodium Polymethacrylate (chelating agent; suspending agent) – not toxic
  • Sulfonated Methylene-Bridged Phenolic Polymer (surface modifier) – can no longer find a good source of information on whether this is toxic or not
  • C6-10 Alcohols Ethoxylated Propoxylated (surfactant- emulsifier, wetting, dispersing agent) – not toxic
  • Sodium Caprylyl Sulfonate (surfactant – cleaning agent) – some environmental concerns
  • C10-12 Branched Alcohols Ethoxylated 5-7EO (surfactant – cleaning agent) – some concerns, including carcinogenic
  • Fragrance (fragrancing compound)
  • Methylisothiazolinone (preservative) – possible allergen

So, it’s not exceedingly bad, but still – when it comes to children and animals, I prefer to not take any chances. And that’s why I clean with a Cleaner Concentrate made with our Protective, or Immunity blend of essential oils.

My favorite carpet cleaner

This cleaner concentrate is designed to be the ideal natural cleaner. It is fortified with my company’s proprietary blend of Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils. This powerful essential oil blend is combined with plant-based derivatives that provide a non-toxic and biodegradable way to clean and eliminate odors.

It is safe for my family as well as the environment. The multi-purpose capabilities of this cleaner concentrate make it perfect to expertly clean hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, or any room leaving behind a clean and invigorating scent. It’s also perfect as a replacement for the product that came with my carpet cleaner! I just use the cleaner concentrate in its place, and my world is better off for it.

Seriously, I wouldn’t be without this tool in my cleaning arsenal.


After receiving a text asking if I used the cleaner concentrate in the carpet cleaner, I realized I probably didn’t word this correctly!

Instead of the concentrate that came with the machine, I used my favorite cleaner concentrate – but I only used half the amount that it recommended I use of the original concentrate – I also added a teaspoon of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, Peppermint scented. Because you know that spiders don’t like peppermint!

It worked like a charm, even on old, set-in stains.


  1. Do you use the doterra concentrate to steam clean carpets?

    • I do! I think my machine could be classified more of a carpet shampooer than a steam cleaner though. It does use heated water, but not sure if it’s hot enough to be rated as a steam cleaner.

  2. I work for a carpet cleaning company, and I know that a lot of concern with our customers is whether the products are safe for their kids or pets to be around after the cleaning. We definitely try to reduce the risk as much as we can, but no product that works well is 100% free of “bad” chemicals. The best thing to do is definitely to keep small children and pets away from the carpets until they dry. That way, you can be worry free when it comes to keeping loved ones safe and the carpets don’t get dirt tracked on them before they’re dry.

    • I lost 2 of my cats due to negligence by a carpet cleaning company. I cannot emphasize enough to wait until the carpets are dry and then wait longer. The company gave me a drying time of 2 hours which was obviously not enough. I knew so little about carpet cleaning so i did what they said – they are the experts right! I will regret hiring that company for the rest of my life

  3. That may be true, but chemicals don’t go away after the carpet dries. You would still come into contact with them. I personally don’t like to put my babies on surfaces with chemicals. I recently used the on guard laundry detergent and got a great result, just a little less than two tablespoons did the trick. I love on guard, it’s so safe and gives me peace of mind with the little ones running around!

  4. I love the on guard concentrate!
    Your article came up when I looked if I could use the concentrate in my carpet steam cleaner:)
    How much concentrate do u use?
    And great idea abt the peppermint soap!

    • Hi Melissa!

      I use probably 3 Tbsp of the concentrate in my carpet cleaner. And another update, I switched from using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint, to using Dr. Bronner’s Orange soap. It blends perfectly with the orange in the OnGuard!

  5. NONE – pull up all carpets. I had my carpets cleaned in july 2014, 4 days later 2 of my previously healthy cats died of kidney and liver failure. The tech told me that he sprayed the worse areas extra good and gave me a drying time of 2 hours. I have done a lot of research on chemicals used in carpet cleaning and the results are eye-opening. The tech was certainly negligent in how he sprayed the products and not providing a correct drying time. I have been completely devastated. The cleaning company has been adversarial from the beginning. Now I’m working my way through an insurance claim. Buy wood floors

    • I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time with your carpets, Laura, and so sorry you lost your cats, that’s just awful.

      I’d love to pull mine up, but unfortunately the person who put carpets in my house, way before I bought it, glued them to the floor, so I’m stuck with carpet.

      • Thank you so much for you kind words. Obviously I’m struggling with this company. The deeper I did the more dirt I find. They and their friends are harassing me on yelp. So it is nice to find some comfort. One thing I have noticed is for every mean thing they do, kindness comes back to me 10 fold.

        BTW – My carpets were glued too. I don’t know how they got them up.

  6. I have been a carpet cleaner for over 20 years. I don’t mean to sound rude but all those machines are made primarily for small areas and spot cleaning. There are a few different kinds of child and pet friendly solutions on the market which I use but it’s not all just about the chemicals. It depends how long the stain or spill was there, what is the stain and is it permanent,what kind of carpet you have, air circulation once the job is done, are people walking on it right away, and many other factors. One being the ph balance in the solution and the amount of residue left behind after cleaning. A carpet needs to be as residue free as possible once cleaned or what ever is left behind will act like a magnet and just attract dirt again. When you say the word shampoo it makes me cringe because it contains too much soap,=residue, and the Biggest part you may be overlooking is the Rinse. I use a Truck Mounted machine which costs about 35,000 dollars, a bit more than yours right. My point is, use your machine for small areas and spot cleaning and leave the big job for the professionals who know exactly what they are doing, hopefully. Believe it or not the money you spend on the carpet cleaning is well worth it, and when done on a regular basis- every 12 to 18 months depending on the traffic, your carpet will last you many extra years. At appx. 25.00 dollars a room, a house with 6 rooms to be cleaned will cost less than most cable bills.

    • Jeff – In your 20 years of experience, have you every come across a situation where the carpet cleaning was harmful to pets. I had a few rooms cleaned. The company did not use a truck mounted method because I would have noticed the hoses or whatever is used. I don’t know what he did honestly I was working from home and not watching the technician. I have the names of the products used. After the cleaning was complete, the tech said he sprayed the bad areas really good and to give it 2 hours before letting my pets out of the crates. Four days later 2 of my cats died from a toxin. They were in something caustic because they had sores in their mouths. I didn’t do a necropsy. It was a horrible day and that was not on my mind. However, all the normal reasons for this type of poison did not fit. I have no plants, no antifreeze, no tylenol, nothing. The carpet cleaning was the only thing that changed in the house. The products are Ultrapac and Odor U doz it. I just need an honest opinion for my peace of mind. I do think he did not give me a long enough drying time. The rooms cleaned were the formal areas, not my bedroom so I have no idea if the carpets were still wet or not. Thanks I appreciate any info you can provide.

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