Distilled white vinegar is found in any supermarket or grocery store. A dilute solution of acetic acid, vinegar can be used to clean everything from window glass to laundry. To remove light stains and odor from the carpets, simply mix equal portions of white vinegar and hot water, and pour the solution into the reservoir of a standard steam cleaning machine. Alternatively, the vinegar solution can be poured into a spray bottle and used as a spot treatment. Simply spray the solution on the stain, completely saturating the carpet fibers, and allow it to sit for five minutes. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush until the stain vanishes.
A quick scan of the product label will reveal several undesirable ingredients in many carpet freshening powders. A clean and safe carpet deodorizer can be made at home by simply sprinkling the carpet with a generous coating of bicarbonate soda or baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit for 30 minutes, and vacuum well. The baking soda will absorb odors, eliminate light stains and will also remove potentially mold-causing moisture from the carpet fibers. For stubborn odors, allow the baking soda to remain on the carpet overnight. To add extra fragrance to the room, mix 20 drops of your favorite essential oil into 1/2 cup of baking soda and stir well; spread the mixture evenly over the carpet and let it sit for two hours before vacuuming.
Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol can also be an effective nontoxic carpet cleaning chemical. An all-purpose solvent, it can be used as a spot remover, dissolving difficult stains such as ink or crayon. It will also work on greasy stains, such as those caused by food or cosmetics. To apply, moisten a clean cloth with alcohol, and press the cloth firmly against the stain. Repeat the blotting motion until the stain disappears. Do not rub or scrub as this can cause the stain to spread rather than diminish.