I have a hoover carpet shampooer and use it about once a month to keep the high traffic areas in the house we rent clean, because we really need our deposit money back. The bottles of carpet cleaning solution are extremely costly (about $7) and only come in a liquid form. Yesterday in an act of desperation when the spots simply weren't going away I went to the local grocery store and picked up a jar of Oxi powder stuff from the laundry soap department and was shocked to find that it actually works about twice as well as the hoover brand heavy duty cleaner I was paying twice as much for. Note: I always run over my carpets with a tank of clean water to reduce the soap residue left behind. I am also now throwing down old area rugs in the high traffice areas so I won't have to clean the floors so often.
I was wondering if there are any other stetchers who have any other tips for less expensive carpet cleaning products and/or solutions that one would not normally think to use.