The One Simple DIY That Will Save You From Carpet Stains

carpet stain remover

I’ve been writing about household cleaning for nearly 10 years at this point, the majority of the homemade cleaning solutions I’ve shared can be categorized in one of two ways. They’re usually either recipes, such as a cleaning spray you mix up ahead of time and use whenever you need it, or they are more of a method, where ingredients are measured and applied in a certain order as part of a specific treatment.

I’ve shared plenty of both types of cleaning solutions over the years. However, it recently occurred to me that when it comes to treating carpets stains in particular, most of the solutions I’ve shared in the past (including removing pet stains and stubborn stains from carpet) qualify as methods, not recipes.

Related: How to Make Blood Stains Disappear

That feels like a bit of an oversight to me, so today I’ll be sharing a brand new recipe for a carpet stain remover spray! Mix up a batch for yourself and keep it handy for any carpet stains that may befall you in the future. :-)

carpet stain remover

What’s In It?

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk a little bit about what goes into this carpet stain remover spray. Here’s a quick look at the four powerhouse cleaning ingredients in this recipe, and a bit about how they can help eliminate carpet stains:

  • Borax – Cleans and deodorizes while boosting the performance of other cleaning ingredients
  • White Vinegar – Extremely effective at neutralizing odors, and its acidity helps to dissolve acidic components in stains
  • Distilled Water – Water alone can dissolve all sorts of stains, and distilled (or boiled) water is typically preferred for use in DIY cleaners
  • Lemon Essential Oil – Brightens and whitens fabrics, eliminates germs, and leaves behind a fresh, clean scent

How To Make Your Own Carpet Stain Remover Spray

carpet stain remover


2 tsp borax
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup distilled water
10 drops lemon essential oil

carpet stain remover


Add the borax to a 16-ounce spray bottle, then pour in the vinegar and water. Add the lemon oil, then replace the spray top and shake to combine.

carpet stain remover

Keep in mind that you should always give this spray a good shake before using it to remix the ingredients. (Borax can be stubborn about dissolving and mixing with other ingredients, but it’s nothing a good shake won’t fix!)

How To Use Your Homemade Carpet Stain Remover Spray

carpet stain remover

Step 1 – Pre-Clean

The first step you should take when treating any stain is to remove as much of the spilled substance as possible before applying your cleaner. You can do this by picking up any solids with your hands, or pressing on it with a wet cloth to absorb excess liquid.

carpet stain remover

Step 2 – Spray

Once you’ve done that, spray the cleaner onto the carpet stain, using enough to dampen the area without soaking it. Let the cleaner work its magic on the stain for 5-10 minutes before proceeding.

carpet stain remover

Step 3 – Blot

Next, place a clean cloth on the area and press down on it absorb the stain. Continue blotting the stain (blot, don’t rub!), rotating the cloth to a clean section as needed, until the stain is gone.

carpet stain remover

Step 4 – Rinse & Dry

Finish by blotting the area with a clean, damp cloth to rinse out the remainder of the stain remover spray. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture, then allow the area to air dry.

carpet stain remover

How do you clean up carpet stains at home?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • I love the addition of the lemon essential oil for a fresh, clean scent! I’m definitely going to try this on my next carpet stain. I have also found that calling in a professional for carpet cleaning for larger stains is super helpful!

  • Would anyone know of a reasonable priced cat urine remover for carpets. They cannot afford to replace the carpet at this time. A family member’s cat had a bladder / kidney issues and could not control itself. Sad part, they had to put the cat down due to the disease that was not curable. Their finances are tight as most people during these trying times but to top that off, her husband was in a serious car accident and will be out of work for about one year. Any information will be appreciated.

  • I’ve always used hydrogen peroxide (spray) for stains and it works very well. I’ll try this recipe though because I have all the ingredients for it. Are there any tips for removing dried paint (water based) off carpets?? I’d love to hear some!

  • I could have used this tip years ago. I used to keep a can of Spot Shot carpet spray in the house. It was back when I still had my Cat who would get hair balls usually on our carpet.

  • About 30 years ago I discovered a product called ADVANTAGE. I have yet to find a stain it won’t clean. It is pricey but the bottle is a concentrate that you mix (strength) depending on what you are cleaning. A bottle will lasts me at least 5 years. It is really great to clean upholstery, carpet, clothing stains, etc. I never let it run out. I keep a bottle with a general mix under the sink and it is ready to grab and use on general stains.

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