Perfect DIY Carpet Cleaning Method + Recipe (2024)

Modified: by Vanessa Goodpaster-Beaty · This post may contain affiliate links · 29 Comments

Ah, those wonderful carpet stains. Whether you have pets, kids, or just know some really messy people, if you have carpet, then at some point you are going to have carpet stains. There is a great homemade recipe for getting organic stains out of your carpet.

Perfect DIY Carpet Cleaning Method + Recipe (1)

Note that organic stains are those made of food, dirt, and the like. This is really not a good choice for ink or dye stains because it contains vinegar, which could potentially make the stains worse.

For the carpet cleaner, you will need the following:

  • 1 part vinegar
  • 2 parts water

That’s all there is to it. Just mix the water and vinegar together in a spray bottle. Spray it over the stain and cover it with a damp rag. Put your iron on the steam setting and iron the rag for about 30 seconds or so, depending on how bad it is.

You may have to repeat if the stain is really dark, but this will work wonderfully to remove common foods and dirt from your carpet and the vinegar is a good odor eliminator as well, so it works really well on pet stains. Photo via Babble.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Patty

    How about Kool aid spilled on the carpet? Will vinegar be worse for that?


    • Shell

      Kool aid I use windex and let soak in then a white towel and iron on low. The stain transfers to the towel.


      • Nicci

        'Juice out' works great too! 7 or 8 bucks on Amazon. Pet stains use 'stain and stink' also on Amazon for less than 20 bucks for a spray bottle



      Also salt helps if you pour it on after you've wiped up it should soak it up.. don't be liberal with it.


    • Brenda

      Just pour peroxide directly from bottle on stain, and forget it. Also chocolate milk will disappear like majic. I stock pile peroxide from Walmart. It's 88 cents for large bottles. Good for urine pet stains and smell. I pour on urine lavishly, then go over with my carpet cleaner. I add Fabulous and water to my cleaner for a fresh smell. Also makes laundry smell fresher than Gain with just a few cap fulls!


  2. Deb

    what kind of vineger


    • Rhissanna

      White vinegar. Works really well for vomit stains, too. Never, ever use on kool aid, though. U dye wool with kool aid and use a little vinegar to set the dye.


      • Vanessa Beaty

        Thanks for the tip Rhissanna.


  3. angel

    So I spilt wax from a scentcy outlet burner on my white carpet , any idea what I should use or how to get it out?


    • Misty

      An old t shirt and an iron. Turn off the steam setting. Start with low heat. Cover wax spot with old t shirt and iron over. The idea is to melt the wax into the shirt. Don't put iron directly on carpet. Once it starts to transfer to t shirt, move to a clean area on shirt and repeat. Do it until wax has melted onto the shirt.


      • Courtney

        Using a brown paper bag instead of the t shirt works also. Had bright red candle wax on my tan Carpet used the bag and iron and it came right up!


  4. Yvonne

    Will spirit vinegar work?


  5. Angie

    What about coffee stains?


  6. BUFFY

    This is an amazing tip, thanks so much!


  7. Kim

    Will this recipe mess up my Kirby? Or should I use a spray bottle? Paid way too much for it to ruin it. Also, the stain is an old vomit stain that I have tried to clean oh so many times and of course, it's right in the doorway, so I can't cover it up with furniture.


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  9. Patty

    I just wanted to show my appreciation for all the inspiration you have passed on to so many. Thanks doesn't seem like enough but I do enjoy ALL your DIY projects and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am soooooo glad I am retired so I can play more and try different things. There is so much, sometimes it's hard to decide on what I want to do! So again, thank you so very much and I've passed your website around. You can never have too many fans!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Connie

      Yes Patty retirement is wonderful!!!!


  10. Susan Renaud

    The 'Carpet Cleaning' title is misleading. This is a stain -remover. I couldn't imagine using this treatment on an entire carpet


    • Cheryl

      Just tried this on my stair landing. Followed instructions exactly, but nothing came up. I am dealing with a lot of ground-in dirt from mu sons dirty socks. Any suggestions?


  11. Lauren

    We are moving into a home that has really bad stained carpets. Atleast 2 year old carpet stains, maybe even longer. Whats the best way of attacking these stains??


  12. Sandie

    Vacuum cleaner salesman said to never sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and them vacuum up. It will mess up your vacuum cleaner!


  13. Paul Brown

    A great recipe for carpet cleaning. One thing I do for tough stains or dirt is that I use shampoo instead of vinegar, as high concentrated acid could fdo damage on your carpets. So, I use shampoo recipe which, if prepared using organic methods, can prove really useful.


  14. Paul Brown

    A great recipe for carpet cleaning. One thing I do for tough stains or dirt is that I use shampoo instead of vinegar, as high concentrated acid could do damage on your carpets. So, I use shampoo recipe which, if prepared using organic methods, can prove really useful.


  15. Jeremy Parker

    Nice DIY. very simple and effective. Thanks for sharing!


  16. jane silberfein

    How do you get printer toner outof light carpet?


Perfect DIY Carpet Cleaning Method + Recipe (2024)


Perfect DIY Carpet Cleaning Method + Recipe? ›

In a spray bottle, mix one cup of distilled water, one cup of distilled white vinegar, and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Shake well to mix and label the bottle.

What is the best homemade recipe for carpet cleaner? ›

How to use it
  1. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray onto the stain, covering it thoroughly.
  3. Leave for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub with a hard-bristle brush. This should clear the stain, with no need to rinse the carpet afterward, according to Wilkesmann.
Nov 2, 2021

What is the best home remedy for dirty carpets? ›

Vinegar-Based Solution

This is the most effective method for removing carpet stains. You will only need white vinegar and water. Mix half a cup of white vinegar and one cup of water in a spray bottle. After spraying the vinegar solution, let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

What is the most effective carpet cleaning method? ›

Hot water extraction or steam cleaning uses hot water applied to carpet fibers with a high-pressure wand. The hot water and pressure both work to dissolve thick dirt, mud, dust, and other debris from carpeting, allowing it to be extracted easily.

What is the best mixture to get stains out of carpet? ›

Next, try a solution of white vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and water in a spray bottle. Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap, and fill with water. Spray the solution liberally on the stain and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Then, blot the stain with a clean, dry towel until it is removed.

Does vinegar and dawn clean carpet? ›

A few drops of dawn dish detergent and vinegar make a foaming carpet cleaner. The dish detergent serves as a degreaser while vinegar acts as a stain fighter. Ensure to clean the area thoroughly to prevent dish detergent residues.

Can I make my own carpet cleaning solution? ›

Vacuum the carpet well! Then mix a teaspoon of dawn detergent a cup of white vinegar and 12 cups of water in a large bucket. Use a scrub brush and apply the solution to carpet, blot with towel do entire carpet, repeat with clear water to rinse changing water often. Let dry vacuum well again when dry.

How do you deep clean homemade carpet? ›

Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax or baking soda, and 1/4 cup vinegar to create a paste. Apply the paste to any stubborn stains or heavily soiled carpet areas, then leave it to dry. This usually takes a few hours, but you must let it dry out thoroughly to ensure it does its job. Once it's dry, you can vacuum it up.

How do I super clean my carpet? ›

  1. Scrape or vacuum loose soil.
  2. Spray soiled area of carpet with water.
  3. Spray soiled area of carpet with an approximately equal amount of Super Clean.
  4. Wait 3-5 minutes.
  5. Loosen soil with stiff brush for a minute.
  6. Spray water onto area.
  7. Blot with paper towel or vacuum moisture with a wet/dry shop vac.

How do you deep clean carpet at home? ›

To make your own carpet-stain-remover paste, combine 1 part powdered laundry stain remover (commonly known as borax), 1 part salt and 1 part vinegar. Apply the paste to the stains or soiled sections of your carpet and allow it to dry for several hours. Then vacuum up the residue.

How do I clean my carpet like a professional? ›

To deep-clean carpet:
  1. Vacuum thoroughly to lift surface debris.
  2. Fill the steamer's reservoir with distilled water and white vinegar or steam cleaner solution.
  3. Glide the steamer slowly over the carpet, making multiple passes.
  4. Replace the microfiber pad as needed until water runs clear.
Nov 9, 2023

What do professional carpet cleaners use for solution? ›

Most professionals would only be using a couple of good quality alkali cleaning products varying in pH, such as Advanced Cleaner or Fast Lane to remove the acidic soil on the majority of their cleans.

What can I use instead of Bissell cleaning solution? ›

Well, you can use Baking soda, Vinegar, Castile soap, or even Warm Water. However, you must keep in mind that you should leave the carpets to dry after you use them.

What does vinegar and baking soda do to carpet? ›

Vinegar and baking soda can be used for carpet cleaning, but not together. Vinegar, when diluted with water, can help remove stains and odors. Baking soda is effective for deodorizing carpets. Apply vinegar or baking soda separately, allow it to dry, and then vacuum the carpet.

Does vinegar and baking soda remove old stains from carpet? ›

Yes, vinegar and baking soda are a powerful combination that has been proven to remove old stains from carpet. When combined with vinegar, the oxidation power of the baking soda creates a potent solution that can uproot the toughest set-in stains from carpet.

Is baking soda and vinegar a good carpet cleaner? ›

If the liquid has created a stain, you can remove it by combining baking soda with another non-toxic cleaning agent: vinegar. Mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda until it creates a thick paste. Then, apply the paste to the stained area of carpet. Using a wet rag, work the paste into the carpet.

Is vinegar or carpet cleaner better? ›

Using Vinegar to Clean Carpet is Not Effective

While some websites sing the praises of vinegar as an all-purpose cleanser, it simply shouldn't be used on carpet. Here's why … Vinegar is great for countertops, but it's one of the least effective solutions out there for removing dirt from carpet fibers.


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