Not only can you freshen and deodorize your carpets and upholstery with DIY recipes, you can remove stains from your carpets naturally, as well. I would be shocked if you did not have all the ingredients needed to create a homemade carpet stain spray sitting in your homestead pantry right now.
There are two major benefits to making your own DIY carpet stain spray. First, you know exactly what types of recipe ingredients your family and pets are being exposed to during the stain removal treatment. Secondly, you can quickly make the natural stain spray yourself for about $.75.
As already noted in all of the New Life On A Homestead low-tox household cleaner articles, and in the carpet freshener and deodorizers articles specifically, commercial manufacturers are not legally required to list all of the ingredients on product labels.
Thanks to “proprietary laws” we have no clue what potentially toxic chemicals are being used in fragrance mixtures that go into common cleaning products, nor are we enlightened about the potential health threats long term exposure to government approved chemicals may have on our bodies or on our pets.
Vinegar is the base and active ingredient in nearly all versions of my favorite stain sprays. While you can simply and effectively use the natural DIY base recipe to treat all carpet, throw rugs, pet bedding, and related upholstered furniture stain treatments, adding in other natural, and common household ingredients to treat specific types of stains will generally yield greater success.
DIY Carpet Stain Spray Base Recipe
- spray bottle with nozzle
- 1.5 cups distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons table salt or sea salt
- Combine 1 ½ cups of distilled white vinegar (simmer the vinegar for about 5 minutes if you want to freshen the carpet while removing the stain) with 2 tablespoons of either standard table salt or sea salt.
- Put the lid and nozzle on the spray bottle, and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
- Spray the stained area on the carpet from no more than 2 feet above or adjacent to it.
- Allow the DIY carpet stain spray to sink into the fibers of the carpeting, upholstery, or fabric being treated until it is completely dry to the touch.
- You can blot but NOT rub the DIY carpet stain spray recipe during the treatment process if you feel doing so might be necessary to help pull up the stain completely. Never rub a stain, no matter how old it is, because the active natural ingredients in the recipe could then spread the stain instead of lifting it.
- Vacuum the carpet to remove the salt after the natural carpet stain spray has dried.
Caution – some folks feel that sweeping carpet stain or fresheners that contain small particles like salt, baking soda, or commercially manufactured chemicals can damage the motor, bags, or filters on a vacuum cleaner – possibly causing it to overheat.
I have never had this experience, but you might want to invest in an inexpensive handheld sweeper or a manual sweeper, just in cases.
Juice and Fruit Stains Recipe Variation
- Mix the base DIY carpet stain spray recipe and then add in 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of either liquid dish soap or liquid laundry detergent – preferably naturally homemade varieties.
- Next, pour in up to 2 cups of cold water.
- Put the lid and the nozzle firmly on the spray bottle and shake vigorously for about 45 seconds.
- Spray the stained area on the carpet, upholstery, or fabric covered item.
- Blot the stain with the mixture thoroughly, then follow the base recipe instructions for drying and removal.
Deep or Dark Stains Recipe Variation
- If dealing with a dark stain (especially on lighter carpet or upholstery) or a deeply ingrained stain, make the base recipe and then pour in 2 tablespoons of Borax.
- Shake the spray bottle vigorously for about one minute after pouring in the Borax.
- Follow the usage directions in the base recipe for use.
Note – Borax and boric acid are NOT the same thing. But, exposure or consumption to Borax by pets can be deadly. Make certain to keep pets out of the stain treatment area until the stain spray has both been dried and swept thoroughly.
Deep Old Stain Recipe Variation
- Make the base recipe and add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. You will need a spray bottle with a large nozzle opening when adding cornstarch to the mixture to avoid clogging.
- Follow the base recipe instructions for use.
- When dealing with a deeply ground in and stubborn stain, you may have to repeat this process one or two more times. If possible, allow the mixture to sink into the carpet and remain there for at least 24 hours before sweeping the mixture away with a vacuum cleaner.
Greasy Food Stains Recipe Variation
- Make the base recipe and add in 1 extra tablespoon of standard table salt or sea salt.
- Pour in 2 cups of rubbing alcohol.
- Spray the stain and then scrub it, being careful not to spread the greasy stain mess onto unsoiled areas of the carpet. Always rub in the natural direction of the carpet or upholstery nap.
- When dealing with thick or old grease stains, add in a bit more of both the salt and the rubbing alcohol.
- Use a shop vac to immediately remove the DIY carpet stain spray and hopefully all of the grease after you rub the stain with a clean rag.
- You may need to reapply the natural carpet stain removal treatment once or twice more to get rid of thick or old grease stains.
Tea or Coffee Stains Recipe Variation
- Make the base recipe and add in 1 ½ cups of cold water.
- Pour in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Spray the area being treated, and blot both gently and thoroughly.
- Follow the base recipe ingredients for drying and vacuuming.
Wine, Blood, or Ketchup Stains
- Sprinkle the stained area with enough standard table salt or sea salt to cover the entire treatment area liberally.
- Allow the salt to soak into the stain completely – this takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Vacuum up the salt.
- Use the base recipe to further loosen and lighten the wine, blood, or ketchup stain.
- Once the base recipe has been vacuumed from the stain area, gently rub only any remaining stain with cold water, using a sponge to erase any remaining wine discoloration.
- For dark wine, ketchup or blood stains on light carpet this entire process may need repeated more than once.
Freshly Spilled Paint Recipe Variation
- Make the base recipe and pour in up to 2 teaspoons of liquid dish or laundry detergent – again, hopefully natural and homemade.
- Pour in 2 cups of cold water.
- Spray the paint stain while it is still wet and then both gently and carefully blot the space being treated with a sponge.
- Carefully rinse the paint stained area with cold water – making sure not to splash the water and spread the stain damage.
- Immediately use a shop vac to suck of the DIY carpet stain spray and hopefully all of the pain.
- You may need to repeat these stain removal steps once or twice more to completely get rid of the paint stain.
Stubborn Stains of Unknown Origin
If the base recipe or any variation does not do the trick, consider trying this alternate version of a DIY carpet stain spray. Remember, mixing distilled white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can create an extremely toxic gas.
That is why this mixture is a stand alone carpet stain remover and not a variation that also uses the base recipe.
Never – ever, mix distilled white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide.
- Combine 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a pinch of natural non-gel toothpaste in a squirt bottle.
- Pour in about 1 to ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar.
- Put the lid and nozzle on the squirt bottle and shake vigorously for about 60 seconds. This will be a thick mixture and will require a nozzle with a large opening or be spread onto the stain like a liquidy paste.
- Squirt or gently rub the DIY carpet stain remover onto the stain and allow it to settle over the treatment area for at least 5 hours without being disturbed.
- Rinse the treatment area with cold water, then use a shop vac to remove the solution and hopefully the stubborn stain of unknown origin.
I always make my DIY carpet stain sprays no matter if I am using just the base recipe, a variation, or the last resort recipe, on an as needed basis.
I do this because I want maximum potency when treating stains and feel that some of the variation recipe ingredients would make the natural carpet stain spray become gooey and slimy when stored.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day, raising chickens, goats, horses, and tons of vegetables. She’s an expert in all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping, and many more.