Natural Carpet Stain Remover: Favorite Products and DIY Recipes
There are several reasons why you may want to use a natural cleaning product:
For some people, it’s safety. They want to know that the products they bring and use inside their homes are safe and non-toxic. After all, carpet isn’t out of sight out of mind. You, your kids, and pets make contact with it daily.
For other people, they care more about the environment. Natural cleaning products, whether homemade or store-bought, fit into an eco-friendly lifestyle free of harsh chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients lists.
Lastly, there are people who don’t necessarily care about the safety or eco-friendliness of commercial cleaning products, but they need to clean a stain now! So what can you clean a stain up with that you have in your home already?
All 3 of these are great reasons for a natural cleaner, and you’ll be surprised at how well natural cleaners can work.
Let’s start with my favorite 2 natural stain cleaners you can purchase, and then we’ll go into making your own DIY stain cleaner.
Captain’s warning! Anytime you are using a new carpet cleaning product, it’s worth taking the extra time to check to see how the stain remover interacts with your carpet. Ideally, spray the cleaner on a scrap piece of the carpet. If you don’t have scrap carpet, try it in a closet or less noticeable area.
Top 2 natural carpet stain removing products
If safety and eco-friendliness are your reasons for using a natural carpet stain cleaner, maybe you don’t want to make it yourself. There are many companies who have already done the job for you. These are my favorite two products:
This carpet stain remover checks all the “green living” boxes: plant-based, harsh chemical free (no sulfates, phosphates, dyes, etc), made in the USA, and never tested on animals. Oh yeah, it’s also extremely effective. Here are some of the highlights:
- made of plant-based materials
- hypo-allergenic, vegan, and non-toxic
- concentrate makes up to 20 gallons of cleaner
- multi-use on carpet, upholstery, and many fabrics–an all-purpose natural cleaner
- can be used in many carpet cleaning machines
- PhD and MDs involved in its development to be family safe and highly effective
- exceeded my expectations for cleaning power–as good or better than commercial products
- Click here to check out the latest price and reviews on Amazon
I like the name Earthworm:
Earthworms are natural, and it reminds me of dirty, which this product removes.
But that’s not the only reason I like this cleaner. It uses natural enzymes that do a great job of dissolving stains. I don’t think it’s quite as effective as #1 above but still an excellent product:
- fragrance-free and natural enzymes
- enzymes effective at breaking down difficult stains like urine
- note: has difficult (like most stain removers) with set in coffee or red wine
- easy to use spray bottle ready to go
- Click here to check out the latest price and reviews on Amazon
Natural household products that remove stains
Want to make your own natural stain remover? Here are the best ingredients that you probably have in your house right now:
Baking soda can be mixed into a fabric-safe paste that draws out the stains as it dries. It’s a common trick for laundry stains but it also works the same way for carpet fibers.
Sometimes you have to leave the baking soda on the stain for a few hours while it dries. Once it’s done, you simply clean off the baking soda.
Vinegar is essentially wine gone bad. Distilled white vinegar is the most common type for cleaning, but it’s also the most acidic variety so for gentle jobs, you may want to dilute it in water first. Apple Cider Vinegar is also a good cleaning agent and will be less acidic than white distilled vinegar.
The acid in vinegar counteracts quite a few messes. Many stains are acidic and they will dissolve when exposed to a stronger acid. Vinegar is very good for carpet stains caused by grass, glue, and pet urine. Its strong smell can even keep pets away from an area if they have been going to the bathroom on a section of carpet.
If you combine vinegar with baking soda, you will produce a froth of bubbles, which also is a powerful cleansing agent. It will even clean red wine stains from carpets.
Hydrogen peroxide may be part of your medicine cabinet, but it’s also a great stain remover for wine, fresh blood stains and random or unknown stains that you may find on your carpet.
You can add water to hydrogen peroxide to speed up the stain removal. You can dilute a high concentration (50 percent) in water at a ratio of 1:5, or a lighter concentration (10 percent or less) with a solution of 90 percent hydrogen peroxide and 10 percent water.
With hydrogen peroxide, you should rinse the stain in more warm water afterward to remove any remaining stains.
DIY natural stain remover recipes
There are hundreds of carpet stain remover recipes. These are the recipes that I find to be the most effective:
Baking Soda and water stain remover
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup water
1. Mix baking soda and water into a paste.
2. Apply paste to affected area.
3. Let dry.
4. Rinse clean with hot water and damp towel.
Captain’s clarification: You can adjust the baking soda/water ratio to give it the consistency that you want, and the amounts depending on the size of the stain. For most stains, you want a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to water.
Vinegar stain remover
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup warm water
- Spray bottle
1. Vacuum carpet around the stain
2. Combine vinegar, dishwashing liquid and warm water in a spray bottle
3. Hold spray bottle over the sink and add baking soda. Bubbles will form.
4. Quickly screw spray cap over the bottle.
5. Spray stain. You should see results fairly quickly.
6. Gently rub the affected area with a cloth towel. Continue until the carpet is dry.
Hydrogen peroxide mystery stain remover
- Teaspooon of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
- Cream of tartar or non-gel toothpaste (enough to mix)
1. Mix hydrogen peroxide and a small amount of cream of tartar into a paste.
2. Rub paste into the stain
3. Rinse with water.
4. Dry with towel.
General stain removing tips
No matter what type of stain remover you’re using, there are certain professional stain removing principles that give you your best chance of stain removal. Some stains are difficult even for professionals to remove! Use these tips to give yourself the best odds:
The longer a stain sits, the more of a pain it becomes. Since time strengthens the bond of the stain to your carpet fibers, the sooner you act on removing it, the more effective the natural treatment will be.
If you cannot do a full cleanup right away, you might be able to add salt or wash it down with water. It’s a temporary and quick fix that might take care of the stain or at least reduce it until you have time to do more.
Keep basic supplies on hand
Some of the most effective stain removers have a long shelf life. It’s easy to keep a supply of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, salt, and vinegar on hand for when you need them. That way, when you need it, you can mix up your favorite natural cleaner in minutes.
Specific stain and odor removing tips
These are a few specific recommendations that may help you with the most difficult stains and odors: red dye, coffee and pet urine:
Removing red dye stains
Dishwashing liquid mixed with ammonia is one of the best ways to remove red dye stains with household materials you may have laying around. Once you’ve mixed one teaspoon of soap with one tablespoon of ammonia, you should blot it into the carpet repeatedly until it’s no longer absorbed into the cloth. Then you sponge the area with cold water until the stain is completely gone.
Removing coffee stains
For coffee, you should combine one tablespoon of dishwashing soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of water. Then blot at the spilled coffee until the stain disappears.
How to naturally remove pet odor from carpet
If your pets are having accidents on the carpets, you are going to want the stains and smells gone as soon as possible. The first step is to blot the area dry with paper towels or a rag until it is no longer wet.
Then, a solution of 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups warm water, and 4 tablespoons of baking soda, shaken in a spray bottle, can be sprayed onto the area. Let it sit for five minutes then blot it dry.
Both vinegar and baking soda are strong and natural odor removers. Put together they can remove pet odors from most carpets, but it is best to clean the mess as soon as possible.
Captain’s parting words
Cleaning a stain out of your carpet or rugs does not require store-bought products or harsh chemicals. You can have a clean, fresh smelling home with natural products pre-made or combine a few household items into powerful cleaning products.
Some of the most common ingredients include baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. If you add or dilute your product in water, you should use warm water to speed up the cleaning process. There are other items in the home, such as salt and cream of tartar, which are also helpful if you need to remove stains with these recipes.
Even the toughest stains can be removed with natural cleaning products. Red dye, coffee, and pet odors can be cleaned up and removed from your floor with simple, easy to find items from the kitchen pantry.
One of the most important things to remember, regardless of what you use, is that time is of the essence. The sooner you can get to work on a stain, the easier it will be to clean up again.
Any questions on removing stains naturally? Let me know in the comments below.