Easy DIY Carpet Stain Removers for All Types of Stains

You probably have everything you need in your cupboards right now to create these effective homemade carpet stain removers.

Updated February 9, 2023
Person Wearing Gloves Cleaning Stain Of Carpet

Carpet cleaners aren't a standard item on your grocery list. Most people don't even think about them unless they're planning to clean carpets or have a spill. That's completely okay, because, honestly, you don't need them. Create your own carpet stain removers at home with standard cleaners you already have in your DIY arsenal. It's mind-blowing how a little white vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap can tackle any carpet stain you encounter.

Dependable DIY Stain Removers for Any Type of Carpet

Have an oops but no carpet stain remover? No problem! Raid your pantry. With a little of white vinegar, baking soda, and ingenuity, you can make it like that stain never existed.

Stain Type


Do This


White vinegar

Spray, blot & repeat.

Greasy food

Salt & rubbing alcohol

Mix, apply, scrub, wait, blot.


Dish soap

Vacuum & blot.


Milk & cornstarch

Apply mixture, allow drying, & vacuum


White vinegar & baking soda

Spray with vinegar, blot, sprinkle baking soda, dry, vacuum.

Old & unknown

Borax, white vinegar, & salt

Apply paste, scrub, dry, vacuum.

Smells Baking soda Sprinkle, wait, vacuum.

Before trying out any natural recipes on your carpet, test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area. Not all synthetic and natural fibers are created equal, so better safe than sorry.

DIY Carpet Stain Remover for Food Non-Greasy Stains

White vinegar in a glass bottle

Do you know if your carpet is synthetic or natural? Most people don't. This recipe works on both. It's also effective on most types of stains your carpet will encounter, like a plate of spaghetti or even coffee stains.


  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Spray bottle


  1. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with water in a spray bottle. Shake to mix & spray generously on food stains.
  2. Press a white cloth on the stain. Repeat until gone.
Quick Tip

If you need additional cleaning power, add a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap. Blot up as much of the stain as you can, then use an old toothbrush to work it out of the fibers.

Carpet Cleaner for Greasy Food Stains

This works on any type of carpet with greasy food stains.


  • Baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol


  1. Sprinkle the area with baking soda to soak up any standing grease.
  2. Vacuum.
  3. Mix the salt & rubbing alcohol & apply to the stain. Rut it gently with a toothbrush.
  4. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes & vacuum.

Ammonia Stain Remover for Natural Fiber Carpets

Ammonia is a great cleaner for natural fiber carpets with a grease stain, but you'll probably want to steer clear of this cleaner with a synthetic carpet. Be sure to test this cleaner before giving it a go.


  • 2 tablespoons of ammonia
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Mix the solution in a spray bottle & spray the stain.
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then blot.
  3. Rinse the area with a clean cloth.
  4. Repeat as needed.

Homemade Carpet Cleaner for Mud Stains

Person Wearing Gloves Cleaning Stain Of Carpet

Dawn dish soap is amazing. You can use another brand if it's all you have, but it's not as effective.


  • 1-2 tablespoons of dish detergent (Blue Dawn recommended)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Baking soda (optional)


  1. Allow the mud to dry. Vacuum up as much as possible.
  2. Mix the dish soap with a cup of water & dip a cloth in the mixture.
  3. Blot at the stain until it's gone.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda to deodorize.
  5. Vacuum when completely dry.

Carpet Stain Remover for Oil & Grease

If it's oil or grease, this method works effectively for synthetic carpets. Try just cornstarch alone for natural carpets.


  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • ½ cup milk


  1. Mix the cornstarch & milk to create a paste & apply it to the stain.
  2. Allow it to dry completely & vacuum.
  3. Blot the area with water & dish soap to remove any milk residue.

All-Purpose Carpet Stain Remover

Baking Soda And Vinegar On Table

If you have nothing else in your cleaning arsenal, stock up on white vinegar and baking soda. This combination can tackle most carpet stains without a second thought, and they're highly effective for dog and cat stains. It works on any type of carpet


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 cups water


  1. Mix the white vinegar & water in a spray bottle & spray the stain. Blot.
  2. Apply the baking soda over the cleaner & allow to dry.
  3. Vacuum.
Quick Tip

Use a soft scrub brush or old toothbrush to work the cleaner into the stain. You might even use a bit of Fels Naptha or Dawn on the brush to give it more cleaning action.

Stain Remover Recipe for Old Mystery Stains

It happens to the best of us. You go to move your couch and find that old carpet stain you didn't even know existed. Rather than just moving your couch back, try out this DIY carpet cleaner with Borax.


  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup borax
  • ¼ cup salt


  1. Mix all your ingredients together to create a paste & apply to the mystery stain.
  2. Work it into the fibers with a toothbrush or scrub brush.
  3. Allow to dry &v vacuum.

Blast Stinky Stains With Baking Soda

Baking Soda on the counter

Got a stinky carpet stain? We have a solution!


  • Several cups of baking soda, depending on the area
  • Favorite essential oils


  1. Mix the baking soda and essential oil.
  2. Blot up as much as you can of the stain.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and pat it in.
  4. Allow it to sit until the baking soda is completely dry & vacuum.

DIY Carpet Cleaner Solution That Cleans & Deodorizes

When you have a patterned carpet or colored rug, you want to steer clear of any recipes with hydrogen peroxide or bleach because they can lighten the carpet. Here, you can use OxiClean to get your carpet clean and deodorized. It's easy to create and lasts a long time.


  • 2 tablespoons of detergent
  • 1 scoop of OxiClean
  • 1 teaspoon of fabric softener
  • Gallon of water


  1. Set a gallon of water to boil.
  2. Combine the detergent, OxiClean, & fabric softener.
  3. Gently add the boiling water to the mix. Adding slowly works to help it mix better.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the OxiClean is completely dissolved.
  5. Allow to cool & add to the machine.

Simple Recipes for Cleaning Carpets at Home

Sure you can buy a commercial stain remover, but it's quick and affordable to use common ingredients you have at home to make your own. Try one of these affordable recipes for getting carpet stains up quickly and easily.

Easy DIY Carpet Stain Removers for All Types of Stains