Homemade Carpet Cleaner: A Natural Recipe and A Stain Remover

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Homemade Carpet Cleaner

This DIY natural homemade carpet cleaner spray works on really dirty carpets. It removes smells, is natural, and is simple to make and use!

Face it: spills happen.

Between kids, pets, and everything in between, our carpets take a beating. If you are like me, then you hate those commercial carpet cleaners that leave your house stinking for hours after you clean up a spill. Plus, many of these cleaners can damage or discolor sofas, carpets, or curtains.

For normal, funky odors I like to use this Natural Homemade Carpet Deodorizer. It’s quick and easy to whip up and gets rid of unpleasant smells.

However, for spills and stains, I find that a more direct cleaner is necessary. So I made a better natural homemade carpet cleaner spray that works on tough messes and dirty carpets.

Natural Homemade Carpet Cleaner

Ingredients You’ll Need

All the ingredients for this recipe are common pantry items. It’s very cheap to make, but really does the trick!

White Vinegar

White vinegar works to remove tough stains, especially those from pets. It has some great deodorizing properties and will tackle any tough stain. We dilute the vinegar with water because it is acidic. Vinegar is safe to use on most fabrics and is effective against many stains. If you are interested in learning more, check out this post on White Vinegar for Cleaning and So Much More.


The salt in this natural homemade carpet cleaner recipe is used to bind up stains. If you have a REALLY tough stain, like red wine or cranberry juice, you can pour some salt on top of the stain first to absorb the liquid. Allow it to dry for 10-15 minutes (or until it appears that the salt has absorbed all the liquid) and vacuum. Then use the carpet cleaner spray.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender EO gives this spray even more deodorizing properties and helps tackle bacteria and viruses lurking in your carpets. It is one of the most versatile essential oils and is safe to use around children and pets. Check out some other deodorizing essential oils here.

Preparing Stains

For liquid stains remember that it is best to always blot up excess liquid first. This prevents the stain from setting. Remember never to rub liquid stains. Once I’m sure I’ve blotted up as much liquid as I can, I will use the DIY Carpet Cleaner Spray.

For solid stains, I always pick up as much as possible before using the following Homemade Carpet Cleaner Spray.

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

Homemade Carpet Cleaner Spray Recipe

This DIY natural homemade carpet cleaner spray works on really dirty carpets. It removes smells, is natural, and is simple to make and use!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
5 minutes
Total Time
10 minutes
3 cups
Estimated Cost



  1. Combine vinegar and water in a large spray bottle.
  2. Add in salt and lavender essential oil.
  3. Cap and shake.
  4. Spray on carpets liberally, shaking bottle frequently between sprays.
  5. Allow carpets to dry.
  6. Vacuum treated areas.

Recipe Video


For tougher stains, spray mixture directly on stain. Let dry and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.

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That’s it!

I’ve used this homemade carpet cleaner spray on anything from baby food to hairballs (glamorous, I know!). It always seems to leave my carpets in like-new condition. My favorite part – making this cleaner is much cheaper than purchasing one.

Notes on Essential Oils

If you are not a fan of lavender, I’ve included a list of substitute essential oil blends. You can find them in this recipe: Natural DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe.

Please note that some essential oils will have color tints (especially sweet orange essential oil), so make sure you choose a clear essential oil to include in your carpet spray so the color is not transferred to carpets.


About Katie Vance

Katie is a wife, mother, aromatherapist, and lover of all things DIY. She offers consultations and gives simple aromatherapy advice at Katie Vance, Aromatherapy Simplified. You can also find Katie on Facebook.

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  1. Gail Bryan says

    When it comes to carpet cleaning, you want to avoid the that most store-bought cleaners come with. This DIY solution is made from ingredients you can find in your area and will leave your carpets looking and smelling great! It is time for spring cleaning, but don’t worry about spending hours scrubbing away at all those stubborn stains. With this homemade carpet cleaner recipe, you can have a clean home without breaking the bank on expensive products or hiring someone else to do the job for you. It’s safe enough for kids and pets too!

  2. Estelle Hardcastle says

    Dear Katie

    How do I get rid of oil stains? I spilled some essential oil on a carpet.

  3. Sharon says

    Diatomaceous earth is a product that can be used inside the home for fleas..also I have a question to ask about the cleaning recipe…with there being salt in the recipe …does the salt actually dissolve in the mixture? Salt sometimes is hard to dissolve…so I was wondering whether one could use warm/hot water and add the salt to dissolve it and then AFTER the mixture has cooled add the EO???

  4. Doreen says

    I have found that if you mix the essential oil in the salt first, it incorporates in the water better & you don’t have to shake the bottle. Thanks for all your tips

  5. Callie says

    I have a very light carpet and tried this spray on some pretty set in stains. It didn’t do a thing. Any suggestions??? I followed the recipe to a T and repeated a few times. C

  6. Jessica says

    Just read this carpet cleaning recipe and I love it.

    I have 2 dogs and they have really damaged our carpet. We only have carpet in the our basement and we have had it professionally cleaned to get the urine smell out and that worked for awhile, until the dogs had a go at it again. Do you have any recommendations for something I can do that wouldn’t involve the harsh chemicals of professional cleansing (and also the high cost)?

    Thank you!

      • Sharon says

        Yes, I would recommend training your dogs to NOT urinate in the house!! It is not a hard thing to do…with a little effort on your part

        • Laura says

          Sharon, my carpet also has dog urine stains, but it is because our male dog has become senile in his old age. Previously, he was well-trained to go outdoors to do his peeing. Your comment is rather judgmental sounding, since you do not know the situation fully.

        • Donna says

          Sharon you should realize how kind ,patient and tolerant of your ignorant and arrogant remarks Laura’s reply reflected. People such as you truly leave an awful after taste.

    • Katie Vance says

      Rina – Depending on what material you are working with, it should be okay. Microfiber often requires brushing, so it would likely not work on that surface. Best wishes!

  7. Christine Golcher says

    Hi. How does your carpet spray work on dog and cat urine in carpets? Would you say as good as some of the commercial products? This is really hard to get out. Thanks.

    • Katie Vance says

      Hi Christine – if you’re trying to get out urine scent and stains, I would suggest adding 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to really combat the smell.

  8. Diana says

    Hi, I’m struggling to remove stale smoke smell on a leather chair and the surfaces of laminated particle board shelving. Do you have a solution? I feel like I’ve tried everything, but surely some remedy can eliminate those awful smells. Several times I have purchased used furniture only to find out it has that smoke residue smell AFTER I bring it home. Then I have to get rid of it making that purchase of furniture totally wasted money. Can you help please? Thank you for your time.

    • Katie Vance says

      Diana- I completely agree! Smoke smell is really hard to get rid of. I would definitely spray this cleaner on a clean cloth, then rub down the chair. Let sit for a few minutes, then wipe with a clean cloth. That should help!

  9. Cheryl says

    Is there any essential oil that will eliminate the smell deeply so that my dogs will not continue to urinate in the same spots as the dog that lived in this house before? They are destroying the carpet. May need to check into something for separation anxiety for them also. Always happens when we leave them locked in the bedroom when we leave–even for very short times.

    • Katie Vance says

      Hi Cheryl, Using this spray a few times will definitely help eliminate that odor. Also, citrus essential oils and eucalyptus essential oils help to repel dogs and cats from urinating in certain areas.

    • Nancy says

      Please read this link. Some of these oils are very toxic to pets. Including lavender, tea tree oil ( especially for cats) and also eucalyptis. And, since they lay on the carpets etc. and have a higher sensitivity to smells, please be aware!