Natural Homemade Carpet Cleaner & Stain Remover

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

This homemade carpet cleaner spray works on tough messes and dirty carpets. It also gets rid of unpleasant smells, is all-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 a spill is cleaned up. 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. That’s why I had to come up with a better homemade carpet cleaner spray that would work on tough messes and dirty carpets.

Making Homemade Carpet Cleaner

Ingredients You’ll Need

Everything you will need for this recipe can probably be found in your pantry. It’s very cheap to make, but really does the trick!

White vinegar – White vinegar is known to remove tough stains, especially those from pets. It has some great deodorizing properties and will tackle any tough stain. Water is needed to dilute the vinegar because it can be quite potent. 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.

Salt – The salt in this 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 fresh 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 Spray Recipe



  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.


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

That’s it!

I’ve used this homemade carpet cleaner spray on anything from baby food to hair balls (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 on this recipe: Natural DIY Carpet Deodorizer Recipe.

Please note that some essential oils are 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 color is not transferred to carpets.


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  1. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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!

  3. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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. 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

  7. 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???