We all love our carpets and upholstery but we know all too well that such materials can quickly lose their appeal once stains, and wear and tear take root. Luckily, there are easy and inexpensive DIY solutions that will keep the harsh chemicals out of your house and your money in your pocket. To get started, all you need are a number of basic household ingredients and some patience to see the task through.

On that note, here’s a full breakdown of how to clean your carpets and upholstery the eco-friendly way.

Before you Begin:

  • The first rule to cleaning stains is to remove as much of the offending substance as you can before beginning treatment. Dab instead of rubbing because rubbing will breakdown the carpet or upholstery fabric allowing the stain to bind.
  • If cleaning a liquid mess, finish the job by doubling a rag over the area, placing a heavy book on it and standing on the book to get every last drop – you might look a little crazy doing this but it’s a crucial step towards success!
  • Always test the colourfastness of the material on an inconspicuous area.

Use the Following Homemade Cleaning Solutions:

Vinegar and Baking Soda Mix

White vinegar is a miracle solution that will get rid of everything including blood and urine stains. Baking soda does an excellent job of removing odours. Together they are nature’s dream team!


  • Option 1 – Mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of lukewarm water in a large bowl. Add 2-heaped tablespoons of baking soda slowly as it will fizz over if you’re not careful. Funnel the mixture into a spray bottle and thoroughly soak the area. Wait for 5 minutes (remember, be patient!), and then gently dab the area with an absorbent cloth. You can also pour the mixture straight onto the stain from the bowl if you don’t have a spray bottle.


  • Option 2 – If you are feeling adventurous you can also try putting the baking soda directly onto the stain and then pouring the vinegar/water solution onto the area. Be ready to witness a fizzing volcano of cleaning action! As with option 1, let it sit for 5 minutes and then dab up with an absorbent cloth.


Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Mix

Hydrogen peroxide is another great cleaning substance that breaks down stains at their foundation.


  • Cover the stain with a generous handful of baking soda once no more liquid can be absorbed. Mix 1/2-cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of eco-friendly dish liquid in a small bowl. Slowly pour the mixture over the baking soda. Gently rub the solution into the carpet’s fibres with a scrub-brush or cloth, and then wait for 10-15 minutes. Vacuum the area thoroughly and repeat the process as needed for tough stains.

Citrus Enzyme Mix

Enzyme cleaners are popular for strong odours and stains by breaking down the problem at the molecular level. Now you can make your own at home!


  • First, put 7 tablespoons of brown sugar into a container and add 1 ½ cups of lemon and orange peels/scraps. Next, add 1 litre of water, tightly screw on the lid, and shake the mixture to blend the ingredients. Be sure and loosen the cap to halfway so that the natural gases can escape. Let the mixture sit for three months in a dark area and voila, your homemade citrus enzyme cleaner is ready to use.

Using these eco-friendly methods will not only keep your carpets and upholstery looking like new, but they will keep them lasting longer too. Are you ready to try one, or all of the above cleaning solutions?