It happens to all of our beloved pets from time to time: a wee (or not so wee) accident on the carpet, the sight and odor of it unbearable. From kitty hairballs to doggy urine, the prospect of getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing the stain is inevitable…so why not make it eco-friendly? These green cleaning DIY recipes are surprisingly simple solutions to a variety of pet stains!
The Dangers of Chemical Stain Removers
It’s all-too-easy to find that “spray once and walk away” chemical stain remover, but the ingredients of major carpet cleaning product brands are not only harmful to your body, but to your pet’s as well. Several brands claim to be natural and earth-friendly- and many major brands do not disclose all of the toxic ingredients on their containers -so a quick read through the product’s label will sidestep any confusion. The key is to look for the warning label: if it lists extensive rules regarding how not to touch, inhale, or ingest the product, then the likelihood of its toxicity is very high.
Formaldehyde, naphthalene, and perchloroethylene are merely 3 common hazardous ingredients in chemical carpet cleaners and chemical deodorizers:
- Formaldehyde is recognized by the EPA as a carcinogen, and as a probable factor in certain types of cancer by the National Cancer Institute.
- Naphthalene, normally used as a moth repellent and air deodorizer, is linked to respiratory illness.
- The EPA strongly relates perchloroethylene to cases of nervous system failure.
Natural (and Simple) Recipes for Carpet Stains
Each DIY recipe written below is able to combat stains from vomit, urine, feces, and (in some cases) blood, but don’t worry– they’re not exclusive to pet accidents! As always, white vinegar and baking soda come to the rescue, complementing each other as both sanitizers and deodorizers.
1) Vinegar + Baking Soda
- 2 cups of white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups of water
- 4 tbsp of baking soda
- optional spray bottle
- Blot out the stain as much as possible and apply the recipe. Let it sit for 5 minutes before blotting and/or gently rubbing the stain out. **You can also choose to apply the baking soda separately, either before or after applying the vinegar mix.
2) Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda
- About 1 cup of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tsp of eco-friendly dish liquid
- A bowl and paper towels
- Cover the stain with paper towels, either walking over it or laying something heavy on it to soak up excess stain. After, sprinkle baking soda over the stain and follow by applying the peroxide mix slowly. Scrub the mix into the stain and let sit for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming the area thoroughly. Repeat for stubborn stains.
3) Vinegar + Warm Water
- Equal parts white distilled vinegar and water
- Spray bottle
- Blot the stain to remove excess liquids and spray/pour the mix onto the area. Let it soak for 5 minutes before blotting and/or rubbing the area, rinsing it with water a final time. Blot it dry.
4) Vinegar + Salt + Borax (heavy duty)
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of salt
- 1/4 cup of borax
- Blot out the stain as much as possible. Mix the ingredients into a paste and rub into the stain, using a brush if necessary. After it has dried completely, vacuum the paste up thoroughly.
5) Castile Soap + Warm Water
- 1 tsp of liquid Castile soap
- 1 cup of warm water
- Blot out the stain as much as possible and scrub the stain with the mixture. Afterwards, blot and dry the area thoroughly.
6) Castile Soap + Borax
- 1 cup of liquid Castile soap
- 1 cup of borax
- After blotting the stain, apply the mix and scrub the area. Afterwards, vacuum thoroughly.
Natural Repellents to Prevent Pet Accidents
- Vinegar is a repellent to both cats and dogs, and luckily most of the DIY recipes above include vinegar in the mix!
- Citrus is another natural repellent for cats and dogs, with some exceptions. Create a citrus-enzyme spray for with lemon and orange peels for indoor discouragement.
- Castille Soap + Rubbing Alcohol + Rosemary
- Mix equal parts liquid Castile soap, organic rosemary essential oil, and rubbing alcohol and apply it to the stain. Let sit for a few minutes before blotting the area.
Trusted Eco-Friendly Products
Honestly natural pet stain products are available online and in stores, all affordable, recyclable, and sustainable. Try these products on for size:
- Begley’s Household Stain & Odor Remover
- Better Life’s Natural Stain & Odor Eliminator
- Citra Spot Natural Stain & Odor Remover
- Earth Friendly Product’s Everyday Stain & Odor Eliminator
Depending on the stain type and carpet fabric, each recipe requires customized levels of ingredient potency and care. Keep this in mind while choosing your recipe(s), and wave goodbye to those nasty stains!