Borax is best known as a laundry aid, but it makes a great natural carpet cleaner. In addition to being free of phosphates and chlorine, borax is very affordable and readily available from discount stores such as Walmart and Target.
Spot Testing as a Precautionary Measure
When your homemade carpet cleaner is mixed properly, there should not be any problems with the solution causing discoloration to your carpet. However, doing a spot test in a small inconspicuous area is always a smart move before you begin using any of the cleaning methods.
Using Borax to Remove Fresh Spills
When you spill liquids, like wine, coffee, and juices, it's best to treat your carpet immediately to avoid permanent damage. No matter what the type, stains are easiest to remove when they are fresh.
- 4-6 clean cloths
- Spray bottle filled with cold water
- Paper towels
- Heavy books
- Blot with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Blotting lifts the stain and helps stop it from spreading. You want to avoid rubbing the stain into the carpet fibers as this will make it harder to remove.
- Spray the spot with ice water. The carpet should be damp, but not soaking wet.
- Sprinkle borax over the spot.
- Lay a cold, wet cloth over the borax.
- Use the curved side of a spoon to press the cloth and work the borax into the spot.
- Blot the spot again with a clean cloth.
- Continue this procedure until the blotting cloth shows no sign of remaining spilled liquid being drawn from the carpet.
- Spray with cold water to rinse and blot until all the borax is removed.
- Place several paper towels over the area and set a heavy object on them for several hours to absorb residual liquid.
- Remove the paper towels. Let the area air dry before vacuuming.
Borax Carpet Freshener
When you vacuum your carpet, use this homemade powder to add a fresh scent.
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup baking soda
- 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice
- Pinch of dried herbs to complement your essential oil (optional)
- Mason jar
- Shaker lid from empty Parmesan cheese container
- Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
- Add carpet freshener to the mason jar. Use the cheese shaker lid to create a handy dispensing cap.
- Use the shaker lid to gently sprinkle the powder on your carpet before vacuuming.
- Let the powder sit for 10 to 15 minutes before vacuuming. This will give the mixture time to absorb unpleasant odors and help kill any dust mites in your carpet.
Borax Spot Cleaner
Even if you didn't catch the spot right away, spills don't need to cause permanent carpet damage. Borax makes a wonderful spot cleaner for your carpet.
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup borax
- ¼ cup vinegar
- Small mixing bowl
- Make a paste of the salt, borax, and vinegar.
- Apply the paste mixture to the stain.
- Rub it into the carpet fibers.
- Let it dry and vacuum.
- Repeat if needed.
Borax Urine Odor Remover
If your toddler or the family pet has had an accident and you need to get rid of urine odor from your carpet, using a borax mixture to clean the area will not just get rid of the spot but also the smell.
- ¼ cup borax
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup vinegar
- Combine borax, salt, and vinegar in bucket.
- Use sponge to apply solution to stain. Scrub until the stain is removed.
- Let the solution sit for 45 minutes to one hour.
- Blot with clean, warm water. Do not soak the carpet since excess moisture can create problems with mold and mildew.
- When carpet is dry, vacuum as normal.
Borax Flea Remover
As a pet owner, you can use borax on your carpet to get rid of fleas. This works because the fleas eat the borax which causes dehydration, sterility, and death. Fleas reproduce every three to five days. While the borax treatment kills one cycle, you may have to repeat the treatment two or three times to get the problem under control.
- Stiff bristle broom
- Eye protection
- Dust mask
- Old shoes
- Vacuum carpet thoroughly.
- Put on gloves, eye protection, dust mask, and old shoes. If possible, open a window for ventilation.
- Sprinkle borax across the carpet.
- Work the borax into the carpet fibers with a broom.
- Close off the area for a minimum of eight hours so people and animals aren't tracking borax through the rest of your home. The longer you can let the borax set, the more effective this treatment will be.
Borax to Steam Clean Your Carpet
Periodic steam cleaning is the best way to get rid of ground-in dirt that gives your carpet a matted appearance. Instead of purchasing carpet shampoo for your steam cleaner, you can clean your carpet with a natural solution made from borax.
- ½ cup borax
- 1 gallon hot water
- Bucket or large bowl
- Vacuum your carpet and remove your furniture from the room. If your furniture can't be removed, use wax paper or aluminium foil to protect the legs from water damage.
- Mix ½ cup borax with 1 gallon hot water.
- Fill your steam cleaner to the fill line with this mixture.
- Wait 24 hours for your carpet to dry completely.
Storing Your Homemade Carpet Cleaner
Borax is considered an effective natural cleaner, but care must be taken to ensure that it is safely stored. According to the product's MSDS sheet, inhalation of borax dust can cause coughing, dryness, and sore throat. Eye contact can cause redness, pain, blurred vision, and possible corneal damage. Ingestion can cause headache, nausea, vomiting abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Always make sure your homemade cleaning solutions are properly labeled and stored in location that is not readily accessible to children.