6 Ways to Clean Carpet With Borax That Work Like Magic

Borax isn't just for laundry — you can use it on your carpet, too! From stains to odors to fleas, borax can tackle all of it.

Updated December 22, 2023
carpet cleaner

You've heard of using borax in laundry, but what about as a carpet cleaner? It's super affordable, not to mention free of phosphates and chlorine. And you can get it at most of your discount stores like Walmart and Target (as if you need another reason for a Target run). Deodorizing, stain removal, or just a quick carpet refresh — borax can do it all. 

Using Borax to Remove Fresh Spills

I've spilled and dripped my fair share of coffee and wine in my life. I've finally learned that it's best to take care of these stains as soon as they happen and not leave them for another day. In general, most stains are easiest to remove when they're fresh. So if you (or your cat) just knocked over another glass of colorful liquid, go grab your borax and a few other supplies.


  • 4-6 clean cloths
  • Borax
  • Spray bottle filled with cold water
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy books
  • Vacuum


  1. Blot (don't rub) 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.
  2. Spray the spot with ice water. The carpet should be damp, but not soaking wet.
  3. Sprinkle borax over the spot.
  4. Lay a cold, wet cloth over the borax.
  5. Use the curved side of a spoon to press the cloth and work the borax into the spot.
  6. Blot the spot again with a clean cloth.
  7. Continue until the blotting cloth shows no sign of remaining spilled liquid being drawn from the carpet.
  8. Spray with cold water to rinse and blot until all the borax is removed.
  9. Place several paper towels over the area and set a heavy object on them for several hours to absorb the remaining liquid.
  10. Remove the paper towels. Let the area air dry before vacuuming.
Need to Know

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. Make sure all cleaning solutions are properly labeled and stored out of children's reach.

Borax Carpet Freshener

Instead of buying an expensive scented carpet freshener, you can make your own using borax and your favorite essential oil. 


  • 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


  1. Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
  2. Add carpet freshener to the mason jar. Use the cheese shaker lid to create a handy dispensing cap.
  3. Use the shaker lid to gently sprinkle the powder on your carpet before vacuuming.
  4. 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

spill on carpet

Okay, nobody's perfect. Maybe you did decide to leave that little drip of coffee for your future self to take care of. Luckily, Borax works as a spot cleaner, too, for older stains that tend to be more stubborn.


  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup borax
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Small mixing bowl


  1. Make a paste of the salt, borax, and vinegar.
  2. Apply the paste mixture to the stain.
  3. Rub it into the carpet fibers.
  4. Let it dry and vacuum.
  5. Repeat if needed.

Use Borax to Remove Urine Odor

If your toddler or the family pet has had an accident and you need to get rid of urine odor from your carpet — borax to the rescue! This cleaning combo will knock out the smell while it gets rid of the spot.


  • ¼ cup borax
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Sponge


  1. Combine borax, salt, and vinegar in a bucket.
  2. Use a sponge to apply the solution to the stain. Scrub until the stain is removed.
  3. Let the solution sit for 45 minutes to one hour.
  4. Blot with clean, warm water. Do not soak the carpet since excess moisture can create problems with mold and mildew.
  5. When the carpet is dry, vacuum as normal.

Get Rid of Fleas With Borax

Unfortunately, fleas can get in our homes and are tricky to get rid of. But if you use borax, the fleas will ingest it, causing dehydration, sterility, and death.


  • Borax
  • Stiff bristle broom
  • Vacuum
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Dust mask
  • Old shoes


  1. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly.
  2. Put on gloves, eye protection, dust mask, and old shoes. If possible, open a window for ventilation.
  3. Sprinkle borax across the carpet.
  4. Work the borax into the carpet fibers with a broom.
  5. 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.
Need to Know

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. 

Borax to Steam Clean Your Carpet

carpet steam clean

It's a good idea to steam clean your carpet regularly to get rid of the 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


  1. 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.
  2. Mix ½ cup borax with 1 gallon hot water.
  3. Fill your steam cleaner to the fill line with this mixture and clean your carpets.
  4. Wait 24 hours for your carpet to dry completely.
Need to Know

You shouldn't have any problems with discoloration as long as your carpet cleaner is mixed correctly. Still, it's always a good idea to do a spot test before you go all-in. Find an inconspicuous area on your carpet to test your borax solution on. Remove the cleaner and let it fully dry to see if there is any discoloration.

Borax Changes the Carpet-Cleaning Game

You may not have realized there are so many ways to clean carpet using borax! Next time you have a spill, an accident, or just need to refresh your carpet, you don't have to run to the store; just go grab your box of borax and you'll be good to go. Plus, there are even more ways to use Borax besides cleaning, so it's truly a multipurpose magic product! 

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6 Ways to Clean Carpet With Borax That Work Like Magic