DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner. You need: 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. Mix the water and vinegar together in a spray bottle. Spray it over the stain and cover it with a damp rag. Put your iron on steam setting and iron the rag for about 30 seconds. You may have to repeat if the stain is really dark but this will work wonderfully to remove common foods and dirt from your carpet. Vinegar is a good odor eliminator.