Sampling for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the Arctic is challenging given the limited access and because it is not yet possible to measure with instruments deployed in situ. Compared to DOC, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption spectroscopy is an easy-to-measure, relatively quick and cost-effective approach which is often closely related to DOC concentrations in water samples. Here we present an algorithm based on quantitative and qualitative metrics of CDOM to provide DOC estimates derived from a Pan-Arctic data set (n = 3,302) spanning rivers to deep ocean, with DOC ranging between 31 and 1,958 μM. The algorithm provided robust DOC estimates (r2 = 0.94; p < 0.0001) and could reproduce DOC profiles and mixing plots across different locations in the Arctic Ocean. Besides its simplicity, this method is capable of capturing the extremely broad range of DOC within the strong gradients observed between Arctic riverine and marine systems.