How to Clean and Deodorize Carpet With Baking Soda

Closeup of baking soda being used to deodorize a carpet

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins - 9 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $3 to 5

The carpets and area rugs in our home take lots of abuse from shoes, feet, pets, and food and drink spills. While regular vacuuming is essential and deep cleaning is the ultimate way to keep them looking their best, using just baking soda to help remove dirt, stains, and odors can freshen carpets with very little expense or effort.

Baking soda is a salt from a natural mineral form. It is mined as a crystalline white solid and refined into the commonly sold fine white powder. The powder is a base that can neutralize acidic stains to make them easier to remove from fibers, and the powder serves as an absorbent medium for some odors. When combined with water, the powder acts as a gentle abrasive to loosen dirt and stains from surfaces.

Learn how to use baking soda correctly to clean and deodorize carpets and area rugs.

How Often to Clean and Deodorize Carpet with Baking Soda

Stains that can be effectively removed with baking soda should be treated as quickly as possible after they occur. Carpets and area rugs can be cleaned and deodorized with baking soda weekly, monthly, or as often as you'd like. The product is inexpensive and will not fade or damage carpet fibers. If you notice that the colors of the carpet look dull or smell stale and you don't have time for a deep steam cleaning, try cleaning with baking soda to freshen the carpet.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 vacuum
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 medium-bristled nylon scrub brush or mop
  • 2 to 4 microfiber cloths
  • 1 small bucket


  • 1 box baking soda
  • 1 roll paper towels
  • 1 gallon water


Materials for deodorizing carpet

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

How to Clean Carpet With Baking Soda

  1. Remove Loose Soil

    Remove small items and furniture from the carpet. Vacuum thoroughly to remove loose soil and dust from the fibers.

    Removing loose soil from the carpet with a vacuum

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Pretreat Stains

    Use baking soda or a commercial carpet stain remover to pretreat visible stains. Follow the directions on the product label or the recommendations for specific types of stains.

    Person pretreating the carpet with stain remover

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Apply Baking Soda and Water to Carpet

    • Liberally sprinkle the carpet with dry baking soda.
    • After sprinkling, spritz the area with a spray bottle filled with cool water. The carpet should be very damp, but not sopping wet. 
    Applying baking soda and water to the carpet

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  4. Scrub the Carpet

    • Use a scrub brush to work the baking soda deeper into the carpet fibers. Go in one direction and then at a 90-degree angle to help lift the soil.
    • After scrubbing, use old towels or rags to wipe away the loosened soil. It is fine to leave a bit of baking soda in the fibers.


    You may find it is easier to work in a grid and clean one section of the carpet completely before moving to the next. Always work toward an exit from the room.

    Person scrubbing baking soda into the carpet

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  5. Air-Dry and Vacuum

    • After scrubbing the entire carpet, allow the flooring to air-dry completely.
    • Do not walk on the carpet while it is damp. If you must use the room, put down plastic walking paths.
    • When the carpet is dry, vacuum to remove any remaining baking soda from the fibers.
    Vacuuming the carpet to lift the fibers

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

How to Deodorize a Carpet With Baking Soda

  1. Vacuum the Carpet

    Thoroughly vacuum the carpet to remove loose soil, pet hair and dander, and dust.

    Vacuuming the carpet to remove loose soil and debris

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Sprinkle with Baking Soda

    Sprinkle the carpet liberally with dry baking soda.

    Liberally sprinkling the carpet with baking soda

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Wait and Vacuum

    The baking soda should remain on the carpet for at least 15 minutes. To remove tough odors like cigarette smoke or cooking odors, allow the baking soda to remain on the carpet overnight.

    Vacuum away the baking soda. You will see that the baking soda has turned grey in the vacuum collection bin because it has also attracted some dust and soil from the carpet fibers.

    Vacuuming up the baking soda

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Remove Carpet Stains with Baking Soda

Baking soda is not always the most effective carpet stain remover, but it can be used when other products are not available.

  1. Treat Grease-Based Stains

    • Remove any solids from the carpet by lifting them away with a spatula or paper towel. Do not rub because that pushes the grease deeper into the fibers.
    • Use a paper towel to absorb as much of the grease/oil as possible.
    • Sprinkle the stain with dry baking soda to help absorb the grease and allow it to work for at least three hours or overnight.
    • Vacuum away the baking soda.
    • If stains remain, use a commercial stain removal product.
    Baking soda sprinkled on the carpet

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Treat Food and Drink Stains

    • Lift away solids with a spatula or paper towel. No rubbing!
    • Use a paper towel to blot up as much liquid as possible.
    • Liberally sprinkle the stained area with baking soda.
    • Wet a paper towel or old cloth with water, wring so it is not dripping, and place it over the baking soda.
    • Let the towel in place for several hours or overnight.
    • Vacuum away the baking soda.
    • If the stain remains, use a commercial stain remover to treat the stain.
    A wet cloth sitting on a stained area of the carpet

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Baking Soda, the Everyday Miracle. University of Wisconsin Extension