How to Clean and Deodorize Carpet With Baking Soda
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
How to Clean Carpet With Baking Soda
Remove Loose Soil
Remove small items and furniture from the carpet. Vacuum thoroughly to remove loose soil and dust from the fibers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Deodorize a Carpet With Baking Soda
Vacuum the Carpet
Thoroughly vacuum the carpet to remove loose soil, pet hair and dander, and dust.
Sprinkle with Baking Soda
Sprinkle the carpet liberally with dry baking soda.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baking Soda, the Everyday Miracle. University of Wisconsin Extension