More than any other surface in your house, your carpets and area rugs probably take the biggest beating. And unfortunately, carpet cleaning can be a nightmare of a process.
We tramp all over them, spill on them and don't always take the time to clean them properly. And because carpets are made out of fibers, they also absorb odors.
And while getting a professional carpet cleaner is great for semi-annual deep cleans, it is not always cost-effective to get a professional for your daily grime and stink.
Yep, all of those little pores in your carpet drink up all kinds of bad smells from cooking odors to pet odors and smoke. If your rug is starting to smell like your fur baby, your fireplace or has some other unidentifiable odor, it's time to give it a refresher. But don't fret about calling the professionals just yet.
As with many other household cleaning tasks, baking soda can come to your rescue for both deodorizing and even getting those pesky carpet stains out. And the great thing is that unlike harsh chemical cleaners, baking soda is non-toxic. Not to mention cheap!
Nothing will freshen up your space like having a clean, fresh-smelling rug. We're here to help you get rid of that not-so-loveable odor from your best buddy or to remove tough stains. Here's how to make and use a DIY baking soda carpet cleaner for your home's toughest stains.
Baking Soda as a Carpet Deodorizer
The important thing to remember about deodorizing your home's carpeting with baking soda is that it needs to be dry. So if you're also planning to work your stain removal magic, do it several days beforehand to give it time to dry or spot clean it afterward.
You'll also want to use a fresh box of baking soda as opposed to one that's been in the fridge or sitting open on a shelf. Baking soda is great at absorbing odors, but it also has a saturation point, after which it's no longer effective. So to get the best results, open a new box.
Here's the step by step breakdown to use baking soda as a carpet cleaner:
1: Move your furniture and vacuum thoroughly to remove any dirt or pet hair.
2: Spread the baking soda over your carpet. Since baking soda can clump, it helps to put in a mesh strainer or a flour sifter to make spreading it easier.
3: If you have very thick or shaggy carpet with deep carpet fibers, you can work it into the rug with an old sock or soft cloth.
4: Now you need to let the baking soda sit. Since baking soda works by absorbing odors and not covering them up, the longer you let it sit on your carpet, the better. Doing it before bedtime and letting the baking soda sit overnight is ideal.
And, of course, you'll want to avoid walking on your carpet in the meantime.
5: Now get to vacuuming your carpet thoroughly section by section until all of the baking soda is gone.
6: Enjoy that fresh carpet smell!
Pro tip: You can also mix some essential oils into your baking soda mixture for an even more refreshing smell. Some favorites are grapefruit, peppermint, pine or lavender.
Making a Baking Soda & Vinegar Carpet Cleaning Solution
To make sure your carpet is looking and smelling it's best, you may also want to spot clean it using baking soda or with a combination of baking soda and white vinegar. You can use this approach for both fresh stains and marks that have been there for a while.
If the stain is already dry…
If the stain has set and is a little on the crusty side, don’t fret. There is still hope with these easy steps:
1: First, pour a little white vinegar on the area to loosen the stain up.
2: Next, sprinkle some baking soda over the area. The mixture will start to bubble, which will help lift the stain.
3: If it's a minor stain, you can let the mixture dry and then vacuum it up.
4: If the stain is a little tougher, say a leftover coffee stain or some dried up pet urine, let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then you can begin blotting it up with a damp cloth. You can also reapply the vinegar and baking soda and continue to blot until the stain is up. Check out this quick video to see how easy it is:
For tough, greasy stains…
If your stain is on the greasy side, you will want to adapt your process a bit.
1: First, you'll want to blot up as much of the grease as possible using a cloth or a paper towel. Be sure to blot and NOT RUB the stain as that will spread it around and work the stain more deeply into your carpet.
2: Once you've absorbed as much of the grease as you can, sprinkle some baking soda on the area and let it dry overnight or as long as possible.
3: Vacuum the area once it's dry.
4: If you still see a stain, dab a little dish soap into the stain to help remove the grease.
5: Next, use water and a clean towel to blot up the soapy residue.
6: Let the area dry until it's just slightly damp and sprinkle some more baking soda on it.
7: When the baking soda is dry, vacuum it up, and your stain should be gone!
For those households that are prone to messes, you might consider keeping a spray bottle on hand for quick cleanups.
Related: How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Carpet
As you can see, baking soda can be a quick and effective way to help your carpet smell fresher and even remove tough stains. Of course, baking soda isn't the only DIY approach to keeping your rug looking good.
If you feel like your carpet is at the point where it needs a good steam cleaning, check out this article on a DIY solution you can use in a steam cleaner as well as other home solutions for getting tough stains out of your carpet.
A clean carpet can make your entire house look more vibrant. And with a little baking soda and a few other products you have at home, your carpet will be looking and smelling better in no time!
You might also be interested in: How To Clean Hardwood Floors