Your carpet absorbs all kinds of dirt, debris, and pollen. If you don't clean it often or have pets, you may notice that your carpet has started to smell. Carpet deodorizers can contain harsh chemicals that can harm loved ones and cause damage to a carpet. If you're looking for a natural approach to fighting smells, you may be wondering where to begin. We've done the research and can tell you how to conquer smelly carpets naturally.
To naturally deodorize your carpet, use one of these combinations:
- Baking soda with optional essential oils or herbs and spices
- Vinegar and water
- Baking soda, essential oils, and diatomaceous earth
- Baking soda and borax
- Club soda
In most instances, you will need to let the mixture sit and then vacuum it up.
What is it that makes these items a good odor neutralizer? Learn why they're effective, how to make them, and how to get your carpet professionally deodorized when you keep reading.
Making A Carpet Deodorizer
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has many different uses. From baking to cleaning, it's a beneficial product. The popular brand Arm & Hammer began advertising baking soda as an odor neutralizer in 1972. While there has been little scientific evidence to support that claim, it's been used to fight smells since that time.
When using baking soda for carpet smells, first soak up any spills. Then, spread a thin layer of baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum it up.
Essential Oils or Herbs and Spices
If you prefer an aromatic odor neutralizer, then you can add either essential oils or herbs and spices to your baking soda. If you're a pet owner, keep in mind that some essential oils can be dangerous. Avoid scents such as tea tree and cinnamon in these cases.
To make this deodorizer, you'll need a container with a lid. If you're adding fresh herbs, you'll also need a blender or something to blend them with. To make this deodorizer, you should:
- Grind any herbs being used.
- Combine 1 cup baking soda, 30-40 drops of essential oil, and herbs and spices in a container.
- Cover with lid and shake until mixed.
- Break up any clumps of baking soda.
- Cover with lid and let sit overnight.
Letting your odor neutralizer sit overnight allows the baking soda to absorb the aromas from the essential oils. After the mixture has had time to sit, sprinkle on your carpet. Then, vacuum it up after 15 minutes.
Diatomaceous earth is a soft rock that has been crumbled into a white powder. Combining it with baking soda can help to increase its odor-neutralizing capabilities. Using diatomaceous earth can also protect your carpet from bugs. To use this method, you will:
- Mix 1 part diatomaceous earth and 1 part baking soda.
- Sprinkle onto your carpet.
- Let sit for 15 minutes.
Vinegar is another popular natural cleaner. When being used as a carpet odor neutralizer, it's important to dilute your vinegar first. To make this, you will:
- Mix 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle.
- Spray liberally over your carpet.
- Let dry.
Once dried, the vinegar and smelly odor will have dissipated. Using essential oils will help to lessen the smell of vinegar if it bothers you.
Some vacuums will be damaged when it takes in the tiny particles of baking soda. Using white vinegar is an excellent option for people who don't want to risk damaging their vacuum.
Club soda is excellent for both removing stains and eliminating odors. While white vinegar and baking soda are great for large applications, club soda is best used for a smaller area. This method is especially effective at removing odors from pet stains. To use club soda as a neutralizer, you will:
- Soak up liquid from the carpet and remove any debris.
- Pour club soda onto the area. Use enough that you notice a small amount of fizz on the carpet.
- Let soak for one to two minutes.
- Blot dry with a cloth.
- Repeat club soda application and blot dry as necessary.
- Wipe with a clean cloth.
- Let dry.
Best for localized odor control, vodka is also perfect for killing bacteria and removing stains. To use vodka to neutralize odors, you should:
- Clean and dry the area as much as possible.
- Spray vodka over the area.
- Let sit for up to 15 minutes.
- Blot dry.
You can also finish up with a little bit of baking soda to absorb any remaining moisture. If you decide to use baking soda, be sure to vacuum it up after a few minutes.
What is the best natural carpet deodorizer?
Either baking soda or vinegar can be considered the best natural carpet deodorizer. Baking soda is incredibly reactive to both acidic and alkaline molecules. If something is emitting these molecules, the baking soda reacts and neutralizes the scent.
Something similar happens when using white vinegar for odors. Vinegar is a type of acetic acid. As it dries, the acetic acid reacts to and eliminates alkaline smells.
While baking soda can eliminate both alkaline and acidic smells, it does run the risk of damaging your vacuums. Baking soda can clog filters and damage the motor to your vacuum. Check your manual to see if this is a concern for you.
How do you professionally deodorize a carpet?
If you want your carpet professionally deodorized, your best option is to see if your local carpet cleaning businesses offer deodorizing options.
You can also consider using your own carpet cleaner or steamer. Carpet cleaners use a cleaning solution and scrubbing brushes to give your carpeting a deeper clean. A steam cleaner uses steam as opposed to brushes to loosen dirt and stains.
Using these tools and using a natural deodorizer can help you prevent unwanted smells before becoming a problem.
What does vinegar do to carpet?
Depending on the material of your carpet, vinegar acts to loosen stains and remove odors. It removes odors by reacting to nearby alkaline smells and eliminating them.
However, certain materials don't react well to the acidic nature of vinegar. If your carpet is made from wool, silk, or another natural fiber, vinegar will cause damage to the fibers. Either dilute the vinegar with water or use a different method to remove odors.
Does baking soda remove odor from carpet?
While there isn't much evidence to support it, using baking soda does seem to remove odors from carpets. This is because of the strong reaction to both alkaline and acidic smells. When combined with essential oils or herbs, baking soda does a great job of removing smells.
Combating Carpet Smells Naturally
Baking soda and vinegar are the most effective options for odor control. These work well with essential oils and other additives to combat and control any unpleasant smell. For pet stains or more localized odors, vodka and club soda are excellent options. Always take care when using something new on your carpet. Not every carpet is the same, and some may react differently to items being used.
Check out How To Get Slime Out Of Carpet for some carpet cleaning tips.
For advice on washing your carpet, try How Often Should You Wash Your Carpet?
To learn more about vacuuming, try Does Vacuuming Damage Carpet?