8 ways to deodorize your carpet

My Carpet Stinks 8 Ways to Naturally Deodorize Your Carpet

Recommended Ways to Naturally Deodorize Carpets

Whether your entire home is covered in carpet or if you have a few area rugs throughout your home, you have probably experienced unwelcomed odors coming from your carpet. You might have pets that make a mess on the carpet, children that spill drinks, or the odor might be the result of smoke. You may have vacuumed countless times and tried different ways to get rid of the odor but with no luck.

You can spot clean for stain or steam clean for disinfection, but you may notice a persisting odor despite cleaning and vacuuming your carpet. If this is the case, you may want to deodorize your carpet. How do you get smells out of carpets? There are many ways to deodorize a carpet including baking soda, vinegar, borax, carpet shampoo, and others. Here are eight of our favorite ways to have your carpet smelling clean and fresh again in no time.

Natural Ways to Deodorize Carpets

1. Baking soda

Baking soda is easily available and a well-known odor absorber. Baking soda particles can deeply penetrate the carpet, absorb smells, and be picked up by a vacuum. The baking soda neutralizes odors leaving your carpet smelling like nothing at all. Another benefit of using baking soda is that it is impossible to over-saturate your carpet as you might with store-bought fluids.

To use baking soda to deodorize, the first thing you want to do is move any furniture that might be covering your carpets. You want to make sure you do not miss any carpeted area in your home. Next you can sprinkle the baking soda on the carpet either straight from the box or using a sieve.

If you have  deep-pile carpet, you might want to cover small sections at a time and massage the baking soda deeply into the carpet before moving onto the next section. Next, let the baking soda sit for several hours or even overnight so that the baking soda can absorb all the odors from the carpet. Finally use a vacuum to pick up all the baking soda from the carpet and replace your furniture. Your home should be smelling clean again in no time!

baking soda for carpenter ants

2. Vinegar

Another way to deodorize your carpet is using vinegar. This ingredient is commonly found in the household so no need to make an extra trip to the grocery store! To use vinegar to deodorize, just mix one cup of vinegar with two cups of warm water and use a spray bottle to distribute the vinegar water over your carpet. Allow to air dry. You can also add two teaspoons of baking soda to the mixture if the odor is extra strong.

3. Essential oils with baking soda

We’ve already mentioned baking soda as an effective way of deodorizing carpets, but sometimes you want to replace the carpet’s odor with a fresh new scent. By adding essential odors to the baking soda, you can accomplish this. You can choose any of your favorite essential oils for this method.

However, be careful when selecting strong smelling oils like cinnamon or peppermint that could have an adverse effect on children or dogs in your household. Some family-friendly scents are lavender, grapefruit, and lemon. Using this combination will leave your home smelling clean and fresh.

4. Enzyme cleaner

If you have pets in your home, it is likely that there have been more than a few accidents on the carpet. The result of this is a sour, pungent odor that is difficult to get rid of. Thankfully many brands make an enzyme carpet cleaner that is designed to get rid of animal accident smells.

You can usually find a good selection on Amazon or at your local grocery store. Enzyme cleaners speed up the process of bacteria feeding on organic matter caused by blood, vomit, feces, and urine. You can buy enzyme cleaners ready-to-use or concentrated. Make sure to follow the directions on the packaging when you use it.

carpet oder remover cleaner

5. Laundry detergent

This next technique may be surprising, using laundry detergent to wash a carpet. Laundry detergent contains hydrogen peroxide which is a strong smell and stain remover making it ideal if your carpet has food or vomit stains on it.

This method is good for smaller spaces or stains that you might find on your carpet. To use this method, first use warm water to clean the dirty areas and remove any larger, solid pieces. Next, use a stiff-bristled brush to apply the laundry detergent to the area and scrub.

Finally set your vacuum to the wet/dry setting and vacuum the area until the stain is gone. Make sure not to use too much detergent. Start with just a little bit and add more if needed.

natural laundry detergent for carpet

6. Borax

Borax can be found in the laundry detergent section of any grocery store. It’s an acid and is white and powdery like baking soda. Borax is especially helpful because it kills mold and can be used to eliminate mold-related smells around the house.

To use this method, mix half a cup of borax with half a cup of baking soda and sprinkle the mixture on the carpet. Leave the mixture for at least an hour. Vacuum up the mixture and enjoy your smell-free carpet!

Borax is acidic but it’s not toxic, however some people are allergic to it so make sure you check before you use this method.

natural carpet cleaning with borax

7. Vodka

Although perfect for an evening mixer, who knew vodka could help with deodorizing carpets? Vodka is an incredible stain remover. You’ll need inexpensive, flavorless vodka for this method, not the kind with flavors and sugar.

The amount of vodka you’ll use will depend on how deep the stain is. If the stain is not very deep, start with just a little bit of vodka. Pour the vodka on the stain and use a cloth to dab the spot. Continue this process until the stain is removed.

If the stain is deep, pour a generous amount of vodka on the stain and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. When the time has passed, return with a cloth or paper towels and dab the stain. You can finish it off with a vacuum cleaner until the stain is gone.

8. Carpet shampoo

Amazon and your local grocery store should sell carpet shampoo. It’s very versatile and is created to clean carpets, unlike the previous more DIY solutions we present above. Carpet shampoos are very easy to use because they come with instructions and warnings specific to each type.

Generally, you spray the shampoo into the carpet and then vacuum thoroughly. This option is the more expensive choice, but it’s well worth your money as it helps reduce the chance your carpet will grow mold or dust mites.

These are our top 8 ways to deodorize a carpet!

Here are a few tips to avoid having to deodorize the carpet in the first place.

Keeping Your Carpet Odor-free

1. Don’t wait too long

We’ve all been there, waiting too long to clean our carpets. It is important to clean our carpets quickly and consistently. If there is a spill or an accident, speed is of essence in order to avoid smells forming. If possible, don’t wait more than ten minutes to treat a stain. If you wait longer, the stain solidifies, and it becomes harder to remove and has become smellier by the minute.

2. Regularly dry clean carpet

It is important to maintain carpet maintenance regardless of spills. Generally, one should vacuum the carpet at least 3 times per week and have the carpet professionally cleaned by a Tulsa Cleaning Company once per year. However, if you have pets, children, respiratory allergies or illness, or a smoking habit you should clean your carpet even more frequently.

In that case you should vacuum your home four to five times a week and have a professional cleaner come in two to three times a year. Maintaining this cleanliness is important to our health and wellbeing as well as keeping the carpet in pristine condition and avoiding smells in the first place.

3. Keep the windows open

When the weather allows, it is good to keep the windows open to allow for air circulation. The flow of air inside helps reduce the buildup of humidity and odors within the house. It is especially important to allow windows to stay open at night when much of the humidity builds up. So at least when the weather allows it, try to keep your windows open.

4. Purchase an air purifier

If you don’t want to or cannot keep your windows open for long, we suggest purchasing an air purifier. Air purifiers get rid of dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold particles in the air. They are especially helpful if you have respiratory problems. As the air gets cleaner, any odor in the room will also disappear.

5. Create open space

Odors and dust particles become entrapped in closed spaces. It is important to create open space by reducing furniture and allowing more space for air to circulate. With air circulating better, you will not need to clean and deodorize your carpet as often as before.

We hope these tips and tricks to deodorize your carpet and avoid having to deodorize as often are helpful to you!

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Matt McWilliams

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.