How To Neutralize Odors in Carpet

How To Neutralize Odors in Carpet

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Your carpet throbs over time. Regardless of whether you have a handful of area carpets or wall-to-wall carpets, they face a variety of pressures.

These include pedestrian traffic, pets, litter and dust. You may not vacuum them as much as you should.

I know my pets also rest on the carpet from time to time!

Because your carpet consists of fibers, there are many corners and cranes between them. This allows the carpet to absorb odors more easily.

Please scroll down to find out the best ways to remove carpet odor.

Getting Rid of General Odors

If you have a common odor due to accidents and spills, you can get rid of these odors with some baking soda and void.

Baking soda has been shown to absorb odors easily. I know I also use baking soda to remove odors from my refrigerator!

It will also work well on carpets as it is small enough to penetrate the fibers.

To get rid of common odors, you will need:

A can of baking soda
A strong vacuum cleaner
Then, follow these steps:

Before opening the baking soda, remove all furniture from the room.

You need to be able to reach every part of the carpet. Then, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove pet fur, dirt and other debris.

Do not clean any area at this time as you need to dry the carpet to absorb the smell of baking soda.

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Step 2: Add the Baking Soda to the Carpet

Next, open the box of baking soda. Spray it freely on all carpets. You can put it straight out of the box or use a sieve with mesh holes.

If you have a wall-to-wall carpet, you may need extra cans of baking soda. As the baking soda falls on the carpet, use your fingers to force it into the carpet, making sure it penetrates all corners and cranes.

Arm and hammer manufacturers a product for this purpose.

The label states that the product will help eliminate odors thanks to “Axeline Dirt Fighters”. It also helps to loosen pet hair up to 25% more than just a vacuum, so consider whether you have a pet.

Note that this product has a fragrance, so if you do not want to deal with a strong fragrance, stick to regular baking soda.

Step 3: Let the Baking Soda Sit

Once the baking soda is in place, let it sit. You can either wait a few hours or let it sit overnight.

I usually let the baking soda sit overnight because I don’t expect pedestrian traffic in the area at night.

You want to do this odor removal when people do not need access to the room. Foot movement can interfere with this process as baking soda will stick to people’s feet and shoes.

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Step 4: Vacuum the Baking Soda

Once the baking soda has been in place for several hours, hold the vacuum and suck the baking soda off the carpet. As soon as you vacuum the baking soda, the odor will go away with it!

Here’s an important note about using a vacuum on baking soda. Weak suction or airflow will not be able to lift every particle of baking soda under the vacuum carpet strips.
Choose the hard Brussels model with enough suction to shake the surface well and lift the fine debris of baking soda.

Some people may argue that a vacuum with a bag is better for this purpose because it has a lower risk of clogging, as with a bagless vacuum that is harder to clean.

There are a lot of nuances when it comes to technical terms so if you want to know more please go to my bag lace vs bagged comparison.

I am neutral on this subject, so I have no preference. The important thing is to choose a vacuum with enough air flow and movement for the job.

Step 5: Repeat the Process

If you vacuum baking soda and you still feel the room stink, repeat steps 2 to 4 and wait a few hours.

Then, check again. If you think the stench is still there, you can repeat this process by using more baking soda. That should be sufficient enough to remove any odor that may remain.

Then, take the furniture back, and you’re done!

Dealing with Smoke Odors

Notoriously difficult to remove smoke odor from carpets. You need to use a different method that uses vinegar, ammonia, and baking soda to remove the smell of smoke from your carpet.

Materials needed

To remove the odor from your carpet, you will need:

White vinegar: It has been shown to be effective in absorbing foul odors without toxic side effects.
Steam cleaner
Baking Soda
Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: Fill the Bowls

Get two large bowls. Fill one of them with white vinegar (unscented) and the other with ammonia. Do not mix these liquids as they will produce toxic gas.

Leave both cups in the room around the carpet with the scent of smoke. This will break the smell of smoke in the room and start the process of deodorizing. Leave the containers for 24 hours and then remove them.

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Step 2: Baking Soda

After removing the vinegar and ammonia, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Then massage it into the fibers with the tips of your fingers.

In the meantime, keep people and pets out of the area. Leave the baking soda in place overnight and vacuum it in the morning.

Step 3: Steam Clean

After vacuuming the baking soda, remove the steam cleaner and add white vinegar. Please open the windows (if possible) to allow air to circulate and do not let the scent of vinegar linger for a long time.

Then, run the steam cleaner all over the carpet. White vinegar will kill bacteria while also removing tar and resin from the carpet.

As you complete this process, turn on a few fans to get out of the room. Blowing will prevent you from feeling sick and will prevent mold from growing on the wet carpet.

After cleaning the steam, leave it on the fan and let the carpet dry. The smell of smoke should disappear.

Other ingredients that absorb odor from carpet

In addition to baking soda and vinegar, there are other things you should consider deodorizing carpets.

Baking soda mixture: To enhance the odor-fighting properties of baking soda, you can add borax to the mix (1: 1 ratio). Some have suggested adding spices such as cinnamon, but it can stain light colored carpets so I will avoid it. Leave the mixture on the carpet for 30 minutes to a few hours before vacuuming.
Vodka: Not only is this a happy hour drink, but vodka also has vinegar-like odor-absorbing properties. Cheap vodka will suffice. Put it in a spray bottle then spray it on the parts of the carpet where there is stench. Wait 15 minutes, then dry with a paper towel. You can sprinkle baking soda and then vacuum to absorb the excess moisture.
Store-bought cleaners: If you do not want to deal with vacuuming baking soda, try using special products for this purpose. There are numerous options for your preference, from liquids to powders. It may cost a bit more, but if you are dealing with strong fragrances that may still remain, it is worth a try.

How to protect your carpet from odors?

There is a popular saying that “prevention is better than cure” and it is very applicable to this subject.

1. Ventilate rooms

One of the best ways to prevent odors from accumulating is to ventilate your indoor rooms regularly. It’s easy to do, just open the windows to let the air circulate.

Doing this regularly will eliminate the odor that sticks to carpets or furniture.

2. Dehumidify

Too much moisture is detrimental to carpets as it not only causes odor but also mold and mildew. If the humidity is too high, consider buying a dehumidifier to balance the humidity level inside your home.

3. Check for leaks

If stinking carpets is a recurring theme, the culprit could be a leaking pipe. Be sure to check the pipes inside your home for leaks, and if there is a leak, fix it as soon as possible as mold and mildew will form, cause odor, and eventually destroy the carpet. 

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4. Vacuum

You must have a schedule to vacuum your carpet. This step helps prevent dirt, grime and other odor-causing contaminants from accumulating.

You can also use baking soda to help refresh and lift pet hair on the carpet. Products are available for this purpose and a variety of odors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What absorbs odors in carpets?

Put a large amount of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Sprinkle white vinegar on the carpet. Don’t worry- the smell will disappear (and it will actually absorb any other odor you are trying to get rid of). Allow it to dry completely, and then repeat the process as needed.

How do you deodorize a carpet?

Move your furniture: Clean any furniture from the carpet so that the entire surface is accessible. …
Add baking soda: Spray baking soda freely on the entire carpet – either to the right of the box or using a fine mesh sieve. …
Let it sit: wait a few hours or ideally absorb the baking soda odor overnight.

Does spraying baking soda on carpets eliminate odors?

You can use baking soda (aka soda bicarbonate) to clean and deodorize all types of carpets and area rugs, but the method used depends on whether the stain is based on grease (think pizza, Oil, mayonnaise) or non-fat (such as clay, alcohol, blood). In all cases, the process begins with the application of baking soda to the stain.

How long does baking soda take to make carp stink?

Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. An hour or so is better, as long as you keep everyone, including your pets, away from the carpet. Baking soda won’t hurt them, but you want it on carpets, not on toes and shoes.


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