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How to Use Baking Soda As Carpet Cleaner: 3 Methods

Stinky, dirty carpet? Baking soda can help change that. 

We just got a new, cozy, soft carpet in our house. It definitely makes the house feel warmer, especially during winter months! However, keeping it clean is an important and frequent chore. Besides vacuuming and steaming it regularly, it does need a little extra care. That’s where baking soda comes in.

Wondering how to use baking soda as a carpet cleaner? We have all the best tips, tricks and methods to share with you.

Key Takeaways

  • Baking soda effectively removes carpet stains, absorbs liquids, and deodorizes carpets.
  • To clean carpets with baking soda, sprinkle it generously, brush it into the fibers, and leave it for up to 24 hours before vacuuming.
  • Baking soda won’t damage or discolor carpets, but it may be difficult to vacuum up completely and doesn’t kill bacteria.
  • Ensure your vacuum is designed for fine particles like baking soda to avoid damaging your vacuum cleaner.

How Baking Soda Works As a Carpet Cleaner

Baking soda is a good addition to your carpet cleaning routine. It is great for removing carpet stains, absorbing liquids, freshening and deodorizing your carpet (1).

Can Baking Soda Damage Carpet?

Baking soda won’t damage your carpet, but it may damage the underlay or the floors beneath. It may also be super difficult to vacuum every bit of baking soda from the carpet afterwards.

The baking soda particles are so small that they can often find their way underneath the carpet fibers. This isn’t a massive issue, and since baking soda is safe for humans and pets, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage to vacuum every last bit of baking soda up.

Does Baking Soda Discolor Carpet?

No — baking soda won’t cause discoloration or fading. If anything, it will make carpets look brighter and fresher.

Does Baking Soda Kill Bacteria on Carpet?

Baking soda does not kill bacteria (2). If that’s your main goal when cleaning your carpet, we recommend going for a different cleaning product or trying steam cleaning.

How Long Do You Leave Baking Soda and Vinegar on Carpet?

You can leave baking soda and vinegar on your carpet for up to 24 hours, depending on how dirty or smelly the carpet is.

How Do I Use Baking Soda As a Carpet Cleaner?

Now that you’re ready to try baking soda on the carpet, let’s look at two different purposes for using it. First, you can use baking soda for removing tough stains. But you can also use it for eliminating bad smells.

Removing Tough Carpet Stains Using Baking Soda

It’s easy to remove tough carpet stains with baking soda. However, the method will change depending on whether the stain is greasy or not.

For Greasy Stains

  1. Vacuum: Always start with vacuuming the carpet area. If there are other dirt and debris around, you run the risk of causing even more stains.
  2. Blot: Use a rag or paper towel to blot up as much of the grease as possible. Make sure you don’t rub it or you could spread it around.
  3. Sprinkle: Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over the stain so it’s completely covered.
  4. Brush: Use a really soft brush to gently work it into the fibers. If you’re worried that you’ll be unable to get all the baking soda out later, you can skip this step.
  5. Allow it to sit: Let the baking soda sit up to eight hours, or overnight.
  6. Vacuum: In the morning, vacuum the affected area thoroughly.
  7. Dish soap: If there is still a remaining stain, it’s time to get out the dish soap. Take one drop and blot it over the stain. Increase depending on the size of the stain. Cover the area in a little water and continue blotting until everything is absorbed.
  8. Repeat if necessary: If you’re still concerned about the stain, you can cover the area in baking soda again and leave for three hours. If not, skip to step 10.
  9. Vacuum: If doing step eight, vacuum up the remaining baking soda.
  10. Blot dry: Use a cloth or rag to blot the area dry.

For Non-Greasy Stains

  1. Vacuum: Always vacuum the area first to eliminate other dust, dirt and debris.
  2. Sprinkle: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stained area.
  3. Spritz: Spritz with some hot water until the area is slightly damp.
  4. Let it sit: Leave the mixture to sit overnight.
  5. Vacuum: In the morning, vacuum the area and the stain should be gone.

Removing Tough Carpet Smells Using Baking Soda

Whether your stain has left an odor, or your carpets just need freshening, we have a great method to try.

  1. Vacuum the carpet: Before doing any kind of carpet cleaning, make sure to vacuum the area thoroughly.
  2. Sprinkle: Sprinkle baking soda generously over the entire carpet. You’ll want to make sure everyone in the family is prepared for this. They won’t be able to access the room for many hours.
  3. Brush: Use a dry brush to work the baking soda into the carpet so it’s evenly distributed.
  4. Leave it: Now leave it for up to 24 hours, or overnight. The smellier the carpet is, the longer you should leave it.
  5. Vacuum: Afterwards, vacuum it up and enjoy an odor-free room!

How Long Do You Leave Baking Soda on Carpet?

You should leave baking soda on your carpet for a minimum of three hours, but you can go up to 24 hours.

Is It Ok to Leave Baking Soda on Carpet Overnight?

Yes! Since you have to leave the room while the baking soda is sitting, leaving it overnight is ideal. There’s less chance of anybody disturbing your DIY job.

Rule Of Thumb

The longer you leave baking soda on your carpet, the more effective it will be.

Can I Vacuum Baking Soda with My Dyson?

It depends on the filter. The issue with vacuuming baking soda is that not every vacuum cleaner prevents fine particles, like baking soda, from getting through to the motor.

If baking soda gets into the motor, it can break the Dyson vacuum. Unfortunately, this has happened with some Dyson customers.

You should read your manufacturer’s instructions to see what they say about fine particles and carpet cleaners. Generally, bagged vacuums are best for fine particles.

Will Baking Soda Pull Urine Out Of Carpet?

Pet owners everywhere are familiar with the issue of urine on the carpet. Tackling it quickly with proper cleaning products is totally fine. However, it can sometimes leave stains, odors and even worse, residue.

Will baking soda work? Baking soda can absorb liquids, so if you leave it over the affected area overnight, it can definitely help to pull out any sort of liquid, including urine.

More Tips on Using Baking Soda as a Carpet Cleaner

Before you go, we’ll leave you with a few more tips for using baking soda as a carpet cleaner.

  1. Mix together one cup of vinegar, two cups of warm water and two teaspoons of baking soda in a spray bottle. Use this to spray over the entire carpet to eliminate odors. Since the baking soda is already dissolved, it won’t leave a weird residue on your carpet.
  2. Add essential oils to the baking soda before you sprinkle it over your carpets. Just be cautious if you have pets, as some essential oils are toxic to animals.
  3. If you spilled any liquid on your carpet, such as water or you’ve overused a different cleaning product, then use baking soda to absorb the liquids. Sprinkle it over the affected area and leave for a couple of hours before vacuuming it up.
  4. For the most effective baking soda carpet cleaning solution, try this. Mix together half a cup of Borax, one cup of baking soda and 15 drops of essential oils. Sprinkle it over the carpet and leave it for a few hours before vacuuming. The Borax will add extra strength to this solution.


How Much Baking Soda Do I Put On My Carpet?

The amount of baking soda you put on your carpet depends on the room size and the level of soiling. Typically, you can expect to use at least one or two boxes of baking soda.

Can You Sprinkle Baking Soda On a Wet Carpet?

You can sprinkle baking soda on a wet carpet if you are trying to remove a particular stain. Covering the entire carpet with baking soda is a bad idea because it will turn to paste.

What Happens If You Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar?

When you mix baking soda and vinegar, you get a chemical reaction that produces carbonic acid and sodium acetate. Both chemicals are ideal for lifting stains from multiple surfaces.

Does Baking Soda Leave a Residue?

Baking soda leaves a white powdery residue once it dries. Don’t use it on cracked or grooved surfaces where the baking soda collects and cannot be removed.

How Long is Baking Soda Good For After Opening?

Baking soda lasts for six months after opening. It doesn’t go stale or moldy; it just loses its potency as a cleaning product.

Bring Out the Baking Soda

If you’re after clean carpets, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional company or commercial products. Baking soda does a wonderful job. It can remove stains, absorb liquids and deodorize your carpets.

Just make sure you have the right vacuum for the job. Otherwise you can ruin your expensive vacuum cleaner.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!