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Freshen Carpets With Baking Soda Before Vacuuming

March 22, 2024
Freshen Carpets With Baking Soda Before Vacuuming

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile and inexpensive household ingredient that has numerous cleaning applications. It is a white crystalline powder that can be used as a mild abrasive, deodorizer, and cleaning agent.

Baking soda has a slightly alkaline pH, which makes it effective in neutralizing acidic odors and stains. It is also a gentle abrasive, which means that it can help lift dirt and grime from surfaces without causing damage.

I often use baking soda for various cleaning tasks around the house, including freshening carpets before vacuuming.

Why Use Baking Soda on Carpets?

Carpets can accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and odors over time, especially in high-traffic areas. Using baking soda on carpets before vacuuming can help to:

  1. Absorb and neutralize odors: Baking soda is an excellent deodorizer. It can absorb and neutralize unpleasant odors caused by spills, pets, or other sources.

  2. Lift dirt and grime: The mild abrasive properties of baking soda can help to loosen and lift dirt and grime that has become embedded in the carpet fibers.

  3. Freshen and brighten: Baking soda can help to freshen and brighten the appearance of carpets, leaving them looking and smelling cleaner.

  4. Prolong the life of the carpet: Regular cleaning with baking soda can help to extend the life of your carpet by preventing the buildup of dirt and grime that can cause premature wear and tear.

How to Use Baking Soda on Carpets

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how I use baking soda to freshen carpets before vacuuming:

Materials Needed

  • Baking soda
  • A clean, dry container or shaker for sprinkling the baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment

Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda

I liberally sprinkle baking soda over the carpet, paying extra attention to high-traffic areas or spots where odors are more noticeable. I recommend using about 1/2 cup of baking soda per room or smaller area.

Step 2: Let it Sit

I allow the baking soda to sit on the carpet for at least 15-20 minutes, or even longer if the odors are particularly stubborn. This gives the baking soda time to absorb and neutralize odors and allow the abrasive action to work on the dirt and grime.

Step 3: Vacuum Thoroughly

After the appropriate time has passed, I vacuum the carpet thoroughly, using the brush attachment to agitate the carpet fibers and pick up the baking soda along with the dirt and odors it has absorbed.

Tips and Considerations

  • Use baking soda regularly: For best results, I recommend using baking soda on carpets as part of a regular cleaning routine, such as once a month or whenever the carpet starts to look or smell dingy.

  • Spot test for colorfastness: If you have a particularly delicate or light-colored carpet, it’s always a good idea to spot test baking soda in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

  • Avoid using too much: While baking soda is generally safe for carpets, using excessive amounts can leave behind a powdery residue that can be difficult to remove. Follow the recommended amounts and adjust as needed.

  • Consider hiring professionals: For heavily soiled or heavily odorous carpets, it may be necessary to hire professional carpet cleaning services that can provide more intensive cleaning methods.

Real Case Example

Last year, I adopted a rescue dog named Buddy. While he’s an absolute sweetheart, he had a few accidents on the living room carpet during the initial potty training phase. Even after cleaning the affected areas, a lingering odor remained, which was unpleasant and embarrassing whenever we had guests over.

After trying various store-bought carpet deodorizers with little success, I decided to give baking soda a try. I liberally sprinkled baking soda over the entire living room carpet, paying extra attention to the areas where the accidents had occurred. I let the baking soda sit for a couple of hours before vacuuming thoroughly.

To my delight, the baking soda effectively absorbed and neutralized the lingering odors, leaving the carpet smelling fresh and clean. Since then, I’ve made it a habit to use baking soda on the carpets regularly, and it has become an essential part of my cleaning routine.


Using baking soda on carpets before vacuuming is an easy, affordable, and effective way to freshen and maintain the appearance and odor of your carpets. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can harness the power of baking soda to keep your carpets looking and smelling their best. So, the next time you’re about to vacuum, don’t forget to sprinkle a little baking soda first – your carpets (and your nose) will thank you!

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