How To Deodorize Carpet?

Carpets add that missing element and warmth to a house, but they start to lose their appeal quickly when they start to smell. So, how to deodorize carpet? Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with this problem.

The culprits for causing the smell in your carpets are many, be it spills and stains, your pets, walking on your carpets, or wearing shoes, among others.

So, if you want to make your poor carpets smell fresh again, then make sure you read this useful guide till the end!

How To Deodorize Carpet

What Causes Carpets To Smell?

What Causes Carpets To Smell

There is not one but plenty of reasons that could cause your carpet to smell. This includes:

  • Lack of ventilation: Not having enough ventilation in your house or not keeping your doors and windows open from time to time can lead to stagnant air. This results in odors.
  • Moisture: Moisture from leaks, spills, humidity, etc., can lead to the growth of mildew and mold not only in your carpets but also on your walls, which leads to nasty smells.
  • Pets: Pets can leave behind feces, urine, vomit, etc., on the carpet, which is difficult to get rid of. And all of this could lead to smelly carpets.
  • Smoke: Smoke, be it charcoal, cigarette, fireplace smoke, etc., has a tendency to penetrate into the fibers of carpets, which can lead to smell.
  • Spills: If you have a kid in your house or if you are a clumsy person yourself who spills food and drinks on your carpet often, then that could lead to odors if not treated immediately.
  • Chemicals: Usage of certain chemicals, such as pest cleaners, insecticides, etc., can also leave odors in your house.

How To Deodorize Carpet?

It is impossible to keep your carpets clean all the time, and sooner or later, they are going to emit odors because carpets hold odor. So, how do you deal with that? Thankfully, there are not one but many ways in which you can deodorize your carpets. Let’s have a look at them:

1. Vacuum Regularly

vaccum carpets regularly

Let’s start with the basics first. Dust and dirt accumulate on carpets quickly, and if you don’t do anything about it, then your carpet will not only look bad but will also smell. Make sure to vacuum your carpets often, maybe twice a week.

Apart from this, clean or replace your vacuum filters from time to time. It’s important to take care of your vacuum as well so that they work properly.

2. Use Baking Soda

One of the best home remedies to deodorize carpets is baking soda- a staple that can be easily found in households. Baking soda is a safe and natural ingredient that effectively absorbs moisture and smells from carpets and other surfaces.

This is how you can use baking soda to deodorize carpets:

1. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on your carpet and let it sit for 20-30 minutes or, even better, overnight.

Use Baking Soda on carpet

2. Now clean up the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner. You might have to run the vacuum cleaner a few times to remove the baking soda completely.

vacuum baking soda

Pro tip: You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to baking soda to add fragrance to your carpet.

3. Use Vinegar

Vinegar might seem like an odd choice for deodorizing carpets, but its strong smell can help a lot. If your carpet reeks of mold or mildew smell especially, then using vinegar could be a game changer for you. This is how you can use vinegar as a carpet deodorizer:

1. Combine one cup of vinegar in two cups of water and fill the mixture in a spray bottle.

Combine vinegar & water

2. Now spray your entire carpet with this mixture and allow it to dry out. The sprayed vinegar mixture might smell strong at first, but the smell will fade away as the liquid dries.

Spray on carpet

4. Deep Clean Your Carpets Every 6-12 Months

Deep clean

When it comes to getting rid of nasty carpet smells such as puke smells, pet pee smells, or a combination of these, nothing beats professional carpet cleaning.

Make it a point to hire a professional carpet cleaner every 6-12 months and get your carpets deep cleaned. Doing this will not only help in getting rid of smells but also:

  • Help in increasing the life of your carpet.
  • Will protect your home from bacteria and viruses.
  • Will allow you to keep your carpet clean for the rest of the year.

5. Shampoo Your Carpets

Shampoo it up

Carpet shampooing could be the most taxing method of deodorizing your carpets, but it’s worth the effort.

For this, you can either shampoo your carpets using a brush and your hands, or you can also use a carpet shampooing machine.

Shampooing will not only help in removing the smell from your carpet but will also help in getting rid of dirt and dust. But can you vacuum after shampooing the carpet?

6. Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another effective natural ingredient that can be used to deodorize your carpets. Lemon juice has a strong citrusy fragrance that helps in neutralizing odors. This is how you can use this ingredient to make your carpets smell fresh:

1. Mix one part of lemon juice with two parts of water and fill it in a spray bottle.

Lemon juice & water

2. Now spray the mixture onto the entire carpet and allow it to sit and dry out for 15-20 minutes.

spray on carpet

3. Once the lemon juice mixture has worked its magic, use a dry cloth to blot any access moisture from the carpet. Open the windows and turn on the fan to speed up the drying process.

Note: Lemon juice can discolor or bleach certain carpet fibers. So, make sure you do a patch test on a small area of your carpet before you proceed with this method.

7. Cornstarch

Just like baking soda, Cornstarch is another natural ingredient that does a great job of neutralizing carpet smells. This ingredient works by absorbing moisture and smells, leaving your carpets fresh.

To use Cornstarch:

1. Sprinkle a generous amount of Cornstarch on the entire surface of your carpet. Focus on areas that smell the most.


2. Now, let the Cornstarch sit for 20-30 minutes to absorb odors and moisture from your carpet.

Clean with cornstarch

3. Once it has worked its magic, use a vacuum cleaner to clean up your carpet.

Note: Cornstarch can leave a white residue, so avoid this method if you have a dark-colored carpet. Also, you might have to repeat these steps a few times to get the best result.

8. Vodka

If your carpet is emitting a strong smell from a particular spot caused by a nasty spill or pet urine and such things, then you can use a cheap bottle of vodka to fix this. For this:

1. Take necessary steps to spot clean the stain first, be it coffee stain, red wine stainetc.

clean carpet stain

2. Now spray vodka on top of the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Spray vodka

3. After 10 minutes, dab the access liquid using a dry towel, and voila, your carpet is as good as new again!

9. Soak in the Sun

Soak in the Sun

Not many people know this, but one of the best ways to deodorize your carpet is to allow it to get some sunlight.

Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. Sunlight not only helps in absorbing moisture from the carpets but also helps in killing bacteria and germs that cause odors.

The only problem with this method is that you can use it only for carpets or rugs that are not glued down to the floors.

Tips To Prevent a Smelly Carpet

What they say is true: prevention is better than cure. Cleaning nasty smells from carpets can be challenging and time-consuming. So keep in mind these tips to avoid this problem as much as possible:

  • As mentioned earlier, get your carpet professionally cleaned from time to time. You can do all sorts of DIY to clean your carpets, but only a professional can do the job in the best possible way. Although this would cost you a bit, at least you will have sparkling carpets for a while.
  • If you keep your doors and windows closed all the time, then chances are not only your carpet will smell, but also your house in general. So keep your windows open so that the air can circulate in your house.
  • Use a dehumidifier. Humidity does a lot more than frizz your hair. Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture out of your house and to keep your carpets from reeking nasty odor.
  • When you walk inside your house wearing shoes, you are not only bringing dirt and dust but also bacteria that create odor. So keep your shoes outside your house.

How To Deodorize Carpet? : Wrap Up

Carpets are subjected to spills, stains, pet pee & feces, and whatnot! It is only obvious for it to smell after all this.

So, how to deodorize carpet? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to deal with this problem.

In this guide, we shared not one but nine different methods of deodorizing your carpets, and we hope this was helpful.

How To Deodorize Carpet? : FAQs

How long does it take for baking soda to deodorize carpets?

Baking soda needs to be left on the carpet for at least 20-30 minutes to remove the odor from your carpet. The longer you let it sit, the more moisture, bacteria, and smell it will absorb.

How to have fresh-smelling carpets all the time?

You can spray diluted essential oils or sprinkle some lemon or orange peels on your carpet to have them smell fresh all the time.

Why should I deodorize my carpet?

Apart from getting rid of odors, deodorizing helps kill germs and bacteria from your carpets that may cause breathing or other health-related problems. Hence, it is important to deodorize your carpets.

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