how to get smell out of carpet

Get Rid Of Carpet Smell With These Best 4 Tricks

By Maria Hernandez / January 15, 2021 / 0 Comments

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    Unpleasant odors on your carpet are so off-putting. Imagine walking into your living room every day and being greeted by a foul smell: it’s horrible, right? That’s why I’d like to help you learn how to get the smell out of your carpet in several different ways.

    These four tips are easy to implement, and mostly feature household staples all of us own. You shouldn’t be worried about causing damage to your carpet, as long as you follow the instructions and know the carpet’s fabric.

    People are always searching for easy DIY projects that don’t break the budget. Another big trend is avoiding harsh chemicals as much as possible, so these tips that I’ll recommend check both boxes.

    Let’s begin by listing some of the most common reasons why your carpet smells before I continue to the actual methods.

    Why Does Your Carpet Smell?

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell which one exact factor causes a bad odor. There are cases when you can clearly point out the culprit. Some of the most common causes include:


    • Age
    • Mold, mildew
    • Pet odor
    • High humidity
    • Cigarette smoke

    All of these causes can stand alone, or combine to cause an even more complicated problem. Whatever the reason for your smelly carpet is, it’s smart to discover the cause and treat it directly at its source. That way, you’ll know that all your deodorizing efforts will have lasting effects.

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    4 Tips On How To Remove Odor From Carpet

    Let’s get to the essential part of this guide. These are the four ways I get rid of unpleasant carpet smells, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

    Baking Soda

    Baking soda is a staple in so many households when it comes to both cleaning and deodorizing. This multi-purpose product is safe, inexpensive, and gets rid of unpleasant scents. It can be used on carpets for this purpose, and you can use it as frequently as you’d like.

    Baking soda absorbs unpleasant odors and leaves your carpet looking fresh, minus that awful smell. This is an all-natural cleanser and deodorizer, meaning that you’ll be avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the carpet.

    Also, it’s a dry powdery substance that needs only a vacuum cleaner in order to be removed. Other deodorizers can get stuck to the carpet fibers and cause a residue, potentially attracting mold, bacteria, and more.

    Now, if you’re wondering how the carpet will smell after you’ve applied bicarbonate of soda, the answer is simple. It won’t smell like anything. The whole idea of using this product is to get rid of the carpet smell.

    The process of using baking soda is so simple that you may not believe it.

    1. Remove all furniture located on the carpet if you want to use baking soda on the entire area.
    2. Use the vacuum cleaner to go over the carpet in order to remove all the pet hair, dirt, dust, and other particles that can be stuck in the carpet fibers. This doesn’t have to be a very detailed clean, because you’ll be vacuuming once again soon.
    3. Get your baking soda and sprinkle it all over the carpet, or only on the area with a bad odor. It should cover the carpet, but make sure that you don’t overdo it. If you sprinkle too much, you might find it difficult later to remove the soda off the carpet once the treatment is done.
    4. Wait for at least three hours for the product to work. It’s best if you can leave it overnight. The more you let the soda work, the better the result will be.
    5. Once the time is up, get the vacuum cleaner again and start vacuuming, but this time do a slow and very detailed job of it. The point is to get all of the soda out of the carpet.
    6. You’re all done! As simple as that!

    Remind your family members to avoid traffic on the carpet where you’ve sprinkled soda. That’s why it’s best to do this before going to bed. You won’t need to avoid using the room, plus the bicarbonate of soda will have enough time to absorb odors.

    4 Tips On How To Remove Odor From Carpet

    If there is still an unpleasant smell at this point, feel free to repeat the same process over again. There are no limitations to how many times you can use baking soda, since it’s not a harmful chemical. It’s amazing for all kinds of odors, especially pet urine.

    Baking Soda And Essential Oils

    If you want to amp up your game, this is the way to do it. Mixing baking soda with essential oils is another fantastic idea that will leave you with a beautifully-smelling home. Bicarbonate of soda doesn’t deliver any smell, it just absorbs unpleasant ones; adding essential oils can be an easy upgrade to your cleaning job.

    You can use any essential oil that you like or have at home. Since these oils feature a strong smell, you only need to add a few drops to the baking soda to achieve a pleasant aroma. Mix the oil into the bicarbonate of soda, and sprinkle the mixture onto the carpet.

    Leave it on for at least an hour. Grab the vacuum machine, go over the carpet, and you’re done. Keep in mind that if you have a pet, you need to avoid tea tree essential oil and other strong scents such as cinnamon and peppermint.

    Baking Soda And Borax

    Not only does baking soda have many uses, but it’s also easy to mix with other ingredients. Aside from essential oils, you can also add borax to it and use it to get the smell out of your carpet. Once again, you can make your own DIY product and deodorize whenever you need to.

    Borax is very efficient at killing fungi and mold, so it’s a great option if that’s the cause of the unpleasant smell in your carpet.

    For this mixture, you’ll need:

    • One cup baking soda
    • Half a cup of borax
    • 15 to 20 drops of essential oil

    Mix the three ingredients together, and you’re ready to go. Sprinkle the mixture on top of your carpet and wait for at least an hour. When the time is up, vacuum, and your room will feature a new enchanting smell.


    Vinegar sounds like the last thing you’d want to put on an already-smelly carpet. Like baking soda, white vinegar is a multi-purpose product around the house when it comes to cleaning. Don’t worry, and it won’t leave a foul scent on the carpet; just follow my instructions.

    Vinegar absorbs the nasty smells, and it does so in a very affordable way. Carpets made of natural fibers are fragile, so avoid treating them with this product.

    1. Get a spray bottle and fill it with one part vinegar and two parts warm water. Some people fill it with just white vinegar, which works great too. Shake the bottle before you use it.
    2. Spray the mixture on top of the carpet.
    3. Wait for the wet carpet to dry, then the odor will be gone.

    If you also have baking soda at home, feel free to add it to the mix. Just a little baking soda (two to three teaspoons) will make your mixture much more powerful. If the smell is not gone, you can repeat the process.


    Vodka is not just a drink that you love, it’s also alcohol that can save you from carpet odors. If you don’t know how to get rid of a carpet smell and you have a bottle of vodka in your fridge– hint, hint! You’ve just found yourself a potential deodorizer.

    Vodka is alcohol, which absorbs bad scents and leaves the carpet without any kind of smell. It’s also great at removing stains. Feel free to tackle odors that come from mold or bacteria with this liquid.

    1. Get a spray bottle and fill it with vodka.
    2. Spray vodka on the entire carpet or on areas that have an unpleasant smell.
    3. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes for the alcohol to work.
    4. Blot the carpet with a clean cloth until it’s dry.

    Baking soda is an ingredient you can add on top of the vodka for extra cleaning power. In this case, finish off with the vacuum cleaner to remove the bicarbonate of soda.

    Club Soda

    Club soda is another natural alternative that fights odors. At the same time, it helps with stains, so why not give it a try? Let’s not forget that it’s so inexpensive and easy to find.

    Club soda does an amazing job getting rid of pet urine stains and odor. Simply follow these steps:

    1. Blot the urine accident right away.
    2. Pour club soda on the area where the accident happened.
    3. Use paper towels to blot the club soda.
    4. Add club soda again on the stained area and wait until it dries.
    5. This should do the job and eliminate the odor, but if it doesn’t, go through the same process again.

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    How To Keep Carpets Smelling Fresh

    Now that you know how to remove odor from your carpet, it’s time to learn how to keep it smelling fresh. These simple tips are life-savers if you ask me. The more you practice them, the less you’ll have to deal with unpleasant smells.

    Keep Humidity Levels Low

    One of the most common causes of carpet odor is mold or mildew. To prevent a musty smell, you need to lower the humidity levels with a dehumidifier. You don’t want your carpets to be damp or humid.

    Vacuum Frequently

    Vacuuming frequently means that you’ll have to deal with bad smells less often. It’s as simple as that! It only takes a few minutes to go over your carpets with the vacuum. You will not only remove dirt, dust, and gunk, you’ll also reduce the chance of growing bacteria, mold, and mildew.

    How To Keep Carpets Smelling Fresh

    Vacuuming once a week should be sufficient. Remember to tackle any food and drink spills on the carpet right away.

    Open The Windows

    Open the windows regularly so that fresh air can come into the room. This will let air circulate and let carpets breathe. Nothing beats natural air from outside.

    Proper Pet Hygiene

    It’s not only essential to practice good hygiene around the house, but also to have proper pet hygiene. Whenever you’re bringing your pets home from a walk, clean their paws before entering the home. You’ll save yourself from the extra work, plus your carpets will remain clean and odor-free.

    Remove Shoes Before You Enter

    Imagine walking with those shoes all around town for half a day, then walking over your carpets when you get back home. All that dirt you’ll bring can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

    Avoid Eating In Rooms With Carpets

    If your dining area is carpeted, you can’t do much about it. Still, try covering the areas directly underneath the chairs and table. You can do this for any room in the house, especially high-traffic areas for your pets and kids.

    If you notice food on the carpet, pick it up and make sure to clean the area as soon as possible.

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    How Can I Remove Mold Or Mildew Smells From Carpet?

    The secret to resolving mold and mildew smells is to address the source. These odors appear due to moisture that is present on the carpet or in the room. You should start by making sure that the carpet is dry.

    You can either use a fan or a dehumidifier home. Once the carpet is dry, you can start using deodorizers. Remove all the dirt and particles first with a vacuum cleaner.

    Natural deodorizers such as baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are amazing when it comes to mildew and mold odors. Use them according to the instructions I mentioned above, and your carpet will be odor-free.

    Hydrogen peroxide is mostly meant for stubborn smells that won’t go away. Use a spray bottle in which you’ll mix one part hydrogen peroxide and five parts water. Spray it on the carpet, and wait for at least a few hours.

    If your room is too moist, you must first deal with that problem because no products will do the job in the long term. You might need to call professional help to deal with mold and mildew, then target the unpleasant odor.

    Can I Use These Tips To Freshen Up My Old Carpet?

    Yes, you can. These are all-natural products that will neutralize any unpleasant smells no matter how old the carpet is. Most of these also remove stains, so you’ll be getting double the action.

    The thing about old carpets is that they’ve likely been through a lot, so you can’t always tell the exact reason for the smell. It can be the result of age, mold, or pet odors, or it can be a mix of different factors. If any of the suggested tips don’t remove the odor on the first try, repeat the process over again.

    There are also so many great carpet fresheners and deodorizers that you can buy, and save yourself the time of doing DIY projects, if that’s what you prefer.

    Can Vinegar Destroy My Carpet?

    Vinegar is an acidic liquid that should not cause any damage to your carpet as long as you’re using it properly. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t treat carpets made of natural fibers with vinegar because they are very easily damaged. These include wool, silk, cotton, and more.

    The secret behind the safe use of this household product is to dilute it with water. Once you do, it’s much safer for the surfaces that you’re treating. It’s also an excellent aid for targeting stains, especially ones caused by wine or pet urine.

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    All of the tips I mentioned will be of enormous help, no matter which one you choose. These are products that are safe to use in your household and that will get the smell out of your carpet. The biggest pro is that these are all affordable and accessible, plus you don’t have to bother taking the carpet to a professional cleaning service.

    Have you already tried one of these products for deodorizing? If so, let us know in the comments below more about your experience and which household staple is your favorite.

    About Maria Hernandez

    Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

    Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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