How to Remove Odors from Carpet (5 Easy Ways)

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how to remove odors from carpet

Carpet is soft and cozy and can instantly make a room feel more warm and inviting. However, as nice as carpet can be, it’s also very susceptible to holding onto bad odors.

Whether your carpet has gotten a bit wet and musty, has gone through its fair share of pet accidents, or you’ve just moved into a new home with not the best smell, ridding carpet of its foul odors is a must.

The best way to remove a bad odor from the carpet is to liberally sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet and allow it to sit overnight. The following morning, vacuum the carpet thoroughly. The baking soda will absorb the foul odors. Repeat if necessary.

5 Ways to Deodorize Carpet

Sprinkle the Carpet with Baking Soda

Baking soda is excellent for removing odors because instead of masking them, it absorbs them. You can even add a couple of drops of essential oils to help deodorize or use a store-bought baking soda-based carpet powder for extra fragrance.

Here’s how to use baking soda to deodorize your carpet:

  • Vacuum your carpet
  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet
  • Allow to sit overnight
  • Vacuum the next morning

If your carpet still has a lingering odor, you can repeat this process or try one of the methods listed below.

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is another product that’s great at absorbing odors. You can leave bowls of vinegar in the room to pull bad smells from the air. You can also use vinegar to deodorize your carpet. 

Here’s how:

Fill a spray bottle with one part white distilled vinegar to two parts water. Lightly spray the carpet with vinegar. (Do not oversaturate your carpet with this mixture – if you do, you’ll only create a mildewy smell.) Sprinkle baking soda over the areas you sprayed. Allow the mixture to sit overnight and vacuum the entire carpet the following day.

Shampoo the Carpet

If you’re not too keen on using household products like baking soda and vinegar to deodorize your carpet, try giving the carpet a good shampooing.

Carpet shampooers deposit a bit of water and cleaning solution into the carpet and then suck it back up along with all the dirt that mixes in.

A carpet shampooer will make your carpet look cleaner and help remove the bad odors. 

Treat Smelly Stains with Laundry Detergent

You may not know it, but laundry detergent is a great carpet cleaner. Laundry detergent is formulated to clean all kinds of fabrics and can work excellently on carpet.

There are a couple of different ways you can use laundry detergent to clean your carpet. Before you try either of these methods, you need to do a spot test in an inconspicuous spot.

Method 1: Add one cup (or less) of laundry detergent into the fluid canister of your steam cleaner, fill the rest of the way up with water. Steam clean your carpet with this solution.

Method 2: Mix laundry detergent at the rate of 1 tablespoon of detergent to 1 quart of water and place in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the carpet and then scrub with a soft-bristled brush suitable for carpet. Allow the carpet to dry and vacuum.

Use a Carpet Spray Odor Remover

Last but definitely not least, head to the home improvement store and buy carpet cleaner spray. A couple of highly-rated odor removers to try include Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Odor Remover and Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator Spray.

Each product will have slightly different directions so just follow the directions on the bottle.

Frequently Asked Questions about Removing Odors from Carpet

faq how to remove carpet odor

How do I keep odors from settling in my carpet?

The best way to keep odors from settling in your carpet is to deal with spills and pet messes as quickly as possible. To do this, keep a carpet stain remover spray around and promptly blot out any wetness from the carpet.

Also, don’t allow smoking in your home as the carpet will absorb the smoke smell.

What gets rid of the smell of dog urine?

The best way to get rid of the smell of dog urine is not to let the urine settle into the carpet. You need to deal with it fast. First, soak up the urine with a paper towel and then sprinkle baking soda all over it to absorb the odor. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

You can also use pet spray odor eliminators to help remove the odor.

Can I use vinegar in my carpet cleaner?

Yes, you can use vinegar in your carpet cleaner – simply replace the cleaning solution you usually use with vinegar. Make sure to spot test before cleaning your entire carpet in case vinegar causes an adverse reaction.

Get Rid of the Bad Odors in Your Carpet

There are many ways to deal with foul odors, and no matter which method you use, the quicker you are to deal with the problem, the more success you’ll find with deodorizing your carpet.

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Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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