How to Clean Carpet With Baking Soda to Remove Stains and Odors

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Your carpet will inevitably develop stains and odors over time. Some stains are soft and easy to remove while others are rigid and take more than just a damp cloth to get out.

Since you can’t throw your carpet in the washing machine like you can with a stained shirt and calling a professional carpet cleaner every time there’s a new stain is unrealistic, we’ve put together this helpful article that takes you through all the steps and considerations when cleaning your carpet with baking soda.

Let’s begin.

How to Use Baking Soda as a Carpet Cleaner

Cleaning your carpet with baking soda is the most inexpensive solution to your carpet cleaning needs. How to do it mostly depends on how you want to use this agent to clean or freshen up your area. 

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Paper towel or cloth
  • Some patience
  • Vacuum cleaner

Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown of how to clean your carpet with baking soda properly.

Step 1. Patch Test

You should always patch test a section of your carpet with baking soda before pursuing this method as a way to remove stains and odor. Different carpets can react differently to baking soda so we recommend testing a small patch of carpet (preferably in a corner) with baking soda before going full force into stain-removal action.

Step 2. Sprinkle Sprinkle

Yes! You have to sprinkle it on the stained area and wait for it to do its magic. Sprinkle a generous amount of dry baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda) in areas of your carpet you want to clean.

Step 3. Moisten

Dampen the stained area lightly with a spritz of water. Use a spray bottle so the dry soda doesn’t lift. Next, cover the stain with a paper towel or a piece of cloth. You can also mix baking soda with dish soap and the paste it creates will also do what needs to be done to remove carpet stains.

Step 4. The Waiting Game

Baking soda will only start to work on the stain or spill after some time has passed. It’ll slowly absorb the dirt particles for which you need to exercise a little patience.  After these dirt particles are absorbed, the buildup will break down more efficiently.

Step 5. Vacuum It Up!

Once the baking soda has stayed on the affected area for some time, use other helping agents such as a vacuum to lift the soda along with the stains, and Voila! You have a clean, stain-free carpet once again.

Added Bonus of Odor-Removal

You can use baking soda to clean the stains and spills on your carpet but along with that, it can be used to deodorize your area. The agent remains the same, only technique and method vary depending on what goal you’re setting to meet.

Using Baking Soda for Oily Stains

Greasy carpet stains are more stubborn as compared to dirt stains or non-greasy stains. They tend to attract dust particles and can be tougher to remove. A set of simple steps can help remove oily stains from your carpets using baking soda.

  1. Test how baking soda reacts to your carpet and its fibers. You can do it in the corner of your carpet.
  2. Make sure your stain is dry before you start applying baking soda.
  3. Blot the greasy stain with a paper towel or a cloth. Make sure all the oils are absorbed in the paper towel and the stain is left dry.
  4. Sprinkle dry baking soda on the stained spot — use a generous amount if the stain is old or big.
  5. Leaving dry baking soda on the greasy stain will help the soda absorb all the oil that penetrated your carpet.
  6. Preferably leave it overnight or for a couple of hours. The longer the baking soda sits on the stain the more it’ll absorb the stain.
  7. Finally use a vacuum to suck up all the baking soda and the stain.
  8. If there’s still some stain left, you can always use a tiny amount of dish soap with a paper towel and blot away the leftover stain.

Using Baking Soda for Non-oily Stains

These stains don’t penetrate deep into your carpet floors and don’t have any residue to them. They’re above the surface and easier to break down. All you have to do is follow the steps below.

  1. First, try removing these stains with a damp cloth and water. If they aren’t removed by water, consider using baking soda.
  2. Test baking soda on the carpet and then continue with the process.
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the stain.
  4. Lightly mist the stain with some hot water using a spray bottle. If you don’t have a spray bottle at hand, use a damp (not dripping wet) paper towel and use it to lightly damp the stain.
  5. Allow this mixture to sit on this stain for at least 3-4 hours.
  6. Vacuum the affected area. All the baking soda would be removed and you’ll have a stain-free carpet.

A little tip: Leaving a damp cloth on the stain will save you from dampening the stain again and again.

Stain & Odor-Fighting Power

Spills and stains depend on what type of traffic your carpets face. In a home with children and pets, carpet stains and pet odors are more common. Keeping baking soda stocked up at your home at all times is nothing less than a lifesaver.

It doesn’t only help you in removing the stains but also freshens up your room and removes the intense smell your carpet can have when having pets. It’ll revitalize the look of your carpet and help eradicate stains and make your space odorless.

Carpet Cleaning Alternatives to Baking Soda


Vinegar is considered a cleaning agent due to its highly acidic nature. It can break down the stubborn and rigid buildup of stains and even mold at times when used with other cleaning agents and the right technique.


Baking soda can also be mixed with other substances such as vinegar or dish soap to remove stains on your carpets. 

Brand Name Carpet Cleaner

If your carpet floors are prone to spills and stains, investing in a purchase of carpet cleaner can be the right decision and would be a worthwhile purchase. Sprays are easiest to use other than solutions which are needed to be mixed with water first. 

Stains are easily lifted when rubbed with a piece of cloth after the carpet cleaner is sprayed. This is an easy technique but these cleaners are presumed to be rather tough to the fiber of your carpets 

Steam Cleaner

Carpet cleaning can also be done by using a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners are great for removing stains and odor from carpets. Plus there are options to either rent or buy — whichever works best for your lifestyle.


Can you use baking soda to clean the carpet?

Yes, baking soda helps lift the stains and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. It is one of the most affordable and natural ways to clean your carpet.

How long do you leave baking soda on the carpet?

You should leave baking soda on your carpet for at least 3-4 hours when using it to clean stains or remove odors.

Why you shouldn’t use baking soda on the carpet?

The only reason you might want to reconsider using baking soda on your carpet is because using baking soda frequently and removing it with a vacuum can clog some vacuum filters.

Can you clean the carpet with baking soda and vinegar?

Yes, you can clean the carpet with baking soda and vinegar. It’s another inexpensive way to remove stains and odors from your carpet. Simply mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2 teaspoons of soda and dilute with 2 cups of water to create the mixture.

A Spotless Carpet Thanks to Baking Soda

Follow the steps above to get a stain-free, odor-free, flawless carpet in your home. 

We hope you found this article informative. Let us know if you’ve got some carpet cleaning tips in the comment section below! 

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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