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How to Deodorize Your Carpet – Simple Ways to Remove Carpet Odors

Say bye to carpet odors with our deodorizing guide. Learn how to deodorize your carpet between cleaning. 

Does your carpet smell bad? Does it drive you crazy even after you run the carpet shampooer? This is because bacteria live in your carpet and you have to focus on the cause to truly get rid of the odors.

Shampooing too often can even add to the problem by increasing mold and mildew growth. The good news is you don’t have to live with stinking carpet with a few tricks to deodorize your carpet.

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What Causes Carpet Odors?

Carpet odors are caused by bacteria in your carpet. These bacteria release odors that can at times be very noticeable.

These bacteria can make their way into your carpet from people walking around, spilled food and drinks, being tracked in by pets, or simply from the air itself depending on where you live and the general air quality, including pollen.

How to Deodorize a Carpet between Cleanings

Keeping stains and odor-causing messes cleaned off your carpet with spot cleaning is vital for keeping your carpet smelling great between cleanings.

If you have a carpet shampooer you can run it over the spot you need to clean making an extra pass to suck up excess fluids. After applying pressure over a clean, dry towel to help ensure it dries as fast as possible.

To spot clean by hand, use a bit of cleaner. This can vary depending on the nature of the mess.

For most a bit of dish or laundry detergent will do the trick if you do not have carpet cleaner on hand.

For messes caused by pet or human soils, you will want to use an enzyme cleaner. These will break down naturally derived mess and the odors these leave behind.

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How to Deodorize Carpet with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great way to help absorb and get rid of odors in your carpet. (It’s also great for removing odors from the microwave).

You can mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oils to help leave behind a better fragrance and even help kill the bacteria that cause odors in your carpet.

Make sure the filter on your vacuum can handle the stress of the fine powder formed by baking soda. If this sneaks past your filter it can clog your vacuum’s engine effectively reducing the lifespan of your vacuum.

To use baking soda on your carpet add to a shaker or use a dusting device to place a light layer of baking soda over your carpet.

Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow it to absorb odors. After the baking soda has had time to sit, you can vacuum up off of your carpet. Immediately clean the filter of your vacuum to help preserve the life span of your vacuum.

While this can be a handy way to deodorize your carpet for your vacuum’s sake you may want to avoid overusing this method.

How to Deodorize Carpet without Baking Soda

Alcohol Mist (Vodka)

Alcohol is great for killing germs that cause bad odors. You can make a mist to spray over your carpet that will help kill off the odor-causing bacteria between cleanings.

You can mix essential oils into your alcohol spray to leave behind a pleasant fragrance.

Choose a fun citrus or soothing lavender that will also work to kill the germs in your carpet while leaving behind a pleasant fragrance in the room.

This same mist can be used on other fabrics that are difficult to wash and deodorize around your home.

Mix 1/4 cup alcohol with 30 drops of essential oil in a 4 oz dark glass spray bottle. Top off the bottle with water and shake with each use to help ensure an even mix. Keep your mist light and airy, do not soak your surfaces.

I Personally prefer using vodka over rubbing alcohol because vodka is odorless, so it doesn’t interfere with the essential oil scent.

Pet Enzyme Mist

If your carpet odors are caused by pets, feet, or other natural odor sources, a pet enzyme used as a mist over your carpet can help remove pet odors at the source.

The most affordable way to do this is to use a pet enzyme carpet shampoo concentrate. Mix a couple of teaspoons in a spray bottle of water to mist over your carpet, sofa, and other fabric surfaces to help kill odors between cleanings.

How to Prevent Carpet Odors

When it comes to keeping your carpet fresh between cleanings it is easier to prevent some of the worst ordors than it is to fight them.

  • If your carpet has issues with foot odors, controlling shoe odors and improving foot hygiene by cleaning feet after removing shoes and not walking around on your carpets with socks that may be holding sweat and odor-causing bacteria can go a long way in keeping your carpet smelling fresh. You can also use these odor eater insoles to prevent stinky shoes.
  • If you have pets you can help control the odors by keeping litter boxes through the house clean, bathing your pet regularly, and gating off carpeted rooms from pets that have not been properly trained yet.
  • Clean spills immediately they happen to avoid them sipping into the carpet and padding. Not only will this help prevent foul smells, but it will also reduce carpet stains.

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?

Depending on how many people live in your home and how quickly your floors get messy you should vacuum at least 2-3 times a week to help keep your carpets clean and prevent the build-up of dirt, crumbs, and bacteria.

This will help keep your carpet in better shape between cleanings. It will also help your home look and smell cleaner while extending the overall life of your carpet.

Carpet cleaning can be a bit more complicated. Shampooing your carpets too often prevents them from properly drying leading to mold in the carpet and under padding.

This can give you the opposite effect of what you wanted. Rather than deodorizing your carpet it may leave it musty and cause worse odor problems than you began with.

Most professionals will recommend your carpets are not shampooed or steam cleaned more than every 6 months.

For low traffic areas, once a year is usually enough. Finding a balance between cleaning and not wearing your carpet out is important for making your carpet last as long as possible.

Final Thoughts

Stinky carpets can make your entire house smell bad, but you can do something about it. Yes, getting rid of carpet odor is doable. You can remove carpet odors with simple things like baking soda, alcohol or pet enzyme mist.

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How to deodorize your carpet

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