Natural Solutions for Deodorizing Carpets

Several everyday situations can make your carpet become a smelly mess. Pets, children and even adults can leave unpleasant odors trapped in the fibers of a carpet. These odors can last for weeks and resist normal carpet cleaners. There are several ways to freshen smelly carpets using nontoxic and common household products.


Natural and cheap, vinegar does not mask odors, it removes them. Pour undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Start at one end of the carpet, and spray the bottle while moving forward and backward. Continue in this manner while moving across the carpet until you have saturated the fibers. As the vinegar dries, it eliminates the odors that are trapped.

Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)

Used to clean and deodorize, sodium bicarbonate naturally eliminates pet odors, smoke and many other unpleasant odors from carpets. Cover the entire carpet with a thin layer of baking soda and wait several hours. If odors are strong, leave the baking soda overnight. Remove the powder with a vacuum cleaner. Repeat the process as often as needed to refresh carpets that smell bad.

Corn starch and herbs or spices

Instead of buying expensive carpet powders, create your own all-natural powder using common household items. Fill a plastic container with a lid with cornstarch. Add dried herbs or spices and mix with a spoon. Choose herbs and spices that are to your liking. Lavender, clove, cinnamon and rosemary are just some of the options available. Sprinkle the carpet with homemade dust and rub it between the fibers with a scrub brush. Wait a few hours and vacuum to remove dust from the carpet.

Borax and cornmeal

Borax is a versatile cleaning powder, when mixed with cornmeal, eliminates bad odors trapped in the carpet. You can find borax in the laundry sector in supermarkets. Pour 1 cup borax in a container and add 2 cups of cornmeal and mix with a spoon. Cover the carpet with this mixture and let stand for an hour before removing it with a vacuum cleaner.  Repeat the process as needed when the carpet begins to smell.


Before removing odors from a carpet, pass the vacuum cleaner to remove lint, hair, dirt and other debris from the surface. Vacuum the carpet daily to keep it at its best and prolong its life. Use a sweeper equipped with a HEPA filter which helps reduce odors in the air during vacuuming.