Baking soda comes in handy for a number of house-cleaning purposes -- even cleaning and freshening a funky carpet. Baking soda also removes stains such as red wine from carpeting without the need for harsh chemical solvents.
Natural Carpet Freshener
Carpets may smell a little less than fresh for any number of reasons, such as pet hair and pet dander, or odors from particles of food that fell to the floor, only to be forgotten. Vacuum the carpet once to pick up dust, debris, dander and pet hair; then sprinkle baking soda liberally over the carpet. Work the powder down between carpet fibers a bit by brushing the carpet with a nylon scrub brush. Allow the powder to absorb odors overnight; then vacuum up the powder for much fresher-smelling carpet.
The Disappearing Wine-Stain Trick
A red wine spill on a light-colored carpet may make you gasp in horror. In reality, it's not all that difficult to clean up, especially if you treat the spot as quickly as possible. Blot up as much wine as you can using paper towels; don't rub the wet carpet, or the stain may spread. Pour cold water over the spot to dilute the wine even more, blotting up the liquid with paper towels. Make a paste out of baking soda and water using one part baking soda to three parts water; then spoon the paste atop the affected carpet, pressing the paste down a bit to get it between carpet fibers. Vacuum the paste residue up once it dries. The same paste method can be used to remove spilled beer and its odor from carpeting.
Baking soda and vinegar team up for a powerful treatment for pet-urine "accidents" on the carpet -- even spots that have dried. Pour enough vinegar over the spot to completely wet the carpet fibers without creating a puddle that soaks through to the carpet pad. Sprinkle baking soda over the wet vinegar; then let it sit overnight. Cover the treated area with an upturned bowl or pan to avoid stepping on the spot while the baking soda works. While vinegar and baking soda work against one another in some cases, this reaction helps the baking soda lift the urine right out of the carpet. Vacuum up the baking soda once it dries.
Grease and Oil Absorber
Baking soda also helps remove greasy, oily spots from carpet, whether garage grease or cooking oil is the guilty culprit. Scoop or scrape up excess grease with the edge of a plastic knife or spoon, wiping it off onto a paper towel. Sprinkle baking soda over the spot; then vacuum up the powder after 15 minutes. Repeat the process if it seems as though the baking soda can absorb more of the oil. If the spot is still visible, mix 1 tablespoon each of white vinegar and liquid dish soap into 2 cups of warm water. Dip a white cloth into the solution; then blot the spot with it, pressing down to work it into the fibers and to lift the grease. Rinse the cloth frequently or rotate it to avoid spreading the grease around. If desired, sprinkle baking soda over the wet carpet; then vacuum it up after the carpet dries.