How to Use Baking Soda to Clean Carpet

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.

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Baking soda isn't just for cooking. It's also great for cleaning carpets.

Natural Carpet Freshener

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Pet dander, forgotten food and debris drug in on shoes can all leave your carpet smelling a little less than fresh. To eliminate these odors, vacuum the carpet once to pick up dust, debris, dander and pet hair before liberally sprinkling baking soda 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 it up the next morning for a much fresher smell. This trick also works for eliminating the chemical smell of new carpeting.

Wine Stain Remover

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A red wine spill on a light-colored carpet may make you gasp in horror. In reality, cleanup is easy if you act quickly. 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, again 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 into the 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.

Pet-Stain Dissolver

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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 or soaking through to the carpet pad. Sprinkle baking soda over the wet vinegar and 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

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Baking soda also helps remove greasy, oily spots from carpet, whether motor oil or cooking grease 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. Wait 15 minutes and then vacuum up the powder. 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 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.