Although carpet is cozy and comfortable, if you have kids, pets, or live with someone who smokes, you know how carpet can absorb dirt and odors. Because it is so absorbent, carpet tends to hold onto smells from accidents, spills, and smoke. The fluffier the carpet, the more smells it will absorb. So if you have a carpet with longer fibers, it will need a little extra cleaning to keep it smelling fresh.
Here are a handful of useful tips and tricks to help anyone wondering how to get odors out of the carpet.
Vinegar for Surface Odor Removal
If you are dealing with subtle, lingering odors or want a quick and easy carpet deodorizer, try white vinegar. It’s inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and neutralizes many odors instead of just covering them up. White vinegar is great to use if you just want to freshen things up without touching the carpet.
There are two easy ways to use vinegar for removing carpet odors:
- Pour vinegar into several bowls and leave them in the room with the carpet overnight.
- Simmer a pot of white vinegar on your stove for about an hour. This method will disperse the vinegar more quickly throughout your whole house.
Baking Soda Carpet Odor Removal
Wondering how to make your carpet smell good without using harsh chemicals? Baking soda is a great carpet deodorizer, and the process is incredibly easy.
Try sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. The particles that make up baking soda will penetrate deep into the carpet fibers, down to levels you can't even see and all the way to the base of the carpet. Leave it on for 24 hours and then use a vacuum cleaner to get the baking soda out the following day.
If baking soda alone doesn't do the trick, make your own deep cleaning carpet odor remover by mixing the following ingredients:
- 1 liter of water
- 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray the carpet deodorizer all over any carpets that need odor removal. Leave it for 24 hours because the treatment needs time to work.
How to Get Rid of Pet Smells
If you have pets, you can find odor neutralizers made specifically for pets at your pet stores or online. These cleaners typically use enzymes to break down specific pet odors. Make sure that you follow the packaging instructions to avoid any damage to your carpet. Stay away from carpet cleaners with vinegar or ammonia because they may attract your pets right to the area you’re trying to clean.
Baking soda can also be helpful in getting rid of pet odors. Many pet owners neutralize odors by simply sprinkling baking soda all over the carpet area they want to clean. They then leave it overnight and vacuum in the morning.
Make sure to keep your pet away from the area you're cleaning because large amounts of baking soda can be toxic to some animals.
When You May Need to Replace Your Carpet
While regular maintenance may prolong your carpet's useful life, every carpet must be replaced eventually. There are many obvious signs a carpet needs replacing, but persistent odors can be a more subtle sign that it’s time to shop for a new carpet.
Carpet odors should disappear after proper cleaning. If odors remain even after you clean your carpets, this usually means that the odor has penetrated deep into the fibers of the carpet. Sometimes the odor can penetrate the carpet pad or even the subfloor. In some cases, this can indicate that mold is growing on the carpet pad. You shouldn't ignore the signs that it is time to replace your carpet.
Tips for Carpet Maintenance and Care
When it comes to keeping your carpet clean and fresh, common sense and regular maintenance will usually take you a long way—especially if you have kids and pets.
- Vacuum regularly
- Always use doormats at all home entrances (and make sure everyone uses them)
- Take care of any accidental spills as soon as they happen
- Have your carpets professionally cleaned at least twice a year
Proper maintenance can help you avoid nasty carpet odors from occurring and, at the same time, extend the lifespan of your carpet.
How a Home Warranty Can Help Protect Your Home
Things break and in any home, and they often happen when you least expect them. Repairing home appliances and systems can be costly and a huge hassle. First American has been working with homeowners to protect their appliances and home systems for more than 35 years. Learn more about home warranty coverage, or find a plan that’s right for you when you get a quote.
The contents of this article are provided for general guidance only. First American Home Warranty does not assume any responsibility for losses or damages as a result of using this information.