How Long You Should Leave Baking Soda On Your Carpet To Clean And Deodorize

If you have any kind of carpet in your home, you know it can take a beating. Kids, pets, foot traffic, and food spills can all create the kind of stains that may seem impossible to remove. Not all of us can afford to hire a carpet cleaning company or rent a huge, awkward cleaning machine every time Fido has an accident. You can use a simple household staple like baking soda to clean and deodorize your carpet, but one of the tricks is knowing how long to leave baking soda on your carpet.

Baking soda is a safe, natural product that is well known for its ability to pinch-hit for expensive, chemical-laden cleaning products. It works by absorbing stains and odors so that once it's dry, you can vacuum them away. So, it makes sense that the worse the stain and odor, the longer the baking soda should sit on the carpet.

What's the stain?

The amount of time you leave baking soda on a stain depends on the type of stain you are treating.

If you are treating greasy food-related stains, use a cloth or sponge to remove as much of the stain as you can before you use baking soda. Make sure you don't rub the stain — this will only make it worse. Press or step on the cloth instead. Once you've pulled up as much of the stain as you can, pour a large amount of baking soda onto it, making sure you cover the stain area all the way past its edge. Now allow the baking soda to do its work absorbing the stain. Leave it on overnight. For tougher stains, you can leave it on longer. Then vacuum up the soda and the stain along with it. You can repeat this process if necessary.

Many of the most common carpet stains are non-greasy. Soda, pet urine stains, or mud are good examples. For this type of stain, first, scrape any solid material off with a knife or even a small piece of cardboard. Then blot any liquid with an absorbent cloth. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Using a spray bottle, wet the baking soda with water without soaking it. Scrub gently with a brush or cloth. Now let the baking soda sit for three hours or more. Longer is always better. Vacuum when dry. Repeat if the stain isn't completely removed.

Using baking soda as a dry carpet cleaner and deodorizer

If your carpeting isn't stained but isn't as fresh as you would like, you can use baking soda as a dry carpet cleaner and deodorizer. First, vacuum the entire carpet to remove any loose dirt. Now sprinkle baking soda over the entire carpeted area. Use a larger amount for more intense smells like smoke, or in high-traffic areas. Leave the baking soda to sit for 15 minutes or longer for extra cleaning and deodorizing. Now vacuum thoroughly to remove the dirt and odors.

You can also use baking soda to freshen and clean your area rugs. Make sure to test the colorfastness of your rug first. You can do that by locating a spot on the rug where if the color should fade, it would not be noticeable, such as within a complex pattern or where the rug lies underneath a piece of furniture. Mix one half tablespoon baking soda in half a cup of water. Apply to a small area and mark the spot with a piece of masking tape so you can find it later. Let dry, vacuum, and then check for any color fading. If the color hasn't faded, go ahead and use the baking soda just as you would on any carpeted surface.