How to Vacuum Carpet with Baking Soda

How to Vacuum Carpet with Baking Soda

Whether your carpeting has taken on a musty smell or lacks a fresh look, vacuuming with baking soda can be an excellent way to revitalize it.

Baking soda is remarkably absorbent, antimicrobial, and is also an inexpensive cleanser.

Additionally, this natural powder can tackle challenging pet and grease stains with relative ease. We’ll share the staple ingredients and step-by-step instructions to help you complete these tasks for specific situations.

General Carpet Cleaning & Freshening

If there are no pet or greasy stains present, cleaning will be easier. Follow the method below to restore carpets to a pristine, odor-free condition.

Materials Needed

  • Box of baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bristled brush or broom
  • Fine-mesh sieve (optional)

Steps to take:

  1. Remove all the furniture to access more surface area so you can clean more thoroughly.
  2.  Vacuum the areas to be treated.
  3. Liberally sprinkle the baking soda across the carpet. A fine-mesh sieve can be used instead of pouring the powder directly from the box.
  4. Those with deep-pile carpeting may need to work the powder using a broom or bristle brush.
  5. Allow the baking soda to sit at least 30 minutes, but overnight is the best choice for seriously dirty carpets or heavy odors.
  6. Run a vacuum across treated areas once or twice to remove the baking soda.
  7. Replace the furniture to its original positioning. Or take this opportunity to with things up a bit for a new look.

How to get baking soda out of carpet?

The best way to extract baking soda from carpets is by running an upright or canister vacuum with a high amount of suction.  Opt for one with a beater bar that can agitate carpet strands and pick up baking soda deep under the fibers.

Some suggest using a carpet cleaner, but these tools are more suitable for cleaning baking soda stains rather than the powder itself.

Does baking soda ruin your vacuum?

Stick vacuum on carpet

Baking soda’s minuscule size can clog the filters and potentially damage vacuum cleaners – particularly the motor.

If you’re using a bagless vacuum, the potential chokepoint would be the cyclonic filters and the post-motor HEPA filter.  For bagged vacuums, it’s the HEPA filter.

Mid and high-end stick bagless vacuums have detachable filters, so you can clean these parts after using it on baking soda. Some brands like Dyson isn’t as easy to clean, since you’ll need special Torx screwdrivers to remove bolts that hold the cyclones.

I would not use a cheap bagless vacuum on baking soda because of the inferior filtration. Tiny particles of dust and baking soda will leak through the exhaust.

Another option is to use a vacuum with water filtration like a Rainbow. These have excellent suction, and water doesn’t clog. However, it’s very costly to purchase.

For folks strongly considering using an upright or stick vacuum, realize there are risks involved using these machines on baking soda.

Other uses of baking soda on carpets

There are other uses of baking soda on various types of contaminants on carpets. I’ve enumerated each one down below.

Removing Non-Greasy Carpet Stains

Carpets eventually get stained, and the easiest type to remove are non-greasy stains without any underlying residue. This recipe eases the process of removing even stubborn stains that are grease-free.

Materials Needed

  • Box of baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Misting spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Sponge

Steps to take:

  1. Run the vacuum across stained areas to remove any pet hair or loose debris.
  2. Generously sprinkle baking power atop stained areas.
  3. Add hot distilled water to the misting spray bottle. Lightly spray the stain. For tough spots, consider using a moist sponge to rub the baking soda deeper into the carpet gently.
  4. Allow the baking soda to sit a minimum of 3 hours, but a longer period for stains is ideal.
  5. Thoroughly vacuum the area at least twice.

Getting Rid of Greasy Carpet Stains

Thanks to its highly absorbent properties, baking soda is a wonderful environmentally-friendly product that helps remove grease stains from carpet. Be forewarned; grease is stubborn to remove and might require more than one application.

Materials Needed

  • Box of Baking Soda
  • Roll of Paper Towels or Old Rags
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Spray Bottle of Water
  • Dish Soap

Steps to take:

  1. Vacuum the area. Start the process by extracting as much of the grease as possible with paper towels or rags. Use a blotting action, as rubbing can cause the grease to settle deeper in the carpet fibers and might ruin any chance of effective cleaning.
  2. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda directly to the grease stain. Allow it to sit at least overnight, which lets the powder absorb more grease.
  3. After the settling period has passed, vacuum the baking powder. If the stain isn’t removed, continue to the next steps to learn how to get a deeper clean that might resolve the problem.
  4. Use a small amount of non-oxygenated dish soap (a few drops mixed with water in a spray bottle) to blot the entire stain. Allow it to sit a few minutes or longer.
  5. The next step is to take a bit of water and a clean towel to gently remove the soapy residue. Again, the blotting method is recommended rather than rubbing the area.
  6. Let the carpet dry until it is slightly damp, and add another sprinkling of baking soda to the stain. Let it sit around 3 hours before vacuuming again.
  7. Repeat steps five and six until the stain is no longer visible.

Be sure to rinse excess dish soap from the carpet. Spritz the area with water until the area is damp, then blot dry with a clean towel. Another alternative is using a wet/dry vacuum to speed up the process.

Using Baking Soda to Remove Pet Odors and Stains

Pets are amazing companions, but they can source odors and leave behind stains from ‘accidents’ on the carpet. Here are some simple steps for naturally removing pet odors and stains and reclaiming a fresh, clean space.

Materials Needed

  • Box of Baking Soda
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Bristled Brush

Steps to take:

  1. Sprinkle a fair quantity of baking soda on trouble spots or in rooms where pets spend a lot of time.
  2. Use a bristle brush or broom to help the baking soda work deeply into the carpeting. This tool is especially important if you have high-pile or shag carpets.
  3. Let the powder sit overnight for maximum absorption to remove tough odors and pet stains.
  4. Vacuum the area the next day to altogether remove the baking powder. Ideally, stains will be gone, and the carpet will smell fresh again.
  5. If you still have stains or smells, you might have to consider a follow up with a specialty pet stain remover or consider a deep shampooing or calling in a professional carpet cleaner.

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About the author: Garrick Dee Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide has been testing cordless vacuums for the past 10 years, and writes about them on this website. When he’s not writing reviews, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, traveling and tasting different cuisines.