If you have carpets in your home, chances are you know just how bad they can smell. Carpets will begin to smell through no fault of your own—it just happens, but no one enjoys it.
There are plenty of carpet fresheners on the market to pick from, and they work pretty well. However, wouldn’t you prefer it if you could just make your carpet freshener at home?
Well, you can! In this post, we are going to take a look at everything about carpets and some homemade carpet fresheners you can make.
The recipes for these carpet fresheners are super easy, and you don’t need any kind of skill to create them at all.
You only require a few basic ingredients, plus some incredible smelling essential oils, plus something to put them in.
Everything you will need will either already be in your home somewhere, or cost only a few dollars online or in store.
If you have struggled with a bad smelling carpet for whatever reason and are eager to get rid of it, why not try out one of these carpet fresheners?
Carpet Fresheners – What Are They, And Why Are They Important?
Okay, let’s start with the basics – what exactly is a carpet freshener? As the name suggests, carpet fresheners are things that freshen up carpets and make them smell clean.
You can either get fresheners that you sprinkle or spray. These will help to get rid of any odors that have become embedded in the fibers of the carpet.
Carpet freshers are different to carpet cleaners, so the recipes in this post will not be able to clean your carpet. These recipes will not get your carpet clean, but they will make your carpet smell clean.
All the odors that are stuck in your carpet will be neutralized and covered up with any essential oils you choose to add to the mixtures.
These products are important mainly for one big reason – they are easy. No one has time to clean their carpets every week, and not everyone has the appliances to clean them.
Instead of spending loads of money on carpet cleaners every week and taking the time to walk around the house doing it, carpet fresheners are there to make life easier.
Of course, you still should get your carpets cleaned, but these fresheners are perfect for the in-between stage.
No matter what part of the carpet cycle you are in, it’s always nicer to have a carpet that smells good. This is especially the case if you have pets – because we all know how much our pets can stink up a house if we aren’t careful.
What Makes Carpets Smell?
As previously mentioned, carpets begin to stink because of odors getting trapped in the fibers. These odors come from daily life and use, and there is no way to avoid them.
Every time people and pets walk in and out of a room, something is left there. This can be made worse when there are carpeted areas (or any kind of fabrics) near places like kitchens and bathrooms.
Every smell (good and bad) will eventually start to leach into the fibers.
Your carpets might start to smell bad because of cooking, sour things like old milk, and, of course, urine.
Puppy parents will know the struggle between keeping the house smelling half-decent while juggling a puppy who is still being house-trained.
Accidents will happen, and when they do, the whole house can be better off for it.
No matter what kind of smelly carpet situation you are facing, there is a solution to it. And no, it doesn’t involve getting a replacement (unless it’s awful).
Typically, there are one or two simple things you can do to get your carpets smelling great. Ready to dive into them?
How Can You Remove Bad Odors From Your Carpet?
Depending on the type of problem you’re facing, there are two roads you can go down. The first is using a vinegar solution for the really strong odors trapped in your house.
Our second method is using baking soda. Before you start to panic, we will go through everything below and get a good idea of what to expect from using these substances on our carpets.
Removing Strong Pet Odor
If you are struggling with strong pet odor in your house, you might try the vinegar solution.
Bear in mind, by ‘strong pet odor’ we don’t mean puppy accidents, this just means a bad smell, like from a stinking dog. These smells tend to be localized to one or two areas.
Using a vinegar solution will neutralize the bad smell. After that, you can go ahead and use a baking soda mix. Let’s take a look at what you need to make this vinegar mix, shall we?
White Vinegar Neutralizing Mix
- White vinegar
- Warm water
How to make it:
- Find a spray bottle and figure out how much liquid it can hold
- Get your white vinegar and measure out enough to almost fill the bottle, half way
- Warm up the vinegar slightly (if you warm it up too much, it will become extremely corrosive)
- Pour the vinegar into the spray bottle
- Fill the rest of the bottle up with warm water (the ratio should be 1:1)
- Mix the solution in the bottle
How to use the white vinegar solution to get rid of the trapped odor:
- Turn the bottle onto a misting setting
- Carefully spray the smelly area with the list
- Wait for between 5-10 minutes to let the vinegar do its work
- After this time, the odor should be gone. Now you can use a homemade carpet freshener on top of it to get it smelling fresh again
Essential Oil Combinations For Carpet Fresheners
- Eucalyptus and Lemon
- Thieves and Lemon
- Lemon, Peppermint, and Lavender
- Tangerine, Cedarwood, and Ylang-Ylang
- Citrus Fresh and Rosemary
The above essential oil combinations will leave you with a fresh smell in your carpet. Beware that not all essential oils are suitable for this because of their consistency and colors.
This could also vary depending on the essential oil brand you use. Before trying this out, check your essential oils for coloring and see how thick they are.
If they look like they will be suitable for a carpet freshener, then go ahead and use them
Method For Making The Carpet Freshener
What You Need For Every Recipe
- Glass jar with its lid
- Baking soda
- A metal spoon
- Essential oils
- Diatomaceous earth (for killing fleas – optional)
- Get your glass jar with its lid and puncture a load of holes into the top. You might need a nail and hammer for this if the lid is strong
- Once there are enough holes in the lid, measure out 2 cups of baking soda. Place the measured baking soda into a glass bowl
- Add your essential oils of choice. There should be between 10-20 drops going into the bowl of baking soda
- Mic the baking soda and essential oils together. There will probably be some clumps that need to be broken apart
- Once you have mixed the ingredients, transfer it to the glass jar. Screw the lid on tight and make sure the holes work as you want them to
NOTE: If you think you might have a flea problem in your house, dig out the diatomaceous earth. In step 2, substitute 1 cup of baking soda for 1 cup of diatomaceous earth. The rest of the recipe is exactly the same, only now you will be getting rid of any pesky fleas hiding away in your carpet.
Using The Homemade Carpet Freshener
- Gently shake the jar over the carpet you want to freshen up. Be careful not to sprinkle too much on the carpet, or else it will just work its way to the bottom and won’t be able to be vacuumed up
- Leave the freshener to sit for at least 20 minutes. You can leave it on longer if required, or even overnight
- Once your allocated time has passed, get the vacuum out and carefully such up the freshener. Make sure you vacuum over the area slowly. You want to get all the freshener sucked up and not agitate it too much so that it works its way down.
- Now your carpet should be smelling incredible. Job done!
Dealing With Baking Soda
When dealing with baking soda, a lot of people have many questions. You don’t typically hear about people preaching to use baking soda on carpets because, well, it can actually damage them.
No doubt that’s what you’re thinking, but just wait. Let’s take a look at why baking soda is actually a great option for freshening carpets, and how to avoid your carpets from getting damaged.
Is It Okay To Use Baking Soda On Carpets?
The answer? Yes! And no, but only if you use too much. Baking soda can be used in small amounts, and it will not have any negative impact on your carpet.
The problem with baking soda arises when you use too much of it. When too much is used, it will end up being sifted through the carpet fibers and get stuck to the padding.
If this happens, it will be impossible to get out, even with the use of a vacuum.
Luckily, a little baking soda actually goes a long way. You really don’t need to use a lot of it at any one time to achieve a fresh carpet.
Can All Vacuums Deal With Baking Soda?
This might be the second question swimming around in your mind – do baking soda and vacuums mix? The answer to this question is similar to the one above – small amounts are absolutely fine.
When you use too much baking soda, the vacuum could become clogged and potentially start to corrode the motors.
This is because baking soda is so fine that it can work its way into places it shouldn’t be, which can cause some damage.
One way of avoiding problems like this is firstly, to limit the amount of baking soda you use, and second, only use the vacuum bags made for your vacuum.
Regularly changing your vacuum bags and filters will also help with this issue. As a general rule, you shouldn’t use your homemade baking soda carpet freshener more than once a month, just to be safe.
You shouldn’t use it more frequently than that, anyway.
This isn’t to say that all vacuums are suitable for using with this carpet freshener, though. While canister type vacuums are fine with baking soda fresheners, it is not a good idea to use robot vacuums like a Roomba.
Even though these robot vacuums are super handy, and everyone would love one, their design makes them susceptible to being damaged by the powder.
These vacuums have no bags and are built completely differently as stand up vacuums. It is not worth the risk to try out using homemade carpet fresheners with baking soda.
The price of these vacuums might have you feeling sad for the rest of the year if something went wrong.
The Rules For Using the Baking Soda Carpet Freshener
Before getting trigger-happy with baking soda and carpets, there are a few things that you should be aware of. There are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind, along with some useful bits of information to know.
It’s better to know what you’re getting yourself into first, right? Besides, I imagine there are still one or two questions that you would like to know the answers to.
How Long Do You Keep It On?
If you have made your baking soda carpet freshener and have realized that you are not sure how long you should actually leave it on for, you’re in the right place.
It is a good idea to leave the carpet cleaner on for at least 20-minutes.
You can leave it in for longer, but the minimum time is there to make sure that the carpet freshener has the chance to do what it is supposed to.
Not only does this minimum time allow the bad odors in the carpet fibers to be absorbed by the baking soda, but it also means that the essential oils can get to work.
The carpet will absorb the essential oils, which is what will get it smelling great again. You can picture this as a kind of exchange between the carpet freshener and the carpet fibers.
If you need to, you can leave the carpet freshener on overnight. We all have busy lives, and sometimes there just isn’t a chance to vacuum the freshener up.
You can decide how long you need to leave the powder on the carpet depending on how busy you are, and how bad the smell is.
The longer the solution is on there, the less it should smell by the time you vacuum.
Leaving it in for more than 24 hours may not be a good idea, as there is only so much odor that can be absorbed. After that mark, the freshener probably isn’t much good.
Does Baking Soda Stain Carpets?
The baking soda itself is very unlikely to stain a carpet as long as it can be vacuumed up properly. However, what could stain your fabrics are the essential oils.
Some essential oils, such as Young Living’s Valor, are likely to stain almost anything because of its stunning blue color.
Any oil that has a color could end up staining your carpet if it is left for long enough.
Because of this, it is best to use essential oils that are clear and light. One of the best essential oils for this would be lemon.
Nothing beats the citrus, fresh aroma of lemon, and you can believe that your carpet will never have smelled that good.
Potential Risks And Benefits Of Carpet Powders
Okay, so there is a risk of your homemade carpet powder staining the fibers if you are not careful.
There is also the risk of the baking soda making its way to the base of your carpet, which means that you will probably never get it out.
However, as long as you choose your essential oils wisely and don’t put too much power on, your carpet will do well.
Some essential oils should be avoided in certain households, but we will go through those in a section below.
The benefits far outweigh the risks, since your carpet will be fresher than ever before. Who doesn’t want a fresh carpet? All you need to do is heed the warnings given throughout this post, and you will be good to go!
Essential Oils Warning
As many people know, there are some essential oils that are not suitable for certain populations to be exposed to.
Young children should not be exposed to essential oils such as camphor, lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, clove, and tea tree.
Similarly, anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding is recommended to avoid contact with birch, oak moss, hyssop, aniseed, mugwort, clary sage, and basil.
For pets, there are a number of essential oils that should be avoided. These oils include ylang-ylang, citrus, wintergreen, eucalyptus, cinnamon, pine, tea tree, and peppermint.
Essential oils to avoid around children:
- Tea tree
Essential oils to avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding
- Oak Moss
- Clary sage
Essential oils to avoid if you have pets:
- Tea tree
Although these warnings primarily focus on topical treatment, spills and diffusers, there is a chance that these essential oils could have a negative effect, even if used as a carpet freshener.
Before using any of these essential oils in your home, carry out your research and check to see if they are fully suitable for use in your home.
Chances are, they are perfectly safe if being used in your carpet, but there would be nothing worse than only finding out later that they could be detrimental to you, your children, or your pets.
You’ve reached the end of this post! I bet you didn’t think making a homemade carpet freshener would be that easy, right?
Now that you know how to make a carpet freshener by using only a few basic ingredients and in the comfort of your own home, what’s stopping you from doing it?
Get moving and get your house smelling amazing again, you might have gotten so used to the smells but believe me, your guests have not.