Baking Soda Will Ruin Your Carpet

Once again , we regret to inform you that the cleaning method you may have seen online may not be a good idea. This includes sprinkling bicarbonate or baking soda on your carpet to remove stains or odors, which certainly sounds promising given all the great cleaning properties that baking soda usually has . But cleaning influencer @TheBigCleanCo points out a problem: The particles are too small for your vacuum cleaner to fully suck up, which means they’ll stay attached to the carpet fibers and actually potentially trap odor.

This advice has been around for a long time – some baking soda manufacturers even have recommendations on how to do this, suggesting that you vacuum up the bicarbonate after it has been sitting on the carpet for 15 minutes or longer. The problem is that the vacuum may not pick up all the crystals from your carpet; they could just be stuck there. (Just ask Lifehacker Managing Editor Megan Walbert — she told me she once had to hire a professional carpet cleaner after she tried a variant of this method in which you soak the stain in vinegar and then sprinkle baking soda on top. The end results were worse. than the original spot.)

What can you do to freshen up your carpet instead?

If you’re worried about carpet smell, try vinegar (no baking soda) instead . Mix vinegar with water and spray it on the carpet, let it evaporate and brush as usual. According to the American Home Shield , try the ratio of half a cup of vinegar to every gallon of water. When it evaporates, the smell of vinegar will disappear, as will other odors. If you don’t like how the vinegar itself smells when it does its job, add a few drops of essential oil to the spray mixture.


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