Pets, second-hand smoke, food and drink remnants are just some of the common sources for odors in the home. Because we lead busy lives, we might not have the time to make a good attempt at cleaning our carpets properly. All the while, the smell usually increases, becoming more noticeable and less endurable, especially for guests.
So, what can you do? Our intermittent series, The Bane of Stains, offers solutions to remove stains. A search of our blog articles can help you find suggestions for your particular type of stain. Some of these tips involve baking soda. What is baking soda, and how does it help with carpet stains?
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate. It’s a type of salt formed by mixing carbon, sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians used natural deposits of baking soda to clean their teeth and make paints. It’s often used in cooking, fire extinguishers, and sometimes as an antacid. It occurs naturally on the shores of salt lakes when water evaporates, but is commonly produced in factory labs.
A common household tip is to leave an open box of baking soda in the back of refrigerators. As a mildly basic substance (with a pH of 8 to 9), baking soda reacts to neutralize acidic substances. Many odors come from highly acidic particles. By neutralizing the acidic molecules, baking soda neutralizes the odors they create. (Water vapor in the air significantly reduces this ability of baking soda over time.) Many of the odors coming from stains or spills in a carpet also have acidic sources, especially pet urine. Baking soda works on carpet stains in a similar fashion to how it works on odors in a refrigerator, reacting with acidic particles in the carpet to neutralize their odor.
Using Baking Soda on Carpet
Like many of the procedures offered in The Bane of Stains, the suggestions here are intended as temporary stopgaps until you receive the services of Preferred Carpet Care. These options might remove the symptoms for a while, but may not eliminate the cause of odors. To permanently and properly remove stains and odors from your carpet, contact Preferred Carpet Care in Redding for a skilled, thorough carpet cleaning.
- Smoke – sprinkle baking soda onto the affected areas of your carpet. Some DIY experts suggest walking around on the baking soda to press it further into the carpet, but its abrasive nature is likely to do more damage to the pile, so we recommend against walking on the carpet while it has baking soda on it. Let the baking soda sit for about 30 minutes, then vacuum it up.
- Sweat – laying on the carpet may be comfortable, but sweat and skin oils transfer to carpet fibers as a result. You can’t spread armpit deodorant on your carpet, so instead sprinkle baking soda over the area and leave it in place overnight. Vacuum up the baking soda in the morning.
- Urine – combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 2 cups white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and apply across the affected area.
Some people sprinkle baking soda on their carpets as they proceed with their regular vacuum routine. However, doing so does not allow the baking soda time to neutralize the acidic odor particles. It will keep your vacuum canister smelling nice, but that doesn’t help the odors coming from your carpet. If you want to try using baking soda with your regular vacuum routine, sprinkle it on 30 minutes before you vacuum.
The Best Way to Remove Carpet Odors
Although baking soda can help to reduce odors, the only true way to remove them is to remove the source. That takes much more than baking soda – it takes knowledge, skill, experience, training, and proper equipment. Thankfully, Preferred Carpet Care in Redding has all those qualities in abundance. We are trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), we have industrial-level equipment, and decades of experience using it. We also keep up to date with the latest techniques and products in the carpet cleaning industry.
Preferred Carpet Care offers so much more than baking soda ever could. Find out by giving our office a call or scheduling an appointment with our online form. We’ll not only get rid of odors, but the source of those odors, so you can enjoy your carpet for its entire life.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On July 14, 2022