Removing Carpet Odors

Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Carpet Odors

I prefer the feel of carpeting in my home but I really hate the odors that get stuck to it. Why does something that feels so soft and pleasant to my old feet have to smell like my old feet? It does not help that carpets absorb everything from smoke to pet odors. Let’s go over some ways to remove the common odors.


Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution

  1. Vacuum the area
  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet
  3. Use vinegar as a natural solution to clean and deodorize
  4. Allow baking soda to react with vinegar
  5. Dry area well to prevent mold growth


General Odor Removal

Baking Soda

The tried and true way to remove odors from carpeting is to sprinkle Baking Soda onto the carpet. Baking soda absorbs moisture which can trap musty odors. Apply a thin coat to the entire area of the carpet to make sure it gets into the fibers.

Let the baking soda sit for a few hours. If the area really stinks you may want to leave it overnight. Use your vacuum to clean everything up. Keep an eye on the canister because baking soda will fill it up faster than my bladder.

If you have a stubborn odor it may require a deep treatment solution. Mix the following ingredients in an open container. Let it sit for 24 hours and make sure you ventilate the room. To avoid mold make sure the carpet is completely dry when you are done.

  • 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
  • 1 quart of water


I use Vinegar as a natural solution to clean and deodorize. The smell that people worry about is not a concern because it becomes odorless once it drys. Use a spray bottle and apply evenly on the carpet. Allow it to dry completely and repeat the treatment if necessary. The vinegar will absorb unpleasant odors while it drys.


Sometimes I use vodka to spot clean and remove odors. Vodka kills bacteria and the bad odor that is produced. It’s also an effective natural stain remover and pet urine eliminator. It’s usually advised to use a cheap vodka brand but I like to get the good stuff. A little for the carpet and a little for me. My wife can never understand why the bottle gets used so quickly… HA!

Apply to vodka directly on the area you are spot cleaning. Leave it alone for 15 minutes and then dry up all the excess moisture. Baking Soda will help absorb any remaining moisture. Make sure to vacuum the carpet when you are done.

Carpet Cleaner Solution

There are specialized commercial cleaning solutions that are designed for carpets. I recommend one for spot cleaning and another for odor prevention when you vacuum regularly.

Spot Cleaning – Nature’s Miracle Carpet Shampoo can be used alone or with a shampooer. Apply the shampoo directly on the area you are spot cleaning. Leave it alone for a couple hours and then dry up all the excess liquid. Keep in mind that it uses enzymes so the smell may get worse at first as it literally eats the source of the odor away.

Odor Prevention – Arm & Hammer Carpet Deodorizers are an excellent vacuum booster product. Not only does it help eliminate odors, it helps loosen dirt to make vacuums more effective. Similar to baking soda, you want to apply a thin coat to the entire area of the carpet. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then vacuum up all the powder.

All-In-One Cleaning Appliance

There are many options when it comes to vacuums and cleaning tools. Many of them just plain suck! There is one dry/wet device that my wife recently purchased that has changed the way we clean our home. It’s called a Rainbow Cleaner and it cleans surfaces like carpets and even the air we breathe. At my age, it should be no surprise that I live in Florida. But this vendor can get you connected with a local store if you reach out to them.


Grumpy Says: “There are specialized commercial cleaning solutions that are designed for carpets.”



Pet Surface Spill Odors

Pets bring odors and there is no getting around that. My wife loves her cats so we had to learn how to deal with the pet odors. I find that the same solution to surface spills work for pet urine accidents as well.

Step 1 – Use a paper towel to soak up the urine spot. Dab the area with a little water if it already dried up.

Step 2 – Use green dish detergent and blot the area to build up soapy bubbles.

Step 3 – Sprinkle Baking Soda over the area and leave it alone for a few hours.

Step 4 – Spray Vinegar on the area. Let the baking soda react with the vinegar and cause a foam. Leave it alone for about 10 minutes.

Step 5 – Dry the area with a cloth. You may want to vacuum any remaining baking soda, but dray the area as best as possible before doing so.

Alternative Solution – Use a commercial product that is designed for cleaning pet stains and odors. Nature’s Miracle Carpet Shampoo can be used alone or with a shampooer. Apply the shampoo directly on the area and leave it alone for a couple hours before drying the spot.


Grumpy Says: “The same solution to surface spills work for pet urine accidents.”



Musty Mold Odors

Carpets freaking like to absorb just about any type of liquid. This can lead to extremely stubborn mold removal. If the carpet is smelling musty there is a good chance it is due to mold growth. Once you find signs of mold on carpeting there are a few steps to remove it.

Find The Source – The first thing you need to do is find and eliminate the source. When you find mold make sure there is not a source of water that the mold is feeding on.

Vacuum The Area – Vigorously vacuum the area and pay extra attention where the odor is the strongest. Try removing all dust and dirt since this will make your life easier.

Use Cleaning Solution – Either mix a cup of water with two cups of vinegar or use a mold cleaning solution like the Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner. Soak a sponge or cloth in the solution and vigorously wipe the area of the carpet. Usually, the concentration of mold will be found on the underside of the carpet. Allow the solution to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Rinse Cleaning Solution – Use a sponge or cloth to apply water and wipe away the mold. Continue to wipe until it is completely dry to prevent future mold growth. Baking Soda sprinkled generously over the carpeting will help to absorb any remaining liquid.

Vacuum The Area Again – Vacuum the area again to capture any remaining particles or leftover baking soda. A wet/dry vac will help dry the carpet completely.

For more solutions on how to deal with mold take a look at the Mold & Mildew page.