Of the things that tend to capture (and hold on to) smells in our homes, carpets are probably the most notorious. Rain enters your room, or your pet has an ‘accident’ and you could end up with a rug that stinks for days. So, how do you get rid of these smells?
Firstly, the efficacy of any odour removal technique depends largely on the type of odour and its intensity. For a strong smell, you may need to clean repeatedly. A good breeze is also a very good ally in these instances.
So, what do you need to clean your carpet?
- Baking Soda
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Soft cloths
- Baking soda is well-known for removing odors. It’s easy to use and effective for removing odors from carpeting.
- Sprinkle the area liberally with baking soda. For odours that go beyond the surface, brush the area lightly with a broom to work the baking soda down into the fibres.
- Sprinkle an additional layer of baking soda on top of the carpet. Don’t be afraid to use enough to get rid of the odor.
- Allow the baking soda to set at least overnight on the affected area. Two days is even better.
- After that, sweep the top layer of baking soda into the dustpan with a stiff broom. If it’s a small rug, you can shake it off outside.
- Vacuum the remaining baking soda from the carpet with a strong vacuum. Do not vacuum the top layer first, as this can damage the vacuum.
- Smell the area to see if there is improvement. If there is, reapply another layer of baking soda and repeat the process. Baking soda does not damage the carpeting, so the process can be repeated as often as necessary.
- If the odor is not removed, vinegar can be applied to the carpet. It can be sprayed on the surface or blotted on with a soft cloth. If the odor is from a liquid that has been absorbed by the carpet, it will be necessary to apply enough vinegar to reach the source of the odor (keep in mind that it may have soaked into the padding as well), but avoid saturating the carpet.
- Allow the vinegar to set on the carpet for 15 minutes or so. The acid in the vinegar can work through the odor-causing bacteria in the carpet.
- Blot with a clean cloth to remove.
- Rinse by spraying and/or blotting the area with clean water.
- Press with a clean cloth to absorb any remaining water.
- Allow to air dry completely.
- Repeat as necessary until the stain is removed.