How To Clean Carpet With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Best cleaning solution for most stains

Baking soda and vinegar is one of the best mixtures for spot-treating messes on a carpet.
Helin Loik-Tomson/Getty Images

A combination of baking soda and vinegar is Wilkesmann’s go-to solution for spot-treating most carpet types and stains. 

“Baking soda and vinegar work so well as a cleaner due to their chemical makeup and reaction,” says Wilkesmann. When the alkaline baking soda reacts with the acidic vinegar, it creates a safe, oxygenated gas that foams up and helps lift stains out of a carpet, according to Wilkesmann.

How to use it

1. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain. Be sure to cover it thoroughly.

2. Pour a small amount of vinegar (about a tablespoon) on the baking soda. Add more little by little, just enough to make the baking soda fizz.

3. Gently massage the solution into the carpet with a hard-bristle brush or something similar.

4. Leave the solution on the stain for 4 to 6 hours or until the spot is completely dry.

5. Vacuum up the baking soda residue.



Can Baking Soda Damage Carpet? No, baking soda doesn’t damage carpet, and the potential for it to do so is practically non-existent.  It’s very gentle on carpet fibres, making it suitable for use even on woollen ones. It’s absorption capabilities as well as deodorising mean that your carpet is sure to end up beautifully clean.

Does White Vinegar Ruin Carpet? No, white vinegar won’t ruin your carpet. While some have raised concerns about its acidity, this is actually what makes it so good at tackling things like urine stains and wine. It is kind to your carpet and will even help to deodorise them.

Can I Leave Baking Soda on Carpet Overnight? Yes, you can leave baking soda on the carpet overnight. In fact, severe stains and messes sometimes call for this to happen. It allows it to absorb as much moisture as possible from your carpet without damaging the fibres.

Does Baking Soda Ruin Vacuums? Baking soda can ruin vacuums if the vacuum cleaner filter is not washed and cleaned after it has been used on the powder.  This is because the baking soda can clog up the filter’s pores, rendering it useless and potentially stopping it from powering on. As long as you clean the filter after using it on baking soda you should be just fine.

How to soften a carpet after cleaning

If you want to soften your carpet, Gurskyi says you can use a laundry fabric softener like Downy since carpets are made from the same basic fiber types as clothing. 

To make a carpet softener solution, mix half a cup of fabric softener, one gallon of hot water, one cup of clear vinegar, and one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent. Put the mixture into a spray bottle, and lightly spray the carpet until it’s damp. Use a soft brush to work the solution into the carpet, and then allow the carpet to dry. 

How to Clean Carpets Using Both Vinegar and Baking Soda

  Tried the methods above, but still looking at an unsightly stain on your carpet or still catching a whiff of something unpleasant? Then you may need to bust out the big guns: a baking soda and vinegar mixture. But before we get to the steps you’ll need to take, let’s talk about why this mixture is so powerful.

Why Use a Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar?

  As you’ve seen, baking soda is extremely absorbent. Because it absorbs both grease and odors, it is great at removing these things from a stain and deodorizing. Meanwhile, vinegar is a natural disinfectant because it is made of acetic acid. In fact, it’s so acidic that it can kill bacteria while also dissolving dirt and grease which cause stains. It can also be used as a cleaner on its own if you just need to disinfect an area (but be careful not to use it on granite countertops or wood floors, where the acid can actually harm your surface).

Now, when these two ingredients are combined, they cause a chemical reaction which results in fizzing and crackling as the acidic vinegar transfers its proton to the absorbent base of baking soda. You may recall this chemical reaction from your school science project days – remember the volcano of baking soda and vinegar?

The end result is that you get all of the disinfecting and dissolving power of vinegar, in addition to the absorbing and deodorizing powers of baking soda, combined with the fizzing reaction which moves the mixture throughout the stain and helps to give them both some extra cleaning power. So, instead of just absorbing or just disinfecting, you’re taking care of both at the same time and the stain should be completely cleaned and removed.

Some cleaning companies use this mixture during a very heavy duty cleaning such as a deep clean or a move out clean to get rid of tough stains.

How to Use the Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar

  Now, to clean with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, you should adhere to the following steps in order (we don’t want a volcano science project, after all):

  1. First, make sure that you are using white vinegar. White vinegar is clear and will not leave any discoloration, which is possible with other types of vinegar.
  2. Next, you should cover the stain with the white vinegar, being sure to leave the area wet but not completely soggy.
  3. Then you’ll need to sprinkle dry baking soda over the vinegar and stain, making sure to cover every bit of it. You should start to hear fizzing and crackling, which indicates that the chemical reaction is beginning. You may even see some bubbles form and move around a little – this is a good thing.
  4. Now it’s time to wait! You’ll probably need to let it sit overnight, but the key is to wait until the vinegar has completely dried. As it dries, the smell of the vinegar should dissipate.
  5. Finally, you’ll just need to vacuum up the baking soda. If there’s more than a little left in the spot, you may want to scoop some of it up first.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you should have a fresh and spot-free carpet. If there’s still a slight stain or smell, you can repeat as many times as needed.  


Carpets are a beautiful addition to enhance the beauty of your floor. However, it requires cleaning to look good. Cleaning a carpet is an easy process. If you systematically carry on all the steps, your carpet will be as good as new after each clean and will remain good for a long time.

Baking Soda and Essential Oils

If the carpets in your home smell a little dingy, you must immediately freshen and deodorize them. The best way to do this is by creating a baking soda carpet cleaner with essential oils.

Although there are carpet deodorizers that are readily available in grocery stores, you should read their labels carefully. Some of them contain harsh chemicals that can seriously damage your carpets.

Essential oils like lavender have excellent antibacterial and antiviral properties. They are also great at deodorizing your home. When you mix these oils with baking soda, they create the perfect deodorizing solution that helps remove odors from carpets.

To make this carpet cleaner, mix baking soda with your favorite essential oil that has a strong, fresh scent. The use of scented oils adds extra cleaning and deodorizing power, which helps in getting rid of tough stains and odors.

Sprinkle or spray the mixture generously all over your carpet and let it sit there overnight or just for a few hours. Vacuum well till your carpet looks clean and smells just like the essential oil that you used.

Removing Non-Greasy Stains with Just Baking Soda

  If you’re dealing with a non-greasy stain, you should have a slightly easier time getting it up. Non-greasy stains are caused by things like tea, soda, wine, ink, and anything else that is colorful or dark, but without any oily or fatty residue. Because there’s no underlying residue in these stains, the baking soda only has to absorb the color causing the stain.

You’ll just need to use the following steps to remove your non-greasy stain with baking soda:

  1. First, sprinkle the top of the stain with the baking soda. Make sure it is completely covered and that it isn’t too thin.
  2. Next, you’ll need to wet the baking soda with cold water (never use heat because it could make the stain more difficult to remove), but don’t use too much or you could spread the stain. Using a spray bottle to mist the area is a good tactic because you just need the baking soda to be damp.
  3. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight – again, you shouldn’t rush this process because the longer you allow it to sit, the more it will be able to absorb.
  4. Finally, you should vacuum the area and check the stain.

Completing these steps should take care of most stains, but you may find that you need to repeat the process if the stain is stubborn.

Carpet Freshener Baby Powder

There may be times when you urgently need to clean the stains and odor from your carpet. But you might not have any of the following in your pantry: hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, dried herbs, or even vinegar.

In such a situation, the best thing to do is to make a homemade carpet freshener with baby powder and baking soda.

For this carpet cleaner recipe, you will need baking soda, baby powder, and some laundry powder. Mix all these ingredients in a shaker jar and then sprinkle it all over your carpet.

That is not only the best carpet deodorizer powder, but it is also the perfect alternative to commercial carpet fresheners. Store-bought deodorizing powders contain many toxic chemicals that can cause skin irritation and allergies in case of close contact.

2 Methods of disinfecting carpet with baking soda

You are now going to be reading step-by-step guides for two methods of disinfecting carpets. Both of them involve baking soda. The second one is somewhat more effective than the first one due to the ingredients used.

Method 1: Use baking soda only

All you need for this process is baking soda, a brush, and a vacuum cleaner.

1. Remove the furniture:

Firstly, move the furniture from the room that you are going to be working in. You have got to clean every spot in that area if you want to make it a germ-free zone. So, clear the space. You don't want to pick and hold furniture while you vacuum and clean. That's a mistake.

-2. Vacuum the carpet:

2. Vacuum the carpet:

This is significant as vacuuming removes loose dirt and dust particles that may be on the carpet. Your disinfecting procedure will become easy.

3. Spread baking soda:

This is the main part of this method. Sprinkle baking soda on the entire carpet. Be generous in doing so. You should not let any spots uncovered. Take care of the carpet edges as well.

-4. Brush the carpet:

4. Brush the carpet:

Once you have spread the baking soda over the carpet, you have to make sure it goes deep. Take a brush and start rubbing. Work into the deepest fiber. Let me tell you it's going to be a great workout for your arms.

Don't let the baking soda form a clump anywhere. You want to spread it evenly.

5. Let the baking soda sit:

This is the step that gives you rest. Have a good night's sleep. Let the baking soda sit overnight. That will make it settle in deeply, and it will work its magic.

-6. Vacuum the carpet again:

6. Vacuum the carpet again:

"Again??", is this what you just exclaimed? I am sorry, but you have to hoover your carpet again. That's a dry way to get the baking soda out of it. Once the baking soda is visibly gone, try to give the vacuum cleaner another thorough tour of that carpet. You will have the germs from your carpet gone, to some extent of course.

Method 2: Use a home-made solution

You need baking soda, borax powder, cornmeal, vinegar, a brush, a vacuum, and a steam cleaner for this method.

-1. Clear the room:

1. Clear the room:

Before you proceed, remove the furniture from the room that you want to work in. The carpet needs to be disinfected entirely. No spots should be left out. Otherwise, germs will just spread again. You don't want your disinfecting efforts to go in vain.

2. Vacuum the carpet:

This is a step that you should remember before any carpet cleaning or disinfecting activity. Vacuuming will help you get rid of loose dirt, dust, and allergens on the surface of the carpet. This will help you when you conduct the disinfection.

3. Prepare a cleaning powder:

Now comes the fun part, mixing! I can't say about you but I for one, enjoy mixing materials and powders. It's easy and quite an activity. LOL.

Anyways, back to the point. Take 1/2 cup of baking

Anyways, back to the point. Take 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of borax powder and 1 cup of cornmeal. Mix all of these. You should obtain a finely ground powder.

4. Spread the powder:

Spread the powder all over your carpet. Go crazy! Let each inch of your carpet taste this mixture of powders. Just kidding! I mean, make sure you sprinkle it everywhere on the carpet. Don't forget the edges of the carpet.

5. Rub the powder:

Grab a brush and start rubbing the powder in the carpet. Rub, rub and rub. Make the particles cling on to the fibers of the carpet. The cleaning powder is supposed to go deep.

6. Let the powder sit:

It's waiting time. Sit back and relax. Grab some popcorn and watch an episode of your favorite show. Let the powder sit in the carpet. Give it around 30 minutes.

-7. Prepare a cleaning solution:

7. Prepare a cleaning solution:

Take 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Stir to mix it well. Pour this home-made cleaning solution in the detergent vessel of the steam cleaner.

8. Steam clean the carpet:

Get, set, go! Run the steam cleaner on your carpet. Make sure that you are following the manufacturer's instructions about using the machine and setting the temperatures.

9. Let the carpet dry:

Some more waiting time. If you aren't using any drying machine or fans to dry your carpet, then leave it to dry overnight. Make sure no one walks on the carpet in the meanwhile.



Even though vinegar and baking powder are safe ingredients, be careful. Don't allow your children and pets on the carpet until it is dried and vacuumed.

10. Vacuum the carpet again:

In the morning, when you find your carpet dry, pick up your vacuum cleaner. Hoover your carpet once to restore the look of the fibers. Enjoy your freshly disinfected carpet!

Why Choose All-Natural Products

All-natural products from the name itself come from the finest creation of nature – no harmful chemicals, toxic and health dangers. On the other hand, manufactured cleaners can make cleaning easier but can expose both humans and animals to risks. In fact, it is the animals that will suffer the most effect of toxic than humans because they are closer to the floor.

Learning how to clean carpet with vinegar and baking soda is now within your reach. The next time your pets leave a mess on the carpet, use only the finest pet-friendly domestic carpet cleaning method as possible. The result is priceless!