Many homeowners ask themselves: How to get stains out of carpets?

What to know about carpet cleaning

Home carpet cleaning is a real test, especially if the carpet has many hard-to-remove stains. You have the choice of using improvised home remedies or directly contacting professionals. In this article, we will introduce some of the cheapest but effective means for cleaning carpets, namely bicarbonate soda and vinegar, and also how to use them correctly for cleaning different types of carpets and area rugs.

Some of you immediately doubt whether it’s worth attempting to clean carpets with bicarbonate soda, since most local shops already offer many carpet cleaning detergents at reasonable costs.

Baking soda as a stain and odour remover

Bicarbonate soda is used to remove stains from carpets, to combat unpleasant odors and refresh the appearance of carpeting. It has proven its effectiveness by thousands of positive hostess reviews, whilst being absolutely safe and very cheap.

Like most other improvised tools that are used for cleaning carpets and area rugs at home, the use of vinegar and bicarbonate soda has its pros and cons, which every carpet owner must know, so consider them in detail below.

Advantages of using bicarbonate soda for carpet cleaning

Cleaning with soda
  • It not only helps to remove stains and dirt particles from the carpet, but it also refreshes its appearance;
  • It is harmless to people, children and pets;
  • It does not negatively affect the health of pregnant women and people with overly sensitive skin;
  • Baking soda is a natural carpet odor remover. Unlike many store-bought chemicals, it is mostly scentless and won’t leave an offensive odor.
  • The price is more than affordable. Most homes have bicarbonate soda already anyway;
  • It is available to everyone. If you by any chance don’t have any at home, you can easily buy it in almost every grocery store or supermarket close by.

Disadvantages of cleaning carpets with bicarbonate soda

  • Like many other products, it is not recommended to use bicarbonate sofa to clean hand-made silk carpets.
  • You will not see an immediate positive effect from the cleaning with bicarbonate soda. Sometimes it is necessary to clean the carpet with it several times in a row in order to fully remove the dirt and the stains.
  • Ordinary bicarbonate soda can not cope with severe dirt and stains on the carpet. If the stain is quite old, or appears to be difficult to remove, then it needs a special approach, namely deep carpet cleaning.

HOW TO USE BAKING SODA ON CARPET

Soda for a carpet cleaning

Below is a quick and easy step-by-step guide to doing so:

  1. Vacuum the carpet or area rug to collect small debris and dust.
  2. Evenly sprinkle bicarbonate soda on the carpet.
  3. Leave the carpet for half an hour, in order to allow time for the soda to react on a chemical level with the stains.
  4. Carefully vacuum the carpet in the direction of the pile until you’ve removed all baking soda residue.

How to remove stains from carpet with baking soda

Removing stains from carpets with baking soda is not an impossible task! It’s almost the process as the above guide, but the only difference is that the stain on the carpet should not only be sprinkled with soda, but gently rubbed into the pile. Use a soft brush and work your way from the edges of the spot to its center (especially if the spot is fresh and has recently set).

Wet carpet cleaning

For a more thorough cleaning of the carpet, you can use wet cleaning with bicarbonate soda. We advise making sure your specific carpet or rug can actually be wet cleaned, since some cannot and could be damaged in the process. Read through the guide below if your carpet can indeed be wet cleaned:

  1. Prepare a bucket or a basin, and add this mix into it: 1 glass of bicarbonate soda with 10 liters of water. If the carpet or area rug is small, then you can make less of said solution, but make sure to keep the proportion. The water should be warm, but not hot.
  2. Vacuum the carpet from dust and small debris.
  3. Spray the prepared soda solution onto the carpet. To do this, you can use a spray gun. In places on the carpet where there are obvious spots, you can gently rub the solution into the pile with a soft brush or you can also use your hand.
  4. Wait for the carpet to dry completely. It can take 30 minutes or more, depending on the temperature and humidity in the room, and also on how wet the carpet has become.
  5. Carefully vacuum the carpet several times so that all dirt and soda come out.

Carpet cleaning with soda and vinegar

How to clean carpet with soda

Cleaning carpets with bicarbonate soda and vinegar is a more complicated process, in contrast to ones listed already. The main thing before you start to clean is to check the carpet's reaction to vinegar to make sure that it does not damage the carpet fibres, its base and dyes. You can do this in an inconspicuous place.

First method

  1. Spray a solution of vinegar on the pile of the carpet and wait at least 30 minutes for the vinegar to react with the remains of soda in the pile.
  2. You have to wait at least 30 minutes and then vacuum the carpet.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the entire surface of the carpet with bicarbonate soda.
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 liter of warm water.

You should use a clean brush for carpet cleaning. It is important to know that at that moment the carpet has to be completely dry.

Second method

  1. You should prepare a solution of vinegar (1 tbsp of vinegar mixed with 4 tbsps of warm water).
  2. Vacuum the carpet.
  3. Apply the solution with a clean sponge or a rag
  4. Sprinkle these spots with bicarbonate soda and wait until they are completely dry.

How to clean carpet stains of grease with baking soda

Greasy stains, commonly caused by food and food-related products, such as various oils (butter, olive oil, fish oil), or non-cooking oil (engine grease and other machine oil), and grease from make-up products, are one of the nastiest spillages that can happen on your carpet. If any of these have been spilled, you need to act quickly – these are some of the most difficult issues to deal with. But do not panic, because you can find out the effective way of cleaning carpet stains caused by grease simply by reading below!

The first step is to use a white cloth or paper towel – the trick is to use a non-coloured one and to not scrub the actual stain, to avoid potentially damaging the carpeted flooring or colour leakage. Afterwards, spread the soda onto the stain. It is important for the baking soda stain remover to be dry, because it will tamper with its grease absorption properties. Take your time before hoovering it out – it will suck up more of the stain the longer it remains.

If the stain does not manage to go away after this, do not be alarmed! As mentioned, these are one of the most difficult for cleaning carpet stains. Repeat the baking soda application, leaving it for a shorter amount of time, or combine it with dish soap for additional stain removing power. Just be sure to properly ventilate the room afterwards so it can dry.

Combating pet smells with baking soda

Baking soda is a natural carpet odor remover due to its chemical properties. As a result, it’s very effective at dealing with various smells, especially pet smells. The latter are divided into two main types – the ones that build up over time in certain spots that your animals frequent, and the ones that happen as a result of accidents (urine or sick).

Cleaned carpet

The baking soda will be able to deal with the natural built-up smell fairly easily. You need to spray it on top, not using too much, and hoovering it after a couple of hours. This can be done several times if needed.


If a urine accident has occurred, you need to respond quickly, treating the stain with a dense layer of baking soda first, over the whole area of the stain. Then, use a spray bottle of cold water (note that it needs to be cold, not hot, as hot water will make your task harder to complete) on the soda – it does not need to be soaked, as soaking it may increase the actual stained area. Leave it overnight and afterwards, hoover the accident area and repeat the whole process if needed. If the stain proves to be stubborn, you should apply vinegar with the baking soda, in a modest proportion. Take care to ventilate the room well afterwards!