We don’t have a lot of carpet in my house.
What carpet we do have can get dirty and laden in stink.
Please, tell me I’m not the only one who has carpet that can smell stale and off.
To be honest, the last thing I want is a house that doesn't smell clean and fresh. I want to walk in and just say AHHHH, and revel in the cleanness of my home. And this is coming from a non-clean freak.
*This post contains affiliate links to the essential oils and other products I talk about in the post.
But, with kids and pets that manage to slip by me on a daily basis covered in who knows what from our farm, the carpet in my home has taken a beating.
When we built our home, a “barndominium” almost 15 years ago, way before Joanna Gaines made them popular. My number 1 goal was to have as much hardwood or laminate flooring as I could.
With allergies from since I was a little girl, I know the drill.
Less carpet means fewer issues for me.
While I managed to come out with only a few of the bedrooms in our home with carpet, I still ended up with a number of large area rugs.
Which let's be honest, area rugs can get just as filthy and stinky.
This all leads to the dilemma I was having when I began my journey to give up manufactured fragrances to help with my allergies. Giving up artificial fragrances as part of slowly adopting a nontoxic lifestyle meant I had to give up my favorite Glade carpet fresh powder.
You know the one, it makes your house smell amazing.
I love to make my carpet smell fresh and clean. Because in most cases if you have a great vacuum that really sucks up the dirt, smelling good also means clean.
So this DIY momma got to work creating a DIY Carpet freshener made with essential oils that will have your home smelling fresh and clean plus it is inexpensive to make.
This simple cleaning chore is my secret weapon for making my house smell great. I've learned, bad smelling carpet can ruin a great smelling home.
Note: Using essential oils is optional if you want to just neutralize your carpet smell.
In this post, I’m going to cover all things Carpet Freshener.
- How to make a basic carpet freshener with things you probably already have at home
- Tips for making an essential oil carpet freshener and recipes
- How to remove pet odor and fleas (yes, I even have a trick for fleas!)
- Answer the question Is baking soda safe for carpet and for your vacuum?
- How to best store your homemade carpet freshener
Don't have a ton of carpet but still fighting to get that clean house smell READ: How to make your house smell good, hacks that will surprise you
What Is Carpet Freshener?
Carpet freshener is something you spray or sprinkle on a carpet to help cover or remove odors embedded into carpet fibers.
Homemade Carpet freshener is not the same as a homemade carpet cleaner. Carpet fresheners don’t clean a carpet but help neutralize the odors trapped in the fibers.
Some people call it carpet refreshener, carpet deodorizer or rug freshener.
The most popular type of carpet freshener, in my opinion, is the ones that come in powdered form. Usually, the carpet powder is white to help prevent staining of lighter carpets.
How Do Odors Get In The Carpet?
Well in my high traffic home it mostly comes in the form of kids and pets coming and going from outside bringing whatever they have been into.
But odors can also come from cooking odors, I’m famous for burning toast. And we have a new rule in our house, all fish gets cooked outside!
Carpet odors also are produced from fireplace smells if you burn wood like we do in the winter.
Carpets can also absorb bad smells over time from: smoke from candles, pet urine, spilled milk and the dreaded stinky trash can.
How To Remove Pet Odor From Carpet?
Currently, we have two puppies.
Yes, I’m crazy but I figured if I was house training one I might as well train two. Now I’m thinking that wasn’t so smart. But I still love my 4 legged girls.
And in the beginning, it was a battle on how to keep my house smelling good with dogs.
Puppies have accidents all the time and to boot, they have no clue how to wipe their little paws. And as an added plus my girls love to sneak them up to their rooms.
For removing super tough pet odor, not urine or poop, I’m talking pet odor from a stinky dog. I will spray the carpet area with a white vinegar solution first. Make sure you do a spot test on your carpet first in a corner or out of the way area to ensure no issues.
Steps to make a white vinegar solution-
- Start by adding warmed vinegar to a spray bottle not quite ½ way.
- Dilute vinegar by adding warm water to the spray bottle to create a 1-to-1 ratio.
- On the mist setting of the spray bottle, lightly spray the area.
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes
- Then follow with the DIY carpet freshener recipe below. Carpet Freshener may fizz and bubble if it comes into contact with liquid vinegar. But all should be fine.
For removing puppy urine smell and stains from carpet you can check out this article. I love that they have a video of Oprah talking about stain removal. Who knew Oprah was a self-proclaimed stain removal specialist?
Having flea issues and want an all natural way to help get rid of them?
Luckily, we haven't had a flea problem, knock on wood. But according to Wikipedia Diatomaceous Earth can be used an all natural pest control. Add the optional Diatomaceous earth to the carpet freshener recipe below for a natural way to kill fleas.
What Can I Use To Deodorize And Freshen My Carpet?
My go-to carpet freshener is baking soda. Baking soda is an inexpensive yet great way to absorb and neutralize your bad household carpet odors.
What I love is that I can also add essential oils to baking soda to create my own glade inspired carpet freshener.
I know what your thinking…
Is Baking Soda Safe For My Carpet?
Yes and no.
Yes, baking soda is a safe natural way to freshen your carpet that is also safe for the whole family.
The No answer comes with overuse.
Baking soda is made of super-small particles.
If you use too much, it can sift thru the fibers to the padding on the floor that no vacuum can get out.
I use Baking soda in moderation because honestly a little goes a long way to creating a fresh smelling home.
Is Baking Soda Safe For Vacuums?
I have done a fairly lengthy research on this one. We invested a good deal of money in a really nice compact canister vacuum and the last thing I wanted to do was tear it up being frugal.
What I found when checking vacuum related blogs is that when baking soda is used in excess with vacuums, baking soda can clog and even potentially corrode a vacuum cleaner’s parts and motors.
Because baking soda is a fine powder, it can get past some bags and HEPA filters to reach the motor.
To prevent this corrosion, I use HEPA filters and bags made specifically for my vacuum. No aftermarket ones.
I also change my vacuum bags regularly to ensure I’m still getting great suction and that there are no tears or rips in the bag. I do the same for my HEPA filters also.
I’ve had the same vacuum for almost 15 yrs and it is still going strong. And all of those years I was using some sort of carpet powder.
I don’t use my DIY carpet freshener every time I vacuum but I do use it about once a month.
So to answer the question,
I think that the Shark or other canister type vacuum will work fine with the moderate use of a vacuum powder just like with my canister vacuum but I would NOT recommend using an Irobot type vacuum with a homemade carpet cleaner or powder.
The Irobot Roomba is so on my want list. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to let it clean my floors while I do other household cleaning task.
But the way Irobot vacuums are made, all the electronics and there is no bag for the dirt and carpet freshener to go into I think it’s best not to use a powdered carpet freshener with a robotic vacuum.
How Long Do You Keep Baking Soda On The Carpet?
I leave my homemade carpet mixture on the carpet or rug for no less than 20 mins so it gives the baking soda a chance to soak up the odor and for the carpet fibers to absorb some of the wonderful essential oil scents.
You can leave carpet powder overnight if you need too.
How long I leave my baking soda on the carpet really depends on the smell I’m trying to absorb and/or to my cleaning schedule.
Sometimes life gets busy and I’m unable to vacuum the carpet freshener up quickly. So it might sit there for just 20 minutes to up to a day.
Can Baking Soda Stain A Carpet?
I would caution using essential oils with a strong color like Young Living’s Valor which is a deep blue color.
Using an essential oil that naturally has a color could leave, over time, enough color in a lighter carpet that you can see it.
When using the all-natural fragrance of essential oils in my Carpet freshener I tend to use lighter clearer essential oil options.
My favorite essential oils for refreshing carpet are lemon and citrus fresh.
Pros and cons of carpet powder
- An inexpensive way to freshen up your home and carpet
- Can be scented with essential oils to create wonderful scents for your home
- An easy DIY project you can make with your kids
- All natural and safe for use around pets and small children
- If used in excess it could seep thru your carpet and get under carpet padding.
- If used in excess it could corrode and break your vacuum
For me, after weighing the pros and cons of carpet powder, I decided that this DIY carpet freshener was worth it for me to use. It makes my house smell great and it cost me pennies to make.
Ingredients For Homemade Carpet Freshener
Glass Jar with Lid
Essential Oils- optional
Diatomaceous earth– optional
How do you make homemade carpet freshener? 8 steps to a cleaner smelling home.
- Taking your glass jar. Puncture holes in the top of the lid with a nail and hammer.
- Add 2 cups of Baking Soda to a glass bowl
- Add 10-20 drops of Essential Oils
- Mix well and break up and clumps
- Pour baking soda and essential oil mixture into the glass jar and screw on the top
- Sprinkle carpet freshener mixture lightly on carpet and rugs
- Allow Carpet Freshener to sit for at least 20 mins
- Vacuum mixture slowly from carpet to ensure your vacuum has time to suction up carpet freshener.
If you want to give your Carpet Freshener the added boost of an all natural flea killer using the above steps- add 1 cup of Baking soda and 1 cup Diatomaceous earth instead of the 2 cups of Baking soda in step #2. You can still add essential oils for an amazing smell. I personally think using purification essential oil for this recipe would be good.
5 Scented Baking Soda Recipes For Carpet Freshener
I love to scent my carpet freshener with essential oils. I tend to make recipes that leave my house smelling like a spa. Nothing is better than a clean, fresh and relaxing smelling home.
I buy essential oils online at a wholesale price from a company I trust. I love that the essential oils I use are guaranteed to be pure and have zero added chemicals, no synthetics or perfumes added.
Here are my favorite Essential oil blends for that clean spa-like smell for your home.
10 Lemon* + 10 Eucalyptus
8 Cedarwood + 2 Ylang Ylang + 10 Tangerine
10 Citrus Fresh* + 5 Rosemary
10 Lemon* + 5 Peppermint* + 2 Lavender*
10 Thieves* + 10 Lemon*
To get my girls excited to vacuum their rooms as part of completing their weekly chore chart I use 20 drops of Citrus Fresh, They love the smell and they say it reminds them of fruit loops.
Citrus Fresh is a great all around cleaning oil that you can only get from Young Living. I’m so glad they include it in their premium starter kit.
Plus it is a great oil that is safe to use around pets too.
*These oils are found in the premium starter kit from Young Living.
Video of how to make Carpet Powder
Back when I first started using essential oils and blogging I wrote this post on how to make your house smell amazing by creating a carpet powder using essential oils.
The recipe I listed in this post is pretty close to what I used back then but I’ve started cutting back on the number of drops of essential oils. I’m finding now that using less essential oils and allowing it to sit longer is giving me a better and cleaner smell for my carpets and rugs.
But you can still watch this video to see me making a carpet freshener. You may even prefer this recipe better.
STORING YOUR CARPET POWDER
I really like to store my carpet powder in 16 oz wide mouth glass jars like these because they have smooth sides so I can make a super cute vinyl label using the Cricut Explore Air™ Machine and it will easily stick and stay on the side of the jar.
The best part is these glass jars are tall and skinny which makes them easy to shake to get a nice even coating of carpet freshener on your carpet.
If there is carpet powder left over I will sometimes put it into smaller jelly jars and place them around my home as little air fresheners. And depending on the essential oils I use I may even put them in the refrigerator to help with odors. (my favorite to do this with is just plain lemon essential oil. )
Are you wanting to begin the process of detoxing your home from harmful chemicals? But don't know where to start?
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living essential oils. The statements made and the products mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.Please read the full disclaimer here