Dry Carpet Freshener

by Daisy

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I gaze in horror at the tv ads for spray fresheners.

The lady of the house spritzes away like a madwoman then sticks her nose right in the middle of it and inhales deeply.  She goes after it all: sneakers, beds, clothes, everything. Why, I wonder, don’t they just clean the stinky things? If my bed emanated a palpable odor I think choosing the right deodorant spray would be the least of my concerns.

That said, I have a terrier (see above).  Dip him in a vat of peppermint and he’d smell like terrier two minutes later.  It has an effect on the vacuum cleaner bag, turning it into an odor dispersal system.  Not the ambiance I’m going for right before company shows up.

Baking soda and essential oil to the rescue.  I use the baking soda by itself with good results, but the essential oil is sort of a treat.  And if you have a terrier like mine it is almost a necessity.

Dry Freshener Recipe

2 cups baking soda

essential oil(s) of choice

With a fork, stir in your favorite essential oil by drops until your nose tells you it’s enough.  I use about a teaspoon or less.  It’s best to let the oils permeate for awhile before first use.

To use, sprinkle on carpeting and let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight then vacuum.

Oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary are invigorating and fresh. Lavender is soothing and floral.

Store in an empty shaker bottle such as a clean parmesan cheese container.

Bonus: This also makes a great scouring powder for sinks and tubs.  Then when you’ve finished cleaning house, sprinkle some into a nice hot bath.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy February 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

Ha! Good thing I finished reading. At first I thought you meant this was to sprinkle on the dog!

Kat February 8, 2010 at 11:34 am

How much powder becomes airborne when you vacuum? Do you get sneezy?
Me, my family, our 4 male cats, and our chickens eagerly await the answer…

Tanya Walton February 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

I have to say I’ve never really been one for carpet fresheners….just get on my hands and knees and scrub…however this I think i will give a go…..baking soda added to the shopping list for this week…thanks for the tip!!

Marianne February 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I have two mutts and – thank god – all wood floors. That said, I do vacuum up a lot of dog hair and understand the “odor dispersal system” to which you refer. I like to add a scented dryer sheet to the vacuum bag, which seems to counteract the doggie smell. I’d bet your baking soda/essential oil combo would get the same effect.

Dolly February 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm

YES! Baking soda has been a housecleaning staple in my family for yeeeeaars. It does everything — deodorizes your carpets, declogs your sinks, freshens up your, umm, self — and you can cook with it! I’ll take baking soda, vinegar, and lemons over most commercial cleaners any day.

Kathy February 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

To all the naysayers, just try bathing in febreze or carpet fresh – yuck. I’ll bet no one would try it, but with homemade stuff, I would!

Ashley February 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm

How would this work with a bagless vacuum?

Toria February 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I make this up, but I usually use a citrus oil like lemon or orange. And I mix mine in a mini food processor I have that came with my stick blender. It really thoroughly mixes the EO through the powder in a few seconds, without leaving any lumps. The original recipe I had for this suggested putting in dried lavendar, which gets chopped to tiny pieces in the chopper & smells wonderful.

Tomato Lady February 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Ashley–I don’t see why not. Anyone have experience with this?
OKAY–Monica says not to use powder when you have a bagless. Did NOT know that!

Tomato Lady February 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Kat–I never notice it in the air. There’s something heavy about baking soda, doesn’t seem to want to stay afloat.

Monika February 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm

For Ashley— Read the instruction manual for your vacuum before using a dry carpet cleaner!! I have a bagless Eureka vacuum and used powder cleaner for months before it started squealing (and yes, I changed the filters and made sure there were no clogs). What I didn’t know was that the powder settles on all the parts INSIDE the vacuum, including the motor. I read the manual (after taking it apart, cleaning everything I could reach, putting it back together and still hearing the same squeal) and it specifically said not to use powder products. So, my lesson learned is hopefully anybody’s repair bill avoided. Happy spring cleaning!

Diane February 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

I like adding dried lavendar flowers to baking soda for a carpet freshener, or even just sprinkling them on the carpet before vacuuming (sans soda). That might be a better option for bagless folks.

KeLLy Ann February 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

How “refreshing”, to see that there are Others out there like Me. I’ve used baking soda for years, for everything from the litter box, to the rug, the bath, brushing my teeth,…
I never thought to scent it though! What a great idea. I’m really liking the Lemon oil.
And thanks for the warning with the bag~less, that’s what I have.

Joycee February 9, 2010 at 9:47 am

I’m with you, I cannot imagine not CLEANING the smell rather than spraying Febreze on it! But this baking soda/lavendar oil is just up my alley! I vacumned this morning and when I emptied the canister it was smelly. Thanks for solving my problem! Come visit Granny Mountain when you have the time…

KeLLy Ann February 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I just went and did the drain thing, and dang , it worked. CooL.
Thanks for that.

LateBloomer February 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Dried rosemary ground with a mortar and pestle mixed with the baking soda is nice too! 🙂 Never thought to use the oils with the baking soda, have to go try a new scent on!! Thanks for the tip.

Rana February 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm

This is great. I have been looking for something like this because of the odor from our dog. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa February 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Ashley, I have a bagless vacuum and I have done this, it works great. When you dump the bin there is a bit more “powder” dust, but not too bad!

River August 26, 2011 at 8:51 am

I am ashamed to say this but I DO have a smelly bed. Hubby sweats like a sumo wrestler when he sleeps. He insists on sleeping with a heavy quilt, even in the summer (what is wrong with this man?). Not to mention we raised our last 2 babies on this bed (they never slept in a crib, just in our bed for the first 2 years). This means occasional leaking diapers and bottles along with the other kids bringing their drinks into our room and spilling them. Eventually this leads to a disgusting mess. I’m just about ready to take the dang thing out to the back yard and burn it!!! Have to wait until I save enough $$$ to buy another bed first. Anyway, I tried the baking soda thing a couple weeks ago rather than using fabreeze. Just sprinkled a healthy amount on the mattress, covered it with a quilt and left it sit all day, vacuuming it up before bed. Worked amazing!!! Smelled fresh as the day I bought the bed brand new!!! Baking soda…. what a wonderful invention!!!!

Stephine April 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

where can i find essential oils at

Tomato Lady April 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Stephine–Hobby stores and online soaping suppliers, like brambleberry, essential wholesale, and camden gray.

Barbara May 21, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hey Deanna……this recipe is a really good one. I’ve been using it for about 20 years with perfect results. My favorite essential oil blend is citronella/spearmint/rosemary….sounds like it would be like your pest control smell but it is not….it is very refreshing and clean smelling. I live in a barn out in the country and i don’t use any chemicals for anything here. Baking soda is a lovely thing and the essential oils are the icing on the cake.

Daisy May 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

Barbara–I’ll try your blend, I think I have all those oils. I bet it repels bugs AND smells good. Love that you live in a barn!

Ann Bartholomew July 19, 2014 at 10:06 am

Just an FYI, thinking the EO will be absorbed by the baking soda, but be careful using them around cats, especially if it gets on their feet and then they ingest it when grooming.

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