If your carpet is smelling musty or stale, it’s only natural to decide to vacuum it with baking soda.
After all, baking soda is super-absorbent and gives everything a fresh smell, making it a miracle worker in many ways.
Baking soda is also antimicrobial and very inexpensive, giving you even more reasons to try cleaning your carpet with it.
But is baking soda really good for your carpet?
Have you ever asked yourself, can I vacuum baking soda? If you have, the answer may surprise you.
Can I Vacuum Baking Soda?
It is not recommend to vacuum up baking soda. Baking soda does work well on carpet, but it can also damage certain types of vacuum cleaners, so it’s best to use certified cleaning products that will not damage a vacuum cleaner.
Although, baking soda does get rid of smells and stains, including difficult ones such as grease and pet stains.
But this doesn’t mean that you should automatically reach for it the next time you wish to make the room smell better or get rid of stains.
It’s best to use baking soda with caution and use certified cleaning products.
Will Baking Soda Ruin a Vacuum?
Yes, baking soda can ruin a vacuum cleaner, but this depends on what type of vacuum you’re using. Baking soda eventually gets to the motor of all vacuum cleaners, and this is where the damage comes from.
This is because baking soda is so fine powder and has such small particles that it eventually clogs the filter.
If your vacuum doesn’t use a filter, the baking soda can still get to the motor if you use it often enough to clean it off the carpet.
Mid- and high-end bagless vacuums work best because the filters are removable, meaning that you can clean them frequently to reduce the damages.
Cheap bag-less vacuums have inferior filtration and therefore the baking soda can get clogged up much more quickly.
Upright and stick vacuums are the worst, and vacuum cleaners that use water instead of bags, such as Rainbow vacuums, are much better because they are less likely to break.
But Rainbow vacuums are also very expensive.
How To Clean Baking Soda Without A Vacuum
If you do need to clean baking soda off of your carpet without a vacuum cleaner, you can use a mixing bowl and make up a mixture of three parts warm water and one part of white vinegar.
Next, take a clean sponge and dip it in the solution, then apply the sponge directly to the spot where the baking soda is.
Make sure that you clean the area well, then take a clean dry towel and put pressure on it afterward. Keep repeating these steps until the baking soda is removed, then let it dry naturally.
Keep in mind that since baking soda is made of components that are very small, it will fall deep into your carpet, which means that you may not get every bit of the baking soda out of the carpet.
Still, you can get rid of a lot of it by using the method mentioned above.
How To Get Baking Soda Out Of A Vacuum
Getting baking soda out of a vacuum cleaner starts with removing the filters and making sure that they are immaculate.
Go by the manufacturer’s instructions or simply clean them with mild soap and water. Make sure that they are completely dry before replacing them.
Naturally, you should always unplug your vacuum before cleaning any part of it, just to be on the safe side.
To clean any removable hoses, remove them and clean them with mild soap and water.
If you find that one of the hoses is clogged, just use a wire hanger (carefully) to dislodge the clog.
For non-removable hoses, you can wrap a cleaning cloth around the end of a broom or mop handle and tie a rubber band around it, then stick the handle in the hose to make sure that it’s clean.
Be careful when doing this because you don’t want to rip or tear the hose.
Finally, you’ll want to clean the roller brush, and you should start by removing as much of the matted mess as possible, which you can do by hand. Cut or pull away any remaining hair or gunk, or use an old brush or comb to do this.
Once you’ve removed as much of the mess as possible, wipe down your roller with a damp cloth.
Again, make sure that everything is completely dry before putting it back into the vacuum.
How To Clean Up Baking Soda Residue From The Carpet
If the vinegar/water solution doesn’t work, you can also use a steam cleaner, which you can either rent or purchase.
First, fill up a spray bottle with warm water and add just a few drops of dish soap, then mix it well.
Next, spray the mixture on the affected area until it looks clean and blots it with a microfiber cloth.
Wait just a few minutes, then fill the steam cleaner with whatever is recommended by the manufacturer and clean the carpet with it.
You can also use a mixture of 50% warm water and 50% white vinegar to clean the carpet before steam cleaning it.
Using the solution while the water is still warm is the most effective way to get baking soda out of the carpet.
Also, if you only occasionally clean baking soda out of your carpet with a vacuum cleaner, it isn’t as likely to be a problem.
Regularly doing this is what eventually ruins the vacuum cleaner because it always eventually clogs both the filter and the motor.
What Type Of Vacuum Can Clean Baking Soda?
Basically, all types of vacuum cleaners can be ruined by cleaning baking soda on a regular basis. This is because they all have motors, and eventually that baking soda will get to the motor.
If you clean your carpets with baking soda occasionally, it’s less likely to be a problem, but it’s still best not to use baking soda when cleaning your carpets.
Mid- and high-end upright vacuum cleaners and vacuums that use water work a little better, but eventually their motors, too, will be ruined.
How To Deodorize Carpet Without Baking Soda
If you want to deodorize your carpet but have decided not to use baking soda, one of the most effective methods is to use vinegar and warm water.
Simply mix one part white vinegar with two parts warm water in a spray bottle, then spray the entire carpet area.
Afterward, just let it air dry and it’s done; your carpet should now smell fresh and clean!
Once it’s completely dry, you can vacuum if you like, but this isn’t a necessity.
Another method effective when spot-cleaning is to spray straight vodka on the area, then wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
Afterward, blot the area with a dry paper towel and let it dry naturally and if you prefer, vacuum it once it’s dry.
Keep in mind that with all vacuum cleaners, baking soda will eventually get to the motor and ruin them.
The length of time it takes for this to happen will vary depending on the type of vacuum you own, but the truth is that baking soda is bad for all types of vacuum cleaners.
If you’re in a bind and you do this occasionally, it likely won’t be bad for the vacuum, but doing this on a regular basis is bound to make trouble for your vacuum cleaner.
So, it is best to use products that are certified.
Looking For Vacuum Guides?
If you’re looking for more vacuum resources, consider checking out our other posts on vacuums.
Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.