Carpets are notoriously difficult to keep clean. As humans, we make a lot of messes, from dropping and spilling things to shedding hair and dry skin. And pretty much all that dirt and mess, no matter where it comes from, is going to end up on our floors and carpets—because that’s just where gravity takes it! There are a million and one kinds of things we might end up dropping on the carpets that could cause us problems, but today we’re here to talk about baking soda.
When you find yourself with a baking soda stain on your carpet, there are a few easy methods you can make use of to remove it. Most commonly, you can use white vinegar and warm water to remove baking soda residue, and you’ll also find a bristled brush very useful for loosening dried baking soda from your carpet fibers. Other ideas include using washing detergent or a steam cleaner.
The first thing you may be wondering about your baking soda stain is… why? How has it even managed to create a stain? Well, we’ll clear this up before we move on to our step-by-step guide, so read on!
- Can Baking Soda Stain Carpet?
- How Hard is it to Clean Baking Soda Stains off Carpet?
- 4 Easy Ways of Getting Baking Soda out of Carpet
- How to Get Baking Soda out of Carpet Without Vacuum
Can Baking Soda Stain Carpet?
Yes, it can! While you may have just dropped some baking soda on your carpet while baking cookies, there’s also a chance you may be reading this article because you attempted to clean your carpet with baking soda and it didn’t go so well. Baking soda is famous for its cleaning properties, which are ultimately possible due to its high pH level.
A high pH level means that baking soda is extremely alkaline, and can effectively break down and fight acidic stains. It also has amazing deodorizing abilities, and it is for this reason that most people will try sprinkling it on their carpets, leaving it overnight, and vacuuming it up the next day.
However, the high pH level can also have some adverse effects depending on the kind of fabric you’re using it with. It is entirely possible that leaving baking soda on your carpet overnight could cause it to create a yellow or brown stain on your carpet. These stains are created due to a reaction between the fabric and the baking soda’s high pH level.
Baking soda can also dry and harden into a difficult-to-deal-with lump that sticks to your carpet fabric. This can be annoying to get rid of by itself, but when you do manage to remove it, you may find a stain waiting for you as well.
How Hard is it to Clean Baking Soda Stains off Carpet?
This depends on how long the baking soda and its stain have been left on your carpet. It is possible, firstly, to remove baking soda before it leaves a stain if you happened to accidentally spill it and notice it right away. This is particularly easy to do and should give you no trouble at all.
If you didn’t notice the spill, or purposefully treated your carpet with baking soda just to find it had stained in the morning, then you will be in for a little more work. Having said that, the chances are that it’s really not that bad. Most baking soda stains will be treatable and removable with items and cleaning products that you may already have in your house, or otherwise will easily be able to find in the local supermarket.
Removing yellow and brown baking soda stains can take a bit of elbow grease, as you’ll likely find yourself scrubbing the stain vigorously to remove it. However, it shouldn’t take too long to remove the stain completely, so just persevere and you shall succeed!
4 Easy Ways of Getting Baking Soda out of Carpet
There are four easy ways to rid your carpet of that pesky baking soda residue, and we’re here to discuss all of them! Dive right in and let’s get started.
Method 1 – Vacuum Cleaner
The first thing you might think to do to remove baking soda from your carpet is to grab your vacuum cleaner. This is certainly not incorrect—your vacuum cleaner will indeed be able to dislodge and remove the baking soda residue, even if it is hardened, especially if you have a turbo brush attachment. But it’s not quite that simple. If you want to use your vacuum to remove baking soda stains, you should know that it can damage your vacuum.
We will talk about this in more detail in a later section of the article, but the basic reason is that vacuums are built to suck up dirt of a certain size. If you suck up messes that are too large, you’ll get clogs in the vacuum hose, and if you suck up messes whose particles are too fine and small, like baking powder, those fine particles will be able to sneak past the filter and cause trouble for the motor of your vacuum cleaner. Fine powders in large amounts can also cause clogs in the filter which will force the motor to work harder and shorten its lifespan.
However, if you’re sure that you won’t need to be vacuuming up baking soda every week, using this turbo brush method just once shouldn’t be the end of the world. This is especially true if you are willing to clean or replace your vacuum cleaner’s filter after you’re done. Having a look inside the main casing and wiping up any baking soda residue you see is all a good idea to help minimize the chances of damage to your vacuum.
Now that the warnings have been given, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide for this method!
You’ll only need a few things for this method. Here’s a full list of what you’ll need:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Turbo brush (optional)
- Dry towel
- Warm water
Step 1 – Use your vacuum cleaner
As mentioned above, the best attachment to use for this job is a turbo brush. A lot of vacuum cleaners will be sold with one of these turbo brush attachments included, but if you don’t have one you can buy them easily. If you don’t want to buy a turbo brush, you can also try the method without an attachment.
You can use the end of the vacuum hose to scrub the baking soda and dislodge it so it can be vacuumed up more easily. If you use a turbo brush, the brush will automatically do this job for you.
If the baking soda on your carpet is dry, you can start vacuuming right away (but you should never vacuum anything that is wet with a normal vacuum cleaner!). Just focus your vacuuming on the affected area and work until all of the baking soda residue has been removed.
Step 2 – Clean the stain
If the baking soda has turned yellow or brown, there’s a chance that this color may have transferred onto your carpet as a stain.
When you’ve finished vacuuming up the residue with the turbo brush, at least some of this color should be removed, but depending on the type of carpet you have, some staining may remain.
If this is the case, grab your clean towel and dampen it with some warm water from the tap. Use this wet rag to dab and scrub at the stain until it lifts up off the carpet.
Step 3 – What to do next
There is a chance that warm water alone won’t be able to finish the job. This depends on the severity of your stain. If you find that your stain is not disappearing, and your towel is not picking up any dirt, then try out the next method below.
Method 2 – White vinegar
The second thing we recommend trying to remove baking soda stains from your carpet is white vinegar. Vinegar is another kitchen essential that happens to have a real knack for cleaning.
Opposite to baking soda, it has a very low pH level (about 2.4), which means it’s very acidic. It uses its acidity to dissolve away certain kinds of messes like soap scum and marks left by hard water. It’s also great at getting rid of various types of stains, and baking soda stains are one of the things it can handle!
Much like the previous method, you won’t need a whole lot, but it’s good to be prepared. What you’ll need:
- Warm water
- Dry towel
- White vinegar
- Clean sponge
- Bowl or container
- Lemon juice (optional)
Step 1 – Prepare your tools
The first thing you need to do is gather all of the items listed above. Make sure that the towel, container, and sponge you use are either new or clean. You’ll get the best results from a clean sponge, and it’s also important to make sure there aren’t already any cleaning chemicals on the sponge that could react with the cleaning agents you’ll use now.
Step 2 – Fill up your container
Fill up the container with warm water. You can use whatever kind of container you like, and whatever size is appropriate for the stain you’re removing. You don’t need to know the exact size of the container, but it’s best to measure the water you put into it, so you know how much vinegar to add.
The temperature of the water can be anything from lukewarm to warm, but definitely shouldn’t be too hot to comfortably keep your hand in it.
A general rule used by most natural cleaning experts is a ratio of 1:1 vinegar and warm water. This time we have recommended storing it in a container so you can dunk your sponge into the mixtures, but you can also store this in a spray bottle if you prefer.
In a spray bottle, the white vinegar mixture is perfect for cleaning hard water marks on just about any surface! For some extra cleaning power, you can also add a few drops of lemon juice to the mixture.
Once you have your container filled with equal parts warm water and white vinegar, move on to step 3.
Step 3 – Treat the stain
Now it’s time to clean! White vinegar is non-toxic and will not harm your skin, but we always recommend wearing rubber gloves while cleaning. It’s good practice, and keeping your hands clean is important even when you’re working with non-toxic cleaning agents.
This method of carpet stain removal requires you to repeat the following process: dip the sponge into the white vinegar and warm water mixture, and apply the sponge directly onto the stain.
Gently dab and apply pressure to the affected area to help the carpet fibers absorb the white vinegar. When a good amount of the cleaning solution has been applied, wait for around 5 minutes to allow the white vinegar to start tackling the stain.
Step 4 – Rinse and repeat
After the allotted time elapses, grab your clean towel and try to wipe the stain from the carpet. As mentioned, you will most likely need to repeat this process to fully remove the stain, but you should find that the color begins to lift even from the first round.
If it’s hard to tell by looking at the carpet, have a look at the towel instead. As long as your towel isn’t a dark color, you should be able to see that some of the yellow-brown baking soda stain has transferred over onto the towel.
Repeat the process until the stain is gone. It’s a good idea to use a clean section of the towel each time, so bear this in mind when cleaning. If needed, you can always use multiple towels as well.
Using clean areas of the towel each time will allow you to avoid re-dirtying the carpet with the dirt that is now on the towel, and it will also allow you to keep observing the amount of stain that is transferring from the carpet to the towel.
This is a useful thing to keep track of, as some baking soda stains are more difficult than others, depending on their size and how long they’ve been able to sink into the carpet. If you find that your white vinegar solution stops bringing up the stain before it’s completely gone, you’ll know that it’s time to try a different tactic.
On the other hand, if the white vinegar is successful and your baking soda stain disappears completely, you can then let the affected area dry naturally overnight. Once the carpet is completely dry, your stain removal operation has officially been completed!
Method 3 – Washing Detergent
If you don’t have any white vinegar on hand, or you already tried white vinegar and it didn’t completely remove the stain, you can try using washing detergent instead. This is a stronger cleaning solution than white vinegar and should be able to complete an unfinished job, but it should be noted that some detergents are stronger than others, and there is a potential risk of the detergent particles damaging your carpet.
Unless you have used detergent on your carpet before and know what it can handle, it’s best to start off with a very mild detergent made for delicate clothing or for use on baby clothes. This how to get baking soda out of carpet with washing detergent:
What you’ll need:
- A container or clean mixing bowl
- Warm water
- Washing detergent
- Clean sponge
- Dry towel
This method is almost the same as using the white vinegar. First, fill a container with warm water and add some detergent. The amount of detergent you need depends on the amount of water you have, but we suggest using a medium sized clean mixing bowl and just a few drops of washing detergent. It may not seem like enough, but it will be. If you add more, you will increase the risk of damaging your carpet.
Dip the sponge into the cleaning solution and apply the sponge directly onto the baking soda stain. Apply pressure and scrub the stain vigorously for a short amount of time to try and loosen the dirt. Unlike with the white vinegar, you don’t need to let the cleaning solution sit for any amount of time.
Use your dry towel to wipe the stain off the carpet. If you already used white vinegar, the stain should already be almost gone, so just one or two rounds with washing detergent may be enough to fully remove it. If washing detergent is the first method you are trying, you may need to repeat the process more than that.
Once the baking soda stain disappears completely, you can leave the wet carpet overnight to let the affected area dry naturally.
Method 4 – Steam Cleaner
If the previous three methods haven’t worked for you, you can try using a steam cleaner to get rid of your carpet stains. If you happen to have a steam cleaner already, then that’s great news! They are often used now for various household duties such as cleaning floors and surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, cleaning windows and cleaning cars.
You can buy a multi-purpose steam cleaner that can be used as mops and as handheld cleaners, with multiple attachments for different kinds of jobs. But if you don’t have a steam cleaner and don’t want to buy one, you could also rent one from your local professional cleaning company or some supermarkets. This method involves boiling water, so be careful not to burn yourself.
What you’ll need:
- Steam cleaner
- Carpet cleaning or stain removing solution
- Clean towel
Add water and carpet cleaner to the water tank of the steam cleaner. (Note that some steam cleaners should not have cleaning solutions added to their water tanks. If you are using such a steam cleaner, then make a mixture of equal parts warm water and carpet stain remover and use a sponge to apply it to the baking soda stain instead.)
Use a precision attachment to focus the steam cleaner only on the affected area, and use the steam cleaner to clean the carpet. The mixture of steaming hot water and carpet cleaner should be guaranteed to lift the baking soda stain from your carpet.
If using the steam cleaner has left your carpet particularly wet, you should use a clean towel to blot the carpet and remove the excess water. Once the carpet is just damp rather rather than soaked, you can leave it to completely dry overnight.
How to Get Baking Soda out of Carpet Without Vacuum
The general pattern recommended in this article to remove baking soda residue and leave your carpet stain free was to use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda, and then use some kind of cleaning solution to tackle the stain. However, as was mentioned earlier on in the article, vacuuming baking soda can damage your vacuum cleaner.
The tiny particles of the baking soda can both bypass your vacuum’s filter and clog it, leading to alien material in the motor of your vacuum, and less air reaching the motor which forces it to work harder and get hotter. This could lead to your vacuum overheating and ruining the motor completely, or in less extreme cases, will shorten the lifespan of your motor and therefore your vacuum.
We mentioned that using a vacuum for this purpose just once should not be the end of the world, but it makes complete sense if you don’t want to take the risk at all. If you don’t want to use a vacuum cleaner, here is how to get baking soda out of carpet without a vacuum cleaner!
Using a Pet Brush
When you have dried baking soda stuck to your carpet, using a pet brush to scrub the baking soda residue will allow you to dislodge and loosen the particles so that you can remove them. The pet brush should have soft-medium bristles so that it can tackle the baking soda residue without harming your carpet. This method will also work with wet baking soda. Wet baking soda can be scrubbed with a pet brush just the same as dried baking soda.
When you have successfully loosened all of the baking soda, you can remove it from the carpet. For dried baking soda, you could use the pet brush to sweep it into a dustpan, and for wet baking soda, you could use a damp cloth to wipe it up. You can then choose one of the above mentioned methods for carpet stain removal to get rid of baking soda stains.
Using Shaving Cream
If you don’t have a pet brush, you could also try dissolving the baking soda residue with shaving cream. This product is readily available from all supermarkets, and it’s very likely that you’ll have some in your home already. To remove baking soda residue with shaving cream, simply spray it onto the affected area and let it sit for around 10 minutes before wiping it up with a clean sponge or wet rag.
With one or a mixture of the methods listed here, it should be quite easy to get baking soda out of carpet.
Baking soda spots can be removed with a vacuum cleaner or a pet brush, and the stains can be removed with a variety of household cleaning agents. To get baking soda spots to completely disappear, you may have to use more than one of these methods, but you should be able to get the job done.
If all else fails, calling in the professionals to get rid of baking soda from carpet will still be cheaper than buying a new carpet! We hope this article has been useful to you, and that you succeed in removing your stain!