Carpets make a great addition to our space. If you are looking on how to clean carpet smell using some home remedies, this article is for you. Carpets are one of the most expensive items in the house that gets easily dirty. Besides dust and dirt, carpets are prone to trapping smells. They are usually made of fibres that easily absorb things, let it be odours, liquids, foods, and more. And if we don’t act fast and instantly, cleaning them and maintaining their freshness becomes a daunting task. 

Deep carpet cleaning

How to Clean Carpet Smell?

Before learning more about the different solutions for smelly carpets, it is important to note that there are 2 types of odours. The first type is a surface odour; it is associated with general odours or for elements that have settled on your carpet and left a smell on it, including, food, pet, and more. 

The second type is a deep odour that happens when there is water damage or when you accidentally spill liquids on the carpet. The second type can lead sometimes to further issues like mould and bacteria creation and accumulation.

For surface odour

If you are dealing with surface odour, then it will be very easy to get rid of the smell fast and effectively by using some in-house elements. The 2 main elements that you will need are white vinegar and baking soda.

The baking soda has properties that help in adsorbing and confining unpleasant odours. Vinegar, on the other hand, is another great solution, serving as a natural disinfectant. It also absorbs unpleasant smells and it’s good for cleaning any stained spots. 

Vinegar has always been used by housewives as a natural cleanser. However, for those who are not used to it might be concerned about the Vinegar smell aftermath. You don’t have to worry, vinegar becomes totally odour-free once it dries up.

Before we go ahead and see how to best use these two elements, there is an important step that you should not miss.

The carpet should be placed for a couple of hours in a sunny area for complete and fast drying. This step helps to ensure that there is no moisture left in the carpet. This will helps also in getting the smell slightly off with the strong rays of the sun.

Once this step in accomplished, here is what you need to do:

The baking soda is known to be effective and quite simple to apply. If you have a specific area in your carpet with a smelly odour, you can target that area only. However, if your whole carpet has an unpleasant odour, then spread the baking soda powder all over the area. Don’t be afraid of using too much baking soda, the more the better. 

At first, you can spread the first layer of the powder and brush it throughout. This will help it reach out deeper to the fibres of the carpet. 

Then you can spread the second layer of baking soda. Again the more you put, the better the result. Thin layers may not be enough to absorb and trap the smell.

For an effective result, cover the carpet with a thin sheet and leave it the baking soda to do its magic.

After one day, sweep carefully any baking soda powder laying on the surface of the carpet or simply shake it off outside. 

However, it is better to use a dustpan and brush in this process. For any remaining powder, use a powerful vacuum cleaner to get rid of it.

If you still feel like there is a slight remaining odour, you can repeat this process again. However, if the smell is still as strong, then you should use a white vinegar solution.

  • Use White Vinegar

Mix the same amount of vinegar and water and put the solution in a spraying bottle. Spray the targeted area and let it lie for a couple of hours. 

Once it dried, rinse it again by spraying clean water on the same area and let it dry naturally. Repeating this process a couple of times, if necessary, will ensure the removal of any unpleasant odours on the surface of your carpet.

For deep odours

If you are dealing with deep odour, then you may need a cleaning product. We recommend using Isopropyl alcohol and not any alcohol in general. This is because alcohol has harsh properties that can ruin your carpet.

Before anything, you may want to test the Isopropyl alcohol on a small area on your carpet to see if there is any reaction like colour fading. 

If there is no adverse reaction, then you can splash it all over the carpet. Make sure that you are using enough quantity so it can reach deeply to the carpet paddings. 

Leave it for half an hour or so and then with a dry cotton try to soak up as much cleaning product as you can. Once done, you can leave the carpet to air dry completely by placing it in a well-ventilated area. 

How to Prevent your Carpet from Smelling?

Now that we have seen how to clean carpet smell, here are some useful tips on to prevent this from happening again:

  • Make sure that your place is well aerated. Decent ventilation always helps in removing any odours in the house. Consequently, your carpet is much less likely to get smelly over time.

  • Purchase dehumidifiers that can help you get rid of excessive moisture inside your house. Too much moisture can ruin your carpets.

  • Use your vacuum cleaner consistently to dust and sweep away any dirt on the surface of your carpets.

  • Use cleaning products that help you disinfect your carpets and ensure their fresh and good smell.

  • Expose your carpets to the sun rays at least once every 2 weeks. Don’t do this regularly as it may lead to colour fade. 


Learning how to clean carpet smell is easy and simple. You have different options and products from which you can choose. The best thing is to act fast when it comes to cleaning your carpets and not let it accumulate over time. 

However, if you still find trouble dealing with a smelly carpet, it is better to seek a professional to do it for you. Professional know-how and which cleaning product may be the proper solution for your carpet. You can give us a shout if you need help with carpet cleaning in Wandsworth.