How to get rid of carpet smell

Carpets add a pleasant appeal to rooms in a home, but they can harbour odours. Odours stick to carpet fibres and can linger. New carpets contain an unpleasant chemical smell, while older carpets are prone to smells caused by spills and stains. While the carpet odour may fade overtime, removing it will make the room more pleasant. Tending to the odour as soon as possible will help to remove it from the carpet quickly.

Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet, covering it completely. Brush the carpet with a straw broom to push the baking soda into the fibres. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight to absorb the odours. Vacuum the carpet the following day to remove the odours.

Clean the smelly carpet with a carpet shampooer. Follow the manufacturer instructions carefully to ensure that you use it properly. The machine uses water extraction to remove stains deep in the carpet fibres, which may be the culprit for the carpet odours.

Combine an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the carpet with the solution to neutralise the smell. Allow the carpets to dry and repeat as necessary.

Fill shallow bowls with white vinegar. Place the bowls in the room to absorb the odours. Replace the vinegar daily as necessary.

Open the windows and doors in your home to allow the air to circulate. Place a fan in the room to help with the air circulation so you can remove the odour effectively.


Hire professional carpet cleaners if you have difficulty removing the odour.


Always test cleaning products on a small area of the carpet first to ensure that they will not fade the fibres.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Straw broom
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Carpet shampooer
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Shallow bowls
  • Fan
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.