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A Home Remedy for Carpet Odor, or How to Make Your Own Aromatherapy Carpet Freshener

Posted Oct 27 2011 11:40am

For some reason, I’ve got stinky stuff on the brain this week. First it was stinky diaper pails . Now, it’s stinky carpets. To be honest, my carpets don’t chronically stink, mostly because we don’t have pets. But when we first moved in, we DID have a flea infestation, and we DO have a baby that frequently crawls off during poopie diaper changes, and we also have a hapless, unaware Mom like me, who regularly steps into the doggie doody that my neighbors with pets are gracious enough to leave for me on the neighborhood sidewalks. Lucky for me, essential oils exist and I know how to use them to make natural carpet fresheners to remedy problematic carpets! And after reading this post, so will you.

(Can I digress for a second?) My husband has a couple of good friends who live in a beautiful, gigantic house across the country, but because they have three canine pets, their house just smells inexorably, unavoidably, and persistently of unwashed dog. I don’t know how they stand the stink. And I feel so badly for their house. I just want to get on an airplane, fly to their state, sprinkle some of my homemade carpet freshener on their carpets, and vacuum for, like, 10 hours. But I’m afraid to offend them, so instead, I’ll just be passive-aggressive and hope they somehow come across this post. Okay, end of digression.

You will need 8 ounces of baking soda, 45 drops of the essential oils of your choice, and a plastic baggie. I will go ahead and be honest and tell you that 8 ounces of carpet freshener does not go very far…I used up all 8 ounces on my hallway this past weekend, and that carpet measures 3 feet wide and 13 feet long, so about 39 square feet. In order to figure out how much carpet freshener you’ll need, you should: a) figure out how much total square feet of carpeting you have; b) divide that number by 39; c) multiply that number by 8, and you will get the number of ounces of baking soda you will need. Then, for every 8 ounces of baking soda, you will need 45 drops of essential oil.

Open up your plastic baggie (a one quart size will do) and dump in your baking soda. Next, add in your essential oil drops. Next, zip up the plastic baggie and shake it around, manually massaging the bag to break up and disperse any clumps of baking soda that may have clotted together. After about a minute of shaking and massaging, voila! You’re done.

When you’re ready to vacuum your carpet, sprinkle the carpet freshener evenly across the space you want to freshen. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Then, turn on your vacuum and go to town!

1. To get rid of our flea infestation (the former tenants had a cat), I used lots of Clove and Tea Tree essential oil. Those two do NOT particularly smell good together, but honestly, I did not care. I just wanted them out. After about a week of full-on Clove-and-Tea-Tree carpet powdering and vacuuming, they were gone. I used 20 drops Clove and 25 drops Tea Tree for every 8 ounces of baking soda.

2. To get rid of the poopie smell I brought in from bottoms of my sneakers, I actually used a combination of Cinnamon and Bay Laurel essential oils. These oils are highly anti-microbial, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, AND deodorant. Again, they don’t smell wonderful together – Cinnamon smells like, well, cinnamon, and Bay Laurel smells very green and manly. (In fact, I think Bay Laurel is how a lumberjack would smell if he rolled around in a carpet of forest needles all day). I used 25 drops Cinnamon and 20 drops of Bay Laurel per 8 ounces of baking soda.

3. If I’m not trying to neutralize a stinky odor, and I just want the place to smell fresh and nice, then I will use these combinations based on my mood or preferences. Feel free to experiment with your essential oils – you may create even better recipes, in which case, you will HAVE to comment here and let us all try them, too. The possibilities are literally endless, so I’ve just listed some of my favorites below (note: these recipes assume 8 ounces of baking soda as the quantity you are preparing for):

  • Spring Clean: 20 drops Lavender, 25 drops Lemon
  • Thanksgiving: 15 drops Clove, 10 drops Cinnamon, 20 drops Orange
  • Christmas: 25 drops Fir Needle, 20 drops Frankincense
  • Field of Carnations: 20 drops Black Pepper, 20 drops Ylang Ylang
  • Wildflower Meadow: 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Geranium, 10 drops Petitgrain, 10 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Chamomile
  • Breathe Easier: 15 drops Eucalyptus, 15 drops Rosemary, 15 drops Peppermint (or Spearmint)
  • A Walk in the Forest (Like Oaks and Moss and Lichen and Trees): 15 drops Cedarwood, 15 drops Petitgrain, 15 drops Clary Sage
  • Orange Creamsicle: 25 drops Orange, 20 drops Vanilla (be warned, the latter is expensive)
  • Instant Good Mood: 15 drops Tangerine, 15 drops Lavender, 15 drops Ylang Ylang
  • Tuscan Evenings: 20 drops Mandarin, 20 drops Petitgrain

Well, that should get you started for now. Remember to drop me a line if you try any of these and have feedback, or just want to boast about one of your own fragrant creations!

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