Did you know that the carpet freshener products you sprinkle on your carpet before vacuuming are made primarily from baking soda? The manufacturers add other ingredients to give your carpet that fresh vanilla, wildflower or cinnamon scent, but it's baking soda that's responsible for absorbing the stinky odors in your carpet. If you want to avoid the artificial scents and chemicals often found in these store-bought carpet fresheners, then consider making your own. Here are three different recipes to get you started:
Citrus Carpet Freshener
Remove the peel from an orange or lemon, and slice it into thin strips. Pour 2 cups of baking soda into a large bowl, and add the sliced peel. Let the mixture sit, uncovered, for about 1 week. The oils from the peels will seep into the baking soda, giving it a fresh citrus scent. Remove the peels from the baking soda mixture by passing it through a sifter or strainer.
Cinnamon Carpet Freshener
Adding ground cinnamon to baking soda is not ideal, since its brown color may stain some lighter colored carpets. That's why this recipe uses cinnamon extract, which typically has a clear color. Pour 1/8 teaspoon of clear cinnamon extract into 2 cups of baking soda. Stir the mixture around to distribute the extract as evenly as possible. Let the mixture dry for 2 – 3 days, and give it another stir before using it.
Basil and Chive Carpet Freshener
The unique herbal scent of this carpet freshener is lovely in the springtime. Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh chives, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil. Let the mixture dry out for 4 – 5 days, stirring it daily to encourage drying of the herbs. You don't have to sift out the dried herbs prior to using this mixture, since they vacuum up easily with the baking soda.
To use any of these natural carpet fresheners, sprinkle the mixture liberally over the carpet and let it sit for 2 or 3 hours before vacuuming it. The 2 cups that these recipes make should be enough for the average –sized, carpeted room.
If you have really tough odors, you can leave the freshener on the carpet for 24 hours before vacuuming. Sprinkling a little extra on areas that are especially stinky helps fight the odors more effectively, too. If you like to freshen your carpets often, try making a triple batch of your favorite freshener, and storing the rest in a jar so you always have it on hand.
For more information, check out companies such as Pro-Steam Plus Carpet Cleaning.