Removing baking soda that is stuck inside of carpet?
January 6, 2017 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Like many folks, I like to occasionally sprinkle baking soda on carpets to freshen up things. Typically I leave the baking soda on the carpet for 12 to 24 hours and then vacuum it up. Unfortunately, though, not long after I last sprinkled baking soda on my carpet I managed to spill a (very large) amount of water on the floor where I had sprinkled (a quite liberal amount of) baking soda, and now it's very much stuck inside of the carpet, and my vacuum just does not want to suck it up.

So, yeah, I'm kinda freaking out here as my landlady is quite anal and if she's to see this she might freak out. I definitely do not want her to think I'm a messy slob. Rather, I'd like her to continue viewing me as Mr. Super Great Tenant.

Anyway, three times now, on three different days, I've tried scrubbing out the baking soda, but that doesn't yet seem to be doing much—if anything at all—to help matters. If I do this once daily, will it eventually make the baking soda sink to the bottom of the carpet? Or would this just end up being an exercise in futility? Is there something else I should be trying out? You'd think this wouldn't be very hard to get rid of, but it's proving to be quite the pain in the ass. But surely I can't be SOL—surely there's an effective way to remove this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
posted by GlassHeart to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Someone else might have a better, less involved, idea, but I imagine a carpet cleaner would be able to take care of it. Perhaps rent a Rug Doctor for a bit and run it over the affected area?
posted by Aleyn at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2017 [3 favorites]


What about white vinegar? Am I thinking too third-grade science here?
posted by mermaidcafe at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2017 [10 favorites]


Rent a steam cleaner from the grocery or hardware store, the type that throws down steam and sucksthe liquid back up. When I was a kid you rented these from supermarkets, maybe they just have them at box stores or hardware store storage now?

You could also buy one and return it. Do not use any cleaning soap, just plain water!! If you do this, it will be fine.
posted by jbenben at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes, as Aleyn notes, a Rug Doctor. THats what I meant.

Do not do the vinegar trick, that will dissolve it into the spot and may discolor the rug. Vinegar + baking Sosa is great on tiles, fabric not so much.
posted by jbenben at 1:47 PM on January 6, 2017 [5 favorites]


Rent a steam cleaner. Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the wash water but don't use any detergent.

The eucalyptus oil won't help dissolve the bicarb even the slightest bit, but hot wash water doesn't actually need any help with that and the eucalyptus will leave your carpet smelling nice.
posted by flabdablet at 1:50 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


You could also buy one and return it.

Oh, no, please don't do this. I just bought a carpet cleaner and I'd be so bummed and grossed out if it came with someone else's carpet gunk on it. There's no way you could clean it like new. You can buy handheld carpet steam cleaners for spot cleaning for 50 bucks.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:09 PM on January 6, 2017 [19 favorites]


I agree that renting some kind of extraction tool like the Rug Doctor will do the trick.
posted by radioamy at 2:09 PM on January 6, 2017


Instead of steaming or scrubbing (and adding moisture), dry the area with a hairdryer (on LOW) and then vacuum up the chunks/powder.
(A dehumidifier in the room might help too if it's a very large area.)
posted by mdrew at 2:25 PM on January 6, 2017 [2 favorites]


omg no, you're renting and it's just baking soda. Do not invest money in this.

Leave it completely alone for a day or two so it dries out thoroughly, then take a cheap dollar store hairbrush (the kind with fiber bristles, not the kind with plastic nubbin rods) and gently brush the carpet. Vacuum. Brush. Vacuum. Brush.

It'll come up.
posted by phunniemee at 2:29 PM on January 6, 2017 [29 favorites]


Thanks for the great responses, folks.

Leave it completely alone for a day or two so it dries out thoroughly, then take a cheap dollar store hairbrush (the kind with fiber bristles, not the kind with plastic nubbin rods) and gently brush the carpet. Vacuum. Brush. Vacuum. Brush.

This actually sounds pretty brilliant! I believe this could actually work. I'll be hitting up a dollar store soon to try this out. If it doesn't work, I'll try out a carpet steam cleaner.
posted by GlassHeart at 3:01 PM on January 6, 2017


I'd go with phunimee's suggestion first. But if you need some extra oomph, check and see if any friends have a wet/dry vac and maybe get it wet again and then go to town with the vac/hair dryer/dehumidifier?
posted by kate4914 at 4:07 PM on January 6, 2017


phunniemee has it. Anything else you do is basically adding moisture and turning the thing into a rock. You want it as dry and powdery as humanly possible; that's what vacuum cleaners eat.

If you're in a humid environment, seconding kate4914 -- hair dryer.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:30 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you have plush carpet that a brush might destroy, you can try a window squeegee. That link shows it getting up pet hair. It should break up the stuff without damaging the carpet and possibly pull it into piles too.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:02 AM on January 7, 2017


Have you cleaned out your vacuum filter? It might be full of gunk and that's why it's not sucking it up enough. My sitter put a whole bunch of powdered carpet freshener on my rug and while it smelled nice, it completely clogged the filter. When I opened it up, a huge pile of ick fell into my sink. FWIW, I have a Dyson Animal and apparently, you're not supposed to use carpet powders with them. Surprising what you learn when you read the FAQs. ;)

Good luck!
posted by dancinglamb at 7:29 AM on January 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


« Older Personal Planetarium?   |   Digitize & upload music library Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.