Updated: May 19
The perfect recipe for carpets that need some "freshening up" without the chemicals of traditional carpet odor eliminators. You can create a simple, toxin-free carpet powder solution that freshens dingy carpets with just three ingredients.
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Let’s face it if you have carpet in your home, chances are you’ve used those carpet powders from the store, such as Arm & Hammer’s Carpet Odor Eliminator with ingredients like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), hydrated silica, polyoxyethylene tallow ethylmonium ethosulfate, and fragrances.
As someone who suspects Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), these ingredients are a hard pass for me in my home.
While MCS is not considered an "illness" by the American Medical Academy, it is a collection of noteworthy symptoms triggered by chemicals such as the 3,100 or so stock chemical ingredients used by the fragrance industry (1). MCS is a very real issue for many people (2). Some professionals refer to it as Sick Building Syndrome (3). MCS symptoms include:
Changes to heart rhythm
Congestion and other sinus trouble
Diarrhea, bloating, and/or gas
Muscle and joint pain
Sensitivity to light and noise
This is a long list of undesirable symptoms. Clearly, caution is warranted with the products we allow in our homes. So, what can we do to improve carpet odor?
That’s when an all-natural, toxin-free carpet powder comes into play. This is a straightforward and inexpensive swap that anyone can do. All you need is a bottle to store your mixture of aluminum-free baking soda and an essential oil of your choice (I like sweet orange because it's dog, kid, pregnancy, and breastfeeding-safe.
Please note: Some online information claims using baking soda in vacuum cleaners can void the vacuum’s warranty. Before using this DIY carpet powder recipe, I recommend checking your warranty/vacuum information.
Other Essential Oils You Can Add
You can use any essential oil that doesn't stain fabric and fit the needs of your home if you have pets or kids or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some of my recommendations include:
Lavender is perhaps the most well-known of the essential oils, and for good reason. Lavender essential oil is renowned for its many beneficial properties, including promoting calm and relaxation and being a nervous tension reliever. Lavender essential oil is dog, horse, kid, pregnancy, and breastfeeding-safe.
Lemon is a strong but refreshing scented aroma known to support a healthy immune system, uplift and revitalize, and add a wonderful lemon scent to spray cleaners. Lemon essential oil is dog, horse, kid, pregnancy, and breastfeeding-safe.
Oregano is a very powerful essential oil, and its use should be approached with care. Oregano essential oil can be used in cleaning products when seasonal illness is present. When very well diluted, it can also be used for the achy joints associated with aging. Oregano essential oil is NOT dog, horse, kid, pregnancy, or breastfeeding-safe.
Peppermint creates a strongly aromatic scent with a fresh, cool, grassy-minty smell. This scent is invigorating to the senses and helps promote energy and alertness. Peppermint is a refreshing and stimulating oil that is both soothing and enlightening. Peppermint essential oil is NOT kid or breastfeeding-safe, but it is dog, horse, and pregnancy-safe.
Sweet orange is most commonly known for its wonderful uplifting, and calming scent. It can help with nervous tension and sadness and can also improve the aroma of a stale room. It can also help support the normal function of the immune system. There are two other varieties of orange essential oil, blood orange, and orange essence. Both varieties are kid-safe, but only blood orange is listed as dog, horse, pregnancy, and breastfeeding-safe.
Tea tree is known to have remarkable effects on irritated skin by helping to ease redness and restore smoothness. It also helps support a healthy immune system and can eliminate unpleasant odors. Tea tree essential oil is kid, pregnancy, and breastfeeding-safe, but is NOT dog or horse safe.
Homemade Carpet Powder
Ingredients & Materials:
16 oz. of aluminum-free baking soda
A large bottle/jar to pour from (I used a vintage glass spice jar)
Fill the large bottle/jar with aluminum-free baking soda. This will probably take roughly 16 oz. of baking soda.
Add 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice and shake well, ensuring all the powder is naturally scented.
Pour generously on your carpet and let sit for 20-30 minutes before vacuuming your carpet.