Homemade Carpet Powder

I have 8 inside furbabies.  Yes, you read that right.  Eight!  4 cats & 4 dogs.  Needless to say, when it comes to products that make my house smell nice – I am a fan.

Carpet powder is one product that I can’t do without.  Even though it is a reasonable price, I buy so much of it that it works out to be pretty expensive.  Plus, it doesn’t always work as well as I like.

Homemade carpet powder to the rescue!!  It’s cheap & it has not met an odor that it doesn’t take care of.

All you need is baking soda & orange essential oil.  You can use other essential oils if you like, but I like the orange because of the great clean smell that it gives off.  Some readers have also suggested using cloves instead of the essential oil, and while I haven’t tried that personally – I’ve heard some great stuff about it!

It is also nice to have an empty Parmesan cheese container, or some other shaker.

Mix the baking soda & several drops of the orange essential oil (or other essential oil of your choice) together in a bowl using a whisk.  Then, spoon the mixture into your shaker.  OR… you can do this the lazy way like me and just put it all into your container & do the hokey pokey & shake all around… 😉

You can also add a couple tablespoons of borax (found with the laundry detergent) or food grade D.E. to repell fleas.  The food grade d.e. is great for repelling bed bugs too!

Sprinkle onto your carpets – let it sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum up.

Simple & thrifty – and works like a charm.


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  • My aunt will mix in a small amount of ground cloves with the soda. It smells divine!

    Baking soda is a great carpet deodorizer!

  • Anonymous

    can you buy this at Walmart, if so what area of the store would it be in.? Thanks

  • You can buy the large boxes of baking soda at walmart, but not the essential oils. (Or at least I couldn’t find it there) I found it at a health food store in town, it is a little pricey ($4-6 for a small bottle, varying depending on the scent you choose) but it lasts a long time, as it doesn’t take much!!! As for the ground cloves, spice aisle!!!

  • Love this! I just made my own laundry detergent and am in love with it! can’t wait to mix this up!
    Pinned it!!!

  • You told the ingriedients.How much of each one?

    • MrsHappyHomemaker

      No exact measurements…just enough baking soda to fill the container & a few drops of essential oil. Just enough to wear you like the scent. Some people like stronger scents than others. Also, once the comments pop up in my new server (I just switched servers, everything isn’t yet converted over) you can see all the other comments and reader tips. This post has over 200.

      • Donna

        Well cinnamon work too?

  • jacqueline collins

    the whole box o bakingsoda?

    • MrsHappyHomemaker

      Just as much as will fit into the container that you are using. The container I used was 8oz, so I used about a cup.

      • renee

        How many drops of essential oil to 1 cup of baking soda?

  • kirsten

    I am thinking its the whole box by the looks of the container, but not totally sure 🙂

  • add some tea tree oil…will also get rid of fleas,etc. and completely safe for pets, babies whatever!

    • Tea tree oil can be toxic to cats and dogs if they lick the essential oil.

    • cheftrinab

      Tea Tree(Melaleuca) Oil is not safe for Cats!! It will poison them!

      • Sandy

        Not true I’ve used it. Yes it was true Melaleuca oil,actually from the company.

      • Sandy

        I have used true Melaleuca oil on my cats and they’re still alive.

  • Donna Adkins

    vacuum cleaner company will not back a warranty if you use powder either. it messes up the motor.

  • Kelly

    It’s PETA, btw

  • Christy

    online is where i purchased mine

  • bobbie

    Some people commented on putting stuff in kitty litter boxes to cover ordors. I have had Siamese kitties for 20 years and I always use Rabbit feed which is alfalfa pressed into pellets for my kitty litter. If kitties try to eat it, will not harm them; I have never had allergy problems with it, when dirty litter is in a bag and put into garbage can, covers up the ordors of rotting garbage, and I do not have smelly litter boxes.

  • Great idea…I’m def gonna try this. Now, where do I get orange essential oil. Google time. 🙂

  • i don’t have dogs or cats in the house but i do have me my husband a 9yr old and 4 teenagers in the house I”M TRYING THIS!!!!!! LOL

  • Linda

    Yes, borax actually sucks the moisture out of any bugs, fleas, crickets etc. in your house. It’s natural & non-toxic to children & pets. The only time you have to reapply it is after a shampooing of your carpets.

    • Could this be used for an area of carpet that smelled horrible after it was steam cleaned?

    • Kiki1969

      It is not safe for children & pets…can be harmful by breathing in the dust, you can have skin irritation…It is a natural product but not safe if you have children & pets on your carpet daily.
      Please be careful.

  • Jeannine

    Will it take out the yellow stain on light grey carpet?
    thx. Jeannine

    • Jeannine

      clarification, dog pee.

      • Gwendolyn

        I put a sprayer on a bottle of peroxide it instantly removes doggy pee, and all stains from my carpet. I literally spray and walk away.

  • Sheila

    Oh and by the way the lid on the shaker is from a Parmesan cheese container they will fit any mason jar I save all of mine for stuff I make at home and sprinkle like my dry stain pretreater, carpet powder and bathtub cleaner.

  • Jenifer Gault

    I sprinkle this in my kitty litter! Love it!

  • Krisg

    Be careful with epsom salt if you have animals- cats can get paralyzed if they eat or lick epsom salt.

    • Lady2soothe

      I’m off topic but I’d like to add Tea Tree Oil is HIGHLY toxic to dogs

      • Sandy

        Untrue have used it for years on mine.

  • Sarette

    So since you have 8 pets, I’m assuming this mixture is pet-friendly? My dog rolls all over my carpets after I clean them & I’d hate to think I’d use anything that could hurt him.

    • Yes, I certainly believe so – my vet doesn’t see any issues with it either. Some people have concerns over essential oils with cats – but orange essential oil is considered the safer of them, especially with the very small amount used in the recipe. However, if you have cats – and are concerned about the essential oil, you can always omit it and still freshen your carpet without the added scent.

  • Jill

    What is the ratio for baking soda and ground cloves in the parmesan container? This will be great for the holidays!

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  • Christie

    Vet says never, EVER use essential oils where cats will be exposed to them. Cats do not break down absorbed oils well, and do not show signs of toxicity until it’s nearly too late. The orange oil is ok for dogs, not cats.

  • KatCozzens

    I did try the baking soda with the ground cloves and it smelled WONDERFUL!!! I used about 1/4 cup of baking soda and about a tablespoon of ground cloves and sprinkled it all over my carpets. That was about an hour ago and it STILL smells really good!! Thanks for the tip!

    • Louise Shipley

      how long before you vaccume

  • Gwendolyn

    FYI,,,,,Food grade DE works Great for BEDBUGS! After $1200 in professional extermination cost , and throwing half my furniture out I finally got rid of them with DE.

  • Leila Reynolds

    Only certain essential oils are harmful. There are certain ones that are perfectly fine. The biggest thing is making sure you have quality essential oils that you’re using. Some use fillers and whatnot. The FDA only requires that 3% of the EO be all natural in order for it to be called “organic.”

  • Jennifer Simas

    I am trying baking soda and borax and ground cloves right now!!!!

  • Anon

    Diatomaceous earth can be found at tractor supply.

  • Just love that idea…it’s make me so happy and now it would be a easy task to clean my rooms carpet with that homemade carpet powder.

  • pegleg

    Ok, not sure but how much of baking soda you use, I don’t see the recipe?

    • It’s not a set recipe, so no exact recipes. Just add enough essential oils to the baking soda to where you are happy with the scent.

      • It’s a 14oz can by weight, I believe.

  • Heather (MuggleCast)

    You can use plain white vinegar mixed with water instead of shampoo.

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  • sandra

    I have burgundy rugs, took me 3 times as long to vacuum and there still was baking soda on the rug

  • learning2day

    is this to get rid of fleas also.. i dont know if i saw that..

    • Others have suggested adding food grade d.e. to get rid of fleas 🙂

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  • Carea

    For those that have pets: Pinesol is toxic to cats.

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  • I loved it when you said you had 4 cats and 4 dogs. I have 3 cats , 5 ferrets and 2 birds. So I so understand. And I have to be careful with what I use to clean in the house. This is good.

  • debi

    Thank you so much!! I have two adorable kitties, one of which had gotten quite sick when I have tried different powders on the carpet in the past! I’m so happy to see this natural alternative!! Also saw the conversation on diatomaceous earth and wondered how long that is good for … I’ve had some for over 10 years now … still sealed in the bag.

    • debi

      P.S. I love your site! 🙂

  • Baking soda on some darkcarpets can cause discoloration, and if you use a shampoo machine it can cause excess foaming.

  • A Little Sage and You can also Clear and Bless your home at the same time 🙂

  • I like this. I’m going to try it. You are right about the hepa filter thing. I learned the hard way. I never thought of nutmeg or ground clove.

  • Could salt work?

    • Kim Harmon

      I used salt to control fleas , it actually works…just sprinkle right from the box…leave 1-2 days according to how bad the flea infestation is, then vaccum or sweep.

  • My answer right under my question…doh!

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  • Ann

    Could not agree more. Smells like vomit. Hate it.

  • Toni

    Borax is great for killing bugs, but can be harmful to children. Just a teaspoon can kill a small child if ingested. Why take that risk by putting it on your carpet where children play? It can also be irritating to the skin, which is why you’re supposed to wear gloves while cleaning with it…another reason why not to put it on your carpet, even if you are vacuuming it up, there always going to be some residue left

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  • Renee

    I don’t see a recipe. I only see ingredients??????? How much of each

    • Because it’s not a traditional recipe. Just fill up your empty Parmesan cheese container with baking soda & then shake in a few drops of essential oil. Shake it up, & smell it. Add more essential oil if you would like & repeat.

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  • MommaA312

    I make mine with baking soda and a dryer sheet, works great!

  • if you use a mint essential oil (peppermint is great) it will repel rodents, just be sure not to use mint if you have hampsters, guinea pigs, etc.

  • Thank you so much! This is so easy…I can’t wait to try it!

  • My hubby and I recently quit smoking and used soda to remove odors in carpet.

  • Debby

    But won’t borax harm the pets that walk around then lick theirselves including paws? Just wondering

    • Jessica

      I’ve always seen that some people’s cats have died after using borax for fleas, via licking their paws. I was under the impression that you should never use borax on your carpet if your cat will be walking on it.

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  • Just wondering

    Will arm and hammer WASHING SODA work as well?

  • Just out of curiousity…How much do you end up saving?

  • Wonderful! Should have thought of this myself, but that’s why I come to you:)

  • Cindy G

    I use the same combination for cleaning the bathroom!! Nontoxic – safe for my son to use – cheap and smells great!

  • Love this — Thank you– very natural very safe…

  • Heather

    Pretty impressed with this idea. I have 5 cats and 1 dog inside. Thanks

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  • Do not use this if you have cats around the house. They are very sensitive with essential oils!

  • Thank you for your info~ 🙂

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  • awesome idea

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  • Sara Dukes

    can u use lemon juice too?

  • Rebecca McGill

    I am so grateful for this post! For carpet cleaning, I just make a mixture of 3-4 TBL baking soda, 1/4 tsp blue Dawn dish-washing liquid and 2-3 TBL hydrogen peroxide. I put it in my spot bot carpet cleaner and filled it up with water. Worked GREAT! No smells on the carpet!

  • Nicole

    ….. Tea tree smells amazing. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want it smelling like tea tree.

  • hahagranny

    Oh, the clove & nutmeg sound like ingredients to add.

  • hahagranny

    This is what I add to mine (see above post) along with the lavender & rose geranium eo’s & with all of our critters it really does help with the flea problem. Think I will try the nutmeg or cloves or maybe do my apple pie spice blend & see how that scents 🙂

  • hahagranny

    On my mix I leave it on the carpet about 15 mins then vacuum up, I use it everytime I vacuum & it works great.

  • hahagranny

    Got you beat – we have 9, all rescues (people dropped them off at the end of the dirt road we use to live on). I add one more ingredient that is suppose to help with fleas. I use lavender & rose geranium eo’s next batch I will try adding the orange eo also – citrus eo’s really perk up the lavender – thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Keeta Bingbang

    Could I substitute actual juice from an orange or a lemon or something? Or will it not work as well as the essential oils?

    • Elisium

      Nope, the essential oil is pressed from the peel itself. If you used lemon juice, you could end up discoloring the carpet

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong

    I’ve seen scented oils on the candle aisles at Super Walmarts, though I don’t know if they’re true organic essential oils or not; it was a while back that I was looking at them.

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong

    The big box of Baking Soda is on a lower shelf on the laundry detergent aisle, and they sell scented oils on the candle aisle, at Super Walmarts anyway.

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong

    Thanks for this. We just moved into a rental where my walk-in closet looked kindof gross from the last tenants; and I ran out of carpet powder (though I don’t know if that stuff even helps to actually clean it, or just scent it). So I was excited to stumble on this, as an alterntaive! (does baking soda do anything to kill germs, I wonder)

    Anyway, while I’m slowly working on going all natural, I didn’t have any essential oils, and I did have some leftover anti-microbial Febreeze from before I knew better about chemicals…and since we have no kids or pets, I wanted to disinfect my carpets as best I could, and was in a pinch, I decided to spray the carpet all over with the Febreeze, then sprinkle the baking soda on top, let sit for awhile, then vacuumed up! They actually looked super clean afterwards, and I felt a little better about any potential icky germs that might have been in them.
    Thanks again!

  • Nanny

    Making tomorrow, I have you beat we have nine, and all I do is clean, sweep, brush, bathe, burn candles, and now sprinkle thanks for sharing.

  • Stafra

    I would not use essential oil if you have cats. There liver is unable to detoxify itself of the oil. If you just used the baking soda and let it sit in the carpet for a longer period of time, it would work just as well.

  • BB2013

    Cinnamon gets rid of spiders!! and it smells yummy!

  • Stephanie

    How much backing soda

  • Goose

    Wondering if this might be good to get rid of ants in carpet too?

  • Andrea Davis

    Only use food grade. The kind you use in pool filters is toxic to pets & kids.

  • Kitty lover

    Love the idea, I have a cat at home and my carpets are old. I struggle to keep them looking clean and smell fresh. Just a note here, there are some essential oils that are harmful to cats. I know that it may seem if they come from fruit it shouldn’t be harmful but they are.

    Cats are particularly sensitive to a group of oxygenated compounds called ketones and phenols, and some monoterpenes. It is the thujone content in ketones and carvacal in phenols that seem to create most of the problems when not used with enzymes. Carvacrol is a byproduct of d-limonene which is found in all citrus fruits and in many tree oils. Examples of essential oils for Cats that should should be used with caution meaning highly diluted are:

    Examples of Phenols – Wintergreen, Anise, Birch, Clove,
    Basil, Tarragon, Fennel, Oregano, Thyme, Mountain Savory, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Calamus, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus citriodora, Parsley, Ylang Ylang. These all contain greater than 8% phenols.

    Examples of Ketones – Western Red Cedar, Idaho Tansy,
    Marigold, Spearmint, Thuja, Hyssop, Davana, Sage, Dill, Yarrow,
    Peppermint. All these oils contain greater than 20% ketones.

    Example of Oils containing D-Limonene – Grapefruit, Bitter
    Orange, Orange, Tangerine, Mandarin, Lemon, Celery Seed, Lime,
    Bergamot, Angelica, Dill, Neroli, Blue Tansy, Citronella and Nutmeg.

    Examples of Oils containing Alpha-pinene – Cypress,
    Cistus, Pine, Douglas fir, Juniper, Myrtle, Rosemary Verbenon, Silver
    Fir, Angelica, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus, Dill, Spruce. These are all
    monoterpenes that have alpha-pinene concentrations greater than 15%.

    Here is a list of single oils NOT to use at all with cats in particular: Black Pepper, Cardamon, Carrot Seed, Celery Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clove, Galbanum, Ginger, Juniper, Melaleuca species (use with extreme caution and monitor cat), Palmarosa, Petitgrain and Western Red Cedar.

    I did not give you that list to scare you, but to provide you with more information. When we have good information it is easier for us to make better choices for our self as well as our pet.

    It Here is a list of SAFE essential oils to use around kitties.
    Clary Sage, Elemi, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Balsam Fir, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, and Valerian.

  • Porscha

    Do you think I can use this on my sofa to get rid of odor?

    • Baking soda is great for odor removal, so definitely for that. If you used the essential oil, I’d try it on a small area first to be sure.

  • Kristy Bodle

    I am going to try this. We have 3 furry babies and have been battling fleas for a while now. We have done everything we can to make them go away. I really hope this works.


    pine sol is fine for dogs, toxic to cats

  • Renee

    Please help how do I kill dust mites/bugs?

    • Food Grade DE is the BEST for this!

  • tamms001

    Great idea, will try orange next time. So far ive been using coconut essential oil and it gives the room a musky coconut-y scent.

  • Valley

    I have been in the carpet cleaning business for over 21 years and I’m telling you it is not a good idea to use any type of powder on your carpet. You will never be able to vacuum it all up and the residue falls down to the bottom of the fibers. The essential oil will be trapped in the bottom as well. This will lead to quicker soiling because it will attract dirt. That’s just my professional opinion.

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  • Jaz

    Can I sprinkle this powder on bed too to get rid of bed bugs? or what if I add water and spray a bit on bed and carpet?

    • The carpet powder won’t get rid of the bed bugs, but I’ll heard awesome things about using food grade d.e. (it’s sold on Amazon). Sprinkle it on the carpet & bed – let sit for an hour, then vacuum it back up. You can do a basic google search for bed bugs & d.e. and get some more info about it.

  • meeeee

    Just wondering, why do you want to put a bug killer into a chicken coop? Your chickens eat bugs.

    • Marie

      I realize I’m replying years late but it bugs me that no one answered this. You do because you can get chicken mites and leg mites. Mites can weaken chickens that aren’t in their prime pretty fast, and some people have allergies to them. Bird mites can be carried by wild birds and/or close the distance from neighbouring coops if they’re nearby, so there isn’t much possible prevention, especially for free range flocks.

  • beepath

    Not so fast! I understand that any carpet powder will clog up the bell housing. There goes your vacuum cleaner….

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  • Ann

    DE is not safe for people or animals to breathe in, so I would not recommend using it for a carpet powder unless everyone (furry and otherwise) is wearing a mask.

  • C

    What is the Clove way? I just purchased a bag of whole cloves… I’m interested in this!

  • abirqasem
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  • D.E. also kills dust mites! Which greatly reduces the amount of dust mites (which would SHOCK you) and therefore dust mite feces also! My son is allergic to these. Many people are but they cause a lot of issues for people who aren’t specifically allergic to them. I have a very expensive vacuum, a Kirby, and am naturally concerned about negative effects on it and the filter system so I think that I’m going to get one of those stick vacuum just for this.

  • Lois


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  • Essential Oils (E.O.) can be really expensive, especially if you’re like me and love to mix and match essences to create different moods (“sultry earth goddess”= patchouli, sandlewood, myhrr and balsom, or “easy clean breathing”= eucalyptus, tea tree, a few drops, almost unnoticeable amt of -cuz it’s expensive- oil of Oregano -origanum vulgare- and grapefruit). But for the DIY crowd, the cost can be significantly reduced by making your own! All you need is alcohol, like vodka, and the scent source, like zested grapefruit peel, and some of the juice. (And you Gerry to eat the grapefruit! Put a quarter cup of alcohol and at least 1 Tbsp of the scent source, in a clean, tinted glass jar- the darker the glass, the better– with a tight fitting lid. Shake well and store in a cool dark corner. Shake daily for at least 2 weeks to a month and voilá, an extract of your scent. Mix with a light flavored oil (safflower is best, IMHO) 1/4 extract to 3/4 oil and you’ve now made your own Essential Oil. Place in a small dark glass bottles, which you can buy on Amazon, with a dropper top. Shake really well before.

  • VickiSue

    I wonder if you could use the zest from oranges. It might be less expensive and you can eat the oranges.

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  • JasonSmith0015

    Thanks so much for the tip. I mixed orange ,lemon and eucalyptus essential oils and man does my house smell AMAZING ! It’s been a few hours and I just love the smell. THANK YOU A WHOLE BUNCH FOR THIS TIP

  • Cass

    Is this safe for kids?

  • Louise Shipley

    i just made my first bucket of laundry soap love the way my clothes smell, on the carpet freshner how long do you leave it before vaccuming

  • Melissa Gerber

    OMG, thank you! I have all the above. I’ve been wondering about cornstarch, but, maybe that is too powdered.

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  • Gary Ark

    Does this safe for my baby? I recently had my water damage repair dallas tx and looking for a new carpet to put on my living room.

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