Make Your Own Easy and Cheap Carpet Freshener
A Cheap Alternative to Commercial Carpet Freshener
If you have carpeting, you probably love the fact that it is comfortable to walk on, right? What you may not like is the constant battle you have with keeping it clean and odor-free.
Carpeting adds warmth, color and style to a room. We love stepping out of bed on a cold morning to a soft fuzzy floor, rather than a cold, hard floor. Yet carpets can be hard to maintain.
One of the major issues with having carpet, especially if you have pets, is keeping it smelling fresh. A lot of possibly stinky things trek across the carpet daily, and those smells, along with cooking odors, stale colognes, cleaners and dust, can make our carpets pungent after awhile.
So what do we do? We buy artificially-scented fresheners that are short-lived, expensive, and filled with chemicals. Why not make your own cheap, healthier freshener at home?
For this recipe, you will need to assemble the following supplies:
- 2 scoops of laundry powder (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 scoops OxyClean powder or alternative
- 1 laundry scoop Borax
- 1/2 baking soda
- 1/4 baby powder
- Bin for mixing ( I use a diaper wipe container)
- Spoon or stir stick
- Empty can or jar to make your own shaker.
This is what I use to make the deodorizer I use most often. I will include alternative combinations later in the article.
Step One: Mixing Your Ingredients
You can mix the ingredients in any order, but I like to start with the soap since it makes up the bulk of the mixture. I can judge whether or not I want to make more or less. If I want more scent I add more soap.
So, begin by pouring your soap into your mixing bin. Be sure to break up any clumps so that your mixture can sprinkle easily.
Step Two: Additional Ingredients
Add your other ingredients. If you want to use the mixture for cleaning as well as for deodorizing you might want to omit the baby powder. Without the powder, this recipe also makes a good scrub for rugs and upholstered furniture.
Stir the mixture well, breaking up any additional clumps. If you double or triple the recipe, you can do the mixing in a large plastic container. Simply refill your shaker can or jar whenever needed from your bulk supply.
Deep Fiber Freshening
To get deep down freshness, use a broom or a plastic rake to sweep the powder deep into the carpet.
This tackles the odors beneath the surface. Vacuum after 30 minutes to several hours (overnight is best).
Step Three: Making a Shaker Jar
Here I have used a french fried onion can for a shaker. Usually, I just use the laundry scoop to scatter the freshener, but that doesn't exactly make for even coverage.
Use any can or jar that is easy to hold. Make sure the food, coffee or other stuff is cleaned out. French fried onions can be pretty crunchy if sprinkled on carpets, and the smell isn't so fresh.
Peel the label off of your can so that no one mistakes your deodorizer for a midnight snack. Later you can cover the can with fabric or paper if you want a fancy container. Or you can simply label it with a Sharpie marker and masking tape.
Use a sharp object to carefully poke holes in the lid. I'm using a very large safety pin from a kilt because I have a very large safety-pin from a kilt. If you aren't so fortunate you can use a screwdriver, an awl, a knife, or a large needle. It helps if you poke the holes from the inside of the lid.
Pros and Cons of the Ingredients
Loosens stains, kills fleas, freshens
Not ideal for pets/children
Loosens stains, freshens
Not ideal for pets/children, can fade colors
Helps with cleaning, scents
Absorbs odors, cleans, freshens
Draws moisture, hard to vacuum
The Dangers of Commercial Carpet Fresheners
Store bought fresheners and deodorizers contain toxic chemicals, including pthalates. These chemicals are linked to:
- Skin irritation
- Breathing difficulties
- Birth Defects
- Body chemical imbalance
Pets and children are greater risk than adults, since they come into close contact with flooring. However, the dust can be breathed in by anyone.
Would you consider making your own carpet freshener?
Alternative Recipes for Carpet Deodorizer
If you don't like the idea of using laundry soap as the base for your deodorizer, you can make up the bulk by using just the Borax or by using only baking soda.
I use the soap because it is cheap and if I leave some of the other ingredients out I can then scrub the carpets without making new cleaner.
Using only baking soda works well because it absorbs whatever scents you choose to add and helps dispense them further. Without scent, it helps to absorb the bad odors in the carpet.
- Herbal: Mix equal parts baking soda and crushed herbs. Some nice choices are lavender, rosemary or mint.
- Fragrant: Add essential oil drops to the powder mixture until you reach the desired scent. Some choices are; Rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus and cinnamon.
- Spicy: Add some apple pie spice to your home by mixing powdered cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with your base powder. This smells delightful, but may not be best for light colored carpeting.
These are just some of the creations you can make in your own kitchen. Baby powder can be used alone and makes a nice, fresh scent.
Baby powder can be hard to vacuum up though. You will want to be careful about spreading it around children or pets who can breathe it in until it settles.
Healthier Carpet for Pennies
The basic recipe I've shared covers approximately 1000 square feet of carpeting. We inherited deep-pile carpeting from the house's previous owner, who had a lot of pets. This has been the only thing, including thorough steam-cleaning, that has removed the pet residue.
Since I use the same mixture to clean carpet stains, I keep a bulk supply pre-mixed in a plastic bin. (with baby powder and herbs omitted, of course.)
For stains on the carpet, I make a paste with the freshener and water and allow it to sit for 1-3 hours depending on the stain. I can then scrub the stains with a minimum of effort. For regular deodorizing I simply vacuum the powder up after about 30 minutes.
So, for only a few pennies, you can have healthier fresher carpets. Rest easy knowing that you, your children, and your pets are not breathing harmful chemicals, and that your carpets still smell fresh and clean.