How to get carpet cleaner residue and it’s smell out of carpet

Domestic dirt

When it comes to maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your carpets, sometimes the very products we use to clean them can leave behind unwanted residue and odors. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where the remnants of carpet cleaner are lingering in the fibers of your beloved carpet, fret not – you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll walk you through two effective methods to remove carpet cleaner residue and its associated smells, ensuring your carpet looks and smells as good as new. So, grab your cleaning supplies, and let’s get started on rejuvenating your carpets!

List of Everything the Reader Will Need:

  1. Washing Powder (a gentle, color-safe variety)
  2. Vacuum Cleaner (with a brush attachment, if possible)
  3. Baking Soda or Cornstarch
  4. Soft-Bristled Brush
  5. Clean, Dry White Cloth or Towel
  6. Warm Water
  7. Spray Bottle (optional)
  8. Fan or Open Window (for ventilation)

Method 1: Using Washing Powder and Vacuum Cleaner

  1. Preparation: Begin by clearing the carpeted area of any furniture or objects that may be in the way. This will give you full access to the carpet, ensuring a thorough cleaning process.
  2. Mixing the Solution: In a bowl, mix a small amount of washing powder with warm water, stirring until it forms a soapy solution. Be cautious not to use too much washing powder, as this can create excessive suds and further residue.
  3. Applying the Solution: Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution, wringing out any excess liquid. Gently blot the affected area of the carpet, working from the outside in to prevent the residue from spreading.
  4. Scrubbing: If the residue is particularly stubborn, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the area in a circular motion. Be gentle to avoid damaging the carpet fibers.
  5. Rinsing and Drying: It is now worth using a vacuum cleaner to pick up the foam and residue from the carpet and then dry it thoroughly.

Method 2: Using Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Baking soda and starch are natural sorbents, and they easily absorb any residual moisture and odor that may be left on the carpet after using a carpet cleaner.

  1. Application: Spread a generous amount of baking soda or cornstarch over the surface of the carpet. Ensure the entire area is covered with a thick layer of the powder.
  2. Letting it Sit: Allow the powder to sit on the carpet for at least 15-20 minutes. This will give it time to absorb the residue and any associated odors.
  3. Vacuuming: After allowing the powder to sit, use your vacuum cleaner to thoroughly vacuum the area. Make sure to go over the area several times to ensure all the powder (and with it, the residue and odors) is removed.
  4. Repeating if Necessary: If the smell or residue persists, repeat the process until the carpet is completely clean and odor-free.

Commercially Suitable Cleaning Products:

  1. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda: A versatile and safe product for carpet cleaning and odor removal.
  2. Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner: Known for its powerful suction and efficiency in cleaning carpets.
  3. Persil ProClean Stain Fighter Liquid Laundry Detergent: A gentle yet effective washing powder, suitable for use on carpets.


Cleaning carpet cleaner residue from your carpets doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the simple steps outlined above for either washing powder and vacuum cleaning or using baking soda or cornstarch, you can effectively remove residue and unwanted odors, leaving your carpets looking and smelling fresh. Remember to always do a patch test in an inconspicuous area before starting the cleaning process, ensuring that your cleaning solution does not discolor or damage your carpet.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any type of washing powder?
It’s best to use a gentle, color-safe washing powder to avoid any potential damage or discoloration to your carpet.
How long does it take for the carpet to dry after using the washing powder method?
It typically takes a few hours for the carpet to dry completely, but this can vary based on airflow and humidity levels.
Can baking soda damage my carpet?
Baking soda is generally safe for carpets, but it's always a good idea to do a patch test first to ensure it doesn’t affect the carpet’s color or integrity.
How often can I repeat these cleaning methods?
You can repeat these cleaning methods as needed, but be sure to allow your carpet to dry completely between cleanings to prevent mold growth.
Is ventilation important during the cleaning process?
Yes, proper ventilation helps to dissipate any fumes and speeds up the drying process, preventing mold growth and residual odors.
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