Make Your Own Deodorizing Carpet Powder

Carpet Powder

I don’t do it very often…but sometimes it’s nice to boost the “clean smell” of the house by sprinkling the carpets with a little “carpet deodorant”.

I can only imagine that if you had pets it would be more of a NECESSITY than a NICETY.

But when I happened to look at my $5.00 container of carpet powder recently and saw the ingredients….

Benzyl Benzoate

Sodium aluminosilicate

Sodium sulfate


…..I figured there had to be a better alternative.

Of course there was….and not only is it made from all natural ingredients (Yes! Borax IS a “natural” ingredient!) it’s also made with products easily found in your local grocery store and is fairly inexpensive!

So now you can keep your carpets smelling fresh without bringing unnecessary chemicals into your home.

Natural Carpet Powder

1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon your choice of essential oils (sweet orange oil is a natural flea repellent)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cloves (cloves help deter moths)

  • Combine borax and baking soda in glass or plastic bowl.
  • Add about 20-25 drops of essential oil OR a teaspoon of cinnamon or ground cloves.
  • Stir to combine until the mixture is free of lumps.
  • Transfer powder to an empty container (an empty cheese container would work nicely.)
  • Shake the powder onto your carpets at let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before vacuuming.

Tip #1:  Don’t use ground cinnamon or cloves if you have a lighter colored carpet and you’re worried about potential staining. You can use cinnamon or clove essential oil instead if you still want to incorporate their scent into your carpet powder.

Tip #2: If you or someone in your family is sensitive to smells, use plain baking soda only for your carpeting. It is effective in neutralizing the odors in the room.

Enjoy your fresh carpets! 


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  1. Helen says

    This is almost the same thing I already so, the only difference is I don’t use borax. It works great and the house smells so nice. I don’t use it every time, usually every other.

    • Jamie says

      Same here. I just use the baking soda and essential oils….right now tea tree, lavender and lemon. Smells amazing!

  2. Mary says

    thanks we are fighting Fleas right now and the pet shop told us to put Borax on the carpet that the fleas can not breath and die. But the eggs are still there and will hatch so we will be fighting that for months to come. but my whole house looked like it snowed here in California!! thanks for the post

    • says

      Salt will dehydrate the flea eggs as well. Regardless of one’s opinion on the safety of borax and pets, the only risk with regular table salt is that the pets will get dehydrated just like the fleas (and larvae, and eggs). To combat this, be sure to put a bowl of water in each room. The fleas will be drawn to the water, so if you put a splash of vinegar in the water it will break the surface tension. Fleas drown, and the acid helps with water absorption in the animals the same as we drink lemonade or tea. You’ll want to create a safe haven for the pets to be away from the salty carpets, either by allowing them on the furniture or giving them a carpet on the floor they can seek refuge.

      A nice all-natural flea bath is to simmer citrus rinds and rosemary in water for a few minutes, allow to cool, and add apple cider vinegar. Scrub the animals with it, and the fleas will be repelled. If you can’t really scrub them to the skin, at least dip your hand in and pet them with it a few times, getting their fur as damp as you can. No need to rinse off. The mixture is great for dry skin regardless of fleas, and soothes the flea bites they have already. (I also recommend wiping your feet and ankle with this before salting the carpets, it made the fleas very hungry and they were attacking us like crazy until we wiped this stuff on our feet.) Also a great cleanser for furniture!

      We have had two different roommates, quite a while apart, whose cats brought home fleas. The combination of these methods killed even the worst infestation, one that had gone on for months without the offending roommate taking any responsibility to do anything about it. $7 for a 50lb bag of salt, $2 for a pack of rosemary, and $.50 each for a couple oranges, and for exactly $10 we had enough salt to treat the 2000 sq ft house twice (or in our case to go totally gung-ho about salting, probably used too much) and enough rosemary bath to wash all the cats and wipe down all the leather furniture to repel the fleas. Never had a re-infestation until a roommate down the line had another outdoor cat that brought them home, we re-treated and started wiping the cats every week or so with what we dubbed “rosemary tea” and despite the indoor-outdoor nature of two cats, we never had any fleas that stayed. Really, it wasn’t even a terrible hassle after the first time. Nothing more than we’d do for a good deep vacuuming anyway.

      • Heather says

        Wow Heather, I’m making this “tea” right now and hoping for the best! This dry weather has made the fleas HORRIBLE by us! My poor pups – we can’t seem to get ahead of them! What kind of measurements are you using??

  3. Susan says

    How did you know that I was having an old friend as a guest for 10 days and needed to freshen the carpet in that room??? My dog did a bit of spraying on the boxes in there when we were moving. Cleaned the carpet but still sort of a pet smell so I sprinkled this liberally and will be letting it sit for an hour or so.

    Be careful of citrus around cats though. Apparently they don’t like it.

    • Kirstie says

      That could be a good thing if you wan to keep the off the couch. Or if they keep spraying in a certain area.

    • Katie says

      Many essential oils are toxic to cats, especially citrus oils. Over time, they will cause kidney failure & other problems. Borax is an excellent treatment for flees. Left on carpet for 30+ minutes it will kill flees. But you don’t want your pets or children rolling in it, so apply while they are not around and vacuum well. Thanks for the recipe. I love the combination of Sandlewood, Sweet Orange and cloves.

  4. Jacqueline says

    I have a 1 year old walking baby. Are the powders safe for him? I know I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use baby powder because they can inhale it and it cause respiratory problems. So I don’t, I use corn starch when he has a rash but I’m concerned about the possibility of him inhaling borax or baking soda or even the spices. Not sure if it’s safe. Also, don’t have the greatest vacuum ever. :(

    • says

      i wouldn’t shake borax around the house with pets or babies. it’s safe to be diluted in the laundry and similar cleaning tasks, but it’s harmful if inhaled, ingested, or if it gets in the eyes. keep to the baking soda.

  5. April says

    I know this isn’t “natural” by any means, but I do this all the time when I want some fragrance, but don’t want to keep re-purchasing glade carpet freshener every time I turn around. Once the carpet freshener container is empty it still has an incredibly strong scent in the container. Once I have used all the carpet freshener, I pop the top off the container and refill it 3/4 of the way full of baking soda leaving the extra room to give it a good shake and let it sit until the next time I want to use it. The baking soda takes on the leftover scent and viola! a new container of carpet freshener. You can do this several times before the container actually loses it’s scent and even once it does, you still have a shaker container for plain baking soda.

  6. Karina Olsen says

    I have a recipe for a wonderful deodorizer. When my cat lost the fight with a racoon he got even with me for taking him to the vet – by spraying the back of my sofa. I used this once, let it dry, used it again and eight years later still have the same sofa. I use this on everything and have never had a problem.

    12 oz peroxide
    1 t baking soda
    1/2 t Dawn

    Mix in a spray bottle and use as necessary. It’s that easy!

    • Sarah says

      Hi there! Are your measurements using teaspoons or tablespoons? I’m assuming teaspoons but I just want to be sure. Thanks!

  7. Melissa says

    Jillee, do you think this would work on upholstery? We recently bought a couch from a friend who was moving, and though it’s in great condition, it still smells a little like her dogs.

    • Zoquara says

      Yes! I recently used a baking soda/scented oil mix on the part of my couch that’s under the cushions because it smelled like cat litter (not dirty, just that dusty, open cat litter bag smell). I let it sit about 20 minutes, then vacuumed it up, and it smelled SO much better! (the rest of the couch is leather, so I didn’t use it on that part).

  8. says

    This is a great post—but let me tell you my story, if I may:
    I had to get new carpet and when the carpenters pulled it up I couldn’t believe all the powder I saw
    from the carpet powders I used over the years—I love having fresh smelling carpet but the carpenters
    told us that it’s not good to use powders on your carpet because they sink all the way down to the floor and the vacuum cleaner cannot/will not pick it up—BUT I think if you have a good vacuum cleaner that has powerful suction will do–WELLL, mine is good but now I’m questioning if I should get a better vacuum—your thoughts on this please—-and thank you!

    • Deedee says

      thanks so much! Hes like having a baby around. Eats everything he can get a hold of. Lol

    • Kirstie says

      So could you do this then without the Borax and will it still work?? Got 3 pets and one is a cat.

    • R. Marsh says

      From your informative link, it sounds as though this casual, purportedly “safe” use of Borax is a bad idea. Thanks for including the link.

  9. Deedee says

    I know you said orange oil is a natural flea repellent but are the other ingredients pet safe as well? I have a Jug…half Pug and half Jack Russell so he’s close to the floor. I LOVE your tips and ideas and use MANY of them!