Sometimes you can’t win for losing. Hardwood floors are colder in winter and collect dust and hair like nobody’s business and carpet traps dirt and odors deep in the fibers. Even the el cheapo carpet I have in my apartment that is basically a step above indoor outdoor carpeting. One partial solution I’ve found for avoiding a repugnant smelling carpet is a good vacuüm. I have a Shark and LOVE it (thanks Miss Nicole for the recommendation). It has super suction and picks up a lot of dirt and ick that designer imposters have left behind. Nevertheless, sometimes odors stay and even if you get your carpet smell good stuff at the dollar store it can still add up when you vacuüm every day and like smell good things as much as I do. So I figured I’d try my hands at DIY carpet freshener. I am loving it already and we haven’t even used it yet. It’s smelling up the entire house at the moment. I just sent my daughter for a sniff check of our hallway carpet (the smallest section of carpet in the house) and she said “feet, nasty caca.” She sprinkled our carpet freshener down the hall and is now vacuuming it up (we didn’t even let it sit as most sources I saw said to). In her post carpet freshener sniff check she reports “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” I asked her if that meant it was a winner and she replied “YES”. So…if your carpets smell like feet, nasty, or caca…try this:
You will need baking soda, a container with a shaker top (or a drill to make a shaker top like I did for the container I used) and essential oil. I learned that there’s very little difference between fragrance oil and essential oil so I opted to purchase half ounce bottles of fragrance oil from Bulk Apothecary. My jar is 25 ounces and is pretty much filled to the top. I used about .25 of the half ounce bottle to scent my baking soda up super good. The scent I used is called Ocean and it’s a nice clean scent. In my room, where I like it a little fruitier, I’ll probably use my Caribbean Escape or Cucumber Melon oils to make up a batch just for my room. How’d I make it you ask? Easy peasy lemon squeasy. Just fill your container about half full of baking soda, add about 10 or 20 drops of oil and stir it up really good. Fill it the rest of the way up, add more oil (to your own scent preference) and stir it up some more (I used a butter knife to stir mine up). Make sure your oil is good and mixed up and your baking soda isn’t wet because the oil may stain.
Now, let’s talk about cost savings shall we? A 32 ounce bottle of carpet freshener from Wal-Mart costs $1.98 according to their website. This means it’s 6 cents an ounce. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, that’s really not too bad. The problem is this. The ingredients are Carrier, Sodium Sulfate, Flow Agent, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Fragrance, Odor Eliminator, Benzyl Benzoate. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure what any of those ingredients are and if I don’t know what they are, how can I determine what kind of health risk it may or may not create. I do know, from watching the Bag It documentary that “fragrance” on a label is often code for phallates and those can do some REALLY bad things to our bodies.
Cost-wise, my carpet freshener is 3 cents an ounce for the baking soda and about 2 cents for the fragrance oil. Ounce for ounce, my version is a little cheaper and I can customize the strength of the scent, I can reuse containers I already have (instead of buying store-bought stuff in a plastic container) and thereby reduce my plastic footprint on the environment, AND I can be sure of what’s going onto my carpet and into my skin and lungs. As for me and my house….we will be making our own carpet freshener from now on!