Saturday, 17 September 2011

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Safe Carpet Deodorizer

My nose tells me it is time to give the rugs and carpets a bit of a freshen up. We have two little dogs who love to roll around on the carpet and chase each other around the coffee table.That hint of  'doggy' aroma needs some attention!

I usually freshen my rugs and carpets about once a month and it seems to do the trick. I notice on the commercial carpet deodorizer's instructions that they advise you to use their product every time you vacuum. How very convenient for them!  How very costly for the user - and in more ways than one!

You really need to think about how you tackle this job safely. Safely??  Yes, believe it or not, most of the commercially prepared carpet deodorizers are very toxic. Have you checked out the ingredients list? If you have been sprinkling away merrily without a second thought, you might be shocked at what I am about to share with you.

These products smell like a field of flowers, but they may as well be a funeral wreath.
Carpet deodorizers often contain synthetic fragrances that irritate asthmatic lungs; phthalates which have been identified as hormone disruptors and have been linked to infertility, cancer and birth defects, and other nasties such as dimenthl ether which can lead to central nervous depression to the point of being incapacitated and can cause damage to the liver, cardiovascular system and the respiratory system as well. There is more....but I think you have the picture.

Do you really want to expose your family to eye, skin and respiratory irritations,headaches, nausea, vomitting, diarrhea and dizziness? Manufacturers do not have to declare all their ingredients either because they are 'trade secrets', so there will be another long list of toxic chemicals that we don't know about. The long-term effects of exposure to many chemicals is not yet known either.

Manufacturers and supermarkets are on to the fact that consumers are starting to become concerned about chemicals and the effects on their health so they are marketing 'green' products. Unfortunately a lot of claims are false and are just a marketing ploy.

I learned my lesson when I used a so called natural orange based cleaner to clean the bathroom and ended up having a terrible asthma attack. Not surprising when you discover that those orange or citrus oil cleaners contain nasties like D-limonene which is a sensitizer, a neurotoxin, can irritate the eyes and skin, shows evidence of carcinogencity and....oh look...can trigger respiratory distress when vapors are inhaled!

My point is that it is becoming harder and harder to trust manufacturers to do the right thing by consumers as far as toxic chemicals do. They try to bamboozle us with science and big words, they abuse the meaning of words such as 'organic', they hide ingredients under the claim of 'trade secrets' and are treating us like human guinea pigs.

Do you want your children and your pets to be exposed to toxic chemicals? They are usually the ones who are sitting, lying, playing on the carpet.

It is not safe for whoever has the job of sprinkling or spraying carpet deodorizer either because of the risk of inhaling the spray or fine powder. The 'fake' perfumes also cause the quality of the indoor air to drop. The house is already bombarded with chemicals and fumes that come from furniture, carpet, clothing and more.

I have the solution!

I am going to share some recipes with you that you can make in a jiffy – in fact you can even get the children to help you. The bonus of making these recipes is that they in fact provide a lot of benefits that commercially made deodorizers do not. You will be getting more bang for your buck PLUS you will be safeguarding your family’s health.

Steam cleaning is a good way to freshen up carpets and rugs and removing odours. I have one that cleans tiles, wooden floors and steam cleans the carpet and it works quite well as far as getting rid of carpet odours. It was not expensive to buy.

If you want to neutralize carpet odours it can be as simple as sprinkling either corn-flour (cornstarch) or bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) over the carpet. Leave it there for at least an hour while you go off to do other things. Vacuum and the odours will be gone. I usually do this once a week to stay on top of it.

Basic Mix

The basic mix that I use is 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda and 10 drops of essential oil (not the fragrance – the real stuff). You can add more if you like a stronger perfume and you can also mix different oils together. What type of essential oil you choose is dependent on what it is you are trying to achieve.

I use a glass jar as a container, pop the lid on and shake the contents to disperse the oil through the bicarbonate of soda. I like to let it ‘brew’ for around 24 hours so that the bicarbonate of soda really takes up the aroma of the essential oil. When I am ready to deodorize the carpet I simply pour some into a sieve and sprinkle it around.

Some people prefer not to use anything with an aroma. If that is you, either use the bicarbonate of soda on its own or power-up the effect of neutralizing odours by adding grapefruit seed extract in essential oil form. Grapefruit seed extract does not have a noticeable aroma but it has incredible effects on neutralizing odours.

Adding lavender to the basic mix is a wonderful way to perfume the room and it has calming, soothing and relaxing qualities.  This aromatic is a bactericide, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It it is also a natural insecticide and deters insects such as moths.

Lemon essential oil imparts a lovely fresh scent. Lemon oil has a calming and uplifting effect and has antiseptic and anti-viral properties. You could mix this with the lavendar and use on bedroom carpet for a relaxing night's sleep.

If you have inside dogs and cats and are worried about fleas, use either citronella essential oil or pennyroyal in your basic deodorizer mix. Both are powerful insect repellents and offer added benefits of being anti- microbial, antiseptic and anti- bacterial.

A word of caution before you rush off to put pennyroyal on your pets, I have read that using it directly on your pets can cause them some serious health issues, so to be on the safe side, please don’t go putting drops on their fur.

Tea tree oil is another great oil to use as it gives off a great clean spicy aroma, repels insects and is a very effective disinfectant as well as a deodorizer. Tea tree oil also kills mould spores. That is good to know as carpets can develop mould underneath and particularly in the underlay caused by spillages and carpet cleaning.

I thought you might enjoy this video too as it shows another great recipe for making carpet deodorizer which I have tried and found I really liked.

Before I go, those of you who read my Blogs know how much I love Helen Anderson's books. Helen's books are packed with genuinely useful, easy to follow tips for making green cleaners, growing organic food or using herbs and essential oils. I have all three of her books. Helen also makes it quite clear why we should be mindful of what goes into our bodies and onto our skin and exposes the risks we face from toxic chemicals.

I was excited to see that Helen is offering her book Green Cleaners, Quick Cash along with a bonus book called Go Green - Save Dollars for under $20 AND you can get it in Kindle version as well. Check out her offer here.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed these tips and that you will try them out.

Wishing you all a happy day.


  1. Wow love this!So interesting...I am always looking for new ways to create a more natural environment and a less toxic one! I will definitely be trying that mix. Thank you :D

  2. Hi Anonymous

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I hope you enjoy using the safe carpet deodorizer. If you package it up in a nice container it could make a lovely gift for someone - pop it in a gift basket along with some green tea and other natural goodies.

  3. Very interesting and sound quite simple too. Well worth a try.

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