Dream Steam Blog

4 Tips for Removing Odors from Your Rug

Aug 20, 2021 11:10:00 AM / by Monika Morales


You don’t want unpleasant odors to obscure the beauty and comfort of your home. Rugs can hold strong odors. What should you do to remove them? While some rugs may be durable, many rugs are fragile and need to be cleaned with care.

Tips for Removing Odors

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a go-to staple for household deodorizing and cleaning. One of the best ways to deal with odors in your rug is to sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Allow it to sit as long as you’d like, then vacuum. This method is good for removing surface odors, but if you suspect that the source of the odor is deeper, you can rub the baking soda into the fibers to get a deeper clean.



If you’ve tried baking soda and the odor persists, vinegar is another common household product that can help. Mix 2 cups of warm water with one cup of vinegar, and spray it on the rug. Always test any cleaning mixture on a small portion of your rug before spraying it all over. Rugs, especially oriental rugs, can be very delicate easily damaged.


Treat the Source

Rug odors can come from many things. The most common sources of odors are pets, smoke, mold, and mildew. Knowing why your rug smells will help you treat it properly.


Pet Odor

Whether your home has a general pet odor or you’re dealing with urine odors, make a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture, and slowly add 1 Tbs. of baking soda per cup of mixture. Spray it on the rug, let it sit five minutes, then blot with a rag. If the urine has deeply set in, it may be time for a professional cleaning.


Mold and Mildew

If your rug isn’t too delicate, hydrogen peroxide can be one of the most effective ways to get mold or mildew odor out of your rug. You can mix 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water to get the best results. If you are cleaning a delicate oriental rug, consider skipping this DIY cleaning attempt and take it to a professional. Chemicals can sometimes be damaging to delicate rugs if you aren’t experienced at handling them.



Smoke seeps into fabrics very quickly and can be difficult to remove. Baking soda is great for a smoky odor. Sprinkle enough that your entire rug is covered to get the best results. If you’ve had smoke damage in your home, let a professional restoration cleaning service handle the cleanup!


Fresh Air

Sometimes your rugs just need some time to air out, especially if they typically live in a stuffy room. If you’ve done what you can to deodorize, hanging your rug up outside for a few hours may help knock out the odor completely!


If you are ever in doubt of how to care for your rug without damaging it, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. For more tips on how to care for your home, subscribe to the Dream Steam blog!

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Topics: Rug Cleaning

Written by Monika Morales