How To Remove Perfume Smell From Your Carpet

  • By: Nathan Cherry
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Carpets are great. 

They’re elegant, attractive, and easy on your tootsies, too. But unfortunately, they happen to soak up odors like a sponge, and they’re not all that great at differentiating between the good and the bad. 

That lovely designer perfume you just dropped half your paycheck on might turn into an expensive nightmare if it soaks into your carpet. 

So, how do you remove the smell of perfume from your carpet? 

You can remove the smell of perfume from your carpet using the same methods as removing other odors. White vinegar, baking soda, vodka, club soda, and of course carpet powders, sprays, and shampoos, are all effective carpet odor eliminators. 

So don’t go crying over spilled perfume. Let’s take a closer look at these stinky carpet fighting techniques. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a classic household remedy for a reason. You’d need a list as long as a country mile to list all of its handy dandy uses around the house. Removing odors, of course, is just one of its many talents. 

Why? Because baking soda is nature’s own absorbative. Most smells are acidic, and baking soda acts as a pH neutralizer, sucking up and eliminating the offending odor. 

And that’s exactly what it can do for your perfume soaked carpet, too. 

To deodorize your carpet with baking soda: 

  1. Find the area that’s been soaked with perfume. If you can’t, it’s best to clean the whole thing. 
  2. Distribute the soda on the perfumed area or around the carpet. 
  3. Then, with shoes on, step on it to ensure that the baking soda penetrates into the carpet. 
  4. Let the soda sit and absorb the smell for thirty minutes to an hour. 
  5. Then, vacuum it up. 

If the smell lingers, you can repeat the process, or try another method. 

White Vinegar

Another pillar of household cleanliness, white vinegar certainly has the power to decimate powerfully-perfumed carpets in its rolodex. And though the idea of putting vinegar on your carpet might not be the most appealing, the results will more than make up for some momentary stinkiness. The vinegar smell will evaporate as the carpet dries, too, along with the smell of perfume. 

To deodorize your carpet with white vinegar: 

  1. Mix 2 cups of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar and pour into a clean, empty spray bottle.
  2. Spritz lightly on the affected area, or evenly around the carpet. Be careful not to let the carpet get too wet, as you might develop a mildew problem, which is a whole other can of worms. 
  3. Let dry. 

As I mentioned before, the vinegar smell will go away as the carpet dries, so long as you don’t apply it with too heavy of a hand. If it’s really too much, though, you might spray a little bit of Febreze on it to keep things smelling fresh. 

Club Soda

And now for a completely different soda. Club soda, to be exact! This effervescent seltzer variant is more commonly found topping off a tall Tom Collins, Gin Fizz, or Mojito. But club soda is actually a rather useful household cleaning tool, effective as a stain remover and, you guessed it, at removing odors. 

That’s because the fizzy, aerated carbon present in club soda breaks down and neutralizes odorants. 

To deodorize your carpet with club soda: 

  1. If you know the exact spot where the perfume was spilled, pour some club soda on that spot directly. If you want to deodorize the whole carpet, pour some club soda into a clean, empty spray bottle and spray evenly (and lightly; remember, mildew) around the carpet. 
  2. Let the soda sit on the carpet for thirty minutes to an hour. 
  3. Blot up any excess to prevent mildew. 
  4. Let dry. 

Just like with the other methods, you can repeat the process until you’ve achieved your desired results. 

Vodka

Vodka and soda? Add a splash of lime juice and we’ve got a party on our hands! 

Believe it or not, though, vodka is actually an effective home cleaning tool. 

That’s because vodka is pretty high proof stuff (usually 80 proof, and sometimes higher), which is pretty close to rubbing alcohol’s 140 proof, and odorless besides. It’s been used as homegrown sanitizer and deodorizer for who-knows-how-long, and, surprise surprise, you can use it to suck up the perfume smell from your carpet, too! 

To use vodka to deodorize your carpet: 

  1. Pour some (unflavored) vodka into a clean, empty spray bottle and spritz on the affected areas, or around the entire carpet. 
  2. Let the carpet absorb the vodka for fifteen to twenty minutes. 
  3. Blot up any excess to prevent mildew. 
  4. Let dry. 

You can also use rubbing alcohol to achieve the same result, but for those who don’t have any rubbing alcohol on hand, vodka can come in handy in a pinch. 

Hey, priorities, am I right? 

Carpet Powders, Sprays, or Shampoos

Finally, likely the most effective method for deodorizing your carpet of perfume smells will be using one of the products specifically designed for the purpose of cleaning carpets. 

Of course, they’re not necessarily better than homegrown remedies, but they do what they’re meant to do pretty well. 

But how do you decide between carpet powder, spray, or shampoo for removing that pesky perfume smell? 

Here’s a little breakdown: 

Carpet powders are best for large-scale cleanup, instead of spot cleaning, and they work like baking powder. Sprays are best for spot cleaning, but often require some additional scrubbing. Finally, a carpet shampoo is the most labor intensive, but will give the deepest and most thorough cleaning experience. 

You should base your choice of carpet cleaning method on the severity of your problem. If you’ve got a broken bottle on your hands, you might want to elect a more thorough method like using a carpet shampoo. However, if your carpet has just absorbed some ambient perfume odors from the air, a lighter hand will probably be your best bet. 

The Final Word

Carpets might be notorious smell sponges, but luckily humans have been dealing with stinky carpets for thousands of years. So, if your carpet reeks of Sauvage or La Vie Est Belle, never fear. You’ve got quite a few odor-fighting tools in your arsenal. 

There are a number of different ways to remove the smell of perfume from your carpet. Baking soda, white vinegar, club soda, and vodka are effective household remedies. Store bought carpet powders, sprays, or shampoos are also great at getting rid of pesky odors. 

So remember – no crying over spilled perfume. Bust out the vodka and soda instead.