Professional Area Rug Cleaners in Tulsa Tell You How to Fix Smelly Area Rugs

Do you notice the smells in your area rugs? Or have you grown used to them? Sometimes we don’t even notice the smells in our own house.  It takes someone new coming inside to notice them for us. Or leave the house for a few hours and try really hard to notice what you smell after being in the fresh air for a while.  As Tulsa Area Rug Cleaners, we work to clean your area rugs every day.  One of the first things we notice when we’re looking at and inspecting your area rugs is the smell of the rug.  Don’t worry if there’s a smell! We can help you get it out.

a girl holding a smelly area rug holding her nose

Why Does My House Smell? 

There are endless reasons why your house might be smelly.  Your smelly area rugs could just be one cause of a smelly house.    Or may it could be that you went too long without taking out the trash.  Maybe you need to do some laundry.  It could be your son’s gym bag.  These are all very easy fixes.  Do the laundry, take out the trash, throw away the gym bag! Other simple solutions to helping keep your whole house smelling fresh include:

  • Burning candles
  • Diffusing essential oils
  • Run lemon, lime or orange peels in the garbage disposal.
Scented candles burning

Sometimes carpets in our homes can hold smells and make our whole house smelly.  If you have smelly carpets, call our partners, Solid Ground Carpet Cleaning or Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa.  They can give your carpets a professional deep cleaning to help remove any smells in them.

But what should you do to get a bad smell out of your area rugs? How to you clean area rugs to get smells out of them? Can you get rid of the bad smells your area rugs may be holding? While we will always recommend a professional deep cleaning of your area rugs, there are some Do It Yourself options to try. 

Area Rug Cleaning in Tulsa Recommendations:

There are some different steps you can try if it is just surface smells rather than if the smell is deep into the area rug. 

Surface Smells

For surface smells, such as food on top of your area rugs, try sprinkling your area rug liberally with baking soda.  If the smell is just a little deeper than the surface, grab a broom and use it to brush the baking soda into the rug so that it penetrates into the fiber.  Allow the baking soda to sit overnight.  Then, sweep the excess baking soda off the top of the area rug, or shake it outside.  Next, vacuum your rug.  The baking soda should help to neutralize the odor and help to make it disappear. 

sprinkling baking soda on area rugs

If the smell is still present, try using a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar.  You can either blot this mixture into the rug or use a spray bottle to evenly spray the mixture over the entire rug.  Allow the mixture to sit for approximately 15 minutes.  Then, blot the mixture up with a clean cloth.  Lightly spray the rug with clean water and allow it to dry.  You can repeat this process until the odor is gone.   

Be very, very careful any time you are using any kind of liquid on your area rugs.  Many types of area rugs can ruin if they get too wet or stay wet for too long.  It is very important to be very careful when handling any liquids with your area rugs. 

Deep Odors

For removing Deep Odors from your area rugs, you can try the following do it yourself option.  First, get up close and personal with your rug.  Get down “face to face” with your area rug and try to find the exact source of the bad smell.  Use Isoproply alcohol and pour it into the rug on the spot of the source of the smell.  Wait around 15 minutes.  Then use a clean towel to soak up any excess alcohol.  Point a fan on the area to help the rug dry faster.  This should help remove the smell. 

a dog smelling a smelly carpet

Before using alcohol on the whole area of the smell, test the alcohol on a very small, hidden part of your area rug.  If there is any sort of negative reaction between the alcohol and your area rug, then do NOT use this method to try to remove the smell.  Also, remember, like I said before, many types of area rugs can ruin if they get too wet or stay wet for too long.  It is very important to be very careful when handling any liquids with your area rugs. 


Probably one of the safest ways to treat your smelly area rugs is to use sunshine.  Sunshine can be one of the most effect methods for removing bacterial odors from your area rugs.  The ultraviolet rays in the sunshine disrupt the DNA of the fungus and bacteria that your rugs may be holding.  UV rays can also work to kill microscopic organisms that create bad odors in your rugs.  This a good method for wool area rugs.  While sunshine will help many types of area rugs, it can’t help all materials, so you may want to do a little research on your area rug material to make sure UV rays won’t hurt it before trying the sunshine method.

Area rugs hanging on a fence to dry and get sunshine

For this method, you’ll want to take your rug outside on a dry, sunny day. If possible, hang your area rug on a sturdy clothesline.  You could also drape it over a fence or chair.  If you don’t have anywhere to hang or drape your area rug, you can lay it out on a tarp or old bed sheet.  Just like when you lay in the sun to tan your body, you’ll need to flip your rug every now and then.  After a few hours of sunshine exposure to the front of the rug, flip it over and let the back get some light too. 

Call Area Rug Cleaning of Tulsa

These are just a few of the many, many ways you can try to remove smells from your area rugs on your own.  While all of these may work, there’s no guarantee that they will. Furthermore, some of these may actually damage your rug.  Then you’re left with a damaged and smelly area rug.  The best choice is to always just start with the professional area rugs cleaners at Rug Cleaning of Tulsa.  We are the only area rug cleaners in the Tulsa area with a process proven to take care of smells in your area rugs.  We make certain to take care of your area rug along the way too.  Call us today to schedule your professional area rug cleanings.