Baking Soda Will Destroy Your Vacuum! (This is Why… and How to Fix it)

Have you ever seen the wonders baking soda can do? It can remove stains from surfaces, act as a mild disinfectant, and deodorize anything. But do you know the kind of relationship this all-purpose soda has with your vacuum cleaner? Let me tell you in one word: toxic.

Baking soda is very damaging to your vacuum cleaner. Its tiny particles can destroy the vacuum’s motor and clog its filters. Your cleaner tries so hard to get the baking soda out of your carpet, but the result is not what you expect. All the baking soda isn’t even completely removed from the surface. There are other ways to clean the baking soda from the carpet pile. Continue reading to know them all!

Baking Soda

Does Baking Soda Ruin Your Vacuum Cleaner?

YES, it does! I know this is not a comforting answer. Baking soda has been a part of many people’s cleaning routines. Because, why not? It’s an all-purpose powder that cleans and deodorizes our carpets, mattresses, etc.

However, the problem arises when the baking soda has to be removed. What do we do? Vacuum it. That’s where we are mistaken. Baking soda shouldn’t be vacuumed.

The powder ruins your vacuum cleaner, literally.

Why is Baking Soda Bad for Your Vacuum Cleaner?

The grains of baking soda are microscopic. Their small size is one of their biggest downfalls. As that’s the main reason why baking soda harms your vacuum.

Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons in detail.

1. Electric motor can be destroyed

Many modern vacuum cleaners have their motors sealed from the suction area. However, the tiny particles of baking soda still make their way through and to the electric motor.

repairs of vacuum cleaner

What happens is that the motor sucks in the surrounding air to remain cool. In doing so, it can suck some baking soda too. The powder may reach the bearings and gear. This will pose a serious threat to the life of the vacuum cleaner motor.

2. Filter can be clogged

Though the particles of the baking soda are tiny, they still cause big damage to your vacuum cleaner. They can clog even the most high-quality filter available.

The vacuum cleaner will have to work extra hard when the filter becomes clogged. This will wear out the machine way too quickly.

Filter can be clogged

3. Baking soda can’t be removed fully

Even after you put your vacuum cleaner at risk, in hopes of removing the baking soda from your carpet, it might not be removed fully. Yup, that’s right. This is what we call a bitter truth.

The tiny grains of baking soda go deep into and under the carpet. The vacuum cleaner is unable to get them out.

Can You Vacuum Up Wet Baking Soda?

The dry baking soda is harmful to your vacuum cleaner. But things are getting even worse if you decide to vacuum wet baking soda.

baking soda

I want to remind all my readers that neither wet baking soda nor other wet things like boiled pasta or damp sand should be vacuumed. 

Let’s imagine the vacuuming process and what happens with wet baking soda after it has appeared inside the hoover.

Having been gathered from the floor, the wet baking soda appears in a porous bag inside the vacuum cleaner. The bag will get slightly wet, too. Even after your clean it from wet soda remnants, its sides still be slightly damp. Gradually mold and mildew will appear on its sides. 

After that, the vacuum cleaner can break down. Even if it doesn’t happen the vacuum will become the infection-spreading machine in your house. Mildew spores will gradually spread inside the vacuum cleaner and they will stray into the environment whenever you start vacuuming. 

The mildew spores can become permanent inhabitants in your house. No need to remind you that it is dangerous for all house residents. Mildew spores lead to a decrease in your immunity and cause some severe diseases, like:

  • bronchitis
  • stomatitis
  • headache
  • a serious form of allergy 

To avoid the spread of mildew spores in your house, never vacuum wet baking soda or other damp things. But how can you clean wet baking soda remnants?

How to Clean Wet Baking Soda?

If you put the wet baking soda on your carpet to deal with some greasy stain and after 15 minutes plan to clean it, and then follow my advice. You can do it fast and safely in this way.

Wet vacuum cleaners

1. Use the vacuum cleaner with a wet cleaning function. Wet vacuum cleaners unlike dry ones can easily deal with damp baking soda, spills, boiled rice, and other kinds of wet debris. You can even clean water and other liquids from the carpet with a wet vacuum. Many homeowners get this little helper and easily deal with damp dirt.

sweep carpet

2. Get your broom or [amazon link=”B01LZGIAGE” title=”carpet rake”/] and sweep the wet baking soda from the carpet. Then you can use a steamer to make the carpet pile cleaner and disinfect it. Thus, you’ll be sure that no mold or mildew will survive in your carpet pile.

Rug Doctor

3. Rent or buy a Rug Doctor carpet cleaning machine and rinse the wet baking soda with it. The powerful cleaning machine will rinse the soda particles from the carpet pile easily. 

4. Otherwise, you can leave the wet baking soda on the carpet till it gets dry and then clean it.

Now it’s time to tell you, how you can clean the dry baking soda from your carpet if you can’t use your vacuum. Believe me, there are at least two methods of how you can do it.

How to Get Baking Soda out of the Carpet without a Vacuum Cleaner

You are now well aware of the reasons why you shouldn’t use a vacuum cleaner to get the baking soda out of your carpet. However, it’s unfair to you if I wrap this post up without mentioning any alternatives.

So, below are a couple of ways that you can use to remove the baking soda from your carpet without using a vacuum cleaner.

Method 1: Use Vinegar

–Step 1. Make a cleaning solution:

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts warm water.

cleaning solution

–Step 2. Apply it to the baking soda stain:

Take a sponge and soak it in the cleaning solution. Rub the sponge on the stained area.

–Step 3. Use a dry towel:

Take a clean and dry towel and use it to apply pressure on the area that is under treatment.

Use a dry towel

–Step 4. Repeat:

Carry steps 1 to 3 again and again. Continue until you can’t see the baking soda stain anymore.

–Step 5. Let it dry:

Leave the treated area to dry. You can turn some fans on and increase airflow in your house by opening windows that are across from each other.

Method 2: Use a steam cleaner

If you don’t want to take the DIY approach while removing baking soda or if you still have the powder stains on your carpet even after trying the first method, no worries.

You can buy a steam cleaner or rent one. It will get the job done for you.

We have a step-by-step guide to using a steam cleaner to properly clean your carpet. Have a look.

It is advisable to take the help of professionals if you fear that matters could get out of your hands. Call the best cleaner in your area before your carpet becomes a bigger mess.

What Can I Use Instead of Baking Soda for Cleaning?

Some people still think that baking soda is the best solution for cleaning carpets. It is cheap, it struggles with bad odors effectively and it is safe for home inhabitants. Nevertheless, for carpet experts, this solution sounds quite old-fashioned.

To deodorize your carpet and clean some greasy stains, you can use [amazon link=”B07YF3PZ13″ title=”carpet powder”/] instead of baking soda. I advise you to get high-quality carpet powder, which is easy to use. Besides, it is safe for the vacuum cleaner.

The other safe alternative to baking soda is white vinegar. Like baking soda, white vinegar is not expensive. It is natural and safe for your home inhabitants. White vinegar easily deals with complex greasy stains. Besides, it freshens up the air. So, take a spray bottle. Put 1 half of vinegar and 1 half of fresh water there and spritz it directly on the stain. You can also sprinkle the carpet pile with white vinegar moisture to get rid of the bad smell. 

white vinegar

So, if you don’t want to clean the baking soda from your carpet and to ruin your vacuum with it, simply choose another effective and toxin-free detergent.


The bottom line is that baking soda can ruin your vacuum cleaner. Avoid letting the two come in contact at all costs. Both of them aren’t meant to be together.

We want to help you buy the best vacuum cleaner there is. Check out this post to simplify your vacuum purchasing process.

Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

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