Don’t Vacuum Up Baking Soda – It Kills Vacuum Cleaners

Sure baking soda works great to get rid of odors and make cleaning a breeze, but it can be super dangerous to your vacuum cleaner. 

Even some deodorizers you sprinkle on the carpet can be just as bad, but not as bad as baking soda.

Baking soda is a great natural deodorizer┬áthat is cheap, and you can get it just about anywhere. Many websites even mention it with its sister “vinegar” all the time. Don’t get me started on Vinegar, let’s just focus on Baking Soda for now.

If you’re using baking soda to clean carpets, then you need to STOP and see what we recommend you use to clean the carpets below.

Why is Baking Soda Bad For Vacuum Cleaners?

Baking Soda is quite small when you look at each grain individually. Being small is the biggest downfall of baking soda and the reason why it destroys your vacuum cleaner. There are 3 ways that baking soda’s small particles kill a vacuum and your carpet,  here are those 3 reasons…

  1. Baking soda can destroy the electric motors of Vacuums. Even though many of your modern vacuum cleaners suction area is sealed away from the motor, the small particles of Baking Soda still find its way in. The electric motor of a vacuum cleaner needs to be cooled, and to do this they suck in surrounding air. When sucking in the surrounding air it might suck in some baking soda powder too. Baking soda will short out the motor over time and fall in between the gears and bearings thus destroying the motor over time.
  2. Baking soda can Clog the Filter and Bags. The small particles of baking soda can clog a HEPA filter or really any vacuum cleaner filter. If the filter becomes too clogged it makes the vacuum cleaner have to work extra hard which can wear out the machine a lot quicker. A backup of the filter can also cause the filter not to work right or the dust to escape at any weak point and make its way to reason one, the electric motor.
  3. You can never fully get rid of baking soda on the carpet. Since baking soda is so small, the particles fall under the carpet, and your vacuum cleaner will never be able to get them. This is an issue because the baking soda is absorbing odors, but once it has the odor you need to remove it or it will keep the odor there.

Why do People Recommend Baking Soda?

The biggest reason why people recommend baking soda is because most everyone has it and it can help to remove certain odors. Many people use baking soda in their fridges to help with odor. So naturally, people would think it would work for carpet or floors.

Another reason why people would use baking soda is for pest control. You might see on the internet someone recommending baking soda for bed bugs, ants, roaches, and whatever other creatures. The idea is that baking soda will cut these creatures and thus dehydrate them and kill them.

This is not the best way to do this. Using Borax is a better option, but it still has its downfalls. The only way to deal with such critters is to use chemicals made for killing them. Most of these home remedies just don’t work, but people like to share them because it seems so simple.

Cleaning Carpets

If you want to clean your carpets, you must use more than baking soda. Baking soda is not what cleans your carpets; that’s like thinking that dumping baking soda on your shirt cleans it.

If you want to clean your carpets, then you need to use a Carpet Cleaner like this one here (Amazon Link Ad). Yes, water and soap need to be involved to clean carpets.

What about odors? Many people think to use baking soda for odors, but what causes the odors is stains on the carpet. Using a Carpet Cleaner will help to remove the stains and the odor all at once.


There do exist products that allow you to vacuum them up without doing harm to your vacuum cleaner. Plus, they can make your home smell good when you vacuum. One example is Fragrant Scent Vacuum Cleaner Crystals Lavender Scent that you can get here.  (Amazon Link Ad)

This stuff works great if your vacuum starts to smell like a dog or just smells sick. I even have a post on what to do when your vacuum cleaner starts to smell here.