Does Baking Soda Ruin Your Vacuum Cleaner?

There has been a cleaning revival in recent years, many people are looking for products that are kinder for their homes, and ecologically friendly alternatives can be expensive. So, if you look at home cleaning hacks and homemade cleaners, you will quickly notice that baking soda is typically one of the ingredients. Making your own cleaners is easy, it’s inexpensive, and the results are impressive.

Lady putting baking soda onto pile carpetBaking soda is a gently abrasive cleaner, it’s a natural deodorizer, and it has antibacterial properties. One way that people use baking soda is as a carpet cleaner, they sprinkle it on the surface, leave it awhile and then vacuum up the remnants. But, there are concerns, and it’s natural to ask: does baking soda ruin your vacuum cleaner?

Can Vacuuming Up Baking Soda Damage a Vacuum Cleaner?

So, does baking soda ruin your vacuum cleaner? This is a tricky question to answer definitely because it depends on how and how frequently you use this technique. Under normal operating conditions, it’s unlikely that you will damage your vacuum cleaner. Using baking soda to clean carpets, rugs, and soft furnishings, can be effective, but it should be used in moderation. If you’re dumping large volumes of baking soda onto surfaces on a regular basis and then vacuuming them, there is a possibility of damage.

Three reasons why the use of baking soda has the potential to damage your vacuum cleaner:

1.    The Electric Motor

A canister vacuum cleaner has a suction area that is usually enclosed away from the vacuum motor. But, the tiny fragments of baking soda are small enough to enter the vacuum cleaner motor. For optimal performance, efficiency and longevity, the electric motor needs consistent cooling when it’s used for cleaning. To achieve this, air is sucked into the cleaner, and baking soda that’s present in the air can enter. Over time, baking soda can work into the space between the bearings and gears, which can cause damage to the motor.

2.    Filter Clogging

If you have a vacuum cleaner with an expensive HEPA filter to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ), it’s designed to remove a wide variety of contaminants. Even a basic filter can improve the IAQ with frequent vacuuming and regular filter cleaning. But, baking soda can clog the filter pores, and this reduces the efficiency.

In an attempt to compensate, the vacuum cleaner will need to work harder to force particulates through the filter. Overworked equipment is operating very close to or at the tolerances of the machine. Systems that are placed under too much stress are prone to failure and an earlier than expected replacement. Frequent baking soda use can cause filter clogging issues, but changing and/or cleaning the filter can help.

3.    Sharp Particles

If you scoop some baking soda into your hands and run it through your fingers, it feels pretty smooth to the touch. But, when baking soda is examined closely, the micro-particles have a sharp texture. This characteristic gives the baking soda the mildly abrasive cleaning action that’s so effective on sinks, tiles, tubs, and other hard surfaces.

But, the sharp nature of the baking soda means that they can tangle in the carpet, and a low-powered vacuum cleaner may be incapable of removing them. Baking soda acts as an odor neutralizer, but if it’s left behind in the carpet, it will keep the odor where you don’t want it. Multiple passes with the vacuum cleaner may not help, and you may even cause damage when you overuse the machine in this way.

How To Avoid Damaging Your Vacuum Cleaner When Using Baking Soda

Lady using a bagless vacuum cleanerNow that you understand some of the risks involved with using baking soda and your vacuum cleaner, it’s natural to be concerned. But, it’s important to note that some vacuum cleaner designs and models are less susceptible to these issues. The small and sharp baking soda micro-particles are less of a problem if you’re using a bagless vacuum cleaner.

These models have filters that are easy to remove and clean after the baking soda residue is removed from the carpet. So, if you have a good vacuum cleaner with an efficient filtration system and you use the baking soda infrequently, you shouldn’t have a problem. As you might imagine, poor quality vacuum cleaners with bad filters cannot remove the baking soda particles, and the motor is at risk.

Are There Any Alternative Ways To Remove Stains On Carpet?

It’s natural to simply decide to not use the vacuum cleaner to remove baking soda to protect the machine. The risks may not be worth the cleaning benefits, and it’s understandable that you may be interested in alternative cleaning methods. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of ways to remove stains from your carpets, rugs, and/or soft furnishings:

1.    White Vinegar

White vinegar is the second ingredient in many homemade cleaners. It’s a great cleaning agent; it has deodorizing capabilities and deodorizing properties too. To use white vinegar, mix it in equal parts with distilled water to create a solution. Then pour the solution into a clean spray bottle, and you have a powerful cleaner. Spritz your carpet or other surfaces for a quick clean, and you don’t need to use the vacuum at all.

2.    Steam Cleaning

If your carpets and soft furnishings need a deeper clean, you may want to consider steam cleaning. The dust and debris are flushed out of fabrics, and any mildew or bacteria is eliminated. Steam cleaning equipment is expensive to purchase, but you can hire a machine for a reasonable price and return it when you’re done. Alternatively, you could hire professional cleaners to visit your home and steam clean it for you.

The two cleaning techniques are effective and free from harmful chemicals and toxins. But, you may want to test a hidden or less obvious area first to make sure that they are not going to damage or alter the color of the carpet.

FAQ’s-Does Baking Soda Ruin Your Vacuum Cleaner

Is baking soda safe for Dyson vacuum?

Using baking soda with a Dyson vacuum is not covered under the warranty. So, if you choose to use it, you may run into problems later if damage is caused. This is equally true for store bought powdered cleaning alternatives too.

Does baking soda ruin your vacuum cleanerCan baking soda damage carpets?

Leading experts say using baking soda will not damage the carpet, but it can cause damage to sub-floors or underlays. It’s hard to vacuum up every baking soda particle, and frequent use can lead to a buildup of these sharp particles under the carpet.

How do you clean baking soda without a vacuum cleaner?

If you wet a clean cloth or towel, you can dab the carpet surface, and the baking soda will stick to the surface. The wet baking soda can then be disposed of in the trash, and the cloth or towel can be washed normally.

Can you vacuum baking soda with a Shark?

One of the main features of a Shark vacuum is that the motor ball bearings are sealed and less prone to contamination. So, if you’re using a Shark with baking soda, it’s highly unlikely that the particles will enter the motor unit, and the potential for damage is low.

Final Thoughts on Does Baking Soda Ruin your Vacuum Cleaner

We hope that we’ve answered the question, “does baking soda ruin your vacuum cleaner?” to your satisfaction. Baking soda is a great cleaning agent, and it can deodorize and sanitize carpets, rugs, and other soft furnishings quickly. But, if you overuse this technique or you have a poor quality or older vacuum cleaner, this is not recommended. Removing baking soda with a damp cloth, steam cleaning, and applying a white vinegar solution are all viable alternatives that may work for you.