How to Get Rotten Potato Smell Out of Carpet (8 Simple Steps)

Discovering a rotten potato buried in your carpet is unpleasant enough, but the lingering smell can be even worse. Potatoes emit a distinct odor when they start to decompose, and if not taken care of promptly, this smell can permeate your home. Thankfully, with a few simple steps and some readily available household items, you can effectively remove the rotten potato smell and restore freshness to your carpet.

Follow this guide to banish unpleasant odors and enjoy a clean and aromatic living space once again.

How to Get Rotten Potato Smell Out of Carpet

How to Get Rotten Potato Smell Out of Carpet

Step 1: Get rid of the Source of the Smell

Start by carefully removing any remaining pieces of the rotten potato from the carpet. Using gloves, gently scoop up the potato remnants or use a spatula to scrape them off the carpet fibers. Be cautious not to press the potato deeper into the carpet or rub it against the fibers, as this can aggravate the situation.

Step 2: Blot the Affected Area

To prevent the smell from spreading, immediately blot the affected area using a clean cloth or paper towel. Press down firmly to absorb as much moisture as possible. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this can push the rot deeper into the carpet fibers and make the odor more stubborn.

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Step 3: Make a Natural Cleaning Solution

There is no need to spend money on expensive cleaning products. You can make your cleaning solution right at home using natural ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of warm water

Mix all well in a spray bottle and then shake well. This solution is very effective in removing the most stubborn smells from your carpet.

Step 4: Spray the Solution on the Carpet

Spray the solution on the carpet where the potato was and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to cover the entire area completely.

Step 5: Blot the Area Again

After 10-15 minutes, blot the area with another clean, dry cloth.

Step 6: Allow the Carpet to Dry

Allow the carpet to air dry completely. You can open a window or run a fan to speed up the drying process.

Step 7: Vacuum Thoroughly

Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to ensure a deep clean. This will help remove any remaining baking soda along with trapped odor particles. Repeat the process if necessary until the rotten potato smell is no longer detectable.

Step 8: Deep Clean the Carpet

If the smell persists, it may be necessary to deep clean the entire carpet. You can rent a carpet cleaner from a local store or hire professional carpet cleaning services. Make sure the cleaner you use or the professionals you hire employ eco-friendly and pet-safe cleaning solutions.

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Additional Tips and Tricks

  • If the rotten potato smell continues to linger, you can try using a carpet cleaning solution specifically designed for dealing with organic stains and odors.
  • Steam cleaning can be highly effective in removing tough odors from carpets. Consider renting a steam cleaner or hiring professionals with this expertise.
  • Open windows and provide proper ventilation to help freshen up the space and expel any lingering odors.

How to prevent future smells

Inspect groceries before storing them

Before storing potatoes or any other perishables, make sure to inspect them for any signs of rot.

Store potatoes in a cool, dry place

Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Temperature fluctuations can cause potatoes to rot faster, so try to keep them in a consistently cool environment.

Use airtight containers

If you store potatoes in a pantry or cabinet, make sure they are in airtight containers. This will help prevent any odors from escaping and permeating the surrounding area.

Clean up spills immediately

If you spill any liquid or food on your carpet or floor, clean it up immediately. Any food left on the surface can cause bacteria to grow, leading to unpleasant odors.

Vacuum regularly

Regular vacuuming will help keep your carpet clean and free of debris that can cause odors. Be sure to vacuum high-traffic areas and under furniture.

How do you neutralize the smell of rotten potatoes?

To neutralize the smell of rotten potatoes, you can follow these steps:

  • Remove the source: Discard the rotten potatoes and dispose of them properly to prevent further odor.
  • Ventilation: Open windows or use fans to improve air circulation in the area. Cross-ventilation helps in removing the smell.
  • Absorb the odor: Place bowls of white vinegar or activated charcoal around the affected area to absorb the odor.
  • Baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up to eliminate the smell.
  • Odor neutralizers: You can also use commercial odor neutralizers or fabric sprays specifically designed to eliminate strong odors.

How do you get a bad smell out of the carpet?

To remove bad smells from carpets, consider the following methods:

Baking sodaSprinkle it over the affected area. Let it for several hours. Then, vacuum.
Vinegar solutionMake a mixed solution of white vinegar and water. Lightly spray the mixture on the carpet, ensuring it doesn’t get too wet. Blot the area with a clean cloth, absorbing the moisture and odor. Remember to perform a patch test before applying vinegar to ensure it does not damage the carpet fibers.
Enzymatic cleanersGo for those designed to break down organic odors. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.
Professional carpet cleaning If the odor persists, consider hiring professional carpet cleaners who have specialized equipment and products to remove stubborn smells.

Why does my house smell like a rotten potato?

A house smelling like a rotten potato is often due to a buildup of bacteria or mold. This smell can result from:

  • Forgotten or rotting potato: Check for any forgotten potatoes in cupboards or storage areas. Even one rotten potato can cause a strong odor.
  • Mold growth: Examine areas with excessive moisture, such as damp walls, basements, or areas affected by water leaks. Mold growth can produce a musty smell that can be similar to the scent of rotten potatoes.
  • Poor ventilation: Insufficient airflow in the house can contribute to odors lingering in enclosed spaces. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows, using exhaust fans, and circulating fresh air.

What does solanine smell like?

Solanine is a toxic compound naturally found in potatoes and some other vegetables. It is known to have a bitter taste and a distinctive smell which can be described as slightly musty or earthy.

However, the specific scent of solanine may not always be easily detectable at low concentrations.

It is important to note that consuming large amounts of solanine can be harmful to health, so it is crucial to discard any potatoes that smell rotten or have green patches as they could contain higher levels of this toxic compound.


Banishing the smell of rotten potatoes from your carpet is a simple process that can be achieved with basic household items. The key is to act swiftly, removing any visible remnants, absorbing moisture, and using odor-neutralizing agents like baking soda and vinegar. Regular maintenance, including vacuuming and preventive measures, will help keep your carpet smelling fresh and clean in the long run. Following these steps, you can reclaim your living space from the unpleasant odor and restore a clean and inviting atmosphere in your home.

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