Does Baking Soda Ruin Your Vacuum?

Baking soda is a very active and cheap chemical compound that can easily deodorise, and remove stubborn stains from any surface. But, after application, you need to remove the excess baking soda from the target surface. For that, vacuum cleaning is the easiest and most effective way.  But, does baking soda ruin your vacuum cleaner?

Different parts of the vacuum cleaner can get damaged by baking soda. Baking soda has the physical appearance of fine powder. It can easily go into the most interior moving parts of the vacuum. Hence, it can disrupt the normal functionality of the vacuum by clogging and accumulating inside the motor, circuit boards, or filter.

Before using the vacuum cleaner you must know the negative impacts of it on your machine. Besides, it is also important to know about the substitutes for cleaning the carpets or mattresses without the vacuum cleaner.

Does baking soda ruin your vacuum?


The vacuum cleaning machine is made up of lots of small moving and stationary mechanical parts. Along with those, the electronic circuitry and wirings. These are very sensitive and can be damaged easily if mishandled. For this, multiple filters are used inside for extra protection.

Does Baking Soda Ruin Your Vacuum?
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But, baking soda is a very microscopic fine powder. Its size is very small compared to the granular dust particles. Therefore, baking soda can be airborne for a longer time and easily gets inside the vacuum chamber.

Unlike the dust particles, baking soda can sneak inside the motor and electronic circuit boards. That way, the vacuum if not cleaned very deeply and periodically can cause permanent damage to the whole machine.

What will happen if baking soda is in your vacuum?

Consider cleaning the carpet or mattress surface using baking soda and vacuuming those afterward. Then you must clean the motor part, filter, and other parts that can be disassembled from the machine. 

Most of the cheap and bagless vacuums cannot be cleaned properly after vacuuming the baking soda. Those vacuums get damaged very early due to the lack of thorough cleaning from the baking soda inside.

Damage to the Electric Motor

Most modern and expensive vacuum cleaners have their motor completely sealed in a compartment. But the cheaper ones have their motor comparatively exposed to the dust particles.

Baking soda has a smaller size than the average dust particles of the environment. It has a very minute and microscopic size. Besides, physically baking soda is a fine powder base. For this, the mobility of baking soda is higher than that of other substances.

That way, it can pass through the boundaries, edges, and corners of the sealing. And reaches to the motor. The motor of the vacuum is the most important and sensitive part. When the baking soda reaches the moving parts of the motor, it starts to get accumulated. 

After using the vacuum to clean the baking soda for a long time a thick layer is formed. This layer of baking soda potentially damages the motor in the long run.

Damage to the Electric Circuit and Wiring

Inside the vacuum cleaning machine, there are lots of control and circuit boards available. Now, baking soda is chemically formed by Sodium-Bicarbonate. In the presence of moisture or humid weather, the baking soda breaks down to sodium and bicarbonate ions.

The free ions are harmful to electronics. When it reaches the electronics it can create a short circuit and damage the vacuum cleaner permanently. On the other hand, baking soda can easily reach the internal wiring of the machine. The flow of current can be hampered that way and so the machine can get damaged at any time.

Clogging in the Filter

When you clean the carpets or mattresses using baking soda, most of the baking soda gets sucked in due to its lightweight. Being microscopic in size, the baking soda reached the filter faster than the dust particles. Because it has higher mobility in the air as well.

In the filter, the accumulation and clogging of the baking soda take place rapidly. You have to regularly remove and clean the filter. But, if the filter is not cleaned for a long time, it will get completely clogged and no particles can pass through.

This phenomenon will create pressure on the motor and it will start to get overheated. Overheating is the worst scenario for electric motors which can damage the motor as well.

Then why do people suggest baking soda?

Baking soda is a very very cheap and available cleanser in the marketplace. It has good absorptivity, antimicrobial, disinfectant, and deodorizing characteristics. For a filthy carpet, mattress, or other fabric-based surfaces, baking soda works very effectively.

It can soak up the stains from the surface and remove the bad smell coming from the carpets. Apart from all these, using baking soda for cleaning purposes is the easiest technique as well. There remains physical labor involved. For all these, people suggest using baking soda.

What are the alternatives to baking soda?

Though, using baking soda for cleaning and vacuuming it afterward can ruin the vacuum machine. There are some other easy, cheap but effective methods alternative to the use of baking soda.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is one of the modern and easiest techniques. It uses the hot steam at the nozzle which reacts to the dust or stains instantly. After a clean sweep to the surface where it needs to be cleaned, a secondary sweep using clean fabric can easily remove the dirt and stains.

The spreading of baking soda also can be removed using the steam cleaner. It is way more effective than the vacuum method. Moreover, there is no risk of getting the cleaning machine damaged. But, a steam machine is way more expensive than a vacuum cleaner.

Related: The 5 Best Vacuum and Steam Cleaner Combo in 2022[Hard Floor, Carpet, Furniture, Upholstery]

Using White Vinegar

White vinegar or acetic acid is one of the widely used natural cleaning agents like baking soda. Unlike baking soda, the white vinegar remains in a liquid state at room temperature. That is why vacuuming won’t be required to clean up the vinegar from the surface.

It requires rubbing or sweeping using towels or microfibres to remove the excess vinegar from the surface. Therefore, unlike the baking soda, this method requires more physical labor.

Related: How to Clean Linoleum Floors with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Ultra-violet Drying

Ultraviolet rays are very effective in disinfecting and removing odors. Sun is the natural and free source of ultraviolet rays. You can keep your carpets or mattresses widespread in direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time. This way, you won’t need any accessories or machines for cleaning purposes.


Got some questions in mind? Check the section below.

Can you put baking soda on the carpet and vacuum it?

You can spread out a required amount of baking soda on the carpet. It helps to remove the stains, odor, and bacteria from the surface in no time. In order to remove the baking soda from couch or carpet, you have to vacuum the surface thoroughly.

How long do you leave baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming?

If you are in a hurry, then you have to leave baking soda on the target surface for at least 3-4 hours at a stretch. But, for the deep impact of cleaning you must leave baking soda spread on the carpet for 10-12 hours.


Baking soda has a natural and effective cleaning impact. It has been used for cleaning purposes for a long time. In modern times, people use it for cleaning fabric surfaces. But, most of the time use of machinery such as a vacuum gets involved to remove the excess of the baking soda.

More importantly, does baking soda ruin your vacuum? For this, you must have a clear concept about safety and precaution before using the baking soda and vacuuming it. Because mostly baking soda ends up damaging the vacuum if used recklessly. Alternative methods of cleaning can be used in that case.

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