*As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. The price to you remains the same.
Fish has quite the odor – especially if you mistakenly drop some fish product on the carpet. Uncooked or cooked, fish smell really sticks. And stinks!
With common products around the house such as white vinegar, baking soda, or even cat litter, you can get rid of that fishy smell once and for all!
Best of all, these methods can also be used in your smelly car, on just about any surface (such as upholstery).
Here’s what to do.
How to Get Fish Water Smell Out of Carpet: 4 Methods
Table of Contents
When you spill fish oil or any other fish dish on the carpet (such as fish sauce), you have to react YESTERDAY to prevent the smell from lingering.
The longer you wait, the more elbow grease it will take!
And the lesser the chance for actually saving your carpet.
The best thing about the remedies below is that you can use them on nearly ANY smell around the household. The second best thing – they are in your cupboard already!
1. Lemon Juice
There’s a good reason why there’s lemon juice or lemon slices in just about any fishy dish you’ll ever eat.
Lemons are great for eliminating bad smells. The citric acid in lemons makes it perfect for smells and even cleaning around the house.
Pour some lemon juice over the area of the carpet that has the smell. Let it soak in to absorb the fish smell and dry it up using paper towels.
As with anything, there’s a catch. Lemon can cause discoloration! So I always advise doing a test spot on the carpet before attacking the stench with lemon.
Make sure to also rinse or wipe it out thoroughly afterward.
*Pro tip: Boil lemon peels to freshen up the whole room even more!
2. Don’t Have Lemons? White Vinegar to the Rescue!
The rationale is exactly the same: acidic smells are natural stench killers.
After picking up the fish pieces or anything you dropped on the carpet, you should mix a solution of white vinegar and water. Pour or spray it over the area where you dropped the fish. It will soak up the odor. Leave it to sit for 15 minutes to half an hour.
After that, use a cloth or paper towels to clear up the area. Let the carpet dry completely.
3. You Guessed It – Baking Soda
This all-purpose kitchen staple is another common method to get rid of even the nastiest odors. (And let’s face it: there’s hardly anything nastier than fish!) Take some baking soda and spread it onto the carpet. Spread a lot and make sure it gets deep into the stain, as well as all around it.
Baking soda is well known for taking out odors, but ONLY if you leave it for a long time. You should give it hours or even a whole day if the fish smell is bad.
Once you give it enough time, vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda. You can also steam clean!
Baking soda is well known for taking out odors as long as you leave it for a long time. You should give it hours or even a whole day if the fish smell is super stubborn.
Once you give it enough time, vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda.
4. Cat Litter
Okay, so not everyone has a cat. But even if you don’t have one, take my advice and get some cat litter.
Why? Because it is actually a great way to get odors out. And not just poo and pee!
Place some cat litter on the “fishified” part of the carpet and leave it for a while. It will absorb the smell within some hours.
Note, however, that this method will only work on very small fish stains. If you’re dealing with an oily spill that has soaked deep into the fibers, forget about cat litter!
But that doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to the rug. Here’s a bonus tip that’s bound to work!
Bonus Tip (If the Smell Is Terribly Stubborn)
You get special carpet shampoos that are designed to get smells and stains out of the carpet. This is also a good way to get rid of the fish smell from the carpet. However, shampooing your carpet may take a lot of work.
And it makes no sense if the carpet is otherwise clean! Or if you don’t want to use chemicals.
That’s where steam comes in. It’s also an effective method for removing smells from the carpet, even if they have been lingering for a while.
The reason why steam works great on smells is because it’s hot enough to attack and break down any organic filth.
Make Sure Your Carpet Gets Enough Fresh Air
It’s important to allow fresh air and sunlight to come to your carpet so it can fully dry out and naturally get rid of a fish smell. This is not enough on its own, but it’s definitely a must after doing any of the above methods.
Additionally, sunlight can kill any harmful microbes that are left on the carpet.
Your carpet should always receive proper ventilation to prevent a nasty smell and bacteria. Try to keep a dehumidifier in the room so the air isn’t too humid or hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent my carpet from smelling like fish?
You have to take care when dealing with or cooking fish. If it’s possible to remove your carpet when dealing with fish, then you can prevent the smell from getting stuck in it.
You can also use options such as citrus or mint while cooking. You can place juice, peels, or leaves in the kitchen to absorb the smell from the fish. Soaking the fish in lemon water for some time can also take away the odor.
What does baking soda do for carpets?
Baking soda is used to clean carpets because it has alkaline abilities that produce oxidized gases when combined with an acid (which is most odors). These gases make baking soda a great stain remover and odor control.