I agree with you, baking soda is really good for cleaning area rugs. In addition to baking soda you can even use vinegar or bleach to clean the area rugs. Both can be used effectively to remove the dirt or smell from the area rugs. while using bleach(NaCIO), use oxygen bleach rather than chlorine bleach, as oxygen bleach is milder than chlorine bleach and will not fade the color of your rugs.Here are some tips for maintaining area rugs
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If you have serious organic-compound smell problem (dog pee, for example, or some kinds of mold), there are enzyme powders available from pet supply houses which chemically combine with those compounds to stop the smell. The one I've used ("odor mute") can, in fact, be used in a carpet shampooer or steam cleaner; I successfully used that approach to remove the last traces of a previous tenant's toy puddle (sic). Not expensive, and a little goes a long way; good thing to have on hand, I think.
Ditto-I bought carpet cleaner from the store from which I rented a Rug Doctor ( an excellent product, might I add). The cleaner is used in my 2nd hand, yard-saleHoover Steamvac, also a very good product- a wizard wedding gift in my estimation.Jim in MA
Hmm...what kind of smell? If pet related, there are special soaps that can be purchased from a vet or pet store for removing that spray/urine smell.In general, when I encounter something stanky (accidentally tracked in poo, milk spills that have gone unnoticed, etc.), I spot scrub the area with a dilute mix of liquid dishsoap, damp dry it with towels/paper towels/newspaper, shake a mix of salt and baking soda and scrub it into the area, allow to dry, and vacuum thoroughly. repeat process as necessary.However, with nasty 'stank', like cat pee, skunk, etc., there's nothing better than the formulations made to remove the odor...repeated as many times as required.best of luck!
http://www.amazon.com/Hoover-SteamVac-Carpet-Cleaner-F5914-900/dp/B00009R66F/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header BEST !