How To Use Boric Acid On Carpet

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Pests are a problem that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Once you see one, there's likely many more to come. One of the quickest ways to deal with pesky insects is through boric acid. How can we use it on carpet? If that's what you're trying to figure out, let's take a look!

Using boric acid on a carpet involves sprinkling it over the infested area. Effectively spreading the insecticide means using a push broom to work it into the carpet fibers. Let it rest for several hours. Then, use a vacuum to remove it from the carpet.

It might seem simple, but there are still more details you'll want to cover. For example, is boric acid safe to use? What happens if you'd like to use it on wet carpet? These are some of the issues we'll cover further ahead.

A bottle of boric acid, How To Use Boric Acid On Carpet

Some Notes Before Using Boric Acid On Carpet

Before we go ahead and do any activity that involves chemical compounds, we have to think about safety first! So, the first question we'd have to cover is - is it safe to use boric acid on a carpet? 

Using boric acid is widely considered safe. But, that depends on how you plan to use the compound. If you're not careful with usage, you or others can potentially ingest large amounts of it. 

The main point of concern would be towards infants and pets. If you own pets, it's crucial to keep them away from the area you will treat with boric acid. Similarly, infants are more prone to boric acid ingestion. Consequently, they can face permanent nervous system damage if they have enough exposure to the compound. 

Altogether, be mindful of these two factors when you're treating your carpet with boric acid. Make sure it's only you and other responsible adults messing with the compound. After you finish the treatment, give it some time before allowing children or pets near the area. 

Most powders aren't too easy to remove entirely. Vacuum the area multiple times to ensure you remove most of it. 

Now that we know the dangers of using boric acid - let's start the treatment on your carpet! 

Bottle of pure boric acid chemical compound beside a petri dish with solid crystalline powder substance

Using Boric Acid On Carpet

Before beginning the treatment, you'll want to start by cleaning the carpet. This step will ensure you remove as much of the pest you're dealing with as possible. Whether it's carpet beetles or roaches, most will tend to nest near the surface. 

There will be some that dig further into the fibers. But, you'll catch those further ahead. Regardless, once you finish vacuuming the area, empty your vacuum outside. Wrap the contents tightly within a trash bag. Then, dispose of it as you typically would.

Sprinkle Boric Acid On The Carpet

Once you finish cleaning, you can move along and start sprinkling boric acid around the area you need to treat. If it's a large area, make sure to block it off. This way, infants and pets alike don't roam around the product.

Although it's generally thought to be safe for pets and humans, it can be harmful in large quantities. If you have pets or infants at home, professionals recommend following the rules and directions of the boric acid product you will be using. 

If you need visual guidance on how to perform this job, here's a YouTube video: 

The professional in the video uses a specific brand of boric acid named Flea Stoppers. The ingredient list only includes boric acid. So, if you don't have this particular brand, it should work just fine with any boric acid brand. 

How Long Do You Leave Boric Acid on Carpet?

After sprinkling the boric acid on the carpet, pest control professionals advise leaving it untouched for 2 hours or more. Some would suggest that the longer you wait, the more effective the boric acid treatment is. In this case, if you have time, you can leave it on the carpet for at most 4 hours.

Cleaning It Up

Once 2-4 hours have gone by, you can think about cleaning it up. Removing the boric acid will involve vacuuming. However, vacuuming will not remove all of it. Some of the powder will remain on the carpet. 

Should this raise alarm bells? As long as you make a good effort to remove as much of it, it should be safe if some powder remains. The remaining boric acid on the carpet will target the eggs, and larvae pests will leave behind. 

The small amount shouldn't be able to harm pets or infants. However, it's not advisable to let them roam the area until you finish the boric acid treatment. Some pet owners have had success using this method without harming their furry friends! So, it's worth a try at your own risk.

Is It Safe To Vacuum Boric Acid?

Vacuum cleaner on carpet

It should be safe to vacuum boric acid as long as you take safety precautions. You can wear safety gear like a mask to prevent inhaling too much of it. If you're not comfortable with the amount that vacuuming can leave behind, you can follow up with a steam cleaner. 

Boric acid is soluble in hot water. Thus, if you want to remove the chemical entirely, you can finish the treatment with a deep cleaning. In a situation where you're doing a spot treatment, you can finish removing the boric acid with a bucket of warm water and a rag instead of a steam cleaner. 

Signs of High Boric Acid Exposure

While boric acid might be safe for adults, it's still crucial to know the signs of high exposure to the acid. You'll know you're in contact with it if you experience irritation in your eyes and skin. These are minor signs. 

The major ones will relate to your respiratory system. You'll have trouble breathing. In addition, nausea and vomiting may accompany breathing problems.  

Some can experience muscle weakness or headaches. At worst, if you've ingested too much of the acid, it can cause kidney problems and endocrine issues.

Can You Put Boric Acid in a Spray Bottle?

Cleaning carpet with green cloth and spray

People will often use spray bottles to spread treatments effectively. There are some cases where you can make a boric acid spray using 3/4 cup of boric acid with 1 gallon of water. Most would often use this for other jobs that don't involve carpets. 

So, you can put boric acid spray in a spray bottle. But, it's not common to use this method for pest control on a carpet. Most DIY strategies would recommend sprinkling boric acid over the carpet. Then, thoroughly work it into the carpet using a brush. 

Does Boric Acid Work if Wet?

As you might have noticed, we mentioned that boric acid is water-soluble. So, it begs the question, will it be effective if it's wet? Unfortunately, it seems to be the case that boric acid loses its effectiveness against insects when it gets wet.  

That might seem contradictory since some recommend mixing boric acid and water to make a spray. The solution seems to be that the area needs to be dry afterward. Meaning, the spray will be effective once it's left to dry on the location. 

The same goes when you apply the acid on a carpeted surface or any surface for that matter. It needs to be dry. If it happens to get wet, it can be washed away. Thus, making it ineffective. 

For this reason, it's recommended to avoid using boric acid near any areas that have high moisture exposure.

Will Borax Bleach Carpet?

A bottle of borax chemical compound or sodium tetraborate beside a petri dish with solid powder substance

When there are stains on the carpet, you might want to use anything to get the color back. Borax is one product that you could be considering. Will it bleach carpet? In other words, can it remove stains and restore your carpet to its original color?

There are no definitive answers to that question. At best, if you want to use Borax on your carpet, you should test it on a small sample area beforehand. This way, you can see if your carpet is colorfast.

If you're not familiar with the term, it refers to the resistance of the color dye in the carpet. Carpets that are not colorfast will not hold on to their color when exposed to cleaning products.

After testing the area, if there's no drastic change to the color of your carpet, you're good to use it for stains. Otherwise, it can potentially have a bleaching effect.

Final Takeaway

Finding pests in any area is never a good sign. If there's one present, it can indicate that there's an infestation waiting to happen. Luckily, boric acid is a relatively safe chemical that helps remove these pests.

Of course, it's always a wise decision to get an idea of how the job will go. We hope you found the information above helpful!

Before you go, do you have other carpet concerns? Cleaning is simple when you have a flat surface. But, what if you have carpet on the stairs? If you'd like to learn how to clean carpeted stairs, check out our post:

How To Clean Carpeted Stairs

Did you accidentally bleach areas on your carpet? If you need help removing bleach stains, check out our post:

Bleach Stains On Carpet - What To Do?

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