“Starch” Your Carpets — cornstarch that is! It is possible to fully clean and deodorize carpets without resorting to chemical-laden carpet cleaners or shampoo. Simply vacuum, liberally sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda, leave one hour, then vacuum again. To remove tough stains, try cold club soda or repeatedly blot with vinegar and soapy water instead of automatically reaching for a stain remover.