On Shabbos, a container of water spilled on my carpet. Conventional wisdom is to throw baking soda on the wet area to soak up the liquid to protect the carpet from odors (I don't know if it actually works) Is this permitted on Shabbos?

[My thought process regarding the melachos:

Dash: Applies only if you want the liquid. Here, not only do you want to get rid of the liquid but it doesn't look like dash since the water is subsequently absorbed into the baking soda.

Borer: Applies only if the carpet is being "purified". Here, you're mixing baking soda into the carpet.

Libun: The baking soda is causing the opposite.

Lash: I don't think the baking soda forms into one mass, though I've never tried]

Any thoughts?

  • 2
    If you're applying a substance to extract a dirtifying agent (in this case, water) from the carpet, I suspect that it's hard to get away from a charge of libun. But that's just my suspicion.
    – Isaac Moses
    Aug 29, 2010 at 3:41
  • That makes sense. All of the cases where kibus is permitted because it's "derech lichluch" is where you don't have intent to clean the garment (wiping your hands, diluting urine to make a bracha). Here my intent is to get the water out. Though I was also wondering if cleaning a garment of water can be considered kibus.
    – YDK
    Aug 29, 2010 at 15:01
  • Baking soda will neutralize any odors that are created by bacteria or mold forming in the carpet. (It's also useful to leave open in the fridge) But that's really only if the water has been there for a while, if it's right away, it won't do anything other than soak up the water. (according to my wife and mother)
    – avi
    Dec 18, 2011 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


I don't if this answers the question, but this is my question to HaRav Mutzafi:

שאלה - 91180

שלום לכבוד הרב השטיח היה מים שנשפכו על זה וזה יעשה ריח, מותר לשפוך אבקה על זה, כדי למנוע ריח? אולי זה יהיה אסור משום שהוא סופג?


אסור לפזר טלק בשבת על כל אריג שנרטב משום מכבס .‏

It is prohibited to spread powder on any wet (cloth) surface because of "mechabes - laundry."

  • What did you ask him?
    – YDK
    Dec 18, 2011 at 23:40
  • לשפוך אבקה על השטיח כדי שלא יהיה ריח רע בשבת, זה בסדר? "Am I allowed to pour powder on a carpet on shabbat to get rid of the smell? Is this okay? Dec 18, 2011 at 23:44
  • He said "כן- yes" Dec 18, 2011 at 23:44
  • @YDK you see I didn't add the words "if there is water there?" Dec 18, 2011 at 23:45
  • 2
    Did you ask again? Jan 17, 2012 at 18:09

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