Dealing with Odors

We have all dealt with the difficult problem of odor removal at some point in our lives. It can be a pet, or that place in the carpet where the wax ring leaked, or even the rug we got from Aunt Mandy with that slight musty odor. 

So, how can odors be eradicated? Today, we’re going to offer some tips:

Some carpets retain odors more than others.

Some carpets retain odors more than others.


In order to find the source of an odor, follow your nose! Once the original source of the odor is detected, it can be cleaned properly.  This will involve various methods and products depending on the source material, as different surfaces respond to cleaning in their own way. One thing is for certain; if the original odor site is not cleaned thoroughly, the odor will not go away. 

Open the windows

Opening the windows in Phoenix in the summer seems like a really bad plan, but if they can be open early in the morning before the temperatures soar, or in the evening after it cools off, letting fresh air in will help the odor from clinging to secondary surfaces in the home.

Early treatment

As with any clean-up situation, the earlier the situation is handled, the more likely the outcome of success at the lowest level. If a homeowner feels a bit overwhelmed, it’s a good indication that the job is out of his range, and the most reasonable thing to do is to call in a professional right away. Many people have been taught to believe that ‘typical’ soiling is within the range of a homeowner’s abilities, but nothing could be further from the truth. It depends on the type of odor, the extent of the damage, and the material which is affected.

Soap and water

A good degreasing soap like Dawn and hot, soapy water will clean many surfaces. Most homeowners have probably tried this already. If something stronger is in order, take the next step.

General odors

Vinegar mixed 50/50 with water and rinsed thoroughly afterward will deodorize many surfaces. Be careful not to use it on marble, stone, hardwood or no wax floors, or unsealed grout.  Also, a vinegar/water mix won’t clean any but the smallest of pet urine spots on carpets. 

Pet stains

An enzymatic cleaner is a much more effective product than vinegar for removing pet stains. Blot, don’t rub to clean up an initial pet stain because rubbing will spread it before treating it. If animals can still detect the scent, or if the location has become a habitual stopping place, it can be much harder to train them or other pets away from revisiting it unless it’s cleaned thoroughly. In the case of carpeting or wood flooring, the pad or underlayment can be soaked, necessitating replacement if it isn’t dealt with appropriately. This type of situation can turn into an economic adversity.

Carpet smells

Baking soda can be used on spots or even on a whole rug.

Baking soda can be used on spots or even on a whole rug.

Hit the vacuum for this one, and make vacuuming a daily priority if your situation invites carpet odors. Older carpeting, dirty carpeting, and carpeting with a lot of texture will hold odors more. Baking soda can be sprinkled into the carpet and the worked in with a dry sponge mop or broom. Vacuum it up in an hour or two.

Call in a professional

If a homeowner has done battle with an odor to no avail, it may be time to call in a pro. Professional cleaning services have the tools, products, and expertise to do battle against odors which may be out of the realm of the homeowner’s resources.