Ridding Your Carpets of Unpleasant Odours


One of the most unpleasant realisations a homeowner can come home to find is that they have an odour problem caused by their carpets. After a few days away, you may come home to realise your home has an odour problem you never recognised because you had become used to it.

The usual suspects in an odour problem are either a general lack of airing, creating a build-up of cooking fumes, body odours, cigarette smoke or pets. But they are certainly not the only things. Any food or drink product that can go bad or rancid must be cleaned up thoroughly if it’s accidentally spilled on your carpet. Even a minor, freshwater intrusion can become an overpowering odour without the necessary attention – otherwise you may be for a nasty surprise after a couple of days.

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Household Products and Home Remedies

There are many household odour removal products on the market and several home remedies like baking soda that claim to take of the problem. The household products appear to get rid of the odour in the short term, but they are usually just masking the odour with their own perfumed scent. After a few days the odour will be back, just as strong if not worse. And baking soda on wool carpet is a disaster, as it will chemically burn and permanently damage wool fibre!!

Whilst baking soda can be effective on small spots in synthetic carpeting, it cannot work when the odour has penetrated deep into the carpet or the underlying carpet pad in the case of a liquid spill. This is because a topical application of baking soda doesn’t reach the far down into the carpet backings and underlay where the odour source is lurking.

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The Scientific Method to Odour Control

The first thing a professional carpet cleaner does when they’re called in about a carpet odour problem is to pinpoint the source of the odour. Water damage producing a musty smell is relatively easy to spot. Cat urine is often harder, because it can be so overwhelmingly strong and pervasive. Often the professional will use an ultraviolet light, moisture probes or thermal imaging cameras to spot the source of any urine in a carpet.

If you know the exact spot of the odour and what it was caused by, you can speed up the discovery and treatment process. Different odours require different treatments. The aim is to break down and neutralise the odour before cleaning that area of the carpet thoroughly. Knowing what the odour is caused by can allow the carpet cleaner to choose the right solution in breaking down the odour-causing material.

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Don’t Forget to Clean Other Odour Sources

For odours that are still lingering in the room after a thorough neutralising and cleaning of the carpet, check all the air ducts and air filters connected to the room, particularly in inverter style airconditioners. Odours can permeate these as well and they should be cleaned or filters replaced as part of the entire cleaning process.

Pillows, cushions and other absorbent cloth materials that have been left in the room can also harbour odours, so these should be washed or dry-cleaned as well.

For problem odours in homes or businesses in the Perth area, call on Fresh Aire Carpet Cleaning to make your premises smell fresh and clean again.

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