Carpets are the made to look pretty. They are placed on a house's or building's visible areas, since they can raise a property's aesthetic value. The problem is, once a carpet is left uncleaned for a while, it develops a foul odor which mars your home's pristine environment. Washing the carpet sometimes fails to remove the odors, so you will need more potent cleaning measures and solutions.
Mildew and Pet Urine
Carpet odors signal the presence of molds and mildew on your carpet (For a guide on mildew removal, Read how to get rid of mildew). These organisms latch on to the moist areas of your carpet, which can come from humid weather or not drying thoroughly after washing. The fibery surface and the bottom are absorbent, so in most cases, the molds form within or at the bottom of the carpet. Pet urine and waste are just as notorious, since their scents stick hard to the carpet fibers. When removing carpet odors, be sure to target all the areas, otherwise the odors may return at any time.
Your household has a ton of remedies waiting to be discovered. Remember, acidity and other reactive properties eliminate bacteria as well as the odors they emit. Check the kitchen for condiments bearing the said properties and mix them with water to create cleaning solutions.
- Baking Soda - For odor removal, baking soda comes as the leading proponent of natural odor-removing solutions. It is composed of sodium carbonate, which eliminates unwanted odors and removes stains. Mix baking soda with a bowl of water for a potent mixture. Apply the mixture on both sides of the carpet. Make sure there is no spot left uncovered. Once done, rinse the solution with soap and water. Let the carpet dry under the sun right after. The heat will kill any remaining bacteria and odors. If the solution doesn't work, put baking soda directly onto the carpet fibers. Vacuum the carpet to take away the dirt and finally finishing off the carpet smell.
- White Vinegar - Vinegar is highly acidic, which means it can kill bacteria upon contact, taking out the sour odor in the process. It is also potent enough to remove the small of pet urine, though a slightly higher does is required. Create a cleaning solution by following this ratio - 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar. Once done, apply it on your carpet with a brush or a cloth. Scrub all the areas, including the carpet bottom, to stop the odor at all turns. Rinse the carpet with soap and water then sun dry. Your carpet should be back to normal right after.
- Lemon - Lemon's acidity is more than enough to pull the plug on carpet odors. Mix fresh lemon juice with a little water then apply it on the smelly areas. Scrub the solution with a piece of cloth then rinse with soapy water. Make sure the carpet is totally dry after rinsing.
The natural solutions are without question in terms of cleaning power. However, they are tedious to apply. You can ask a partner to help you with the cleaning, so you can cover much in a short span. Lifting and turning the carpet also aren't easy. Having a companion makes the job simpler.
Commercially-Sold Products and Services
Many products and devices on the market are specifically made to remove carpet odors. These items make the task much easier with proper application. If the natural solutions don't work, you can certainly rely on them. For the worst cases, the only means of odor removal are by replacing the carpet pad or hiring professionals.
- Febreze Spray - Febreze is among the leaders in deodorizing carpets, car interiors, and furnishings. With concentrated sprays, mildew and urine odors can be removed from your carpet. Use this potent solution with a baking soda solution or a dehumidifier for optimum results. The Febreze deodorizer is available at most department stores, so you should have no trouble finding it.
- Steam Cleaner - The steam cleaner makes the removal of carpet odors easy, since it eliminates the need for much scrubbing. Just run it through the smelly areas and the odor will be gone after awhile. For better results, replace the cleaning solution, which comes along with the cleaner, with white vinegar. Vinegar's acidity will not only remove smells, it will also kill germs and bacteria.
- Air Freshener - An air freshener with a strong scent can mask the odor emitted by a soiled carpet, providing temporary relief. The problem is, when its scent wears out, the odor returns. It is ideally used after cleaning the carpet.
- New Carpet Pad - Buying a new carpet is too expensive. What you can do to deal with a severe case of carpet odor is replace the carpet pad. A carpet pad is much cheaper than an actual carpet, worth only a fraction of the carpet's price. Replacing the pad is tedious, but it certainly eliminates the odors permanently. (Learn how to install a carpet)
- Professional Carpet Cleaners - The worst cases are reserved for the professionals. These people have the best solutions, procedures, and devices for cleaning carpets and removing odors. For a reasonable price, they will solve all of your carpet cleaning woes.
Commercially sold items, effective as they are, can be used in conjunction with household remedies to ensure the removal of carpet smells. A good combo can certainly deal with even the worst carpet smells, as long as, they don't reach the carpet pad.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of carpet odors.