Odor Removal

How to Get Rid of Sour House Smell

Sour smells are okay, as long as they are related to cooking and they fade after several minutes. If permanent versions of these odors appear in your home, better prepare yourself to do much cleaning. Sour home smells are not easily removed, nor do they fade over time. You have to single out the odor’s sources then apply the correct cleaning procedures if you are to completely eliminate them.

The Sources of Sour House Smell

Sour house smell comes from numerous sources, which are related to the development of molds, mildew and bacteria. They often appear on old, moist, and dusty items. When these things accumulate, the odor strengthens until it occupies the entire room. You have to find and eradicate them quickly, since they gradually spread and infest the other regions of your home. Here are the common sources of sour house smell:

  • Moist Regions– Moisture is a requirement for the growth of fungi. Naturally, molds and mildew appear on the parts of your home that store water or moisture. A wet wooden floor, door or ceiling will eventually harbor smell-causing fungi if not cleaned and disinfected. The worst part is, the smell will continually get worse the longer the moist area stays uncleaned.
  • Hard to Clean Areas– Attics, ceilings and other dusty regions contribute to the appearance of sour house smell. Dust, being a collection of various particles, may contain traces of bacteria and fungi, which cause the pungent odor.
  • Carpets and Rugs– Tiny stuff, including bacteria and fungi, can easily be trapped by the shaggy surfaces of rugs and carpets. Dislodging the stuck particles is usually a problem, since they are often tightly latched on to the carpet hairs and are not easy to see. In some cases, even high-powered vacuum cleaners fail to collect all the dirt collected by carpets.
  • Ceilings, Vents and Ducts– These places are not easy to reach, which is why some people leave them uncleaned. When microbes and fungi have accumulated, sour odors will eventually come from those regions. The odors even grow worse if there are leaks above the ceiling.
  • Jars –For some reason, people usually forget to clean the insides of big jars. They soon become breeding grounds for dust and other odor-causing organisms.
  • Attic and Basement– Just like jar interiors, attics and basements are usually neglected regions. People often forget to clean them, so layers of dust pile up. Once the dust’s fungi and bacterial content increases, you can expect a pungent smell anytime soon.
  • Dead Animal– A dead rodent or dead cockroaches emit foul smelling odors that are far worse than a normal case of sour house smell. They smell like a concoction made of sulfur, rotten eggs and burning wires. Imagine how your room will smell like if that scent is mixed with sour house smell. The truth is, this occurrence actually happens in poorly maintained homes.
  • Old Furniture– Old furnishings, when not maintained properly, are notorious dust collectors. Dust happens to be a major contributor to the formation of a sour house smell.
  • Rusty Items– Rust has its own pungent scent, which blends easily with sour house smell.

Before attempting to remove the nasty home odor, make sure that you pinpoint all of the places and objects that contain dust, moisture, and rust. Leave no dirty object unaddressed since they all contribute to the sour smell.

Sour House Smell Removal: Cleaning Procedures

Ideally, you should dedicate several hours or even a day just to get rid of sour house smell. The cleaning procedures are easy but they take a long time to finish. You can ask help from your friends to get the job done faster.

  • Wipe Away Unwanted Moisture– Moisture is the breeding ground of molds and mildew, which are the main proponents of sour house smell. Check for traces of water droplets on the floor, walls, ceiling and the furnishings. Wipe away the moisture then clean the objects and regions with soap and water. Once done, dry the areas thoroughly to prevent the reappearance of fungi. Move the furnishings near the kitchen away, since smoke causes moisture to form.
  • Dust Off Bad Odor– Use a rug to wipe away dust from your furniture and the dusty areas of your home. Wash, rinse, and dry them right after.
  • Clean the Vents and the Air Conditioner – Vents and air-conditioning systems are filled with hard to reach areas. For the vents, you can either clean them yourself or hire a professional to do it. Air conditioners, on the other hand, require you to clean the air filter, grilles and the reachable chambers. Scrub away at the dusty portions that you will find, then wash them with soap and water. Don’t forget to replace all the leaky and rusty components since they are known sources of unwanted odors.
  • Wash your Carpets and Rugs– Rugs and carpets, given that they collect dust and other small particles, are challenging to clean. Run a vacuum cleaner several times over the fluffy mats. Once done, wash them thoroughly. Use a scrubber, so the smallest particles will be dislodged from the fibers. You will then set them in an open area for several hours. Sunlight will not only dry the rugs and carpets, but it will also kill molds and mildew.
  • Bleach Solution for Walls and Wallpaper – Bleach is formulated to kill bacteria and fungi, making it a useful item for killing fungi and odor-causing bacteria. Mix the bleach with some hot water. Apply generous amounts of the solution on your walls and wallpaper. Rinse then dry them thoroughly.
  • Vinegar Solution for Hardwoods and Linoleum – Mix hot water with a little vinegar. When the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, apply a generous amount of the solution on hardwood and linoleum floors. The acidity of vinegar should eradicate fungi and other microbes growing on the surfaces. Once done, rinse the solution then dry.

The bleach and vinegar solutions can also be used for cleaning walls, floors and ceilings. Both solutions work better for stained and heavily smelly areas since their formations are geared at killing fungi and microbes. Though, you should lower the bleach and vinegar contents of the solutions if you plan to use them on regular wooden floors. Their active ingredients can easily blemish and discolor wood.

Sour House Smell Removal: Odor – Repelling Products

There are products on the market than can repel and somehow diminish a sour house smell. They come in the form of specialized cleaning solutions, deodorizing sprays, modified air filters, and air purifiers. These items are specifically made for the repulsing fungi and dust.

  • Febreze Odor RemoverFebreze is one of the best items on the market for removing unwanted odors. Apply it on the items that emit the sour scent and in a matter of minutes, they will be practically odorless. You can use the potent substance as a deodorizer, air freshener, and a means of foul odor prevention.
  • Citrus–Scented Neutralizing Spray – The addition of the citrus scent to the spray’s odor-repelling properties creates a good combination. The scent is formulated to overpower sour house smell while the spray’s active ingredient wipes away any trace of unwanted odors.
  • Ozium Air Freshener – Ozium, one of the leading air freshener brands, has come up with an air freshener that acts just like the citrus-scented neutralizing spray. The Ozium air freshener promises to replace sour house smell with a pleasantly refreshing aroma. Other notable products are the Renuzit with the Super Odor Killer scent, and Fresh Wave sprays.
  • Ionizer – The ionizer counteracts sour house smell by releasing ions in the air. Those released particles latch on to the sour aroma’s molecules, pulling them down in an instant. The downside to the device is, it releases ozone, which causes respiratory ailments, when its motor gets damaged.

These products and devices provide temporary relief from nasty home odors. As compared to the tedious cleaning procedures, you can simply apply them or switch them on to do away with a sour house smell, though the nasty odor returns after use.

The Lowdown

Manual cleaning procedures may be tiring and tedious, but they are simply the best ways to remove a sour house smell. With the odor’s sources eliminated after cleaning, you won’t have to trouble yourself with annoying home scents, unless fail to maintain your home’s cleanliness.

Odor–repelling products, on the other hand, require less work but all they really do is cover the odor and their effects last for only a limited time. You will have to continually spend for those expensive items if you want to mask the pungent smell for a long time. You’re clearly better off doing manual labor, which is more economical and assures you that the scent is truly gone right after.

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About the author

Nicole Harding

2 Comments

  • I have two cats and have tried everything. I recently found an amazing new product called Room Shocker. It not only took the urine smell out but it also helped with my husband’s allergies. It seems that it completely purifies the air and eliminates any severe bad odors right at the source. I ordered it online from a website called BiocideSystems.com. The best part was I didn’t have to scrub anything. Very low maintenance just leave it in a room for a few hours, come back and the smell is gone!

    This product seems to work well for all severe bad odors.

  • An all-natural paint additive has been developed that converts any newly painted wall surface, into a perpetual air, purification system no electricity or filters required. The Air-ReNu, technology permanently maintains healthy indoor air quality and eliminates offensive pet or smoking odors. One treatment will last 10-12 years.

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