How do you deodorize a carpet? What are your options to remove various types of smells from a carpet?
If there is pet poop on the carpet, one of the best things you can do is let it dry out. This seems counter-intuitive, but the dried material is easier to remove without accidentally grinding it into the carpet. Vacuum any dry remaining pieces of pet poop. Mix a cup of water and white vinegar. Pour the vinegar and water solution on the stain, then absorb the excess liquids. If some of the pet stain remains, pour more solution on it. While the vinegar smells bad while you are using it, know that it neutralizes the poop smell and will stop smelling itself once it evaporates. After the initial stain is removed, apply baking soda to the area to absorb any remaining odor; this will also help the vinegar dissipate. Wait two to three hours. Vacuum up the baking soda, and the stain and its accompanying odor should be neutralized.
Pet pee is harder to remove from carpets, since it crystallizes. When a pet pees on the carpet, first blot it up before going over it with a carpet cleaner that will treat the area with hot water. If you have it on hand, spraying a little vodka on the spot will help break down the urine and kill any bacteria growing there, as well. You should let it sit for fifteen minutes on the stain and then dry pat it with a towel to absorb it. You can apply baking soda to the area to absorb the remaining vodka before vacuuming it up.
Unfortunately, you won’t always discover the problem until after it has dried. You can make a carpet deodorizer from a mix of baking soda and borax (in equal amounts). Sprinkle the mix on the problem area, let it sit for thirty minutes, and then vacuum it up. Some people add spices like cinnamon to the mixture to add a pleasant odor, but this is risky since the substances could stain the carpet as they remove the chemical stain.
Your carpets could stink because of all those cookie crumbs that have sunk into the carpet and started to rot. The best way to deodorize the carpet is to vacuum up all of the debris with a high powered vacuum cleaner that can pick up the fine powdered crumbs at the base of the carpet.
If your kids have been spilling grape juice or guests spilled wine, you can clean the carpets with a steam carpet cleaner and appropriate soap. Make certain you clean the carpets with warm water minus any soap to remove all soap residue, or else you risk the floor smelling worse because the soap residue may start smelling itself. And use a carpet cleaning machine that does a good job of removing the water from the carpet or you are at risk of mold and mildew smells caused by the effort to remove the prior odors.
Mold and Mildew
If you have mold and mildew smells in your carpet, the first thing you need to do is dry out the carpets. If you’ve suffered a flood, pulling up the carpets so water doesn’t’ remain trapped under the carpets will help stop the smell. Then you can try sprinkling baking soda on the carpets, let it sit overnight, and vacuum it all up. Baking soda is recommended because it will absorb the smell and moisture. You can repeat this process each day for several days until the mildew smell is gone. However, this process won’t be enough if you have a water leak in the foundation that supplies moisture to the mold, and it won’t make a difference if the mold is actually in the walls.
If you have stopped smoking but a smoke smell continues to emanate from the carpets, a vinegar – water mixture can help neutralize it in the short term. Baking soda sprinkled onto carpet and vacuumed up is a second alternative. However, the only long term solution is having the carpet thoroughly cleaned by a steam cleaner. You can speed up this process by running air filters in the house.
Don’t forget to clean the upholstery and clean surfaces like shelves, blinds and walls or else the smoke smell may linger as it slowly dissipates from everywhere else the nicotine laced smoke settled.
A good generic carpet deodorizer is white vinegar. Mix it in equal parts with water, and then spray the mixture on the affected area. This won’t remove the stain but will reduce the odor with a substance safe for children and pets. Baking soda spread on the floor using a Parmesan cheese dispenser before being vacuumed up is another tried and trued solution.