Odors in Carpets

There are different reasons why you might have odors in your carpets and considering no one wants their carpets or house to smell, something needs to be done.  Yet many times living with odors every day, we seem to become immune to the odors in our own homes and visitors don’t want to offend you and mention it.  Typically, if something is clean, it will not smell or give off an odor. What we need to determine is how clean is clean. Sometimes carpets may appear clean but there might be other factors involved.

Sometimes a carpet just contain enough soil and dirt to give that dirty smell. Perhaps you have a dog and he likes lying on your carpets instead of his dog bed. This repeated habit will cause a buildup of both the oily secretion from his skin as well as soil tracked in from outside. Another common problems could be bacteria that causes the odors. This can happen from either carpets that may be a little soiled but are exposed to high humidity or dampness due to poor ventilation, such as in a basement. Other sources of bacteria could be food spills or pet stains. Speaking of pet stains. They can have multiple effects. Both the bacteria and also salts that are contained in urine stains.

Next, we have to consider how to rectify these odor problems. Each problem is a little different and may require different ways to combat them. Regardless of the cause, the first step to take in all cases is to have your carpets professionally cleaned. I say professionally cleaned because you need both the proper cleaning agents and additives as well as the equipment that has the power to deeply clean as well as remove all the excess moisture once cleaned. I do recommend a steam cleaning process due to the nature of the deep cleaning and rinsing capability. I would not recommend going to a rental place and trying this yourself. You will find lower quality cleaners as well as equipment that cannot perform to the standards that professional equipment will. In many cases you will actually make the situation worse by not removing enough soil and bacteria as well as over wetting the carpets which will just increase the overall bacteria count and hence increase the odors.

Although there are some special cleaners used to destroy bacteria specifically in carpets such as those we would use to clean and treat carpets for people that may be under going cancer treatments that need to be in a sterile environment. Typically we would apply treatments after cleaning to help reduce any remaining bacteria. There are special products that can also be used to chemically neutralizes odors by binding, bonding, encapsulating and absorbing odors or products that will change the odors at the molecular level using bacterial enzymes. There are even oxidizers used to destroy odor causing substances that can be used, providing you have the right type of carpet that this can be applied to.   As mentioned earlier, the salts that are contained in pet urine can also be an issue. These salts need to be rinsed totally out. If you can't remove all these salts, there will still be pet odor. The salts are an alkaline salt and will absorb moisture or humidity from the air producing a byproduct of ammonia, giving you that smell we are all so familiar with. 

With all the knowledge and the available products there out there for professional carpet cleaners to use, we still cannot guarantee removal of all odors. The reason is usually based on the type of carpet fibers or the type of construction of the carpet. Many natural carpet fibers should not be exposed to these products or the excessive moisture which is needed to rinse the salts out. Doing so, will cause other issues, some that may ruin the carpet. As always, we at Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning LLC always do everything possible to give you the best possible outcome. Please contact us at 781-871-1415 for any questions.