4 ways to fight unpleasant odours in the Carpet

Carpets act like a magnet for attracting visible dirt and stains, but they also work like a sponge, absorbing unpleasant odours that can persist and linger for ages. Odours don’t have to become a permanent feature of your carpets, thankfully. With effective steam carpet cleaning and various other options to try, they can soon become a thing of the past.

1. What can cause carpets to smell?

The fibres in a carpet are porous and absorbent, so any dirt or other substances that end up in a carpet can not only make it look unclean, but it can cause stale or musty odours to occur.

Smoke and cooking smells can become trapped in a carpet, making it smell horrible. If a room isn’t well ventilated, carpets are even more prone to turning smelly.

Old stains and pet urine that aren’t properly removed from a carpet can also contribute to making it whiffy. Bacteria may feed off any dirt and improperly removed stains from a carpet, further adding to the odour problem. If a carpet has experienced any water damage, it could also contribute to bad smells.

2. The problem with carpet odours

Carpet odours can prove to be a headache because, unlike surface dust and dirt, you can’t just run a vacuum machine over the carpet and make the odours magically disappear.

Although you can buy some deodorising products in shops that claim to get rid of carpet odours, in many cases, all they do is cover up the smell by replacing it with a fragrance. Once this fragrance wears off, the original offending odours will resurface.

Carpet odours can make your living or working environment unhealthy, unhygienic and unappealing. If you’re trying to create a welcoming place for people to visit or for customers to shop or spend time, having stinky carpets won’t do you any favours at all. That’s why it’s really important to get on top of carpet odours as soon as you notice them.

Here are four odour removal carpet cleaning solutions that are worth trying when bad smells become a problem in your carpets. Before you decide which option to use, work out what has been causing the odours in your carpets in the first place.

1 – Salt solution

Salt is an effective solution that can be used to combat carpet odours – and the good news is that it’s cheap, readily available and most of us have it in our kitchen cupboards. Salt crystals absorb moisture easily, so use it on anything that gets spilled on a carpet that could likely cause it to smell, such as pet urine. Leave the salt on the spillage to absorb as much of the moisture as possible until the carpet is dry, then vacuum the salt up with your hoover.

2 – Baking soda

Using baking soda to erase unpleasant carpet smells is another worthwhile option to try, and like salt, it’s something most of us already have in the cupboard at home, so it’s on hand to help when carpet odours need tackling.

Simply sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda on the area of the carpet where it smells. Let it sit for at least half an hour or even longer, so that the odours can be absorbed into the baking soda.

If you want to add an extra hit of freshness and fragrance to the carpet, splash a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to the baking soda mix.

Finally, give your carpet a thorough vacuuming to remove the baking soda solution, and hopefully the odours will be lifted from the carpet.

3 – Soap and water solution

Mixing half a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of warm water can provide the magic formula for removing both stains and odours from a carpet. All you need to do is apply the mixture to the offending area, and keep blotting it until you’re certain the stain and odours have both disappeared.

Once you’ve completed this step, mix water and white vinegar to a spray bottle, and spritz over the carpet surface to make sure any lingering odours are neutralised. You may need to repeat the process if any stains or odours still remain.

If odours still persist, try adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the dish soap solution, but carry out a test patch on a hidden part of the carpet first to check it won’t cause discoloration.

4 – Steam carpet cleaning

Whilst home remedies can often work well as odour removal carpet cleaning solutions, sometimes more stubborn odours may need professional attention.

If you want peace of mind that odours are eliminated from your carpets, and won’t resurface, your most effective option is to use a professional cleaning service which offers steam carpet cleaning.

Moreover, by using a professional, you don’t need to worry if any of the DIY cleaning solutions you’ve used are still present in small amounts in the carpet, as cleaning residues can contribute to making a carpet dirty again quickly.

Steam carpet cleaning uses a high-tech machine which operates at high pressure. Water and a natural, safe cleaning solution are injected into the carpet pile. The heat and suction of the cleaning system easily dislodges dirt from a carpet which could cause it to smell. A deodoriser can also be used which will neutralise the stale odours in the carpet. Because steam carpet cleaning operates at a high temperature, bacteria which can cause odours will also be destroyed.

When seeking professional carpet cleaning, look for a company that has experience in removing odours from carpets, and find out which methods they use. A reputable company will remove the source of the odour, so it’s gone for good, rather than just adding a fragrant cleaning solution to the carpet, which only masks the odours and only offers a short-term solution.

If your carpets are exposed to pets and heavy footfall, and frequently suffer spills and stains, you should consider using odour removal carpet cleaning services every 6-12 months.

At Carpet Bright UK, we have many years of experience removing odours from carpets, and because we own the latest steam carpet cleaning systems, we can eradicate even the most persistent and unpleasant odours from your carpets. Get in touch to find out more.