Removing Odors from Carpet and Rugs

Carpet seizes all of life’s odors and holds them captive. It’s the dirty truth.

The damage is easily done, not always so easy fixed. Let’s tackle some remedies for removing odor from your carpet and rugs. There are techniques you can employ at home. If the job really stinks, call Woodard.

Most odors can be extracted from your carpet, but your time and effort will depend largely on the type and severity of the odor. Several repeat treatments may be required if the smell is strong. If possible, open up your windows and run fans in the effected spaces to circulate fresh air.

A great place to start is baking soda. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, effective in removing odors, and less harsh than over-the-counter sprays, foams or powders. Sprinkle the odorous area liberally with baking soda. If your carpet or rug has a long pile, brush the area with a broom or brush to work the baking soda down into the fibers.

After you’ve laid down a layer of baking soda, sprinkle another layer on top of it. Yes, we mean business! You’ll need an ample amount of to fully remove rug odors. Allow the baking soda to set on the affected area overnight, and better yet, a couple of days. The advantage to using baking soda is that it isn’t harmful to animals or children and it won’t damage your carpet as it absorbs odors.

Once the baking soda has worked its magic on your carpet for a couple days, sweep the top layer into a dustpan with a broom to remove excess. If you’re dealing with a rug, you can shake it off outdoors. Make sure to remove as much of the top layer of baking soda as you can, then vacuum the remaining particles.

Is your situation starting to smell a little better? If mild odors remain, you can repeat the baking soda process as many times as necessary without worrying about carpet damage. If significant odor remains, you may want to try the vinegar method. If you live in an especially humid area, it may be wise to try vinegar first instead of baking soda. If the baking soda gets damp while on your carpet, it can be difficult to extract out of the fibers and will leave a crusty feeling underfoot.

Using a spray bottle, apply the vinegar to your carpet or rug, careful not to oversaturate. Allow the acids in the vinegar to work on the carpet odor for approximately 20 minutes, then blot with a clean soft cloth to remove the majority of the moisture. Rinse the area with a spray bottle of water, then blot with a new clean cloth to absorb any remaining water. Place fans near the damp area and allow to dry completely.

If your rug is small enough, simply popping it into the washing machine could get the smell out of a rug. You can also rent carpet cleaners or steamers from home stores or even supermarkets for a reasonable price.

For most odors, one of the tips we’ve covered should solve your issue. Both homeowners and professionals agree, however, that urine (though one of the most common offenses) is one of the most challenging odor problems for carpet. Urine penetrates the carpet fibers and seeps down below the carpet, penetrating the backing and the floorboard underneath. You may find that repeated applications of baking soda and vinegar aren’t cutting through the odor.

At this point it’s wise to consult a professional service that can treat the problem safely and effectively. Woodard’s rug plant in will soak your rug thoroughly, breaking down the salts in the urine. For in-home jobs anywhere in St. Louis, Missouri, our team is ready to combat urine, pet, sneaker, and just about any other odor that wafts our way. Call our service team at 314-266-0373 for guidance or to make an appointment.