Cleaning Carpets to Remove Odors

You can get rid of the unpleasant odor under your feet by using common kitchen ingredients.

Those of you who wished as a kid that you could make your carpet smell like new, raise your hands. No? Obviously, you didn’t mean to do that. In the same way that you probably never pictured yourself scrubbing your toilet bowl with a toothbrush or climbing a dangerously tall ladder to remove leaves from your gutters. Regrettably, however, adulthood sets in. No matter how long you remain on the family cell phone plan, Dad will eventually tire of cleaning your gutters.

Even though deodorizing your carpet won’t win any beauty contests, it could be the most worthwhile chore you do this week. To think you could have guests over and not worry about them feeling unwelcome because of the musty, mildewed smell on your carpet. You could put the blame on the cat, or you could decide to take action.

Whether you’re dealing with the stench of dog poop every time you open the bedroom door or the peculiar aroma of sweat coming from the spot in front of the TV (but congrats on all those at-home workouts!), we’ve got you covered. Seven of the worst carpet odors can be eliminated with simple, inexpensive, and easily accessible household items.

Eliminating Smoke Odors
Smoke odors in the house are a major turnoff. Don’t panic if the house you inherited has more of a bowling alley or a dive bar feel to it than a homey one. If you want to get rid of the smoke odor in your carpets without tearing the place apart, just use a simple fumigation method.

Put some baking soda in a strainer and use it to treat the affected areas. Since baking soda is absorbent, it should quickly eat up the cigarette odor.
To ensure an even coating and to press the baking soda into the carpet, walk around on it (not barefoot!) to distribute it.
For about 30 minutes, let the baking soda sit on the carpet. If you let the baking soda sit for a long enough period of time, it will reach the carpet’s backing.
Clear the air and start over.
If the smell of smoke persists, repeat the process.
The best methods for eliminating mildew odors
Blah, mold. If you’ve been experiencing unusual breathing issues, you may already be aware of the cause. Dew is nothing new to those who live in humid climates. Together, we can make that ‘dew into a dew-not.

Moisten carpets can be dried with the help of a dehumidifier or several downward-pointing fans.
After the spot has dried, lightly spray the carpet with a mixture of two cups of warm water and one cup of white vinegar. The vinegar’s acidity will break down the odor-causing compounds and eradicate them permanently (or at least until the next time you forget to close the window before a downpour, whoops).
Warning: if the carpet gets too wet during treatment, you’ll just end up with a different kind of mildew problem. That’d be the irony of ironies, wouldn’t it?
The vinegar smell will go away and be replaced by the carpet’s natural freshness after it has dried.

A method for eliminating musty and moldy odors
We hear that a shot of vodka helps get rid of lingering smells like mold and bacteria. (This is for the carpet’s sake, not yours.) Rather than masking the odor, the alcohol will destroy the compounds that cause it.

Put some vodka (the clear, flavorless kind) in a spray bottle and use it to neutralize particularly pungent odors.
Give the booze 15 minutes to sit.
Dry by blotting with a towel.
If any odors persist, sprinkle some baking soda over the area.
Give the baking soda half an hour to settle before you grab the vacuum.

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