Carpet Deodorizer Does Not Remove Smells from Carpet as Well as You Think

Updated: April 1st, 2024

Carpet is soft, comfortable, and can often mean the difference between an unwelcoming room and one you want to spend all your time in. But carpet fibers can also be a breeding ground for funky smells over time, whether they come from pets, cooking, or smoke. While finding a natural cleaning solution on Pinterest or a carpet deodorizer at the store for a quick fix is tempting, neither is likely to get rid of lingering odors for good. There’s a better way to deal with carpet smells.

carpet deodorizer dog on carpet smell

Human Smell is Interesting… and Weird

Let’s take a quick journey back to fifth grade science class. How does your sense of smell work? To put it simply, tiny sensory cells high up in your nose have odor receptors. The smell after a rain storm and the smell of a poodle that was just playing in it both release different odor molecules. These microscopic odor molecules are detected by your odor receptors, which send a message to your brain that identifies a particular smell. There’s one catch: you have only have a limited number of odor receptors.

Human smell is influenced by thousands of nerves working together.  Volatile, evaporating materials all around us have odors, but we can only detect a small portion of them . Whether you absorb aromas through your nostrils or your throat via taste, your sensory neurons are providing a unique smell to your brain. Smells that truly reek – like garbage dumpsters on a hot day or freshly cut onions, are a result of your nerve endings on your eyes, mouth, nose, and throat working together. Carpet is in a league of its own when it comes to smells.

How Does Carpet Trap Smells?

Detecting the source of a smell in the home can get really complex, really quickly. It’s one thing if food liquid leaks from the bottom of a garbage bag into your trash can. There’s a quick fix for that: run some soap and hot water and scrub the inside of the trash can. And the same goes for cleaning a non-porous hard surface floor like vinyl plank. A quick mopping and boom—smell  eliminated. But what about a family cooking with aromatic spices all the time? Or a house full of smokers? These odors don’t have a visibly identifiable source, but still seem to perpetually linger in the home

Carpet is often a prime suspect for trapping smells. The source of a carpet smell isn’t always what you think. Thick, shaggy fibers seem like a great hiding place for old food and cooking oils. But it’s not just about particles resting on or among the carpet fibers—if that were the case, then vacuuming would eliminate the smell. As you know, vacuuming isn’t enough.

Carpet smells originate from liquids seeping into the backing layer of the carpet. Quite often, this is a latex pad that the fibers are attached to. When liquids find a home in the padding (and in the subfloor beneath it), that’s creating an environment ripe for bacteria, allergens, mildew, and eventually strong odors that never seem to go away.

Easy, At-Home Odor Remedies for Getting Smells Out of Carpet

Your adorable cavalier puppy just peed all over your new carpet. As a homeowner, this often induces a fight-or-flight response. We frantically scramble for a rag (or anything) to clean up the spill and make sure a spot doesn’t remain. This is great for carpet stain prevention, but it doesn’t address the liquids or particles that make their way deep into the padding and begin a new lifecycle of annoying smells.

Baking soda is also a common suggestion for deodorizing a carpet. Simply pour a little bit of baking soda on the spot, let it sit for a few hours, and finish the job with a thorough vacuuming. But this usually needs to be done immediately after a clear spill for the best chance of fully deodorizing the carpet. Also, keep in mind that kids and pets need to be kept out of the powder zone.

Other suggestions for deep cleaning are not as advisable. Many of these “tips” you see in social media feeds suggest mixing hydrogen peroxide and soap. If you’re unfamiliar, mixing chemicals incorrectly can be extremely dangerous. Another suggestion seen recently is to use cinnamon to help get odors out of your carpet. That’s a good way to permanently stain your carpet, especially if it is lighter in color. Plus, do you really want your home smelling like a Christmas candle year-round?  If you’re considering any of these ideas, use extreme caution and run a test on a small portion of the carpet before blasting your whole house with your new creation from the internet. Our advice? Trust a professional carpet cleaner for deep cleaning.

How Does Carpet Deodorizer Work?

Most of us will try anything to save some time and money before hiring a professional cleaning company. That’s perfectly normal. So we turn to carpet deodorizers.

Carpet deodorizers can be a great way to counteract smells from pets, moisture, or carpet that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. Most deodorizers are available as a powder or spray, and application methods will vary as well. In a world of quick fixes, carpet deodorizers are definitely one of the first household utilities that come to mind if you need to mask a musty basement smell or wet dog before your guests arrive.

So, does carpet deodorizer work? Unfortunately, while these products may make carpet smell good in the short term, sprays and powders are often unlikely to solve the smelly carpet problem completely. Think of carpet deodorizers like deodorant on armpits. Deodorant can be great after an afternoon run if you need to freshen up and don’t have time to shower, but is not actually removing the source of the body odor.

Every thread you read online will have a similar set of rules to keeping your home smelling great: Don’t have carpet. Don’t have pets. Don’t cook. Clean every inch of your walls and ceiling. Use carpet deodorizer. But if you’re actively searching for ways to make your carpet smell good, you’re probably not a fan of the idea of completely ridding your home of all carpets—or pets!

There’s no mistaking it: carpet can and probably will trap a lot of dust, dirt, mold, and allergens. For a long term solution that throws all the above restrictions out the window, it’s time to rethink how carpet is constructed entirely.

HOME Fresh is the World’s First and Only Hypoallergenic, Odor-Neutralizing Carpet

It’s no secret that we love carpet—in fact, it was the first flooring product we were really known for. So we’re always dismayed to learn many people are willing to sacrifice warm, soft comfort because they are worried about odors in the home. The truth is, odors are going to happen no matter what. In fact, part of what makes someone’s home unique is how it smells! When you go to a friend’s or relative’s home, it most likely has a familiar, but not unpleasant smell.

As a solution to the odor issue, we set out to provide a carpet that doesn’t just mask smells—it actively neutralizes them. HOME Fresh helps get rid of smells from cooking, smoking, and pets on the carpet completely. Here’s how HOME Fresh can make an unforgettable impact in your home.

home fresh carpet odor neutralizing logoodor neutralizing carpet

HOME Fresh helps cancel out odors in your home. The secret? A natural, odor-neutralizing mineral breaks odor molecules into separate compounds, effectively removing unpleasant smells that come into contact with HOME Fresh’s carpet fibers over time.

Another plus? HOME Fresh’s carpet fibers and premium felt padding are one unified piece. This construction allows for better airflow in the carpet, making vacuuming and cleaning much more effective. HOME Fresh also doesn’t absorb liquids, so it’s much more difficult for odor-causing spills to take hold, and for mold, mildew, and allergens to develop (some of the most common sources of a bad carpet smell).

Carpet deodorizer does not reduce smells as much as you think. At-home remedies are nice, yet short-term. And sometimes even professional cleaning isn’t enough. That’s where HOME Fresh excels—helping your home smell fresher than it did with your musty old carpet.

To learn more about what makes HOME Fresh awesome, see our hypoallergenic carpet blog and our in-depth HOME Fresh carpet guide.

If you’re ready to see HOME Fresh samples in the natural light of your home and feel the softness for yourself, Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate today. Sniffs included!

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