Some odors seem to linger for days or even weeks, such as cigarette smoke and pet smells. To maintain an odor-free home, regular treatment with a fabric deodorizer is a safe and effective method. One of the key tricks to eliminating odors is to find a method that safely eliminates the odor without masking it. Many methods for eliminating odors only cover-up the odor rather than remove it. When smells are caught in fabrics, such as clothing, furniture, or carpet, masking odor only adds more "stuff" on top of the original offender, which means even more to clean. Additionally, some methods that mask odors are temporary, and some can even be harmful if harsh chemicals are used. Is it possible to remove lingering odors in a safe manner that will not add air pollution to your home or build-up residue on fabrics? The good news is that it is possible using a fabric deodorizer and proper cleaning techniques.
For strong smells in large areas such as on carpets, drapes, and furniture, the first impulse is often to think that something just as strong must be used to remove the smell. While steam cleaning machines appear to be big and powerful, one drawback to steam cleaning is that it can set-in strong odors through the combination of steam and heat, thereby creating exactly the opposite of what is desired. Prior to steam cleaning, odors can be removed using a natural fabric and carpet deodorizer. One that uses natural ingredients is best, as these are less harmful to you and the environment. Natural fabric and carpet deodorizers also do not mask the smell; rather, the combination of natural ingredients work together to eliminate odors.
When cleaning carpets in particular, the affected area requires investigation prior to treatment. If possible, determine if the odor has seeped through the carpet backing and into the pad. This requires lifting the carpet to see if there is a visible stain on the pad. If so, clean the pad and carpet backing with the fabric deodorizer, let dry, and replace. If you are unable to lift the carpet and are quite sure the cause of the odor seeped through, you can use a syringe to inject fabric deodorizer underneath the carpet and into the padding.
Prior to using a carpet deodorizer, vacuum the area thoroughly, avoiding the use of any powder products directly on the carpet. Once you have vacuumed, apply the carpet deodorizer according to the product directions. Many can be applied directly to carpet using a spray bottle, which is quick and effective. Once the product has dried, smell test the area for any lingering odors. The procedure may need to be repeated a few times to completely remove the smell. After the fabric deodorizer has completely removed the odor, then it is safe to steam clean, and you can rest easy knowing that you won't be setting-in any long-term odors.
The same process can be used on drapery on a regular basis or prior to cleaning. Many dry cleaners use both steam and dry heat, so it is a good idea to use a fabric deodorizer on your draperies prior to dry cleaning, even though this seems counter-intuitive. As with carpet, apply a natural fabric deodorizer to the drapes using a spray bottle and allow time to dry. Test for odors and repeat as necessary.
Fabric deodorizers can also be used effectively on furniture, where odors tend to accumulate easily from causes in the air, such as smoke, and repeated use by both people and pets. Vacuum furniture thoroughly prior to using a deodorizer, and then apply as directed. A good deodorizer will not stain fabric, although it is still a good idea to do a test on an area that is out of view. A natural fabric deodorizer may be less likely to stain.