If you’ve noticed an odd or unpleasant smell at home, but you can’t seem to find the source, the answer might be under your feet. Carpets are a great way to improve comfort, but unfortunately, the fibers can trap odors so firmly that it is difficult to eradicate them. Luckily, knowing the common types of odors and effective odor removal methods will help you restore your home’s freshness.

Common Carpet Odors & How They Arise


Moisture can get into and underneath carpeting due to spills, humidity, leaking plant pots, or carpet cleaners. If left unaddressed, moisture accumulation can lead to mold and mildew growth that can be hazardous to the household’s health. If you’re developing a mold problem, you’ll likely notice a damp and musty smell throughout carpeted areas.


odor removalIf your pet has an accident, urine or feces odors can linger in carpeted areas long after you’ve cleaned up the mess. Bacteria present in the carpet’s fibers will consume the traces of this waste. As the organisms digest pet waste, they’ll convert it into a gaseous substance that smells like urine and fecal matter.

Tobacco Smoke

Cigarette smoke might seem to dissipate, but it’s actually made up of complex physical elements that can settle into your carpet. These invisible particles will continue to emit a stale, smoky smell long after the tobacco is gone, and the cigarette has been put out.

Food & Drink

No matter how careful you are, spills are inevitable. When edible items are dropped onto carpets, they often leave behind trace amounts of organic matter, which will decompose and emit a rotting smell.

How to Remove Persistent Odors

Odors resulting from spills or pet mishaps are known as surface odors. The best tool for immediate odor removal in these cases is baking soda. Many of the smells released by organic compounds are caused by acids, which can be countered with a base substance like baking soda. You can leave baking soda on carpet anywhere from 15 minutes up to overnight. Vacuum up the powder to clean the carpet.

If this doesn’t do the trick, spray a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water on the area. The acid in the vinegar will bond with those causing the offensive smell to neutralize it.

More stubborn smells are called deep odors, and removal typically requires a more intensive solution, like carpet steaming. If odors linger after deep cleaning and drying, consider contracting a specialist to identify and remove the source of the smell.


If you are having trouble removing offensive odors from your carpets, turn to All Surfaces Carpet Cleaning & More in Columbia, MO. These odor removal specialists are backed by over 30 years of experience, and they offer the knowledge, skills, and equipment needed to tackle unwanted household smells. Visit them online to learn more, or call (573) 698-3828 to request a free estimate.