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Tulsa Carpet Cleaners at Master Clean tell you how to fix smelly carpets.

Do you notice the smells in your house? Or have you grown used to them? Sometimes, we don’t even notice the smells in our own house.  It takes someone new coming in to notice them for us. Try leaving your house for a few hours and try really hard to notice what you smell after being in the fresh air for a while.  As Tulsa Carpet Cleaners, we’re in houses every single day cleaning carpet and tile and grout.  One of the very first things we notice as we walk into your house is the smell of your house.  Don’t worry if you do have a smell in your house.  We can help with that!

Tulsa Carpet Cleaners smelling a smelly house

Did you know that the carpets in your home act like a giant filtration system? In fact, your carpets are the largest filters in your house.  The fibers in your carpets act like filters and trap pollutants like fungus sports, dirt particles, pollen and pet dander.  If you have a light enough carpet, over time you may notice black lines around the edges of the room where the carpets meet the baseboards.  Those are evidence of how the air circulation patterns in your home can tap pollutants in your carpet.  As the warm air cools and falls along the walls it moves through the edge of the carpet lying at the baseboards.  It acts as the first filter of the air as the air is moving to floor level, leaving behind those dark “filtration lines.”  Just as the air cabin filters in your car can start to smell bad over time, so can the filters of your home – such as your carpets.

Why does my house smell? 

There are endless reasons why your house might be smelly.  It could be your son’s gym bag.  Maybe you need to do some laundry.  You could have gone too long without taking the trash out.  Or the smells could be in your carpets.  The first few examples are obviously very easy to fix.  Do the laundry, take out the trash, throw away the gym bag too!  Other ways to keep your whole house smelling fresh include:

  • Burning candles
  • Diffusing essential oils
  • Run lemon, lime or orange peels in the garbage disposal
Scented candles burning

But what do you do if the smell in in your carpets? How do you clean carpets to get smells out of them? Can you get rid of the bad smells your carpets may be holding? While we will always recommend a professional steam clean, there are some Do It Yourself options that you can try.


Tulsa Carpet Cleaners DIY Recommendations:

Baking Soda and Essential Oils

Start with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  Be careful which oil you use if you have pets! Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, can be toxic and harmful to animals. Mix ½ cup of the baking soda with approximately 30 drops of the essential oil.  Pour this mixture into some container that has holes in its lid, like an old spice container. Let the mixture sit overnight for 24 hours so that the oils can work their way into the baking soda.  Sprinkle this mixture lightly over your carpets.  Let it sit on your carpets for 10 to 15 minutes or longer.  Then vacuum your carpets like normal.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner is empty and clean with a new filter.  Sometimes the dirt and dust you vacuum up can give your sweeper a foul smell.  This smell can spread when you are regularly vacuuming your carpets.  It can even spread and keep your carpets smelling bad after you try the baking soda mixture.

sprinkling baking soda on carpets
spraying vinegar on carpets

Another useful DIY hack for smelly carpets is plain white vinegar.  Just pour a generous amount of vinegar into a spray bottle and spray on the smelly spots.  The vinegar smell will disappear, and many times, the smelly smell goes away too.  Vinegar can act as a neutralizer by absorbing the bad smell to help it go away.  Once you spray the vinegar on the smelly carpet spot, let it dry completely, and, if necessary, repeat the process. 

You have to be careful while using the vinegar trick.  Don’t get your carpets too wet with vinegar, too much moisture is a bad thing.  And while the vinegar smell does typically go away, you can use so much and end up with a vinegar smell that doesn’t go away! Then you still have smelly carpets! Many people will mix in a little bit of water with the vinegar, so the vinegar smell is not so strong.


That’s right, Vodka.  It’s not just for RedBull and a night out! I’m not recommending that you drink the vodka.  You can use it to help neutralize bad odors in your carpets. The alcohol in the vodka can help to break up the odor causing molecules to help neutralize them.  If you want to try this DIY, you will need clear, flavorless vodka.  Obviously, vodka with any color in it could just stain your carpets.  Then you’re left with potentially still smelly carpets that look bad too.  You also need to use flavorless vodka.  The flavored vodkas have other substances in them that can work against the odor molecule busting alcohol and may even leave you with other smelly smells. 

Vodka and Spray bottle

Tulsa Carpet Cleaners recommend preventative measures:

After trying some of the Do It Yourself Options listed above, or even after a professional deep clean, you’ll want to take some measures to prevent odors from coming back. Here are some things you can do to prevent smelly carpets.

  • vacuum them regularly (with a clean vacuum). You should really be vacuuming your carpets at least once per week.
  • Open your windows as much as you can on nice days. Just like you, your carpets need a breath of fresh air every now and then.  Open windows and get some air flowing through on nice, not very humid days.
  • Take off your shoes at the door. Defining no-shoe zones in your house will help to keep all the dirt and germs that follow us home on our shoes off of our carpets. 
  • Use a dehumidifier. Humidity is a nasty thing that not only makes us feel miserable when it’s too hot outside, but it can also make our houses and carpets smell worse.  Dehumidifiers work to keep the moisture out of the air in your house, which in turn, keeps the bad smalls at bay.

Call Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa

There are just as many different ways to help remove smells from your carpets as there are things that can make your carpets smelly.  However, you need to be careful with any do it yourself type of fix.  Calling the professionals is always your best option.  At Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa, we have the best Tulsa Carpet Cleaners on standby waiting to help tackle your worst smelling carpets.  We have seen (and smelled) the ways that DIY can make your carpets look and smell even worse.  Master Clean Tulsa carpet cleaners will always work the hardest to remove stubborn smells. Whether you’ve already tried yourself or you just want us to do it from the beginning.  Call us today to get a quote for all your carpet cleaning needs. We can even take care of your smelly area rugs