Any parent or pet owner can tell you that over time your carpet can get downright stinky.

You’ve probably seen advertisements or seen products in the store that claim to deodorize carpets. But, do they actually work to remove unwanted smells, or is it just a mask?

Carpet deodorizers come in a variety of different forms, but they all purport to remove foul odors from your carpet. Let’s sweep away the fiction from the fact and find out if they actually get the job done.



A carpet is made of fibers that are twisted, sewn, and/or glued together to make a single piece of fabric full of multiple layers.

Because there are multiple layers within your carpet, cleaning the top layer when there is an odor will only eliminate part of the smell. Below the surface are layers of fabric and padding where odors can become trapped, and they aren’t easily removed.

An odor can come from many different sources, but oftentimes it’s the result of a liquid. A liquid will soak through the fabric into the padding and/or the subfloor below your carpet. This area becomes a breeding ground for the bacteria and mildew that’s floating around your home and can create strong odors that linger.



There are three main types of deodorizers: powder, spray, and shampoo. Each one works a little differently and varies in ineffectiveness.

Powder: Powdered carpet deodorizers are probably the least effective of all types. Whether it’s baking soda or some branded cleaner, you’re only going to mask the aroma. Powders can be beneficial in giving your carpet an overall fresh smell, but don’t expect them to do heavy-duty odor removal.

Powders won’t clean your carpet, and they do nothing to sanitize the cause of the odor. Depending on the powder, it can actually cause more damage than help by wearing away your carpet.

Spray: A spray deodorizer can be effective depending on how quickly you’re able to act on cleaning the spot and what kind of mess you’re cleaning. Sprays are more effective at cleaning small areas (as opposed to an entire carpet) and are a cleaner before they are a deodorizer. That means they can impact the cause of the smell, rather than covering the smell with a nice scent.

Shampoo: Shampoos tend to be applied through a spray canister or by using a carpet-cleaning machine. Like a spray, shampoo is a cleaner first and a deodorizer second. It will penetrate deep into your carpet using cleaning liquids in order to wet vacuum your carpet. Shampoos are effective at cleaning up odor-causing messes, especially if they’re caught quickly.



Well, yes and no.

Most carpet deodorizers — especially powders — are effective at simply masking the smell of foul odors in your carpet. Like makeup on your face, the result is only on the surface level.

In truth, a carpet deodorizer will not remove the source of the bad smell, it will only end up making your carpet smell nice for a few hours, or a few days. It’s better to think of a carpet deodorizer as a perfume for your carpet and less as a cleaner.

Carpet deodorizers that are more geared toward cleaning and sanitizing will give you a better effect at removing odors in your carpet. If you have a spill, you can use a spray deodorizer to clean the stain and remove smells in the short term. But, to truly remove foul, lingering odors, it’s best to call in professional carpet cleaners.

Professional cleaners are trained to remove stubborn odors and stains on your carpet. It may require replacing the padding below your carpet and cleaning your subfloor, which is no simple feat! Carpet-cleaning machines you can buy or rent aren’t as effective as what professionals can do, there’s just no substitute!



Is your carpet ruined beyond repair from foul-smelling odors? If it’s time to replace that smelly, old carpet, we are always here to help. 

If you're in the market for flooring feel free to contact Goshen Floor Mart. Remember, we are always happy to provide you with a free estimate. Call us today at 574.642.4770 or contact us here