What does? Pet odor or mildew? Perhaps something spilled on the carpet? Not exactly. We’re talking about ordinary carpet fresheners and deodorizers. It’s a little ironic. Sure, that commercial with people refusing to get up off the carpet because it smells so fresh is entertaining, maybe even appealing. Sadly, this is just a marketing ploy. Most of those products don’t get the freshening job done right, and that stinks.
Although having a pleasant effect immediately, most of them have damaging effects in the long term. Let’s discuss these products and how their makeup can be dangerous.
Carpet powders cost very little and are easy to use. You sprinkle it on the carpet and let it sit for several minutes or until the next time you vacuum. Most of these powders use baking soda as their main ingredient. That makes sense as baking soda is often used to absorb odors. And the powders are designed to give off a pleasant scent to replace (or overpower) the bad one.
But if you take a microscopic look at baking soda, it has a gritty texture with lots of points and hard edges. Baking soda has the consistency of fine sand. Would you sprinkle a bunch of sand all over your carpet? Of course not. Walking all over it will cut, grind, and do further damage to your carpet fibers. Even vacuuming it up will damage your carpet in the process, as well as the vacuum itself. The powder often gets into the cooling vents for the motor or coats the belt, so it loses grip. It can also clog up bags and filters, requiring you to replace them more often.
Not only that but removing the powder also eliminates the source of the pleasant fragrance – the fragrance doesn’t bond to your carpet, it stays with the powder you just vacuumed up. The consistency of carpet powders is also linked to breathing issues like asthma, and some are known to cause allergic reactions.
“What about liquid air fresheners that you spray in the air or on the carpet? There’s no way those tiny droplets have rough edges to grind against carpet fibers!” Well, that’s true. But what else is in that liquid? Chemical components to give off the scent or bond with carpet fibers. Many air fresheners leave behind a sticky residue after they dry on your carpet. This residue collects dirt and particulates that make your carpet look even dirtier, and their sticky consistency makes them latch onto carpet fibers, making them harder to remove.
Also, air fresheners usually have warning labels saying to keep them away from pets and children and to avoid ingestion or it will make you sick. Some labels say not to spray them on your skin, as it will irritate the skin. Well, who’s the most likely in your family to be laying down, rolling around, or perhaps eating food off your carpet? Your pets (hopefully). But your kids likely roll around and play with your pets on that same carpet. Repeated exposure over time could result in harm to your family. Surely, a few hours of pleasant fragrance from these products aren’t worth the risk.
So, if carpet powders, sprays or air fresheners aren’t a good idea, what can you do? Many people have switched to essential oils. Please note: much like the other products, you should never put these oils directly on your carpet – they could stain or otherwise cause damage. Instead, dab a little on the filter or bag of your vacuum. While you’re vacuuming, the air filters through and picks up the scent, distributing it throughout the room. Others have put some essential oil on a cotton ball or small rag, and then placed it on a vent for their heater or air conditioner. Depending on your home’s heating method, use this idea with considerable caution.
By far, the best option for odor removal is professional carpet cleaning. Preferred Carpet Care uses eco-friendly solvents to dislodge and remove dirt, stains, and chemicals from your carpet, eliminating the sources of bad odors. Next, we use a deodorizer that balances out the pH levels in your carpet fibers, helping to neutralize any residual odors instead of just putting a more pleasant scent over them. We also offer products you can use between semi-annual professional cleanings.
Want even more tips for keeping your carpet fresh and odor-free? Ask us how when we arrive for your scheduled carpet cleaning. You can also fill out our online form for more information, or you can give us a call to discuss the best ways to improve the scent of your carpet. Sure, it stinks that carpet powders and air fresheners can’t do the job right, but Preferred Carpet Care certainly can!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On January 21, 2021