Removing dog odor from carpet.
August 11, 2005 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Removing dog odor from carpet.

We just moved to a house that was inhabited by a few dogs, and some smell remains. It's mostly in one specific room, and the carpet therein was professionally shampooed twice before we moved in. There's still a bit of an odor when down on the floor, or when the windows are closed for a while.

The 'net is full of products and step-by-step guides and what-have-you, but I'm looking for a mefi-approved magic bullet. I'm not going to rip up the carpet, and you're going to have to really convince me if your solution involves a machine. But is there any specific spray or product that you've tried that worked?

As far as I can tell, there's no specific urine aspect, just a general musky "dog" odor over the whole carpet.

Thanks a million.
posted by trevyn to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Regularly sprinkling baking soda and vacuuming it up, followed by a spritz of febreze helps freshen a room.
posted by idiotfactory at 4:43 PM on August 11, 2005

Steam extraction with a pet-odor enzyme is the only sure-fire way I'm familiar with (that we've used). You could also try steam extraction with a tiny bit of OxyClean in the wash water (only on light colored or colorfast carpets). I know, you don't like the idea of using a machine, but if the odors are in the pad (likely), they'll stick around forever without some serious labor.
posted by Merdryn at 4:50 PM on August 11, 2005

There have been at least 2 pet odor removal questions asked sometime in the past year or so, so you might dig those up.
posted by shoos at 5:21 PM on August 11, 2005

ExStink, just like the last time this question was asked.
posted by majick at 5:28 PM on August 11, 2005

I think the other questions have been about urine odor, which is different from really doggy carpet. Enzyme cleaners would help, but only as much as they would help with smoke or greasy smells.

I have de-dogged a room using one of the really big boxes of baking soda, with the carpet liberally covered, left for at least a day, then vacuumed at least twice with a rest in between for the dust to settle. It took about 3 baking soda blizzards, plus a week or so of early-spring room-airings in between applications, then a rental steamer (to get the weird powdery feeling off the carpet more than for odor-cleaning purposes).

I think if I had to do it again, I'd cover as much of the baking-soda-ed floor as I could with a tarp or plastic dropcloth, so the baking soda's absorption is focused on its immediate environment. I might also try some fine activated charcoal covered with a dropcloth.

Aside from general funk absorption, you want to get the hair oil and sweat out of the carpet, which is tough. I don't think most commercial cleaners degrease that well (especially if you called in pros for "pet odors", which is focused on urine), and I'm not sure what your best options would be for that. If it was a rug you could take outside or put in a bathtub, I'd say scrub it with some Dawn, rinse it with vinegar, and dry it in the sun. Not so easy for wall-to-wall.

Washing the walls might also help. I was de-dogging a 12x14 room by myself, and it was a several day project if I didn't want my arms or fingers to fall off, but it was worth the time and sore muscles when I was done. I even repainted the walls the dogs most often laid against with Killz II and a fresh coat of paint.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:03 PM on August 11, 2005

I've used a product called "Nature's Wonder". It can be
used without having to wipe or rinse. Just be sure to soak
the heck out of the area and give it plenty of drying time
(up to two weeks depending on heat, humidity, etc).
While it's wet you probably will still smell the odor but it
gradually goes away as the area dries.
I've seen the product in most pet stores I've visited and
in some stores like Target, Fred Meyer's, etc.

For upholstery I used Fabreeze after vacuuming it really
well and that seemed to work.
posted by bat at 11:51 PM on August 11, 2005

"Fabreeze" is Febreze. It's great stuff.
posted by KRS at 8:51 AM on August 12, 2005

I'm not sure if you mean the dog smell in the carpet was caused by pee/poop or just from dogs lounging around.

Nature's Miracle works, well, miraculously for odors caused by "pet accidents". The liquids soak through the carpet into the padding underneath, which is why shampooing won't completely remove the smell. Saturate the area with Nature's Miracle, so that it seeps into the pad, and let it dry naturally. Yes, it will take a few days to weeks to completely get rid of the smell, but it does work.

Otherwise, I second Febreze for getting rid of superficial odors. Just spray it on the carpet. Works great.
posted by luneray at 9:33 AM on August 12, 2005

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