Smelly rug
June 29, 2004 1:41 PM   Subscribe

We have a stinky dog, and now we have a large stinky rug. Can we unstink the rug? It is about 12' x 10', wool, worn, and it sits atop a fitted carpet (the landlord's) in a bid to stop the latter getting stinky as well. The rug has seen several, uhm, accidents; and the products in supermarket aisle seem to promise so much and deliver so little. It would be a shame to get rid of the rug, seeing how it ties the room together, etc.
posted by carter to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
sunlight eliminates odor - two days in full sun, per side, should do the trick

It won't, however, clean it. The best way to clean a wool rug is to put it face-down on fresh snow and stomp on it repeatedly, then hang it and beat the snow off. But you're not likely to find much snow right now.
posted by yesster at 1:57 PM on June 29, 2004

Response by poster: Hah! It just so happens we are at 7000 ft in Colorado, so plenty of bright sun, although not for the past week or so unfortunately. Your comment re. the snow reminded me of travelling around the Indian Himalayas and seeing people put their wool rugs/carpets in the middle of the road; I think the idea was that the infrequent vehicular traffic would drive over it and beat the dirt out.
posted by carter at 2:14 PM on June 29, 2004

ExStink is my answer to every single one of these "I have a stinky something" questions. Follow the directions that come in the box. Do not just go throwing it around. Read it and do as it says, and it will stop stinking.
posted by majick at 3:19 PM on June 29, 2004

We always roll our rugs up and take them to the rug cleaners.
posted by pissfactory at 3:52 PM on June 29, 2004

Did you only try supermarket products, are did you run out of pet store options too? The supermarket's cleaning/laundry aisle usually is much better stocked for stain fighting than odor-zapping. I've tried many commercial and homespun remedies that are supposed to get rid of odors and the pet store's enzyme/bacteria suspensions were unquestionably best. You can get a quart for around $10, or a gallon for about $40. This stuff is sold under many brand names including Nature's Miracle or Pet Odor Eliminator, so just ask a clerk what name theirs goes by. Basically, you spritz on enough liquid to penetrate to the backing (which is what makes carpet stains/odors so persistant), harmless bacteria make a meal of the organic material responsible for the odor, then they die when the liquid medium dries after a few hours. It works very well, and for a lot less than a dry cleaning would cost. (I've used this on all sorts of carpets and cloth materials without discoloration problems, but you should always do a spot test just in case. Especially if the rug is an organic material such as cotton or wool, or uses organic dyes.)
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:12 PM on June 29, 2004

Response by poster: I've tried supermarkets, pet stores, and hardware stores; and I think we've used Nature's Miracle before, but maybe for trying to unclog drains. I'm inclined to try yesster's solution first, just coz sunshine and fresh air are free. I'll have to keep an eye on it to check that it doesn't get peed on by deer or eaten by bunnies, though. But keep 'em coming, this is good!
posted by carter at 5:56 PM on June 29, 2004

The stuff we use for cat pee is amazing--it gets out everything, even the stench of decomposing corpses (not that I would know personally). It's called Anti-Icky-Poo, and you won't find it in the stores. Go to to order it directly from the source.
posted by gokart4xmas at 6:15 PM on June 29, 2004 points to a generic "domains for sale" page. I think you want instead.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:02 PM on June 29, 2004

I swear by Nature's Miracle with my two occasionally stinky dogs.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:02 PM on June 29, 2004

I'd put in a plug for Nature's Miracle as well. A little spendy when you adopt a five year old beagle which has never been house broken from a rescue society, but it works well.

Other products with enzyme products work good too. The key, as mentioned, is to break down what's causing the smell. Not just mask it. So the sun works as well. Never heard of the snow trick, and will be happily trying it come winter.

We've also had luck recently with Sol-U-Mel (sp?). It's made with tea tree oil or something, so it supposed to be less toxic than some other cleaners. Seems to also do a good job of breaking down the odor.
posted by jeribus at 9:09 PM on June 29, 2004

Another vote-oid for Nature's Miracle. It's good with puppies -- if you blast a sinister Indoor Pee Spot with it good and hard, it eats le whizz. So there's no piss-o-hol or whizztesterone or whatever it is in dog whizz that says "Hey, you pissed here before! PISS HERE! NOW!"

You might also try a small thing of Febreze on however much of the rug it would treat. ISTR from Personal Testimonials that it's good for getting generic dog stink out of car upholstery.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:37 PM on June 29, 2004

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