industrial strength deodorizing help needed!

Old 08-17-06, 05:48 PM
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Question industrial strength deodorizing help needed!

I will be living in a friend's house while his job has him living in europe for a year. He is a portly fellow, and something of a slob. The problem is that his house has a sickly-sweet funk, particularly in the bedroom, but also in several of the rooms.

What is the best way to rid most of an entire house of such a 'lived in' odor?

The house does have a whole house fan, so I know it could be aired out quite well, but what can I do to actually kill the smell since it's in everything, particularly the bedroom?

I had some luck in one of the rather small rooms by merely overloading with a renuzit spray and sealing the door, but the same tactic isn't working in the larger bedroom.

Also, he used to have a cat, and it's box was in the common room, where I assume the cat sprayed because the room reeks of cat urine. The carpet in there is actually that plastic-ish fake-grass outdoor variant.

Basically, I need to find the strongest deodorizing methods out there that actually eliminate odors, not just cover them up.

Please help me, it will be appreciated more than you know.

Old 08-18-06, 07:36 PM
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Skymutt, welcome to the DIY forums.

About the cat urine and the type of carpet you explained...sorry I'm getting a picture of it but I can't be right! It's not indoor carpet? Is it vacuumable? Wipeable?

Here's some information about pet odors I think may help:

Check back as the pros and/or other members will post something more helpful.
Old 08-18-06, 07:39 PM
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I bet you did not plan on deep cleaning your friend's house. All hard surfaces will need to be washed, carpets and curtains and bedding cleaned. It is usually bacteria that is the source of odors. People's homes smell differently due to differences in cooking, diet, bathing, and cleaning habits. Masking odors provides only temporary relief. The source of the odor must be addressed.

Enzyme digester cleaner/deodorizer can be used for pet messes and deodorizing. The enzymes digest organic odors and stains. The trick is to give enzymes time to 'digest.' Repeat applications may be necessary. (You can clean upholstery and carpet, but you can not clean padding beneath.) Enzyme cleaners are the pet mess cleaners at pet stores. They are also marketed in gallon size under a variety of names such as Nature's Miracle, Out, OdoBan, and others.

Before beginning a deep cleaning, try spraying with enzyme digester deodorizer. Spray in air and on carpets and upholstery. The smell-good deodorizers mask odors. Enzymes digest odors. Open up windows in the cool evening and turn on whole house fan to suck fresh air through the house.

Does your friend have an underlying health problem? I ask this because the greatest odor is in the bedroom where one spends most of their time. There are certain underlying physical disorders that can cause unusual body odors. Some people with diabetes which is poorly managed or undiagnosed have maple syrup urine disease or ketoacidosis, which produce a sickly sweet odor. Some infectious diseases have odors. Since you mention that your friend is portly, I wonder if he has diabetes?
Old 08-18-06, 08:40 PM
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Plain and simple....there are alot of problems i can see here. Cat urine in subfloor, mold and mildew possibilites from the moisture. In my thoughts, unless you are willing to sink in alot of time and money...i wouldnt want to live there.

Any cheap solutions will only mask the odors. At this phase in the damage..replacing carpet,pad and cleaning or replacing subfloor would be needed.

If you try to topicaly clean the effected areas, you would only be added more moisture and would never be able to remove the causing factors. Just my thoughts, sometimes you have to know when to walk away.
Old 08-19-06, 10:47 AM
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Wow, thanks a mil for all the info and advice! I hadn't thought it was going to be a terribly huge problem, but at least if it is, your advice has prepared me for the work I'll need to do.

The common room carpet is actually less cheezy that I thought. Turns out that it's waterproof outdoor astroturf carpet; no padding underneath, but the floor it covers is wood (that room is a late addition to the house, not part of the main structure. think of it almost like a sun-porch that's fully enclosed.) If I'm unlucky there, I might have to lift some of the carpeting to soak the wood with enzyme solution, but for the most part the waterproof properties should save me there. I tested it, dumped a whole glass of water on the carpet, and it didn't soak through it just spread on top till I dabbed it up.

As for the bedroom, that will be harder, but not impossible. Diabetes is a possibility, though it would be a non-insulin using type. After talking about it with a mutual friend, I really just think it's because he's not a hygenic person. Heavy people can have difficulty cleaning their bums and such. Still, that room is in for a deep cleaning as twelvepole suggested.

thanks again folks, any further comments and advice are very much welcome.


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