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House Has Bad Smell - Need Help!

We moved into a one year old house about a year ago. The previous owners had a dog and did have the carpets cleaned before they left. When we moved in the house smelled very much like dog. We used many different kinds of cleaners bought at the store (Arm&Hammer Pet Fresh and Complete Pet Stain&Odor Remover) to try to remove the scent. It still smells just horrible in the house. Any ideas or suggestions? I am willing to try just about anything!

What can I do next?

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i use to raise reptiles and work for a pet company . we used this stuff its greatit is called OdoBan i bought it buy the gallon makes 32 gallons their web site is cleancontrol.com ,,,i hope this works as well for you has it has for me i'm stilling using it years later

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Unfortunately, the smell might have gotten as deep as the wood under the carpet. Especcially, if the dog did business in the home. We had this problem in our first house, cat. 2 things that were suggested to us. Air Purifier, b/c it kills "THE GERMS" that cause the orders, and this stuff called Basic G,Germicide from shaklee. Goet it from www.yourhealthyalternatives.com . Hve to go to shopping area, then put basic G in search, but should come up. These 2 did the job immediately, and smell stayed gone. Hope this helps.

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I moved into a house just like that a few years back. The renters had four BIG dogs and they had trouble housebreaking them!! They had also had the carpets cleaned, but JUST cleaned, nothing else.
I ended up calling Stanley Steamer. They came out and not only treated the carpet, but cleaned it with an enzyme type cleaner that not only got out ALL the nasty DOG smell, but they got the carpet 7 shades cleaner. I found out, from a old swatch in the garage, that the carpet was not supposed to be brown, but was in fact, a pretty light blue!! The whole treatment only cost about $350, but was SOOOOOOOO worth it. I guess you can clean and clean, but without any type of enzyme cleaner, the pet urine and smells wont come out.

Hope it works for you.

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i use to raise reptiles and work for a pet company . we used this stuff its greatit is called OdoBan i bought it buy the gallon makes 32 gallons their web site is cleancontrol.com ,,,i hope this works as well for you has it has for me i'm stilling using it years later

1 mom found this helpful

Urine odor, from any source, can be a nightmare to get rid of. Especially in carpet. From what I understand, it is the protein in the urine that haunts us and causes the smell. In carpet, it soaks into the carpet backing, pad, and whatever type of floor the carpet is covering. Even if you replace the carpet, the smell will come back if you do not treat the main floor, especially on damp or humid days. Since you live near Houston, you probably have a constant problem with the humidity. I clean my carpet with Basic H2 from Shaklee because it is organic and can clean anything that can be cleaned in water. In your predicament, I would have someone loosen the carpet from the wall, clean the carpet and bottom floor, and replace the pad. If you thoroughly soak the carpet backing and the floor, the odor should be gone. Good luck and hope this suggestion saves you some money. Pad is cheaper than new carpet.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem at my previous home. The hallway stunk of dog urine from previous owner, always worse in the summertime. The only way to completely get rid of the smell is to rip out the old carpet, scrub the floor, and put new pad and carpet down.
I couldn't afford to do that so what I did was steam clean the carpet with a vinegar solution-- 1 part vinegar to 3 parts hot water. I used that instead of the shampoo in the steam cleaner. After the carpet was dry, I sprinkled baking soda, left it over night, and vacuumed it up in the morning. The smell would be gone for 3-4 months and as soon as we caught a whiff of it I'd clean the carpet again.
I hope this helps...and good luck.

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Try Odoban from Sam's. WE had a rug we bought at Pottery barn and it smelled like rubber and after 2 different days of spraying it with odoban we have never smelled that rubber smell again

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"Simple Solution" or "Nature's Solution" it may be called now.....it works like magic on pet smells and even mildew/mold smells. You can get it at Petsmart and you can tell its the right stuff if it smells kind of like baby lotion.

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Hi S.,

My name is D. and I am a distributor for an air purifier with a company called EcoQuest. I am almost 100% confidant that our units would clean that smell for you and leave your house smelling like a thunderstorm had just come thro there and left it with that clean smell we smell after a thunderstorm. I had a man from Beaumont call me just last week because of the very reason you are talking about and he had been into one of my customers homes and said "their house always smells so clean and they have Lola (their weimerimer)."
If you would like to give me a call I am at ###-###-####. These units also kill the e coli, salmonella, mersa, flu bugs on surfaces.

Thanks for your consideration,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S. not sure if you have heard of Melaleuca but it is wonderful. It will change the entire enviornment of your home in the first day. I started using it witha friend becuase of old carpet and allergies... It has made living at home a whole new experience. Visitors to my home comment on how my house feels and smells everytime they come over. They love the clean freshness without the chemical cover up of other cleaners! Give it a try. Visit www.melaleuca.com and go to about us section. Then give me a call.

A. Bartholomew J.D.
Life is Meant to be GOOD, Live Well

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The products from the grocery store do nothing but cover odor and many are toxic to babies and pets who stay close to the floor.If you have a small child or pet, never sprinkle baking sode or other powder on rugs, etc., unless you want to damage lungs. And don't use clorox, which like ammonia has toxicity and is not good for anyone.

Do you have a Lampe Berger? They're a little pricey but are designed to KILL odors, not just cover them, and will kill viruses as well. (Were designed originally by a physician to rid hospital rooms of germs.)

Better yet, get a really good air purifier. Not a Sharp or one from the mall stores. Get an EdenPure. It takes odor out of everything. You need one for your health because of the filthy air if you live in or near Houston, anyway. (That air makes "opening the windows" a really dumb idea.)

If neither of these is an option, there's always new flooring, and not carpet. Carpet is toxic for several weeks after laying because of out-gassing. And carpet is "clean" for only a short time. Hard floor if you care about your health.

1 mom found this helpful

When Tropical Storm Allison flooded my home, everything had a bad smell. I was told about OdoBan (kills 99.99% germs) at SamsClub. I bought it for the clean up. It has directions on how to dilute it for any application (1 gallon can make 32 gallons). I add it to my steam cleaner, laundry, floors, and spray it in closets & cars etc.

We had the same problem, we tried everything from carpet freshners to professional shampooing and nothing. The only thing I suggest is pulling that old carpet up and replacing it or get tile. Sorry if it's not enought help but I think that's is all you can do. Too bad the previous owners didn't think about the outcome of there pet odor.

When we moved into our first home, we had the same issues. No matter what we did the smell did not go away. What we came to find out is that unless you get the smell out of the carpet pad, you are just cleaning the surface. I don't know what your financial siutation is, but we finally had to pull the carpet up along with the pad. Under the pad the concrete was even stained from the pet uriune. We scrubbed the concrete with bleach and ended up putting tile down in it's place. Hope that this had been a little helpful. Good luck

Get the air ducts cleaned

Paint the walls (same shade if you want)

Consider replacing the carpet :(

To get rid of the smell totally, you will probably have to replace the carpet and pad as these have been ruined and cleaning won't fix the porblem. Sorry.

Hi Susan, we bought a home from some people who had several boys. Their dogs were kept inside. The animal and boy sweat in that house was powerful. I cleaned the walls in the bathroom (urine splatter).You couldn't see anything, but it was in the wallpaper and woodwork. After we repainted and cleaned the carpets it was ok. The carpet pad in your home may be soiled even though you had the carpets cleaned. The odor was not eliminated for us until we repainted and aired out. Try sprinkling Borax powder (20 Mule Team Borax-laundry aisle in groc store) on the carpets and let it sit for a few days, then vacuum up. It is fragrance free and seems to neutralize the odors. You could try it in one room and close it off to see if you notice a difference, then treat the rest of the house if that works.

pet urine is really hard to get out. first try renting a rug doctor from your local grocery store and if that doesn't work call a professional carpet cleaner if tha doesn't work call a carpet installer and ask if he can replace the pad....that is where the urine is now it is all in the pad that is why it is so hard to get it all outthe carpet itself should still be okay....if not you will have to replace all of the carpet.

Good luck


Had the same problem and the only thing that helped was replacing the carpet and padding. Some of the spots even leaked through the padding and hit the concrete below. Best of luck.

Replace the rugs...that is the only way to get rid of it. All of the other options just cover the smell for a short time. The padding under the rug is also holding the oders. I've been a dog owner my entire life and if there is carpet it just holds the oder. We currently have 2 big dogs in our house and it smells like dog also. We are just living w/the carpet till we can afford solid surface floors throughout the house.

We just went through the same problem....In trying to save money, we had the carpet professionally cleaned, deoderized and sanitized (so they told us...lol), and while it smelled better for the first few days, the smell quickly came back. One month later, worried about our daughter's asthma problem and hating the horrible odor, we opted for new carpet....When the we saw the condition of the padding, it was no wonder the odor was so bad...urine stains everywhere. The carpet installer said no amount of cleaning would have made things better with those urine protein stains sitting right underneath the carpet.Look around for discount or discontinued carpeting if you go in the direction of new carpet. I also liked the suggestion of painted floors, if finances don't allow for new flooring... Best of luck!

you may try something that gets out the smell of kids, call carpet cleaners, or just replace the carpets. Getting out pet odor is the worst time ever- the old owners mayhave let the stuff get to the stuffing in the carpet so you may not ever get it out.

To save money you may try and do one room at a time, but do the one that smells the worest first. sorry I dont have any super duper tricks.

we had the same problem with our house. we replaced the carpet with wood floors. changed the finish on all the walls and repainted. That seemed to do it. Oreck has a great floor cleaner called the Orbiter that I use on my tile. It's an amazing scrubber. Good luck

Get rid of the carpet and wash everything!
More than likely...the dogs urinated on the carpet and it soaked into the pad below.

Vinegar? Try wiping down the walls with a solution of vinegar/water. I would spot test anything used on the carpet, but it shouldn't hurt your carpet. You might have to get new carpet or have another professional come and clean it. I don't know. I know a family that stripped down to the foundation, then painted it with cement paint until they could afford new flooring.

Morning Susan;

Your problem may be the carpet padding!! When they clean
carpets they don't normally really get to the padding! If
the dog peed on the carpet and it went thru to the padding,
it takes special "Steam" cleaning with deoderizing chemicals
to take it out.
Since dogs normally go in the same place it is probably limited to just one spot, but, alas, that smell can go thru
the whole house. Try to isolate it to which room it is!
Then call a "Steam" cleaner and explain the problem to them.
Best of Luck
B. C.

You may have already done this, but when our house was smelling bad like dog because we had a dog for a short time the air filters in our house had trapped the smell. Once we changed them the smell went away. Otherwise, you may need to replace carpets.

Susan, If the previous owners had a male dog, he could have "marked" his territory or if either male or female dog was not housebroken, it could be in the padding of the carpet. You can try to clean the baseboards & the walls with Murphy Oil Soap, shampoo the carpet with a cleaner that is for pet odors or have the carpet steam cleaned. If it still smells like a dog, then the odors are probably imbedded in the padding and the only way you can get rid of it, that I know of, is by replacing the padding. Hope this helps

Have you tried using an air purifer? I DON'T know if all brands work i use a brand called Alpine it's very good.GOOD LUCH.

It could be the pad is completely saturated and heat releases the odor. I've placed charcoal in bags and scattered them throughout the house whenever I've needed to remove an odor. This really works! Try it.

You need to pull the carpet. The smell has probably gone through the padding.

Good Morning Susan,
unfortunately unless there is a miracle carpet cleaner out there, you will have to change out the carpet. Even the best of cleaning will leave it looking and smelling good but it is only temporary. Eventually it will surface back up and you are right back where you started from.

When you clean your carpet, basically you are only cleaning the surface, once you start walking on it again the stains will reappear as well as the smell. I lived in a town home for ten years and it was wall to wall carpet even in the BATHROOM! How crazy is that. I have one son and eventually took on two more from a marriage. BOYS and carpet in the bathroom do not mix! :-)The pee smell was awfull and it didn't matter how much I cleaned or used baking soda!

We recently moved into a new home and the carpet had to go. It was a dingy color and even though it was a dark color you could still see the stains. When we pulled up the carpet you could also see the stains on the padding. They have been replaced with wood flooring.

Good Luck

I had the same problem when I moved into my house. I replaced the carpet upstairs and the smell vanished but on humid days I can sometimes smell it again. Downstairs has no more odors because I put hardwood floors in. Perhaps wood blocks the odor completely. Good luck I wish there was a cheaper solution but replacing your floors is your best bet.

The best way to get rid of the dog smell is to replace the floor. The dog smell is in the padding under the carpet and there is nothing you can do to get it out. Every time you wash it, you just ge thte pad wet and may potentially be making it worse. IKEA has some laminate flooring at a really reasonable price. I was able to install it in my house myself. If you are handy in that sort of way, maybe you could, too.

Agree with previous posts...If it has gotten into the padding the only way to get rid of the smell is to replace the carpet. Not a cheap solution, but more than likely the only one that will work.

Good luck!

If you go for the option to get new carpet and pad (which is what I would suggest) don't forget about the tack strip. Mix a spray bottle filled with water with a little bleach and spray down the tack strip going around each room. The wood part has probably absorbed a lot. If you don't want to do that much work, at least spray down the areas that look like they have gotten wet.

Same thing happened to us, the previous owners had large dogs. I was talking to a flooring company and they say it takes about 3-5 years before the dog hair will be gone. And they were correct. However, you may also be dealing with dog pee, if that is correct I would pull out the carpet and padding and wash the floor very good, before replacing the carpet.

Along with getting your carpets/padding cleaned, you might want to paint your walls. A fresh coat of paint can some times do the trick to freshen up a room.

Set out a small bowl or cup with coffee beans (not ground). I thought it was crazy but I actually had to do this a few days ago at our ranch house (dead mouse somewhere) and it got rid of the smell in a few hours.

Hey been there done that. Save your money and put in new floors you are wasting your money on carpet cleaners. The smell is in the padding underneath and products do not get that deep. We have slowly put in hardwood floors throughout our house and its the only way to go!! B.

Sounds like the odor went into the carpet padding - no real cure except new flooring - it has "sat" too long.

Other than ripping the carpet up, I would say wash the walls,too and get your air ducts cleaned out. If there are drapes in the house, takes those down and wash those,too or have them professionally cleaned,depending on the material. I hope this helps.

well, I have had animals all my life.. I have a steam cleaner.. and shamppo often.. but, to get rid of the smell... I put fabric freshener in the steam cleaner...or i have use airwick liquid air freshener

We're getting rid of the carpet in our house and replacing it with wood laminate flooring right now for the very same reason. We have a weenie dog who has proven to be untrainable. Expensive undertaking just to avoid pet odors, but we love our doggies so much and don't have the heart to make them 100% outside, they get so sad if they can't come inside even if just for a few minutes a day.

I haven't found anything that will completely remove the stains and smells. We bought a bissel pro heat 2x carpet cleaner and it has been the best thing so far, but still it is not 100%, and we use it.. ALOT. I suspect the pad is the issue in our house. Maybe try vinegar in your carpet cleaner and see if that helps?

Best of luck, and if you find something that really works, please share the info :) we won't have carpet for long, but we'll still have rugs so i'm sure i'll still be needing it!

Honestly, you may need to replace the carpet - most likely the smell is in the pad under the carpet so you can't get at it. You may try the products from Petsmart or Petco made specifically for pet smells, but if it is too badly stained in the pad, I am not sure it will work. I think you might be able to use the liquid cleaner from Petsmart in a steam cleaner you can rent from the grocery store if you can't afford to replace or get it professionally cleaned. Hopefully someone else will have other good suggestions. The smell if it remains is probably not good for your kids, if it is too strong - if they are having any allergy/asthma problems I would try my best to replace it if you can. Good luck!

You've probably already tried leaving the windows and doors open for a period of time. This might get messy, but you could try pouring lots of baking soda all over the carpet and leaving it there to soak up the odor, vacuuming after a few hours. Do that for two or three days in a row, longer if you notice a difference. Even on your hard floors, mash it into a powder and spread it around. I've done this in one room at a time, and it worked. Also, I love the scent of sage and cinnamon! You can buy a sage stick at Whole Foods and break off bits to burn. Sprinkle on some cinnamon from your kitchen, and light it up!

I'll be interested to know if this works for you. If not, then you might just have to replace the carpet...and padding.

Hi Susan,

Have you tryed cleaning it with vinegar? That is the best thing I know of to get rid of odors, have had two experiences with bad smells & vinegar took care of both.
Good luck

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