How To Get Rid Of Bad Odors In A House

We can smell all kinds of airborne odors but the strength of the odor depends on how concentrated it is. 

Some of the most common house smells come from our pets, sewer systems, smoke, mold, or natural gas. Other household bad smells are caused by rotting food and trash. 

Sometimes a bad odor can easily be eliminated when the source is removed. This is the case with most types of trash and rotting food or where a steam cleaning, vinegar, or baking soda can fix the issue, but there are certain smells that require professional help. 

The house smells where you may need to bring in outside help include smoke, mold, tobacco, or decaying animals. 

For nearly two decades, HRS Restoration Services has provided home odor removal services utilizing the latest technologies. Our customers depend on our 24/7 availability and commitment to customer satisfaction. HRS Restoration Services’ professionals are certified and know how to get rid of bad odor in your house. 

Call HRS Restoration Services for home odor removal right away!


What Causes Bad Odors In A House? 

There are many causes for household odors. From rotting food, trash, cigarette or cigar smoke, or pet-related odors, it’s hard to tell where one bad smell ends and another begins. Either way, you need a house deodorizer and we’re here to help!

Bad odors linger in porous surfaces like carpet and paint. The extent to which they persist has to do with how volatile the chemical compounds are that make up the odor. 

The more volatile an odor is, meaning being able to turn from liquid to gas easily, means persistent house smells unless you seek the help of a professional odor removal team. 


Common Household Odors & How To Remove Them

Common household odors include mold, smoke from fires or tobacco, pet urine, dead animals, and other smells from decaying organisms. 

Depending on the source, you may be able to remove the smell yourself. Below are some tips and tricks for getting rid of odors in your house.  


Musty Or Damp Smell

Mold can smell different from person to person. Sometimes mold smells earthy. Other times, it smells like rotting wood or wet clothing. 

Mold spores bury deep into porous surfaces and can cause a lingering odor that’s difficult to remove. 


Tips For Mold-Related Odor Removal

If the mold is on your walls or other non-carpeted surfaces, use a mixture of household detergent and water.

If the mold is in your carpets or other household fabrics, first try to fix the humidity issue that causes the musty odor. 

To deodorize your carpet, spray it with a mixture of 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Then, pour baking soda on the carpet and wait a few hours. You may have to steam clean curtains and furniture to remove the odor of mold. 

You can find more mold removal tips on our site. 



The difficulty with removing tobacco odors from your home will depend on how many people were smoking and for how long. Tobacco smoke remains on porous surfaces, like carpet, and even changes the color of paint. 

In addition, your HVAC system will move the smoke from room to room even when you confine your smoking to one room. Whether the smoke is from a cigar, pipe or cigarette, the affinity for the smell of smoke is not widely shared by non-smokers. 


Tips For Removing Cigarette Odor

To remove cigarette odor from walls: 

  • Mix and apply ammonia and glycol. If the smell persists, you will need to repaint the walls. 
  • There’s not a surface where cigarette smoke doesn’t penetrate so you may need to clean or get rid of all affected items. 
  • Pour white vinegar in bowls to absorb the smell 
  • Apply baking soda to carpets and other fabric surfaces and allow it to sit before vacuuming. 

Pet Urine

Pet urine is pungent, sometimes smells like ammonia, and can make your eyes water. 

Pet urine may have been under the flooring for years or is the result of a pet having an accident in your home. Young puppies and senior dogs are likely culprits. 

Sometimes, the cause is behavioral and a dog or cat may routinely urinate inside the home whether you are home or not. 


Tips For Removing The Smell Of Urine

To remove it from your home: 

  • Use baking soda on carpets and other fabric-covered items
  • Wash your pets with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid.

Decomposition Odor

A dead animal smell is one of the most putrid of all. It comes on strong and will remain until the decaying corpse is removed. 

The smell is so bad that it is virtually impossible to cover up. We invite you to learn more about our professional odor removal process


Tips For Removing The Smell Of A Decomposing Animal 

  • Be on the lookout for flies or maggots which indicate a decaying animal is near
  • You may find the animal underneath furniture or something moveable or it may be inside your walls or flooring. 
  • Until you remove the source, you won’t be able to remove the smell

Fire Smoke Odor

Fire smoke particles will settle into any surface in your home. The cause may be a nearby wildfire or a fire inside your home. 

Even when the fire is extinguished the ash and soot will remain. We have answered FAQs about fire smoke on our website. 


Tips For Removing The Smell Of Smoke

  • Use baking soda and water to clean surfaces
  • Wash clothing in a mixture of vinegar and detergent and smell after it comes out of the wash. Do not dry the clothing until you’ve washed out the smell as drying it will lock in the smell
  • Change air filters and clean all HVAC ducts

Miscellaneous Smells

Other items that can cause house smells include rotting food, fried electrical circuits, or bathroom odors. They say the “nose knows” and you will be able to smell anything in your home that is outside of the ordinary. 

Tips For Removing Miscellaneous Smells

Once the rotting food is removed, the smell will begin to disappear. However, if you smell a fishy odor, it might be that an electrical component overheated or burned and it’s best to call an electrician. 

In the case of bathroom odors, you may need to call a plumber to fix a clogged or broken sewer pipe. 


When To Call A Professional Odor Remover

If the source of the house smells is indeterminable or difficult to access, you may need to enlist a professional. 

Professional odor removal teams use moisture and odor detection equipment which comes in handy in cases of mold or miscellaneous smells. 

Removing bad smells from your home can be especially labor-intensive depending on how far the odor has traveled and how many items you have inside. Each item may need a different cleaning method and it may be worth your time and energy to call a professional restoration company with the experience and knowledge to help. 


Why Choose HRS Restoration Services?

HRS Restoration Services has served homeowners and employers for nearly two decades. Our trained and certified employees have the necessary experience and equipment to determine the source and remove bad smells in a quick and reliable manner. Our customers rave about our professional and discrete 24/7 service and we think you will too! 

Contact HRS Restoration Services in Denver as soon as you discover mold, flood or fire damage or other trauma in your home so we can make sure your home is odor-free. 

While we may not be able to prevent smells from happening, we can remove them as soon as you detect them. Call us today!


Contact HRS Restoration Services Today!

The trauma of an event that leaves your home damaged, whether from fire, mold, flood, biohazard or crime, can lead to stress and worry.

The team at HRS are here to help. From mold mitigation and restoration for homes in Denver, to our fully licensed contractors in both cities – we are ready to help when you need us.

Give us a call today to get started!

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By choosing a firm with IICRC certified team members, you are assured the cleaning professionals have undergone rigorous training and will handle your disaster restoration with the highest standard of care.


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