An odour or smell is caused by one or more volatilised chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or animals perceive. Rugs and other floor coverings are susceptible to a variety of unpleasant odours including those caused by food, mould (when a rug is rolled or folded and stored in a damp environment, such as a basement or stored over a period of time, it may smell mouldy) and moisture (leaving wet areas on rugs unattended results in trapping moist and dampness underneath them). In addition to causing damage to the rug’s foundation, these things can cause malodours to be created.
Spilling liquids, humidity and flooding are some of the common sources of damp odours. Cooking and spilling food or drink are sources of foul odours, as are the natural body odours of pets that can be absorbed by the rug fibres over time. Cigarettes or tobacco and smoke or ash from fires contribute to odours and generally rug fibres absorb smells from the environment in which they are kept.
Though deodorants can mask bad odours, the only way to get an odour free rug is to use the services of a professional odour removal company who will meticulously remove the smell the first time.
Common odours that people are used to, such as their own body odour, are less noticeable to individuals than external or uncommon odours. This is due to habituation; after continuous odour exposure, the sense of smell fatigues quickly, but recovers rapidly after the stimulus is removed. Odours can change due to environmental conditions, for example odours tend to be more distinguishable in cool dry air. The ability to identify odours varies among people and decreases with age.
The human sense of smell is a primary factor in the sensation of comfort. Olfaction as a sensory system brings awareness of the presence of airborne chemicals. Some inhaled chemicals are volatile compounds that act as an irritant, triggering unwanted reactions such as runny noses, sore eyes and throat irritation. Perception of odour and of irritation is unique to each person and varies between individuals because of their physical condition or memories of past exposure to similar chemicals. A person's specific threshold before an odour becomes a nuisance depends also on the frequency, concentration, and duration of an odour.
Higher concentrations of odours may be apparent in confined indoor environments due to restricted infiltration of fresh air; leading to greater potential for toxic health exposures from a variety of chemical compounds. Health effects of odour are traced to the sensation of an odour or the odorant itself. Health effects and symptoms vary, including eye, nose, or throat irritation, cough, chest tightness, drowsiness, and mood change; all of which decrease as an odour is removed. Odours may also trigger illnesses such as asthma, depression, stress induced illness, or hypersensitivity. Ability to perform tasks may decrease, and other social/behavioural changes may occur.
Foul smells lingering in your rug could be the result of inadequate maintenance and paying little attention to the causes of carpet odours and eliminating those causes. The presence of bacteria is the main cause of organic sources such as pet smells. Bad rug odours create unhealthy and unpleasant living environments. In addition, bad odours significantly impact your rug’s condition, value and usability. Therefore, it is important to identify and eliminate the causes as soon as possible.
Eliminating the source of the odour trapped inside your rug fibre does not necessarily eliminate the bad odour. To do this you need to use a professional well experienced and skilled in rug cleaning and restoration. The use of strong perfumes and some commercial odour removal products is not a solution to permanent odour removal. Those products only mask the odour. The foul odour will return once the smell of the perfume wears off.
There are different methods of removing odours. The Rug Guru use our extensive experience, skills and proper techniques to permanently eliminate and neutralise all types of odours.