Unpleasant odours in rental properties can be a major turnoff for potential tenants. As a property manager or owner, eliminating persistent smells should be a top priority. Fortunately, there are several effective techniques you can use to get rid of bad odours in rentals.
Identify the Source
The first step is to identify the source of the odour. Common culprits in rental units include:
- Pet urine – Cats and dogs can leave lingering urine smells in carpets, hardwood floors, and furniture.
- Mold and mildew – Moisture buildup in bathrooms, basements and other damp areas can lead to mold and mildew growth. This results in a musty, earthy smell.
- Cigarette smoke – Thirdhand smoke left from previous tenants smoking indoors can stubbornly cling to walls, carpets and window treatments.
- Cooking odours – Pungent smells from cooking can saturate kitchen walls, cabinets and linens.
- Trash and garbage – Rotting food and other decaying waste in trash bins will create unpleasant smells.
Once you identify the source, you can use the appropriate odour removal methods.
Clean Thoroughly with Enzymes
For odours caused by urine, mold, mildew or other organic materials, cleaning thoroughly with enzyme-based cleaners is recommended. Enzyme cleaners work by breaking down the compounds that cause odours at the molecular level.
For urine stains in carpets, use an enzymatic carpet cleaner specifically designed to eliminate pet urine smells. Follow the product instructions closely. Applying the cleaner liberally and allowing it time to fully break down the urine compounds is key.
In bathrooms, regular use of enzyme cleaners when mopping floors, scrubbing tile and cleaning hard surfaces will help control mildew odours. Enzyme cleaners are also ideal for eliminating odours in kitchens, including fridges and garbage bins.
Ventilate and Air Out
Proper ventilation goes hand in hand with cleaning when trying to get rid of lingering rental smells.
After cleaning carpets or areas with heavy odours, open windows and use fans to circulate fresh air. If weather permits, leave windows open for as long as possible. The more you can air out the space, the better.
In kitchens and bathrooms, use high-powered exhaust fans when cooking, showering or cleaning. Run bathroom fans for 30 minutes or more after showering before turning them off. Properly ventilating these humidity-prone areas helps avoid mildew smells.
Consider adding air purification systems as well. HEPA air filters can capture airborne allergens and odours when used appropriately.
Absorbents and Deodorizers
For stubborn lingering smells, absorbent materials and deodorisers can help purge stale odours.
Baking soda, charcoal and zeolite crystals all have excellent odor-absorbing properties due to their porousness. Place shallow dishes of these absorbents in problem areas. Replace them regularly as they fill with odorous compounds.
Odor-eliminating sprays and gels utilize scent compounds to neutralise bad smells. Look for enzyme-based options as they are best at permanently removing odours rather than just masking them temporarily. Follow product labels for proper usage.
For stubborn cigarette smoke smells that have permeated walls and ceilings, a primer paint like Kilz can help block odours. The thick oil-based formula seals in odours rather than letting them seep through standard latex paints. Apply 1-2 coats of Kilz primer to affected areas before repainting with fresh paint. This technique can also combat other challenging smells like pet urine.
Replace Carpets and Other Saturated Materials
In some cases, odours may be hopelessly entrenched in carpet, upholstery or other porous materials. No amount of cleaning or treatment can fully eliminate the smells. Replacing these saturated items is the only foolproof option.
Use this opportunity to swap out old carpeting for hardwood, tile or laminate flooring. These are easier to keep clean and odor-free for future tenants. For furnishings, pick pieces upholstered in leather, microfiber or other odour-resistant fabrics.
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to rental odours. Implementing regular cleaning, prompt trash removal, adequate ventilation and quick stain treatment will keep unwanted smells from taking hold in your investment property. Educate tenants on basic cleanliness and contact Affordable Cleaning and Gardening Services for professional deep cleaning services periodically.
With some diligent detective work and the right odour-elimination techniques, you can keep your rental fresh and appealing to tenants. Contact Affordable Cleaning and Gardening Services if you need help tackling stubborn smells in your Parramatta rental property. Our skilled cleaners have extensive experience banishing unwanted odours using effective methods tailored to the source. We serve property owners and managers throughout Parramatta and can restore your rental’s freshness.