What are My Professional Odor Removal Options?

Photo: Laura Crowhurst/Flickr.com

So you've got a smell. Maybe it's intense mold or a big bloodstain. Even if you have no idea where it came from, but you definitely want it gone. We feel for you; bad smells are not something you want in your house, whether you're preparing it for sale or just living there.

Fortunately, there are a ton of professional odor removal options available for you. Consider the following if you ever have to make a decision about how to get rid of a bad smell. 

Act Now

First things first: the sooner you get a cleaning crew in, the better. If you identify a bad smell that you know is beyond your capacity, call a professional cleaner to take a look and give you an estimate ASAP. If there's a catastrophe that you know is going to cause an odor, like a death in the home, a flood, or a mold bloom, call a cleaner now to take action before the smell has a chance to settle in.

Hire Specialists

You're going to need more than a basic cleaning company for professional odor removal, though. While many maid services and household cleaners handle a variety of tasks, they aren't up for some of the specialty work involved in handling high-odor messes. That's because this work can include removing furniture and carpeting or flooring, dismantling parts of the walls, and even getting up into the ceiling. These firms are experts not just in cleaning, but also the specifics of odor control and how to get smells out of your house for good.

Forensic Cleaning Company

If the mess is biological in origin, which is usually a polite way of saying it's related to a dead body, you'll want a forensic cleaning company. These firms specialize particularly in removing odors and stains associated with death. They have training in minimizing biohazards in addition to getting spaces clean and fresh. If you aren't sure about where to find one, ask for a recommendation from the police department, a funeral director, or a cleaning service.

Pet Odor Removal

These companies can also offer professional odor removal options for pet smells. Many of the strong odors left behind by pets are similar to those they work with day-to-day, so they can remove ruined carpeting and furniture and deodorize the house. Be aware that not all forensic cleaning companies will take on pet messes, primarily because not all of them have the experience and supplies to do so.


Other firms specialize in handling issues like mold. Mold can be pervasive and a serious problem if it's not attended to, and you may need to consult a contractor about it in addition to a cleaning company. While cleanup is important to minimize human health risks and get rid of the stench, if it's not paired with action to address the cause of the mold, it's going to be an ongoing problem. A contractor can work with the cleaning crew to find out where the mold is coming from and stop it at the source.


Post-flooding, you will definitely want to explore professional odor removal options. Floods can do significant damage to a home and they tend to leave a lot of very bad smells behind. It's important to bring in a flood recovery company as quickly as possible to strip damaged components of the house and get started on odor removal. If they don't get into the house right away, you will have problems with rot, mold, and strong odors that may be very difficult to get rid of.

Smoke Damage

Likewise, smoke damage requires a professional experienced in odor removal. Whether a home has been partially damaged in a fire or you're cleaning up after a tenant who smoked, the strong odor can linger without adequate cleaning. That may include stripping and repainting the walls, replacing wallpaper, and removing smoke-damaged carpet, curtains, and other fibers. A thorough cleaning job is critical to get the last of the smoke out. In the case of fire-damaged homes, the odor removal company may also connect you with a contractor who can help remove hopelessly damaged parts of the home and establish a plan for rebuilding.

Got more smells? While these are some of the most common reasons to call on the professionals, there are others too. You'll need to consult a cleaning company to get information about the best choice in professional odor removal options: remember to get a written estimate and consider getting at least two before awarding the contract.

Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.

Updated September 12, 2018.

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