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Somebody Open A Window!

odor removalThis time of year it is easy to get the winter blues. In the lower half of Idaho we tend to have long dreary winters. By the middle of January, most of us are longing for any glimpse of the coming summer, no matter how fleeting.

I find myself walking around outside in a t-shirt when the temperature spikes to 40 degrees just to feel the UV rays on my skin for a moment. I will usually attempt to roll the windows down on the work truck for a moment while riding through town just to see if it’s time. I usually find out very quickly that it is not, but here’s to wishful thinking!

While it may be close, we still have a couple of months before the springtime comes. One of my favorite parts of spring is that first day in the upper 50’s with a slight breeze, when you get to open the windows and air out all of the winter funk that has accumulated in your house.

Why Do Odors Buildup in My Home?

This funk is a culmination of all of the things that happen in the home throughout the course of the winter. The air is full of many savory flavors from wet kids, wet pets, indoor cooking and a myriad of other things that happen while everyone is shut in breathing each other’s air.

I don’t think I am alone in longing for a reboot of the air quality in my home. Unfortunately it is hard to do this time of year, without paying an arm and a leg in heating costs.

The natural tendency is to mask odors when it is inconvenient to eliminate them. Most people do this every day, whether it is by using an aerosol based deodorizer, or a candle, or a scent diffuser. These are good short term solutions but the masked odor will always return until the source is eliminated.

How Can I Remove These Odors?

Odor molecules tend to get trapped in the fibers of all of the things in your home including the carpet, drapes, and bedding. A lot of different methods can be deployed to break up the odor molecules. The most common method is a good washing, however, sometimes that is not practical. A lot of people would prefer to get the rugs and carpets cleaned after the winter months when there is less opportunity to track in dirt and outside contaminates.

So you can’t open up the windows and you don’t want to clean your carpets just yet. If only there was another way…

This is the part where the dropdown banner unfurls behind me and the confetti drops from the sky and in my best Australian accent I begin my pitch.

All jokes aside there are methods to scrub the air, and in some situations one or all could be applicable. Odors from wood burning stoves or cigarette smoke are some of the toughest to eliminate and often require more than just cleaning the fabric in your home. Pet odors are another.

Advanced Odor Removal Methods

In these situations, if a general cleaning has not done the trick it may be time to deploy the heavy hitters. The following methods are designed to attack the odor molecule and destroy it rather than cover it up.

Hydroxyl Treatment

The first method is called a Hydroxyl treatment. This is a process that uses a UV light and the moisture in the air to break apart the water molecules to create hydrogen molecules and hydroxyl radicals. Blah blah science words, blah blah technical stuff… are you still listening? The important thing to understand is that this process is naturally occurring outdoors, and can be replicated with a Hydroxyl generator and is safe for all occupants. The process may take a couple of days with minimal interruption of daily life.

Ozone Treatment

The second treatment is a more aggressive method called an Ozone treatment, yes that Ozone! This method is also naturally occurring. This works by using electricity or UV lights to split up an oxygen molecule to create two unstable molecules that in turn bond to other oxygen molecules. The instability causes the molecules to seek equilibrium which in turn destroys any organic compounds that cause odor. The down side to this process is that the home cannot be occupied by any living organism during the process. This means that the family, the house plants, and the pets (even the goldfish) need to leave for the duration of the treatment. The half-life of the unstable molecules is about a half an hour so the home is usually able to be occupied within a few hours of the treatment finishing.

Contact Us Today!

While these methods may seem extreme, they are widely used throughout the industry and are often the most effective way to eliminate persistent odors in the home. A trained professional, like the ones at On The Spot Cleaning & Restoration, can help you determine if one of these methods would help you to improve the air quality in your home.

Of course you could always just evict your teenagers and open a window… it’s up to you!