Combatting Apartment Odors

Bad odors not only repel potential residents but attract pests like roaches, rats, and more. Apartment odors can be a deal breaker for multifamily communities. Keep your properties smelling fresh by knowing exactly how to eliminate odors and using the right products for the best results.

The Two-Tiered Approach
Successful odor control is a two-tiered process. The first tier involves cleaning and disinfecting all soiled surfaces. Typically, if you remove the source, you will remove most, if not all, the odor. However, you may notice lingering fumes. In this case, employ the second tier, the use of an odor control product that attacks persistent odors.

Common Sources of Apartment Odor
In the multifamily community, certain smells can waft and linger. Proactively address common sources of odors around the apartment complex.

  • Cooking smells like oils, fish, curry, hardboiled eggs, etc. 

If you’re turning a unit that has lingering food odors, it’s likely the odors have been absorbed into the carpeting, tiles, or curtains. In this situation, try an odor remover fogger that will work its way into deep crevices.

    Dumpster Odors and Smells

    High temperatures can increase the speed at which garbage decays. Be sure to keep a dumpster deodorizer on hand.

  • Trash and dumpsters
Dumpsters and outdoor trash areas are a common source of stench, especially during the summer months. High temperatures speed the growth of bacteria and decay, creating foul scents and attracting vermin. Always keep a stash of dumpster deodorizer crystals on hand. The crystals contain citronella, which will repel insects as well as odors.

  • Urine, vomit, and bodily fluids 
You may encounter bathroom floors that seem permanently soiled by urine or carpeting stained by pets. These types of contaminates need to be treated properly. The wrong cleanser could make it harder to eliminate the odors. To successfully remove these odors, choose urine remover sprays and cleansers and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Odors from dogs, cats, and fish tanks 
If your apartment complex is pet friendly, you want to have a strategy for dealing with residual odors as you turn units. For general pet odors, a regular strength air freshener or odor eliminator spray should do the job.

  • Smoke from fire or tobacco 
Eradicating smoke and ash odors can be a bit tricky. Smoke fumes can be absorbed into upholstery, carpeting, and even drywall. If you’re faced with stubborn smoke odors, try a smoke odor remover fogger or an air purifier/odor abatement system.

  • Mildew and moisture 
At times, you may notice a musty smell, and its origin may be hard to pinpoint. Check HVAC systems and filters for mold and mildew. Change or clean as needed.

A Closer Look at Odor Control Products

Some air fresheners will cover smells with a pleasant fragrance, while other types of products chemically alter odors.

Air freshner

Air fresheners are just one of the three ways to combat odor. There are three types of odor control: air fresheners, odor counteractants, and odor eliminators.

Essentially, are three types of odor control products out there:

  • Odor counteractants: chemical compounds that bind with the foul-smelling elements and block them from getting to the olfactory senses 
  • Odor eliminators: sprays or fogs that bind with a malodor and change its nature, sometimes killing the bacteria causing the stench

The next time you purchase odor control products, read the labels carefully to ensure you’re purchasing the type you need.

Apartment managers and maintenance staff must strike a delicate balance between a resident’s freedom to cook vats of Fried Tuna Fish Curry Surprise for members of their always-sweaty hiking club and the community’s right to breathe fresh, neutral-smelling air. In the end, all residents should feel comfortable in their homes and know that their community is clean and pest free.

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There is 1 comment so far

  • Michael
    2 years ago

    the Fogger link does not work, however I did find this under “foggers” Part #: 115530

    I have used this at properties for really bad odors and works well in hallways as well for smells ranging from vomit to stale beer.

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