Keeping care homes odour free


Odour Doctor specialists provide advice on how to control unpleasant odours in care home environments

Do you know what a good care home cleaning regime is?

It doesn’t matter if it’s cooking, rubbish, the toilet, or a spill - the result, if not cleaned properly, is a nasty odour that can upset staff, residents, and anyone who visits the home.

Always start a cleaning and dusting routine from top to bottom, with the tallest furniture first. Use a damp duster, rather than a dry one, for shelves and hard surfaces, as this will trap dust rather than moving it around the room.

Working your way downwards, rugs and carpets should be tackled with a vacuum cleaner with a High Efficiency Particle Arrestance (HEPA) filter. This is the only way to remove the smallest particles of dust and dirt.

Hard floors or vinyl should always be mopped, rather than swept, as this will stop the dust from returning straight away.

Cooking smells can be tough to clean because they are bonded to aerosolised grease and smoke. It is essential, therefore, that kitchens are cleaned well and frequently so that dirt, grease, and grime cannot accumulate. To get rid of the dirt a soap or detergent that can emulsify grease - most household cleaners will do - is all that is needed.

Moving on to those really-unpleasant, cant-be-helped odours caused by accidents. The best formula for removing urine from carpets is to use paper towels to soak up as much of the urine as possible. Continue blotting until the area is only a little damp. When you are finished the area should be almost dry. Then rinse the area with clean, cold water. Do this frequently, and remove as much of the water as possible each time using towels.

If used immediately, shampoo and wet vac can work on a one-off problem. However, if urine is allowed to soak into the carpet, wetting spreads the urine out across a wide area of underlay and floor and the odour becomes worse. Persistent use of a wet vac system can also cause damage to your carpet.

Some solids, such as faeces and vomit, are very easy to remove with a paper towel or plastic glove. Unfortunately, some other ‘solids’ aren’t very solid at all. If this is the case, use a piece of cardboard to remove as much as possible from the fibres of the carpet. It’s always best to do this straight away, before it has had time to dry.

Mix together mild dishwashing soap or laundry detergent with warm water, and gently work into the soiled area. The aim is to clean all the solids from the carpet pile. Use paper towels to soak up as much as possible.

Top tips here are to apply a bio-enzymatic cleaner to the affected area. When using any enzyme-based odour and stain remover, make sure that it also contains ‘friendly bacteria’. This will help to enhance the odour and stain removal.

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These solutions are tried and tested but, like all things, some situations are beyond normal. If trouble persists, or they don’t work, download the researched guide published by Odour Doctor. This useful information provides practical advice and knowledge that helps to simplify the science behind how odours are created so that care home managers can prevent and banish bad odours in their environments.


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