odor problems between spouses

Carpet cleaners sometimes get right between two arguing spouses over strong odors — for one spouse the odor knocks them out while the other spouse thinks they are nuts!

Odors are a very personal experience. What can knock one person out can be nonexistent to the other. Just as with taste, what one thinks is great can be revolting to another.

For example, take “hot foods.” Some delight in hot, hot food, consuming habanero laced sauces (or hotter derived sources) while others could not fathom the thought.

And so with odors, it can be a olfactory duel, which each in their respective corner! This can be the case with malodor, where odor can and does become a huge bone of contention. Add some flame to the fire, disagreements begin to ensue. The affected spouse needs relief, and scrambles at self attempts (often without success.) Without support from their spouse, they quickly feel hopeless as it becomes apparent it is above what they can resolve themselves. Concluding they need professional help next, the money argument kicks in. The unaffected spouse completely objects to professional services and spending even one red hot penny for something they do not believe exists.  Each spouse digs in further while the affected spouse lives in misery. And there you have it, a marriage face off!

Common Malodors We are Called Upon For

Pet—Dog or Cat Urine, Human Incontinence, Cigarette or Cigar Smoke, Smoke or HVAC “Puff Backs”, Smelly Dog, Musty Damp Basement, Water Leaks, Trash Debris—which may include diapers, Decomposing Animals, Bird Nests in Attics, Plumbing Problems, Smelly Teen Gym Bags, Decaying Food, Refrigerator or Freezer Failure, Ethnic Cooking, New Carpet or Textile Smells, Wet Wool Rug Smells and more…

Case In Point, A Client’s “Super Sniffer” Impresses Gas Company Inspector

Years ago I was called to a house to clean the carpets, where carpet smells were discussed. Listening carefully, we made sure we addressed her carpet odor concerns along with the cleaning.

However, to prove her sensitivity to smells she shared a simultaneous issue she was dealing with while scheduling her routine carpet cleaning. That same day, and while we were there, she called her utility company because she sensed a malodor, coming from near her gas meter (located by her front entrance.) She had called the Gas Leak Hotline, and the inspector was out there lickety-split.

The inspectors use meters that routinely discover gas odors NOT detectable to the human olfactory nerve, usually. She did detect a gas presence at the meter near the entrance to her condo, one that should never have been detected by humans. He told her he was impressed and frankly surprised (and a first for him.) Being a minor issue he adjusted some connections and went on his merry way.

Reality is—There is No Peace Until The Affected Spouse Finds Relief

It is true there can be an on-going problem till the odor problem is solved.  In some cases it can be short lived, as in when a woman is pregnant and unusually sensitive to smells that dissipates once the baby is delivered. Or it can be long standing problem if the odor affects a highly sensitized individual.

Enter the Carpet Cleaner, Quasi “Marriage Counselor” Slash Odor Control Specialist

Sure we (and other) carpet cleaners wear 3 Hats! To reiterate, there is no peace in the house until the affected individual gets relief!

So “Marriage Counselor”/Carpet Cleaner it is. As a professional, a carpet cleaner will listen intently to the concern, and hear all or both sides. Then they will dive in to the science of odor and give credence to the problem and validate it for the affected party (delicately.) Again, it is not uncommon for this to be a contentious situation, with each spouse in their respective corner. But hopefully after the professional validation the healing can begin.

The goal as a hired professional is to identify the source of the smell, and the location. Next is to  determine the depth of penetration. And finally a presentation is made of the list of steps for removal. In some cases it is easy, straightforward and simplified. While other times it is  much more complicated, requiring remediation involving odor containment, demo, and replacement—which can be costly.

So once a plan is determined, and both or all parties are on board, relief can be within reach. The procedures and costs are presented, agreed to by both parties, and the work is scheduled.

To sum it up, odor control is real. The contamination mostly exceeds basic cleaning, and relief is possible, for a fee. Remembering that the carpet cleaner/odor control professional is here to help, we (they) are not the enemy. We just deliver the sobering news. In every case the problem is the customer’s, and the customer’s alone. Fixing it is possible. Dealing with the source is necessary, and concessions must be made when the source is a loving member of the family to prevent the on-going problem And finally, each spouse must be totally on board.

In conclusion, and to sum it up quite frankly, this popular phrase fits completely: “HAPPY SPOUSE—HAPPY HOUSE!”

This article is written by Wendy Fenske, Certified Master Restorer and Owner, Sparkle Surface Care, by Classic Services.