Chapter 1: Odor and the Science of Olfaction
Chapter 2: Exploration of the Sources of Odor
Chapter 3: The Interrelationship Between Microorganisms and Odor
Chapter 4: Effective Odor Detection Techniques
Chapter 5: Process of Deodorization
Chapter 6: Process of Oxidation
Chapter 7: Process of Enzymatic Action
Chapter 8: Process of Chemical Deodorization
Chapter 9: Process of Sealing
Chapter 10: Deodorization Equipment and Supplies
Chapter 11: Remediating Protein and Chemical Odors
Chapter 12: Death Scene Restoration

Another strategy utilized to master foul odors is what remediation professionals call chemical deodorization. The reality is that there are a good number of odors that cannot effectively be eliminated using one or even a combination of the techniques discussed in the previous articles. As a result, the need can arise during or directly after a remediation process to utilize chemical deodorization as a means of fully eliminating a pervasive and unpleasant odor.

Specifically, chemical deodorization is utilized as a means of removing any chemical odor that is left behind after other odor remediation processes are used.

Basics of How Chemical Deodorization Works

At its essence, chemical deodorization is designed to neutralize or eliminate an odor utilizing what is known as counteractants. Chemical deodorization involves the use of what is known as a high threshold fragrance odor modifier. An odor modifier is intended to pair and counteract those unpleasant odors that can be associated with bacterial waste digestion as well as one of another of the disinfecting processes.

For example, pet urine can prove to be particularly tenacious when it comes to foul odor remediation. After utilizing more than one remediation strategy, you may still end up with a pet urine odor issue.

Pet urine has the ability to contaminate multiple layers of an item or space. The urine can result in significant damage, and intensely foul odor, when it ends up on a carpeted surface. Pet urine contamination of carpeting can contaminate not only the carpet but also the carpet cushion and the sub-floor.

Example of Chemical Deodorization Odor Elimination Process

The process of utilizing chemical deodorization on carpeting provides a good illustration of how the process works. Oftentimes, among professionals, this process is referred to as a counteraction. Procedurally, the carpet chemical deodorization process (our counteraction process) has four phases:

  • Disengage the carpeting
  • Spray the carpet backing with suitable chemicals
  • Remove the carpet cushion
  • Spray the floor, tack, and any other malodorous items and areas with a chemical deodorizer

The primary objective of the counteraction process is to remove any remaining chemical odor arises after a prior remediation endeavor. For example, chemical deodorization is intended to remediate any odor that arises from bacterial digestion, as set forth in the chapter on enzymatic cleaning.

Chemical deodorization is particularly effective at remediating or neutralizing these types of foul odors:

  • Ammonia
  • Sulfur
  • Smoke
  • Fuel oil

This counteraction process removes the remaining chemical odor after digestion, and (depending on fragrance) continues to deter re-frequenting by pets if they continue to live in the area. Pet urine problems can reoccur even after treatment if the animal still resides in the structure

Applying Chemical Agents for Odor Remediation

A common method for applying a chemical agent designed to neutralize odors is a pump sprayer or a trigger sprayer. An approved chemical agent oftentimes is applied in this manner at full strength to address odors emitting from carpeting and associated flooring materials. The elimination of pet urine odors from these materials can be especially challenging, necessitating chemical agents to assist in a comprehensive elimination process.

  • Carpet
  • Carpet backing
  • Carpet cushion
  • Other floor material
  • Baseboard
  • Tackless strip

The standard practice is to utilize saturation spraying. This type of spraying is also effective when utilized on some damaged structure as well.

In addition to spray application of chemical deodorizing agents, they can also be injected into porous materials. Certain type of odor molecules, including those associated with smoke or incomplete combustion, can end up tucked into porous materials, resulting in a hard to combat odor.

Yet another means which a chemical deodorization can be applied is via what is known as a thermal fog solvent. As the moniker suggests, a thermal fogger primarily is utilized to neutralize or eliminate airborne odor molecules. This is a strategy that is effective in dealing with smoke odors. It can also be helpful in neutralizing odors that have ended up in porous materials of different types.

There is yet another delivery system for chemical deodorant agents. This is the deodorant block. A deodorant block primarily is utilized for masking as opposed to neutralizing a foul odor. Because a deodorant block doesn’t permanently remediate or eliminate an odor, it is not heavily relied upon by a professional odor remediation service. It can be used as a stopgap or temporary measure in some situations, including before full-scale odor remediation commences.

A small-scale example of a chemical deodorant block is a urinal cake. The technical name of a urinal cake is “urinal deodorizer block.” Similar and larger blocks can be obtained to mask odors in different types of settings. 

Related to the chemical deodorant block are other types of time-release odor masking agents. As is the case with deodorant blocks, these agents do not neutralize a foul odor. These include:

  • Oils
  • Gels
  • Other types of solids

After this presentation about chemical deodorization, we turn to a final overall strategy utilized to remediate a foul odor. This strategy is the process of sealing which is discussed in the next article.


Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services like biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.