Getting the STANK OUT of a Rental Property

16 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I recently evicted a tenant that regularly let pet dog poop inside the apartment EVERYWHERE. When we were clearing out her apartment in front of the sheriff, there was literally dried dog poop every foot or two.

We have cleared out the apartment, but there's still a slight poop smell existing. I have ceramic tile floors throughout the apartment, regular white latex-painted walls, and drop ceiling tiles on the ceiling. I've cleaned the ceramic tile floors twice - once with bleach and once with vinegar solution, but the smell is still there. 

Has anyone dealt with smells before (smoke, feces, etc)? Any suggestions, guys?

@John C. - I had a 10+ year chain smoker in one unit that I inherited.  When I finally got her to move out my contractor had to do 3 coats of Kilz primer and 3 coats of paint to cover the smoke stains on the wall.  The smell of paint pretty well covered up the smell of smoke.  We also replaced all of the flooring and fixtures.  It was quite a mess.

Hey. Not sure if this will work but as a smoker, I know that you can use an oxygen machine that will pump heavy oxygen through the house. I know that this is used by car rental companies to clean the smell out of smoked in cars and my friend does this to remove the dog smell from his car and home. Definitely something to look into. I believe the machines are around $300.
Sam Harris

Michael is right...  it is worth a try to tsp, rinse, then kilz (I would use old school oil based with respirator) or shellac seal the walls.. Then repaint. If there may be some of the you know what in the floor molding, pull that and tsp and use a stain poly in one. Then replace it. I would try to retain the floors but last resort smells may have seeped into the subfloors depending on the type of dog waste and any gaps or transitions. I am also concerned the extreme odor can seep into materials like the ceiling tiles, but would try the wall treatment first. Also, Tsp and rinse then poly stain all the wood, too, like cabinets, doors, etc..You are basically cleaning and sealing about everything in this smell stopping recipe. It is labor intensive but not that expensive materials wise ....message me for more application details.

Originally posted by @Shmuel Harris :

Hey. Not sure if this will work but as a smoker, I know that you can use an oxygen machine that will pump heavy oxygen through the house. I know that this is used by car rental companies to clean the smell out of smoked in cars and my friend does this to remove the dog smell from his car and home. Definitely something to look into. I believe the machines are around $300.
Sam Harris

 Talking about these guys I believe:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAP733I?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Those acoustic ceiling tiles are porous as anything.  I would put my ozone machine in there.  My little dude costed $125 and will help, one room at a time.  I'm not thrilled with the possible environmental affects of it, but am much less thrilled with the wonderful stank renters love to leave sometimes!  Who does this??? Were they raised in a freaking barn?

Originally posted by @Michael Boyer :

Michael is right...  it is worth a try to tsp, rinse, then kilz (I would use old school oil based with respirator) or shellac seal the walls.. Then repaint. If there may be some of the you know what in the floor molding, pull that and tsp and use a stain poly in one. Then replace it. I would try to retain the floors but last resort smells may have seeped into the subfloors depending on the type of dog waste and any gaps or transitions. I am also concerned the extreme odor can seep into materials like the ceiling tiles, but would try the wall treatment first. Also, Tsp and rinse then poly stain all the wood, too, like cabinets, doors, etc..You are basically cleaning and sealing about everything in this smell stopping recipe. It is labor intensive but not that expensive materials wise ....message me for more application details.

 Michael, What do you mean by "tsp"? What does that stand for?

Thanks for the advice everyone. I guess the most viable options are to Kilz everything and/or use an ozone generator. I might just have to buy one off Amazon.

Originally posted by @John C. :
Originally posted by @Michael Boyer:

Michael is right...  it is worth a try to tsp, rinse, then kilz (I would use old school oil based with respirator) or shellac seal the walls.. Then repaint. If there may be some of the you know what in the floor molding, pull that and tsp and use a stain poly in one. Then replace it. I would try to retain the floors but last resort smells may have seeped into the subfloors depending on the type of dog waste and any gaps or transitions. I am also concerned the extreme odor can seep into materials like the ceiling tiles, but would try the wall treatment first. Also, Tsp and rinse then poly stain all the wood, too, like cabinets, doors, etc..You are basically cleaning and sealing about everything in this smell stopping recipe. It is labor intensive but not that expensive materials wise ....message me for more application details.

 Michael, What do you mean by "tsp"? What does that stand for?

 I replied to your message with more details?...Best of luck.. I also like some of these ideas on the board..

The inside of my truck once smelled like mildew after a really humid summer. It just would not go away. I mentioned it to my coworker who recommended Iuse an air purifier called "Lightning Air." This was unique in that is actually created Ozone and destroyed odors. So I ran an extension cord to my truck and left it in over night. The smell NEVER returned. I also used it to get the smell of cat pee out of a room and it worked like a charm. Maybe they are worth the expense?

Originally posted by @John C. :
Michael, What do you mean by "tsp"? What does that stand for?

TSP is TriSodium Phospate. It is basically a really strong detergent. It comes as a powder in a small cardboard box; you mix the powder with water according to the directions on the label. You might want to wear rubber gloves when using it. Home Depot, Lowe's, etc usually have it in the paint department. Around me it goes for $4 for a one pound box or $10 for a 4.5 pound box.

There is also a "TSP Substitute" which is a different chemical that doesn't work as well. It does not contain phosphate, as some places have banned or limited phosphate in detergents - if you've ever seen a creek or stream with bubbly foam in the water, that's often due to phosphate.

I have had excellent luck with the Ozone generators. Everything still has to be cleaned really well, and when possible encapsulated in new paint. Depending on the severity, you may need to apply ozone several times. The unit I purchased has a timer which is crucial. You run it for a period of time, then let the ozone dissipate. Very dangerous for you to breath! I ran the ozone machine prior to painting. Ran for 12 hours, and then let ozone dissipate for 12 hours. Had to repeat 2-3 times before smell was completely gone!

If you have carpet pull up and paint sub floor with Kilz oil base. wash down everything if you have not sealed your baseboard and other trim by caulking the edge, do so this keeps hair from getting between trim and walls.  everyday you can open the windows.
In one unit I could not get rid of dog smell and was putting down new kitchen floor when I moved refrigerator for the third time and found a big tuff of dog hair, once I took care of that the smell went away.

After that we went pet free.