How to Remove Septic Odor

Septic odor is unpleasant and can be, at times, overpowering.

After fixing the cause of the smell, it may linger. Before giving up -- and imagining a life in which you cannot entertain guests or even open the door for the postman -- identify the source or sources of the smell and remove them. More than likely, after removing the source of the smell, the odor will be eliminated.

Identify the source of the odor. If you had a pipe burst or another plumbing issue that was fixed, you may still have objects around your home that were compromised during the incident. If there was no precipitating incident and your home suddenly smells, finding the source can be even harder.

Determine which rooms or areas of your home smell most strongly of the septic odor by shutting all doors, windows and vents to the rooms for one hour, and smelling each room. Walk around the entire room to determine if one side of the room smells more strongly than the other.

Make a list of, and inspect the movable objects around the room that may have been affected. For instance, if you had a plumbing incident and moved plants, furniture or light fixtures from the area of the incident, make sure to inspect these objects for stains, water damage or fecal matter that may have compromised the object. Smell carpeting, drapes and window shades, too.

Open the vents and smell them, if you cannot locate the source of the smell. Then, open the windows and smell. If the scent is coming from outside your home, you will need to inspect the outdoors. If you still cannot find the source of the smell, you need to call a professional.

Clean any compromised object thoroughly with bleach diluted with water. If the item is cloth or can be bleached easily, use vinegar diluted with water. Wear gloves to protect your hands. If drapes or carpets have been compromised, clean them. If you are unsure how, consult a professional drycleaner or carpet cleaner.

Isolate all compromised objects in a specific room, or area of the house, until they are clean and dry.

Open windows to clear the room of any lingering odor. Use air freshener if you wish.

Things You Will Need

  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Warm Water
  • Gloves

About the Author

Harper Jones has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Zink! Fashion Magazine," "emPower Magazine" and the "Washington Post." She has also published several health and fitness e-books and a book of short stories. Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and health sciences and currently works as a yoga teacher.