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Stinky room! Can you help?
Old 08-11-2006, 06:00 AM
 
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After having construction in my classroom for the past two years my room stinks! I looks great but smells like a meat locker. This is the second year of “the smell”. My carpet was soaked during some construction and the odor seems to be coming from there. I tried scented cans of gel and sprays last year as well as fabric freshener on the carpet. Nothing worked. (We can’t have plug in room fresheners or burning candles). The carpet was even “shampooed” during the summer. Still stinky but a bit milder. I must not be the only teacher with a stinky room. HELP! You are all so clever... I know someone has a great idea for room scents. Thank you so much for any suggestions!


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carpet
Old 08-11-2006, 06:20 AM
 
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I was having cat-pee issues recently. That's a tough smell to get rid of, but it seems to be gone. I looked on several web sites for advice.

I sprinkled the carpet directly with baking soda and let it sit for a few days (with area rug on top so we could walk on it) then vacuumed up the baking soda. I also tried putting some fabric softener sheets under the area rug and leaving them there for a few days. Fabric softener sheets make pretty good air fresheners. I put some in the drawers of a musty old chest of drawers we inherited and it worked great. Both of these things seemed to work by either absorbing or masking the odor. These are certainly things you could try for your situation - I know its not cat pee, but it can't hurt. I also used a rug doctor on it once. Maybe it would be worth getting one of those carpet spot cleaners for your classroom? You could also try some pet odor eliminators - I bought one from my vet's office and it also seemed to do some good. Between all of that, the odor is gone now. You could also try the odor eliminators that contain enzymes that eat the odor causing stuff... sounds like yours could be mold.
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Baking Soda
Old 08-11-2006, 06:29 AM
 
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Coiuld you sprinkle this on and leave it? It always seems to work the best. There is also a commercially made carpet powder, I think it is Arm and Hammer, but it has a slight scent to it. You sprinkle it on and leave it for half an hour or so and then vaccum it up. Once you have treated the carpet you could use a plug in air frieshener or a free standing globe type one to keep your room smelling good.
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mould
Old 08-11-2006, 07:12 AM
 
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Because your carpet was soaked, it does sound to me like your problem is mould (mold?) and that can't be eliminated by covering up the smell. The only solution to a mould issue is to remove the carpet, let the wood sheeting underneath dry completely (unless it is mouldy also) and then replace with new carpet. The wood flooring should be sprayed with either a bleach and water combination or something similar (your construction people know where to get it) and left to dry. The problem is that this is could be a health issue, not just an odor issue. You could have some pretty sick kids unless this is actually taken care of properly.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:29 AM
 
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I have a mold issue in my classroom. The teacher before me informed the superintendent and they cleaned the carpet. The smell in the summer in awful due to the humidity. It smells like stale sweat. I complained again and they said that the air filters needed to be replaced.


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Beware of hidden mold!
Old 08-11-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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A classroom I was in a number of years ago had an outside (hallway) wall that got soaked overnight by a spewing water fountain. They said it would eventually dry out and they left it. My room smelled for over 2 years because the insulation in the wall was wet and got mildewy. I was also sick much more than usual when I was in that room. I have allergies.

Now for general stinkiness, I found this past year that my room smelled much better with the addition of some house plants!! My mother passed away and I received many that I brought to school. I have 2 peace lilies. These are supposed to help clean the air. I also have several other plants. don't know if they really help or not, but this past spring my room didn't have its usual stink after the hot, sweaty kids came in from p.e.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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I have a similar problem in my new class and I am worried it may be due to mould. It smells musty all the time and I know that a pipe burst in there last year. I am planning to look into it further, but I am seriously considering getting a high quality electronic air filter, even if it costs me an arm and a leg.
I am also bringing plants in to help filter the air.
Another poster is right. If it is mould the only solution is to kill the mould. No amount of "freshening" will get the smell out.
Your health and that of your students is not something to play around with.
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Thanks for your replies!
Old 08-11-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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Now I have some great suggestions to try. My carpet will be replaced next summer so I don't think that the administration will do anything until then. I'll just try to cover the smell as much as possible. I have cement floors under the carpet, maybe that is causing some of the odor. (The children haven't seemed to be any sicker that other years thank goodness.) Thanks for your suggestions everyone! You all never let me down.
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