Bad smells are not only offensive to the senses, masking them may temporarily cover up a bigger problem. Treating odors with air fresheners, deodorizers and store-bought cleaners briefly hide bad smells caused by pets, smoking, mold, bacteria and mildew. Smoke from fire damage is readily absorbed into building materials, fabrics and porous surfaces. This makes smoke odors particularly difficult to remove. Regardless of the source, short term solutions for odor removal don't last and do nothing to treat the underlying cause. Shampooing can even distribute mold-causing microorganisms over a much wider area.