If your carpet has recently been exposed to any sort of water damage, you might find that your home smells musty and mildewy. If so, you should be careful, since that funky smell could be more than just unpleasant, it could be dangerous.
While it could just be caused by the dirt and bacteria carried by the water, that musty odor can also be the result of mold or mildew growing on your carpet and releasing spores. This can be terrible for your health AND your home. If you breathe in the spores, you can suffer lung conditions, headaches, and more; If the spores find another damp, warm spot in your home, they will reproduce and you’ll have a mold infestation in no time! If you want to learn more about mold, check out our article HERE.
Lucky for you, there is a way to get rid of any bad smells, no matter if they come from dirt or mildew. However, if you’re dealing with a large area of carpeted floors, there might be no alternative but to call a professional.
How to Remove Carpet Smells
1. Remove the source of water.
Your first step should always be to identify and put an end to the source of the water damage. If you don’t know where it came from, you might be dealing with a leak of some sort or a faulty door or window that is letting water in. Consider the location of the damage and whatever is nearby that might have caused it.
2.Completely dry out the area.
There are several ways to go about drying your carpet, open up your windows to improve airflow, run floor fans pointed at it you can even run a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the room and your carpet fibers.
This is the most important step of the process of removing smells from your carpet, mess it up and you leave yourself at risk of mold growth and smells coming back later on. The sure-fire way of knowing that your carpet is dry enough to be cleaned is with an electronic moisture meter, most professionals have them, but you can probably find them on the internet as well.
You should also be wary of water damage to the floor beneath the carpet. Remember, any lingering mold will multiply and spread, before you know it you’re dealing with a mold infestation. If you want to know more about dealing with water damaged floors, you can do so HERE.
3. Deep odor elimination.
When neither baking soda nor vinegar work, it’s usually because the cause of the smell is rooted too deep within the carpet and your products can’t reach it. Unfortunately, this kind of damage is also the most conducive to mold growth.
To fix it you’re gonna need a carpet steamer. You can probably buy or rent one, but since they’re not all that easy to use, we suggest you start thinking about getting professional help. However, if you’re keen on doing it yourself, here’s how; Mix vinegar with a carpet cleaning solution or carpet shampoo and pour it in the steamers chamber, then use the steamer as directed.
4. Seek professional help if need be.
If after steaming the carpet, smells come back, the only option is getting professional help. You probably have a mold infestation somewhere in your house, possibly below your carpet, so no matter what you do it will spread back over the coming months. Here at RestorationUSA, we can help you find a professional that will identify early signs of mold growth and eliminate them to keep your home safe and smell free!
What is the best carpet odor eliminator?
There are thousands of products that claim to eliminate any smells from your carpet, but when you’re dealing with water damage, you don’t need just pretty smells, but something that can kill bacteria and mold.
What you’re looking for is an antifungal treatment, which usually comes in either liquid or spray form. Some will even create an “anti-mold” coating that will prevent mold spores from taking root in the future.
For treating large water damaged areas, a dry powder odor remover is the best option. These help capture any remaining moisture in the carpet. Another option is using a product like Hoover Restore liquid cleaner, which is used in a steam cleaner.
Dry powder for large areas of water damage. Helps capture moisture and neutralizes odors.Check Price on Amazon
Does baking soda remove odors from carpets?
One of the most common tips for getting rid of carpet smells is applying baking soda and it is 100% correct. Unlike detergents and other treatments that just mask odors with artificial scents, baking soda removes them by neutralizing the acids that caused it in the first place, which removes the odor completely. Just sprinkle a very generous coating of baking soda onto your carpet and push it deeper into the fibers with a broom, then, let it sit overnight. Brush off as much as you can with your broom and vacuum the rest.
If the smell still lingers you can also try spritzing your carpet with equal parts vinegar and water, let it dry for 20 minutes, and repeat the process a couple of times. Even kitty litter will work, it’s sole purpose is to absorb strong smells and moisture, so it will probably take care of most smells, just apply it and leave it overnight.
There’s one thing you should be wary of when applying baking soda, vacuums don’t really like small particulates, they can clog up your filter and burn out your vacuum, so try to get rid of as much powder as possible with a broom or dustpan, and use your vacuum only when very little powder remains.
If the smell persists, then no surface-level treatment will do, you’ll have to bring out the big guns.