How to Get Rid of Wet Carpet Smell


Have you ever walked into a room and gotten that whiff of the smell of something that seems like it hasn't been washed for a while, a smell that reminds you of summer towels and undried laundry? It is disgusting, right? This is often caused by overwetting the carpet when cleaning it or trying to remove a stain. How do you get rid of that smell from your carpets? How can you make your carpets smell normal again? Continue reading this article to find out the different methods and materials you can use to fix that wet carpet smell that has you hiding your face when having guests over.

Method One: Getting Rid of the Stale, dampness of your Carpet

Step 1: A very common method that has an amazing result is baking soda. You may find this lying around in your house as it is a very common household item. However, if not, buy a box of baking soda and generously spread it over your whole carpet and especially in the areas where the musty smell is coming from. Then take a brush, broom, or even your hands and properly spread the baking soda so it can enter the nooks and crannies of the carpet fibers. Leave the baking soda in for at least a day before you move on to the next step.

Tip: You can also use products like powdered borax. However, these are chemicals and therefore can be hazardous and should be followed with proper precautions.

Step 2: Once you have left the baking soda for a day, or minimum overnight, take a vacuum and suck up all the soda from the carpet. It is better to use two-three different directions to make sure you’ve picked up all the baking soda from all the tight spots in the carpet.

Step 3: Specific Carpet Shampoo to the Rescue. If after the first two steps, the smell of damp carpets is still lingering in the room, a third step you can take is using commercial carpet shampoo. These shampoos are readily available in the cleaning supplies section of your local grocery store or online.

Reminder: These shampoos are usually used with either a carpet-specific cleaning machine or a sponge. Make sure to read the instructions on the shampoo before using it.

Method Two: Becoming a Chemist at Home

The following steps are different solutions you can make at home to spray on your carpets and eventually remove the wet smell.

Solution Mix 1: Combine two cups of warm water, one tablespoon of vinegar, and one teaspoon of baking soda in a container or spray bottle. Vinegar acts as the cleaning agent due to its acidic nature and different properties such as being antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. It will kill any mold or bacteria that has been accumulating in your carpet for years and also make it easier to pick up the dirt and debris from a vacuum by loosening it from the carpet threads.

Once you have made the mixture, shake the bottle and spray it all over the carpet. Make sure you have left a few windows open as the room will end up smelling of vinegar for a day or two. When the vinegar solution has dried up, vacuum the entire room thoroughly. 

Solution Mix 2: In this solution, you’ll have to mix four tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon dye-free mild soap, and six cups of hot water in a spray bottle. This solution is ideal for carpet machines. However, keep in mind there are chances that your carpet might become lighter in color due to the hydrogen peroxide. Just make sure to maintain a percentage that is lower than 3% of hydrogen peroxide. That way, you have very slight chances to discolor your carpet.

Solution Mix 3: Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and one tablespoon mild soap.Pour the solution into a spray bottle and fill the rest of it with warm water.

Tip: Test the solutions on the corner of your carpet before spraying them all over to see if it will cause any discoloration.

Tip: If the area of carpet you’ve just treated looks flat and tired you can find out how to fluff it up here.

Few ways to keep your carpet from having a wet smell:

  • Keep carpet dry (if you spill any liquid, make sure to clean it up right away).
  • Keep windows open and fans on.
  • You can put open containers with baking soda in humid rooms.
  • Bring in professional carpet cleaners.
  • Last but not the least, if all else fails, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the old, and hello to a new carpet.

About the author 

Saul Jones

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