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How To Get Rid of Wet Carpet Smell After Water Damage

How To Get Rid of Wet Carpet Smell After Water Damage

Struggling with how to get mildew smell out of the carpet, especially after water damage? You’re not alone. Water damage is a common issue that can lead to many problems, including a persistent wet carpet smell. Whether the water damage is due to natural disasters or human error, the aftermath often leaves homeowners with a stinky situation. 

Beyond the visible damage to furniture and personal items, water damage can also leave an unpleasant odor lingering in your carpet. This guide will walk you through the steps to effectively remove that musty smell from your carpet and offer tips to prevent future issues. Keep reading to find out how to reclaim a fresh-smelling home. Read more: How to use vinegar to remove mold from carpet

Why a Lingering Smell After Water Damage Just Isn’t Safe

Wet Carpet Smell Lingering

After cleaning up water, disposing of damaged items, and drying what remains, you might think the cleanup operation is complete. However, you should not be so sure. As long as there is still a smell, a significant threat to your home still exists, even after the most severe water damage has been eliminated.

A musty odor emanating from your carpet is a strong indication that mold or mildew is growing within it. Mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions and can spread rapidly, causing significant damage to your home. Both your carpet and flooring are at risk of premature decay due to mold growth, but the threat it poses to the health of you and your family is even more concerning.

Mold and mildew can exacerbate respiratory problems and even cause them in young children. Their deposits of fungal spores can weaken the immune system, putting everyone in the home at greater risk of infection or virus. A bad smell coming from your carpet is not just an unpleasant odor – it is a threat to your home, your property, and your family’s health.

Read more: How to dry a wet carpet?

Types of Carpets that Hold Odor More Easily

Wet Carpet Odors

When it comes to holding odors, not all carpets are created equal. There are four main types of carpet fibers: nylon, polyester, olefin, and wool, each with its own characteristics.

  • Nylon is the go-to for durability and wear resistance. It’s also highly stain-resistant when treated properly, making it a popular choice for homes with kids and pets. Many homeowners find that nylon doesn’t hold onto odors as much as other materials.
  • Polyester stands out for its luxurious texture and various colors and styles. However, it’s not as resilient as nylon when trapping odors.
  • Olefin is known for its water resistance and suitability for sunny areas. It’s often used in outdoor settings or damp basements due to its resistance to moisture and mold.
  • Wool offers natural beauty and eco-friendly benefits. While it maintains its appearance for a long time, it’s not as stain-resistant as other fibers.

So, depending on your household needs and where the carpet will be placed, each type has pros and cons regarding odor retention. We’ll discuss ways to manage and reduce these odors later in this guide.

Type of Odors Carpets Could Have

Pinpointing the source of unpleasant carpet odors can be challenging. Generally, you’ll encounter two main types of smells:

Pet Urine Smells Carpet

1. Pet-Related Odors

If you have pets, they’re the most likely culprits for unusual carpet smells. Urine is the primary offender, and accidents are almost inevitable if you’ve had a pet for any length of time.

Even after using deodorizers, the scent of urine or vomit can persist. In such cases, professional cleaning is often the best solution.


Damp Carpet Odor

2. Odors from Moisture or Dampness

A musty smell usually indicates moisture trapped beneath the carpet. This can happen due to high humidity, spills, or flooding. Over time, these conditions can lead to persistent odors.

If not dealt with, moisture can escalate into more severe issues like mold or mildew growth, worsening the smell and posing potential health risks to household members.

Want to know how to get rid of carpet odor from water damage? Keep reading.

What Can I Do to Treat Water Damage?

Luckily, the bad smell that lurks in your upholstery after an instance of water damage is treatable. You can take many small, practical steps to minimize the scent and improve the overall atmosphere of your home.

These include:

  • Leaving all the doors and windows open after an instance of water damage – unless it’s raining! Airflow running through your home will help alleviate the scent and speed up drying.
  • Use a dehumidifier. These can stop the spread of mold and mildew by removing excess moisture from the air.
  • Spritz the area with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove bacteria.

These will somewhat help alleviate the problems caused by water damage, but alone, they’re not enough.

Deodorizing Musty Smells in Your Carpet – Does it Work?

Deodorizing Your Carpet

Deodorizing your carpet is a great short-term solution to wet carpet smells. However, it’s not ideal if you’re looking for a long-term remedy.

Deodorizers remove smells, leaving carpets fresh and clean for only a period. Treatments in your household include baking soda, vinegar, or essential oils. Baking soda is the most popular option since it absorbs moisture and traps unpleasant smells. Some people like to sprinkle their carpet with essential oils afterward.

These remedies are great for spot cleaning and to hide the smell temporarily. You’ll have to hire a carpet cleaning expert for long-term solutions.

Read more: Should I clean or should I replace my carpet?

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the wet carpet smell go away?

Only if you do something about it! You can temporarily quell the smell with bleach and baking soda, but you need professional-grade equipment or full carpet replacement to cut it at the source.

Does baking soda get rid of carpet smells?

Sprinkle the affected areas with baking soda and let sit for 2 hours. The smell may be gone, but the underlying problem remains, and the smell may quickly return.

Can mold grow from wet carpets?

Mold only needs cellulose, water, and oxygen to grow. A wet carpet is a perfect storm for mold growth. Stop mold at the first signs to prevent a colony from taking root.

Only a Team of Professionals Will Banish the Scent – For Good

Professional intervention is your best bet for a permanent solution to lingering carpet odors and water damage. At All Dry USA, we’re not just carpet cleaning experts but industry leaders. Our specialized services cover various carpet types, from everyday materials to luxurious Persian rugs.

What sets us apart? Our meticulous approach uses top-of-the-line industrial materials that are beyond the reach of DIY methods. We don’t just mask the smell; we eliminate it at the source. Our comprehensive service includes:

  • Complete water extraction and drying using advanced fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Removal of even the most stubborn stains.
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection with cutting-edge equipment and technology.
  • Ensuring no trace of foul odor remains, thanks to our deep-cleaning process.

Choose All Dry USA, and you’re choosing a home free from the lingering effects of water damage, including those stubborn bad smells. We offer quality service at an affordable price, ensuring your carpet is as good as new. Trust us to banish that scent for good.


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