How To Get Rid Of Damp Smell From Carpet


Unfortunately, carpets are a very easy target of any liquid, gas and solid substances. Sure, you can avoid stepping with your filthy shoes on the carpeted areas and have a weekly carpet cleaning routine that suits your needs, but that doesn't mean that you are guaranteed no mishaps will occur.

That wet carpet smell can be either a result of an unsuccessful drying process after a regular deep clean, water damage or another domestic incident. Sometimes we prefer to believe that the unpleasant smells will disappear eventually, but by doing so we choose to be reactive to something that could be prevented from doing further damage.

It sure is a better option to deal with the musty smells, instead of ripping out the smelly carpeting and splurging on new floor coverings. But before you take any action into the treatment of the wet carpet smell, you must be certain about the cause of the dampness and the eventual damage that it had already caused.

Why does my wet carpet smell?

There are a few reasons that could be linked to both the dampness and the musky smell of the carpet at your home.


Pet urine is not an unusual source of carpet dampness, which causes unpleasant odours after it is not immediately cleaned. If you have a dog or a cat at your home then you are more than familiar with the specific pet odors. Even if you have trained your four-legged friend not to make such a mess while at home, pet urine can still be found at random places, especially on carpets, because that's a soft and comfortable place where they usually like to rest.

If you have kids, too then you should definitely take carpet cleaning to a new level in such situations because no one wants to see their toddler playing and crawling in such unsanitary conditions.

damp carpet
water damaged carpet

Water damage

Floods, hurricanes or a broken water pipe can all easily damage your carpets. Depending on the amount of excess moisture in the floor covering, there is still hope for the carpet, but if not treated immediately, mold or mildew will rapidly start to invade the carpet fibres. Mold growth could be avoided or stopped, but mold damage on the other hand is hardly completely eliminated, due to the overspreading mold spores in damp conditions.

Even if the carpets are soaking wet, you should open all the doors and windows in order to let the fresh air coming from outside prevent the moisture from getting stuck in the carpet fibers.

Wrong carpet cleaning treatment

If you don't use the proper cleaning equipment or you accidentally add more water to the surface, while scrubbing it, then your intentions of just refreshing the carpet, may end up being an unconscious attempt of ruining your floors. That's why you should never play with the water when you're cleaning any carpet or any upholstery furniture piece. Not only will you cause unintentional damage to your home decor, but if you keep on avoiding the mess you've made that wet carpet smell will just continue to get worse.

How to remove musty smell from carpet

Whatever the reason was for the unpleasant carpet odors, in most cases you will be able to revive your floor coverings and get rid of both the dampness and the nasty smell.

Nylon and polyester carpets are easier to be treated, because they are more likely to be water and stain resistant. These types of carpets are the perfect choice if you have pets and kids, which tend to create more mess, because they could be cleaned more often with store bought detergents and minimal efforts. Carpets smell unpleasantly when there is too much moisture in the material which will cause mold and mildew growth, which could be easily tracked down by the musty odor, which doesn't seem to go away.

Dry the carpet

Before you start applying any remedies or special deodorizing products, you should make sure that the carpets you will apply any treatment to are completely dry. The good ventilation in your home will make this possible - open the windows and the doors. To air dry any floor covering, you need not only good weather conditions but also a lot of patience. You can also put a dehumidifier in the room, which is the best option you have as a somewhat productive drying process in the colder months, when you can't simply let the carpet dry on its own.


Vacuuming is the first most important step in any carpet cleaning process. It is always good to get rid of any dirt and dust, before you start applying an exact cleaning solution, which will try to eliminate the awful smell stuck in the carpet fibres.

Natural odor remedies

White vinegar may be your best friend when it comes to fighting bad smells. Mix two cups of water and one cup of white vinegar, then pour it all in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar solution onto the surface and lightly scrub the treated area. After that take a damp clean cloth and gently wipe away the misty layer.

Baking soda is another good option for odor elimination. Just sprinkle as much of this magical powder as possible and let it sit for a few hours.

Alternative solutions

In a spray bottle add two cups of water and 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and spray over the entire carpet. This solution will also remove any growing mold spores.

Carpet shampoos are also a great alternative, because you can find them in most convenience stores. All you have to do is add a generous amount of the product onto the entire surface and rub it in with a sponge. After it dries out, just vacuum any leftover shampoo.

Assistance from professional carpet cleaners

If you still can't manage to get rid of either the dampness or the bad odors, you should take advantage of "Number One Carpet Cleaning"'s services. We will do our best to bring your floor covering back to life. By using reliable carpet cleaning equipment and choosing the right deodorizers, our technicians will turn your smelly carpet into a brand new one.

Fill out the contact form and say a farewell to both wet carpets and the displeasing carpet smells.

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