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 step by step

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.

Applying white vinegar is the best and most efficient method of removing damp smell from carpet. 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.

For more cleaning guides you may want to check these articles:#oil stains #red wine stains #coffee stains #tea stains #blood stains #nail polish stains #makeup stains #Fluff up your carpets #Wax cleaning #Viscose rug cleaning #Why my carpet smell worse after cleaning

sophie kirisits
sophie kirisits
When we got our mini dachshund puppy, in the process of house breaking him, he had a few accidents and we had no idea that such a tiny and adorable creature would be able to leave such pungently smelling pee stains. We tried everything from makeshift odor neutralisers to heavy duty pee stain removers but nothing seemed to get rid of the smell. Until we came across Number One Carpet Cleaning. They came over to assess the situation - free of charge - and came back the next day to treat the carpet… which has never looked so clean! And the air is finally breathable! 100% recommend for stubborn-smelling stains on your tapestry.
Andrew Guscott
Andrew Guscott
Very friendly and responsive. Did a great job of cleaning the carpets in my flat - they look like new!
Stephan Villeneuve
Stephan Villeneuve
Over 2 weeks ago I was entertaining some guests at my house, where a friend of mine unfortunately fell and sustained an injury on my landing causing a bloody nose. As a result, I had a trail of blood from the top of my cream carpet staircase all the way to the bottom. Being new to the area, I enlisted the services of a different company from my previous address to treat the stairs, but they could only fade the stains. As a second attempt, I tried to treat the carpet myself using a rented Rug Doctor machine from my local Tesco (DO NOT USE - incredibly bad product) to no avail. Exasperated, I went online and searched for a professional carpet cleaning company in my area. I thank heaven and my lucky stars that I came across Number One Carpet Cleaning Fulham. Not only was Stefan incredibly knowledgeable, courteous and professional, but he agreed to come to my house for a consultation to offer his professional opinion on a Saturday in less than 2 hours from when I made the call (as I was seriously considering the possibility of having to put down new carpet at this point due to the reality of having to deal with heavy 2+ week old blood stains). Stefan and his colleague displayed their expertise by: instantly identifying what type of carpet I had; indicating that they had previous experience dealing with this type of stain before and expressed the many various combination of ways in which they could remove the stain. Stefan punctually followed up with me the day after to organise a time to arrange for the cleaning the following week. After my two failed previous attempts I was expecting for the worst, but Stefan's colleague arrived on time, fully equipped - and managed to remove the stains from the carpet in less than an hour - to the point where my carpet looked BRAND NEW! On top of that, from a customer service perspective, they were: extremely professional and diligent, polite and offered fantastic communication. If you are ever looking for a professional carpet cleaning company in the Fulham/Wandsworth/Putney/Southfields area I could not recommend highly enough enlisting the services of this company - for a fair, reasonable price with quality results at the end. If I could list them 6* then I would. Thanks again guys!
Conor Lucey
Conor Lucey
Extremely professional and responsive service. Were able to come out to my apartment the same morning and provide a thorough clean at a very reasonable price. Would highly recommend!
I had the unfortunate experience of flooding my apartment and this company helped me fix the problem in the same day within a few hours of calling. Stefan was very nice and i recommend their services
andreea aura
andreea aura
I had my carpet cleaned by other two companies previously and never been satisfied until now. Stefan did an amazing job and followed all the steps that others just skip, he also came at a quite short notice. The carpet is like new and smelling great too, I have a big dog so it wasn't an easy job but I am super pleased and will never have anyone else but them cleaning my carpet in the future. Lovely people, great job! Thank you!
Fantastic service - Stefan arrived promptly and cleaned my carpets beautifully. He offered advice on regular cleaning and was totally professional. He gave an accurate quote before he started and went above and beyond to get some stubborn stains out that were tricky to shift. He came back to do my upholstered chairs and armchair. I would have no hesitation in recommending Number ONE Carpet cleaning to anyone thinking of having their carpets and upholstery cleaned - great service and really nice guy.