Why carpets smell worse after cleaning?

smelly carpet after cleaning

Although cleaning your carpets regularly is at the core of both having a cleaner home and maintaining the carpets' appearance, sometimes the end result of the sanitation treatment may not be as pleasant as expected. Vacuuming may be the easiest and fastest way to deal with the upkeep of your carpeted floors but it definitely won't be enough to get rid of the stains and the build up grime. Whenever you opt for a professional carpet cleaning service you always look forward to finally enjoying the beauty of a freshly cleaned carpet, however you all know that appearances can be deceiving. Even if you deep clean the carpets by yourself, you can face the same problematic aftermath that many deal with after a deep cleaning procedure - that musty smell never fails to surprise even the neatest homekeepers.

Why does my carpet smell musty after cleaning?

If a carpet is not dried properly after cleaning, it will remain wet, which will cause the bad smell. Also mould and mildew are mainly caused by excess moisture which turns your carpet into a breeding ground for all types of bacteria and consequently - mould, which is another reason for unpleasant smell.

You can speed up the drying process by:

  • Open the windows in the room to let a fresh air circulate
  • Set a fan close to floor
  • Turn on heater - warm and dry air accelerate the drying process
  • Remove big furniture to allow air flor

Is it normal for a carpet to smell after cleaning?

The answer to this question is as certain as the weather in England, which is ironically the very opposite of predictable. Although it is completely normal to experience such carpet setbacks, there are cases in which the awful carpet smell shouldn't be treated as a temporary occurence, because that wet dog smell may be staying for good.

One of the reasons why many homeowners choose to have carpets is because they add comfort to any room and their appearance can make a total statement, which is always a plus for those who have an eye for interior aesthetics. However, the more fluffy and dense one carpet is, the more likely it is to retain moisture, stains and filth. When combined, these three can cause some trouble, which will lead you into thinking that it's finally time for a deep cleaning procedure, but beware that the results may be far from satisfactory.

If after the cleaning, the carpet smells worse that indicates that the executed treatment was either not performed to a decent standard or that the state of carpet has been neglected long enough that it has now become impossible to turn the tables in your favour.

Yes, it's common to experience bad carpet smell after cleaning, but that doesn't mean that you can easily wait for it to magically go away or that you can't prevent it from happening. Otherwise you'll end up with a mouldy carpet that is begging to be changed.

It is very important to point out that there are two types of carpet smell after cleaning:

  • the chemical odour left from the carpet cleaning detergents and the machinery that was used during the process;
  • the wet carpet smell, which increases its unpleasant aroma after time and doesn't disappear;

You should first define what type of smell you're dealing with, in order to know what is an acceptable time frame to wait for the odour to disappear and to figure out how to proceed next, if the smell stays.

What causes chemical smell after carpet cleaning?

Believe it or not there are many carpet cleaning products on the market that promise to solve all your sanitary problems, but the manufacturer forgets to mention that the ingredients of these detergents are harmful to people's health. Therefore these carpet smells after cleaning with such products are in fact fumes that can be toxic for the household members. Chemicals like naphthalene can be found in many carpet detergents and their distinct smell will not leave the carpet fibres for a long time.

What causes mould smell after carpet cleaning?

As you have already figured it out, mould and mildew are mainly caused by excess moisture. When a carpet hasn't dried properly, it becomes a breeding ground for all types of bacteria and consequently - mould.

How long should carpets smell after cleaning?

Whenever you have your carpets steam cleaned they won't be completely dry which will eventually lead to a damp carpet smell. Usually this type of odour shouldn't last longer than a day or two maximum, but there are a few factors that could affect that.

Since the carpets are installed directly on the floors, they are prone to collecting moisture for longer time periods, which is probably the number one reason why a carpet has a musty smell after being sanitised. Although you can freely walk on your carpet after it has undergone the steam cleaning procedure, that doesn't mean that the wetness stuck in the fibres is completely gone.

Depending on how much direct sunlight there is in the room and the air ventilation in it, the wet carpet smell may stay for longer than two days, which will mean that the carpet can't dry properly. The carpet padding retains all the leftover water and that's why it causes unpleasant smells - the carpet doesn't have to be soaking wet, in order to have a bad smell, most often even little amounts of moisture stuck in the fibres can turn the carpet into a mould and awful smell incubator.

And as we have already mentioned, there are different types of carpet smell after cleaning, so if you happen to have smelly carpets, depending on the origin of the odour, it may take more or less time to get rid of the musty smells.

How do you get rid of smell in carpet after cleaning?

As you probably know alaready, it is highly suggested that you know the characteristics of your carpet's material, so that you don't accidentally cause some more damage while trying to fix the wet dog smell problem. Before you proceed with the elimination of the bad carpet odours, make sure that the tools you are about to use are clean. You must always test the solutions, you're about to apply to the smelly carpet, on a small part of the surface to see if there are any bad side effects to the fibres.

Since we have already cleared out that one of the main reasons why the carpet gives off unpleasant odours after cleaning is that not all the moisture was ejected out of it, we now know that the first thing one should do is to find a way to remove any leftover wetness. If the location of the carpet is deprived of direct sunlight or decent air flow, try opening all windows and use a vacuum machine for dry and wet cleaning - this will increase the carpet's chances of fully drying.

Use professional cleaning equipment

The good thing is that nowadays you can always hire professional carpet cleaning machines and take advantage of their advanced functions. So if you have low-budget and old cleaning equipment, that means that you can always upgrade your cleaning process by hiring the needed machinery. Most often it is exactly the old and inefficient hot water extraction machine you own at home that is not able to withdraw all the moisture back from the depths of the carpet. In this situation, if you wish to handle the nasty smell problem yourself, you can hire a professional steam cleaner and a carpet dryer. Use a special odour neutralising detergent to the water and carefully steam clean the carpet.

All professional steam cleaners are designed to perform at a higher pressure level which means that they can easily handle extracting all the wetness out of the fibres and the carpet backing. If you have hired a professional cleaner to do the job, he may even clean the back side of the carpet, if the wet dog smell had been settled in the carpet for longer time periods. But the best advice to anyone dealing with wet carpet smell after cleaning, is to avoid performing any treatment you're not sure you can complete properly. Always consult with a professional in this specific sphere!

Easy odour removal tricks

If you have witnessed what has caused the awful smell, like a spilled substance or you have seen your pet urinate on the carpet, then you can try using the almighty cleaning product every housekeeper has in their pantry - baking soda. Apply the powder all over the surface which smells like the epicentere of the odour and with the help of a broom lightly spread and rub the product straight into the fibres. Let the baking soda stay embedded in the carpet for a day or maybe even two and then sweep and vacuum the powder away. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, which can be very helpful for removing all kinds of odours. The sooner you apply it to the smelly carpet, the better the results.

Another trick is to spray a mixture of water and white vinegar directly on the part of the carpet which smells bad and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. After that use a clean white cloth to dab on the surface and gradually absorb all the excess moisture. This method of odour removal may not be as effective from the first try, if you think that it has worked but not enough to completely eliminate the odour, then you can repeat the same process and see if the second time you have achieved a satisfactory result.

carpet smell removal

How to prevent bad carpet smells

Any home with carpeted floors is prone to experiencing all types of unpleasant side effects of the carpeting. When not treated properly the carpets become breeding grounds for filth, bacteria and allergens. And if there's a pet living at your place, too, then you have to be prepared to take care of your carpets even more seriously.

Proper drying process

The key to preventing the appearance of mildew smell from your carpet is to always make sure that it doesn't retain any moisture after deep cleaning procedures. When the carpet dries completely there won't be any chance for mould or other types of micro bacteria to grow underneath the carpet and therefore cause the bad carpet smell.

Always make sure to open the windows after you have finished steam cleaning, that way the airflow in the indoor space will improve the speed of the drying process.

Use effective cleaning tools

Having carpets as your main floor coverings means that you have to put a lot of time and effort into maintaining their sanitary conditions. Always purchase carpet cleaning machines that are approved by professionals in the industry. If the vacuum machine or the steam cleaner don't perform as they used to when you first bought them, consider taking action and either fixing that malfunction or buying newer and more reliable machines for cleaning carpets.

If you are struggling to find the proper carpet cleaning tools you will find this guide really helpful - https://www.numberonecarpetcleaning.co.uk/choose-the-right-carpet-cleaning-tools/

Train your pet

Whether you have a dog or a cat at your home, you should not neglect their "potty training". Especially when they're still young, our four legged friends can do their deeds all over the house. Since it's not surprising that furry animals enjoy laying on other furry and comfortable things - carpets become their main chilling spot. Not only do you have to constantly clean the fine hairs stuck in between the carpet fibres, but from time to time you have to clean pet urine, too.

When not immediately cleaned, pet urine can cause carpet stains and of course, bad urine odor. That's why you should make the effort to train your pets - it will save you many smelly carpet problems.

Hire the right professional carpet cleaners

If you don't want to be doomed dealing with unpleasant carpet odours after cleaning, you have to find the best carpet cleaning company, which will provide you with the proper services. "Number One Carpet Cleaning" offers a full range of carpet maintenance methods to choose from. We use only up-to-date cleaning machinery and eco-friendly solutions. Unlike most of our competitors, our company is transparent about the quality of the tools we use, which means that there's little to no chances of experiencing bad results due to the malfunctions of our professional equipment.

Booking a professional carpet cleaning service with us in Central or Greater London has a few benefits:

  • Fully trained carpet cleaners will do the job.
  • Efficient machinery and detergents will be used.
  • Additional services like deodorizing are always optional.

Give us a call on 020 3026 0355 and a professional carpet cleaner of ours will be on their way to assist with the overall upkeep of your carpets.