Annoying Wet Carpet Smell Solution
Unfortunately, having a wet carpet isn't similar to having a dusty one. Our vacuum cleaners couldn't be of any help. You may or may not be able to keep your carpet depending on how bad it has been flooded or soaked in water.
A great deal will depend on how bad the carpet has been flooded. A small amount of seepage on a rug may be salvageable but a sewage contaminated flooded rug will need to be discarded. If the damage is less severe you may be able to clean the rug but watch for health issues that can arise.
Wet carpet is difficult to clean and itís a really big challenge to ensure that there is no mildew growth and odor problems. Because of the health risks associated with flood damaged carpet you should be sure to wear rubber gloves and a protective mask at all times while working on cleaning up the carpet.
The very first thing you need to do is get the wet carpet off the floor if at all possible. If the carpet isnít glued down you can roll it up and drag it outside into a garage or onto a patio. If it is stapled or tacked youíll need to remove the staples.
If the carpet is wall to wall and too heavy or large to move outside you can get a couple of old chairs or work horses and prop it up so that the air can flow top and bottom.
If you are unable to remove the carpet from the floor you will need to rent or buy a commercial size wet dry shop vac. This will allow you to suck up most of the water out of the carpet. It's a slow process but quite an effective process.
Remember that your carpet most likely has underlay and this is one of the biggest problems for odor. Itís also the cheapest piece to replace so if at all possible remove the old underlay and replace with new pad. If you arenít able to remove it then use your shop vac to pull out all the water and moisture.
Once youíve removed all the water from the carpet youíll need to clean the carpet. You can do this yourself or you can have a professional cleaner do it. You will want to use a good quality cleaning detergent as well as a sanitizer. An industrial strength product is preferred to ensure all mold, mildew, and bacteria is killed. Ammonia works well and is very cheap to buy.
If youíve been able to remove the carpet from the house you can soak it with a garden hose and begin sweeping at one end working your way back and forth on the carpet. Repeat wash and rinse cycle until the water runs clean and there are no further signs of dirt or debris.
Once youíve washed the carpet itís very important to dry the carpet as quickly as possible to prevent mildew from forming. One effective method of doing this is with large fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters. Start by using your wet and dry shop vac to suck out as much water as possible then use your fans and heaters.
Even fans without the heat help to continuously move the air causing the drying to occur quicker. Of course if you can provide heat thatís all the better. The faster you can dry the carpet the better. You also need to make sure it is completely dry before placing back on the floor. Just being slightly damp can cause a mildew problem.
Before placing the carpet back on the floor make sure that you have washed and disinfected the floor. This will prevent mildew and odor from developing. Dry out the floor as much as possible using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to pull the moisture out.
Use a commercial grade disinfectant to eliminate and prevent odors to develop. White vinegar also works well or if the carpet is dry sprinkle baking soda and fine ground coffee on the carpet and then vacuum at a later date. Always remember to wear gloves and a mask to protect your health when working with wet carpets.
Once you get rid of the wet carpet smell youíll be able to continue to use your carpet without odors or risk to your health.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"