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Cleaning Musty Smelling Carpets

Carpet that has gotten wet or flooded can have a musty smell even after it dries. This is a guide about cleaning musty smelling carpets.

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Musty Smelling Carpet
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December 10, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

My carpet is 1 year old. It has not gotten wet, however, it suddenly smells musty. It is very prominent under furniture that lays flat against the carpet. It is throughout the house. Most of the articles I have read indicate the musty smell comes from getting your carpets wet. Could it be the actual carpet?

By Wendy

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December 10, 20140 found this helpful

Is the floor under the carpeting cement? I have noticed that if I leave a box of something sitting on my carpeting that covers cement floors, when I move the box the carpeting feels damp. However, I do have some furniture that sits flat on the floor and I have never noticed any odor. I never experienced that damp feeling with carpeting that covered wood floors.

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April 29, 2008 Flag
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I bought two beautiful rugs made in India. They are cut wool pile and were a great bargain. Now that they are in my house, they smell very musty and visitors have commented. I have used the fabric deodorizer sprays and hung them out to air but the smell lingers on. What can I do?

Cass from Vandalia, OH

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April 29, 20080 found this helpful

Charcoal! Put some cheap, plain charcoal briquettes in old pantyhose (or similar so they don't touch rug directly and get black on them) and wrap up with rugs--ie. in a plastic tarp or old sheets or a large trunk--whatever works for the size of the rug in question. This also works with musty smelling luggage, shoes, etc.

Good luck! Karen

www.busstopmommies.com

P.S. Hanging them outside to air out can sometimes help too.

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May 1, 20080 found this helpful

Try tea tree oil found in health food stores.A bottle will cost about 6 dollars,but will go a very long way. A teaspoon or two in 8 ounces of water. Spray it on the rug, front and back. Do not soak the rug. Keep pets and kids away until it drys... great for mold and mildew too. Just be careful when you spray it, the smell will go away after awhile.

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November 22, 20080 found this helpful

I am having the same problem with a beautiful wool area rug I bought from Sam's Club. The box has the company G.A. Gertmenian & Sons Los Angeles, on it. I've emailed Sam's but it's too early for a response.

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November 23, 20130 found this helpful

I purchased a rug from Aga John Oriental Rugs that has a spell of old musty wool that permeates thru out the room its in, the longer it stays in the room the worse the odor gets. Aga John will not do anything about it and unless I get legal counsel I have no recourse. Would like to know if anyone out there has had the same problem and how they resolved it.

Thank you.

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March 2, 2010 Flag
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I clean my carpets with a Hoover steam cleaner and my carpets come clean, but they smell musty. What can I do to make them smell fresh? Thanks.

By P.W. from League City, TX

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Anonymous Flag
March 21, 20160 found this helpful

My home is half underground, concrete base, poor insulation, and had musty smelling rooms and in winter the air felt damp. Solutions that worked for me were - fresh air throughout the day helps remove smells, shaking out pillowcases or musty blankets or washing them more often. Airing a room by just opening windows in the morning for say 3 or 4 hours, as is comfortable. If you can open internal doors and let the air flow smells decrease more easily. It will be even faster if you can open external doors (if you can do so safely and not be cold! ) A good breeze lifts off the odors, but only temporarily. You might need to do this every few days.

BUT when it's winter and cold you cant do that, it increases the odor, damp cold feeling in the home, or mold on ceilings, and wet windows which are not much fun and not good for breathing in. If you can't insulate your walls/ ceiling/ floors or get double glazing, then second best option is I thoroughly recommend investing in a dehumidifier or borrowing one to try out. It was a lifesaver for us, our home was much more comfortable, and will be for you. If you don't know, it removes moisture from the air, collecting that water slowly into its storage container and pushes back out drier air into your home. Dry air is warmer air, so less heating is required, it feels comfortable, less humid, there's less chance of bugs thriving, and knocks mold on ceilings, and water on windows and smells on the head. You can close the windows and not air the house out every day.

If you can invest a bit more into a higher end model, it's worth it. Theyre easier to monitor and empty and clean. (You need to wipe dust off filters monthly. ) Take time to find one with the right settings for your needs, the more options the better, like Eco modes, directional fan, humidity thermostat, laundry drying or whatever; set it for your needs and it does the rest.

Once I decided to try a dehumidifier (Mitsubishi one with lots of setting options), I knew the slight power cost to run it 24-7 somedays, was worth it. A small price to pay for an improved home. Emptying the water tank is also a small price to pay if you can't do major home alterations for comfort.

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March 21, 20160 found this helpful

My home was half underground, on a concrete base, with no insulation, and it had musty smelling rooms, mold in the bathroom and in winter the air felt damp. Solutions that worked in summer mainly was to get fresh air in throughout the day. It helped remove smells, plus shaking out pillowcases or musty blankets and washing them more often. Airing a room by opening windows in the morning for say 3 or 4 hours, as is comfortable. It's more effective if you can open internal doors and increase the air flow. It's even faster if you open external doors (if you can do so safely and not be cold! ) But generally a good breeze lifts off the odors for a couple of days. Depending on your home you might need to do this every few days or weekly.

BUT in winter when it's cold you can't do that so easily. Winter brought my home increased musty odor, a nicotine smell came up out of the carpet (and we dont smoke), moisture in the air, mold on ceilings and windows, and wet windows. It wasn't pleasant, I always felt gloomy, and miserable and it's not good for breathing in. I couldn't renovate as I was renting. They recommend to insulate walls/ ceiling/ floors or get double glazing, and have extractor fans in bathrooms, etc. I realised I must try another option - a dehumidifier.

It worked great. I thoroughly recommend investing in a dehumidifier or borrowing one to try out. Despite the initial cost it's an instant lifesaver. My home was immediately much more comfortable.

If you don't know, it's function is to remove moisture from the air, collecting that water slowly into its storage container and pushes back out drier air into your home. Dry air is warmer air, so less heating is required, the atmosphere feels comfortable, not humid, there's less chance of bugs thriving, and knocks mold on the head, reduces water on windows and smells. You can close the windows!

If you do this, invest a bit more into a higher end model if you can. It's worth it to have more functions or options if you want to save on power costs long term. The easier to monitor and empty and clean the better. (You need to wipe dust off filters monthly, and empty the tank every day or two. ) Take time to find one with the right settings for your needs. Some have Eco modes, directional fan, humidity thermostat, laundry drying, air purifying, etc. Set it for your needs and it does the rest.

Once I decided the moisture had to go and used a loaned dehumidifier (Mitsubishi one with lots of settings!), I didnt mind the increased power cost. You may run it 24-7 somedays, or just an hour or two, but those extra dollars a month were worth it, and I didnt use my heater as much. A small price to pay for an improved home. Emptying the water tank is also a small price to pay if you can't do major home alterations. I vote for comfort!

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March 21, 20160 found this helpful

My home was half underground, on a concrete base, with no insulation, and it had musty smelling rooms, mold in the bathroom and in winter the air felt damp. Solutions that worked for me were - fresh air throughout the day helps remove smells, shaking out pillowcases or musty blankets or washing them more often. Airing a room by just opening windows in the morning for say 3 or 4 hours, as is comfortable. If you can open internal doors and let the air flow smells decrease more easily. It's even faster if you open external doors (if you can do so safely and not be cold! ) A good breeze lifts off the odors for a couple of days, but you might need to do this every few days.

BUT when it's winter and cold you can't do that so much. My home had increased musty odor, nicotine smell came up out of the carpet (we dont smoke), moisture in the air, mold on ceilings, and wet windows in my home. It wasn't pleasant, I always felt gloomy it's not good for breathing in. If you can't insulate your walls/ ceiling/ floors or get double glazing, or have extractor fans, then second best option is a dehumidifier.

I thoroughly recommend investing in a dehumidifier or borrowing one to try out. Despite the initial cost it was an instant lifesaver, our home was much more comfortable. If you don't know, it's function is to remove moisture from the air, collecting that water slowly into its storage container and pushes back out drier air into your home. Dry air is warmer air, so less heating is required, the atmosphere feels comfortable, not humid, there's less chance of bugs thriving, and knocks mold on the head, reduces water on windows and smells. You can close the windows!

If you do this, invest a bit more into a higher end model, it's worth it to have more functions or options if you want to save on power costs long term. The easier to monitor and empty and clean the better. (You need to wipe dust off filters monthly. ) Take time to find one with the right settings for your needs. Some have Eco modes, directional fan, humidity thermostat, laundry drying, air purifying, etc. Set it for your needs and it does the rest.

Once I decided the moisture had to go and use the dehumidifier a friend gave us (Mitsubishi one with lots of setting options), I accepted there would be a power cost to run it 24-7 somedays, but with choosing the best settings for my home, those few dollars a month was worth it. A small price to pay for an improved home. Emptying the water tank is also a small price to pay if you can't do major home alterations. I vote for comfort!

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May 8, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Is there any way to get a musty mold smell out of carpet? The roof leaked at my job. We just moved into a new building (5000 sq. ft.). It is all carpet. The roof leaked in the back corner and a 2ft. by 3ft. area got wet. We dried up the carpet, but the odor is still in the store. What (if anything) can we do to get rid of he smell? Our building has been empty for years. We are a thrift store. Thank you.

By Helen from Oroville, CA

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Anonymous Flag
May 11, 20100 found this helpful

Besides drying it out did you have that area professionally cleaned? Is there padding?

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May 11, 20100 found this helpful

Twenty Mule Team Borax works well to remove odors purchased from the Hispanic Grocery. Sprinkle evenly and med. coverage, let dry if damp, then vaccuum off, but wear a disposable face mask taping the edges to prevent breathing the dust, and do this with good ventilation. I've left it on my carpets for two weeks before vacuuming it off and it's working great to this day.

God bless and help you. : )

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September 1, 2009 Flag

The other day while replacing the element in the water heater, my darling husband flooded our bathroom, closet, and part of our bedroom. This means wet carpeting. While the carpet is nearly dry, there's a nasty stench in the rooms now. Any idea how to get rid of that? Thanks for the help.

By shosha from Berrien Springs, MI

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September 4, 20090 found this helpful

I'd try baking soda. Sprinkle it all over, rub it in the carpet really good with a broom, let it sit overnight and vacuum up the next morning. This worked for me.

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September 4, 20090 found this helpful

Hire a professional to extract the water out of not only the carpet but the sub flooring. They guarantee their work so the expense should be nil to none. Also check with your home owners insurance they should pay the extractors for you. It won't hurt you to check into it, but good luck and let us know how it turns out for ya!

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November 14, 2005 Flag
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I recently had carpets professionally cleaned and now my house smells musty. Any ideas what happened or how to get rid of the smell?

TK from AZ

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November 14, 20050 found this helpful

Two things popped into my head. One, the water in the cleaner might have reactivated some old mold from a water leak or something like that that had dried, and now it smells again. Two, your carpet might not have gotten dry enough this time, allowing the carpet to start to mold/mildew. I'd call the cleaner back and see what he/she can do since it is probably the latter case.

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