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.


December 10, 2014 Flag
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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

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

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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September 15, 20160 found this helpful

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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May 8, 2010 Flag
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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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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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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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