Musty Smelling Carpets

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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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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March 2, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do I remove musty odor and dampness from carpet?

By Brenda from Washington, DC

Answers:

Musty Smelling Carpets

First thing to try is sprinkling baking soda over the carpet, let it set a few minutes and vacuum. If that doesn't work you need something stronger. Like a powder they recommend for animal odors in carpet. Same idea; sprinkle it on, let it sit, vacuum. Good luck. (11/27/2009)

By Suntydt

Musty Smelling Carpets

You could try a product called Permawash from Zinsser. It is a fungicide and mold and mildew killer. It says to cut it 5 to 1 with water, but for carpet you should cut it 7 to 1. You spray it on with a garden sprayer and let it dry.


It will not remove moisture though, it will just kill any mold and mildew which should get rid of some of the odor. I would find the source of the water problem and have that fixed first before you do any other repairs. (11/28/2009)

By Hawker19

Musty Smelling Carpets

I have been absolutely impressed with Twenty Mule Team Borax sprinkled over the carpet, rubbed in, let set over night, and vacuum up. It's amazing and really works cheaply. If you have pets or children, keep them off it until vacuumed up, and don't let them breathe it or any other chemicals, soaps, fragrances, candles, or cigarettes, etc.

I have only pets and have seen no ill effects ever. I also have a Hoover Windtunnel vacuum and use quality vacuum bags to prevent recycling the dust and particles it picks up. I consider that a medical expense to prevent illness. It's 6 yrs. old and is great. Most vacuums only give particles a new zip code and don't work well, so consider that fact. The Borax needs to be vacuumed well, but is not as likely to be removed well if your vacuum is low quality, spews dust odors back into your room, or doesn't pick up well.


It's not too far fetched to literally mop a carpet with a tough new sponge mop, using a medium strong soap/water solution, but it doesn't clean as well as you might like. That is, unless you use something like a weak Lestoil solution (1 cap per gallon water), or Spic 'n Span with a fresh lemon squeezed into the water. I had terrible luck with baking soda, because it dries hard when wet first. (12/01/2009)

By lyndagayle62

Musty Smelling Carpets

The sprinkling of baking soda and then vacuuming is excellent, but you should also invest in a dehumidifier. If you rent, ask your landlord if they will supply one. Let them know you're willing to pay the little extra for the electric to run it to keep your lungs free of mold spores and keep them from having to replace carpet and padding. Win, win. (12/01/2009)

By Deeli

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November 27, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

Hello,
I came home from work the other day to a flooded bathroom (at least an inch of water on the floor), which of course seeped out and soaked my hallway and dining room carpets. I live in an apartment and called maintenance.

The now short story is the carpet guy came out and only extracted the water and didn't deodorize or anything, didn't even leave a fan to dry the carpet. Now my whole apartment stinks. I put down baking soda overnight, helped only a little. The apartment manager sent over the carpet guy again, this time he sprayed deodorizer and left a fan, but it still stinks. Any ideas please?

Karla

Answers:

Musty Smelling Carpets

Try putting charcoal briquettes in several places around your room, this usually works. (04/26/2001)

By jemacdona

Musty Smelling Carpets

When the carpet is dry, liberally sprinkle borax and baking soda 50/50 on the carpet. Let it sit on the carpet for at least 10 minutes. Then vacuum. It will remove the musty odor. You could also call your manager again, complain of the smell and insist that they shampoo the carpet. (05/01/2001)

Musty Smelling Carpets

I have the perfect solution for you. I live in Florida and a lot of people use this product when they close up their houses and go north for the summer (not me *I am a year round Floridian). Dri-Z-air. You can buy it in the grocery store and it really works great. Just set little paper/plastic cups inconspicuously around your house about half full of the Dri-Z-air granules. The granules pull moisture out of the air and get rid of the musty smell really well. The granules in the cups will solidify as they absorb moisture. This means they are working. When all the granules in the cup have become a solid mass throw it out and refill with new granules.

I used this when my furnace overflow valve got blocked and flooded the hallway/livingroom/dining room and it worked great. It also comes in a flat disc that you can hang, but I prefer the granules. Give it a try.

Vicki (05/12/2001)

By ThriftyFun

Musty Smelling Carpets

Timing is everything. I "just" read a hint about carpets. Cut fresh lemons into quarters. Squeeze the juice liberally over the smelly area then leave the lemon peels there til they dry out and shrivel up.

This tip was originally for a car, and I believe it was 4-5 lemons for a car so you might have to get an economy pack for an apartment.

But it worked for the writer, who used it to eliminate throwup odor; and the car detailer from whom she got the tip had successfully used it to eliminate the odor from a spilled cooler of fresh shrimp. Weird, but effective I guess.

Lisa (05/16/2001)

By ThriftyFun

Musty Smelling Carpets

I do not recommend shampooing a carpet that has turned musty after a flood once it has been treated and the odour calmed down. The backing of the underfelt is what will smell and re-introducing moisture onto the carpet will re-activate the odour and you will have to go about the whole process of getting rid of the smell again. (02/13/2005)

By dogxtc

Musty Smelling Carpets

Try kitty litter. I used that with great success when I've left the windows open in the car. (04/16/2007)

By Cathy

Musty Smelling Carpets

We use Dri-Z-Air year around in our basement and RV. We have been buying it from the following store and they carry several types of units. We find that the crystals work better when you use them with the unit. We have tried it both ways and it does an excellent job removing moisture and that musty odor from the air.

nationalmarineproducts.com


(04/22/2008)

By JoAnn

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