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Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

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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


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Paula Jo C. [6]09/04/2009

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!

By Betty [104]09/04/2009

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.


Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell.

Question: Wet Carpet Stench

The carpet in our back room has gotten wet; I can only assume from the sprinkler for the back lawn. It now has wet carpet stench to it. I have opened the back door and have a fan blowing in there, but I'm not sure if that will work. We are renting so I don't really want to pay for a carpet cleaner until we move. It is only a small area that has gotten wet, but the carpet is in once piece and I can't remove it from the room. Any ideas?

By Carmel

Most Recent Answer

By Deanj03/06/2012

Only an assumption, but is sounds as if the floor under the carpet has mold growing under carpet. Only way to know is to lift up the wet portion of the carpet for a look. Once up bleach may kill the mold but the carpet may also have to treated to kill any mold in the carpet. Bleach on thecarpet will leave a stain as you may already know.

Question: Cleaning Carpet That Has Been Flooded

My washtub overflowed and flooded my family room. How do I get the smell out of the carpet from the rugs being wet? I shampooed them but that didn't help.

By Kaye

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]10/10/2011

Forgot to say that you probably won't need to buy the soap when you rent the machine, just the de-foamer that you pour into the tank. Read the directions and good luck to you in this! It is very hard work but the savings makes it well worth it.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Getting Rid Of Wet Carpet Smell

The church I clean had a toilet overflow on Sunday night in the basement restroom. It was discovered Monday morning with about 2 inches of water standing in the carpeted floor. A wet vac has gotten the water up and I ran a fan on it but what is left is a WET CARPET smell! Does ANYONE know of a product that will help? I am desperate.

Sharon, Ky

RE: Leaky Sink Damaged Carpet

Sprinkle soda bicarbonate all over the carpet (if the carpet is dry) Leave for 30 mins or so and vacuum up. You can add a few drops of essentil oil or perfume to the soda b. Otherwise, just rip it up and through it out. If you have hardwood floors, finish it off! Good luck (03/09/2005)

By omgjsc


RE: Leaky Sink Damaged Carpet

I hope you have a WET VAC to get most of the water out of the carpet. If you don't have a wet vac, you can lay towels down and walk on the towels to soak the water out. You could place the towels in the spin cycle of your washer to wring out the water and reuse the towels to soak some more water out.

To remove the odor, I would suggest spraying the carpet with Febreeze which you can buy at the grocery store. It is fabulous for removing smoke smells, and I would think it would be great to remove any foul smell. After wet vacuuming, I would spray on the Febreeze generously and work the Febreeze down in the carpet with a stiff scrubbing brush. Then let it dry. I highly suggest a fan to blow on the carpet to help it dry faster.

As far as your ceiling, just let it dry...a fan blowing up on the ceiling would be helpful...and THEN, you will have to "kill" the stain with "Block", "Bin", or "Kilz" or some other stain killer you can buy at the paint store. Buy a throw away sponge brush. Most of these stain killers contain shellac which would require alcohol to clean out. You'll spend more than 59 cents worth of alcohol to clean the brush.

After the stain killer drys, you will have to paint over the "blocked out" stain to match the rest of your ceiling paint. Do NOT just try to paint over the stain without first sealing the stain. The paint itself will NOT block out the stain. (03/09/2005)

By Lee Smithson

RE: Getting Rid Of Wet Carpet Smell

Oh the wonders of white vinegar. Use a carpet cleaner with white vinegar and water. Also set bowls of white vinegar around the room. The smell of the vinegar will not linger. It will soften the carpet and do away with the odor. The bowls of vinegar might even do it without shampooing, but I wouldn't advise it. Don't worry about the vinegar smell. It will be gone as soon as you remove the bowls. (05/25/2005)

By Ardis

RE: Getting Rid Of Wet Carpet Smell

trying to cover the smell instead of getting rid of the problem is gross. Any time carpet has water damage,it is better to replace it,because wet,dirty carpet is a perfect environment for mold. (11/16/2006)

By karen

Archive: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

My toilet overflowed in my apartment (for about the millionth time) and got to the carpet right outside my bathroom. My room smells funky now. Is there something I can do to help rid the funk? The carpet is like, 20 years old so that's part of the problem. Replacing it isn't an option. I feel like that's my landlord's responsibility (that, and fixing the toilet). I just want the smell gone before I have a bunch of visitors this weekend for graduation! I've left towels on top of it to soak up the moisture and its almost dry. Will the vinegar/baking soda mix bleach the carpet?

LPT from Athens, GA

RE: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

Have a written complaint about the toilet and the carpet and present it to the landlord/management company. Keep a copy for yourself. If it is not fixed in 7 days, go to your Tenants Council for further advisement. Also check with your local Legal Aid about options. This is a health hazard and you can void your lease due to that. (05/08/2007)

By tlbuck

RE: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

In some cases the local fire dept. will come with big fans and help dry out carpets. Call their INFORMATION LINE NOT 911! Make your landlord fix both. "Carpet Fresh" might help a little. Also you can add VANILLA EXTRACT to paint to help kill the paint odor. It worked for us a couple of weeks ago. Great Granny Vi (05/08/2007)

By Great Granny Vi

RE: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

I had something similar to that happen to me in my kitchen (washing machine overflowed). I pried up the metal strip between the kitchen floor and the dining room carpet, then lifted the carpet off the tack strip in that area. I put things under the carpet (I recall putting a potato masher under it, among other things) to keep if off the floor a bit, then ran a fan so the air blew under the lifted carpet. When the carpet was dry it still smelled a little weird, but I used Resolve on it to give it a good cleaning and eventually the smell went away. I doubt you will have a great-smelling carpet by this weekend for your guests, but you can probably have it at least dry by then. (05/08/2007)

By Katie A.

RE: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

If you have access to a steam cleaner (a friend or relative or try calling rental shops in your area, some are very reasonable) fill the tank with hot water and white vinegar. This make take a few times...also fill a spray bottle with full strength vinegar for the worst spots. I swear by this. I moved into a house that smelled VERY strongly of cat urine and this really helped.Best of luck to you. (06/25/2007)

By Duckie

Archive: Getting Rid of Wet Carpet Smell

We had a heavy rain, and the 8x8 area rug I had in the basement got wet. I took it outside to dry, however now it smells. How can I get rid of that odor?


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