wet carpets smell

Essential Tricks on How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet



Every person has experienced certain water damages in their homes at least once. Apart from inconveniences it usually brings, excessive water can cause musty odor to your carpets.


Odors are one of the worst issues to deal with, which is why people need to dedicate their time to finding efficient solutions that would neutralize the bad smell and retrieve the lost freshness. Apart from agencies that you can hire to take care of your problem, some DIY tricks can help you remove mildew smell from carpet at particularly no cost.

Let’s start:

How to Remove Moldy Carpet Smell?

Method 1: Baking Soda and White Vinegar



After a mildew or mold removal, the scent may last for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, you need the following substances to get rid of it:

  • A spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar

Once you have found all of the materials mentioned above, you can start completing the next steps:

Step 1: Make Sure Your Carpet is Dry

Before you begin with the process, you need to make sure your damaged carpet is completely dry. That said, you should scrub the mold and/or mildew thoroughly – otherwise, the treatment will be useless since the mildew will return pretty soon.

Open the windows widely and add turn on the fans to encourage the airflow. Once the affected area is dry, you can pass to the next step.

Step 2: Mix White Vinegar and Warm Water to Make the Solution

Now is the time to use warm water and white vinegar. You can use a spray bottle in which you’d combine a cup of the vinegar with two cups of warm water. Once mixed, spray it to the area that smells bad.

It’s essential not to oversaturate the area, but to make sure every corner of the affected spot is completely covered with the solution.

Step 3: Apply the Baking Soda

Baking soda is an affordable and safe substance you can use even around your pets and children. After you’ve applied vinegar and water to the smelly spot, you need to put some baking soda there and let the carpet soak it for a couple of hours or even overnight.

Vacuum the carpet the next day and enjoy the freshness retrieved!

Method 2: Hydrogen Peroxide Instead of White Vinegar

Sometimes odors can quite persistent and can’t be treated with the simplest ways, such as the first one. In that case, you’ll need something more durable and more chemical.

This method requires the use of hydrogen peroxide instead of the white vinegar, but the procedure is more or less the same:

  • Make sure the affected area is entirely dry
  • Mix one-part hydrogen peroxide with every five parts water in the spray bottle and apply it to the affected spot
  • Finally, cover it with baking soda and vacuum it after the treatment.

Be careful with peroxide. Use plastic gloves to prevent it from touching your skin.

how to remove odor from carpet

How To Get Rid of Pet Odors?

Pets can, very often, cause inconvenient smells, which may persist in the carpet for a long time. Dirt, fur, and urine are common factors that provoke bad carpet smell since they usually stay there for too long, and such odors can’t go away by vacuuming.

The best carpet deodorizer for pet odors is liquid dish soap, which is a cheap and simple solution for getting rid of bad smells caused by pets. Here is how to implement it appropriately:

Step 1: Clean the Area

It’s critical to clean up the affected area and make sure it’s entirely dry before you start with any further treatments, especially if it’s about a recent accident. If the place is built-up of pet dander, then clear the spot and make sure it’s uncovered.

Step 2: Apply Dish Soap

Dish soap is particularly convenient for getting rid of urine stains. All you need to do is cover the spot with the dish soap and use the towel to clean and scrub the area.

Step 3: Use Baking Soda

Baking soda plays a significant role in absorbing the dampness and the soap, which is why it’s critical to leave it long enough to get good results.

Step 4: Spray the Area with White Vinegar

Mix warm water and white vinegar in the spray bottle and apply it over the baking soda after it has sat there overnight. After letting it stay there for 5 minutes, you’ll notice that strong scents have disappeared.

Step 5: Clean Up

After you’ve completed all the treatments, you should clean up the entire area from soap, vinegar, and baking soda. Let it dry and test it for smells.

carpet smells like mildew after cleaning

How to Get Smell Out of Carpet if It’s Deep and Persistent?

Not all the scents can be treated with the same simplicity and efficiency, especially when they’re strong and persistent. Such smells often require harsher procedures and the use of more potent chemicals such as isopropyl alcohol, which should be tested on smaller areas to check whether it messes up the color or stain.

Note that isopropyl alcohol is a flammable and robust chemical with a strong odor. Keep it away from heat, sparks, and flames.

Step 1: Isolate the Area

Due to the strong smell of isopropyl alcohol, make sure you’ve blocked off the affected spot before you start treating it. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative, but it might not be as efficient as the mentioned alcohol.

Step 2: Cover the Spot with the Substance

Now that you’ve isolated the critical spot, you should cover it with the substance you’ve chosen. Make sure all the affected spots on the carpet are covered with the chemical and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.

Step 3: Let it Dry

The treated carpet needs to be as dry as possible, which is why it’s recommended to use an old towel or cloth to get any excess liquid leftover. You can also use a fan to make the carpet dry more quickly.

Once you’ve completed the procedure, check whether the smell is gone. If not, repeat the process.

How to Remove Odor from Carpet: General Smells

If you don’t prefer the use of the strong chemicals to get mildew smell out of carpet, some ways involve natural, entirely safe ingredients – for example:

  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A spray bottle
  • Vacuum cleaner

Step 1: Clean the Spot

The area you want to treat has to be completely clean and dry. Otherwise, this method won’t bring the expected results.

Step 2: Apply the Solution

Combine lemon juice with warm water in the spray bottle and apply it to the affected spot. The acidity of the lemon juice will reach the particles in the carpet that are causing the odor and neutralize them.

Step 3: Use Baking Soda to Cover the Area

As mentioned earlier, baking soda is quite efficient for absorbing liquids and bad smells. That said, its application is vital for the success of this method.

Step 4: Vacuum the Carpet Up

After the baking soda has absorbed the lemon juice, you should vacuum up the carpet. Once the area is dry, check whether the smell has disappeared. If not, you need to use something stronger than lemon juice.

how to get mildew smell out of carpet

Other Ways of Eliminating Wet Carpets Smell

Homemade products can’t always help you eliminate wet carpet smell, especially if it’s deep and robust. Such cases will require additional methods, and one of them involves even getting rid of the carpet itself.

But before you do that, try some of the following methods:

Use Dehumidifier or Air Conditioner to Keep the Carpet Dry

Knowing that humidity is one of the primary culprits in bad carpet smell, you should find a way to reduce it. You can use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to make the room dry and prevent the development of a musty smell after cleaning.

It’s also recommended to keep a fan running and open the windows.

Put Baking Soda Boxes in Humid Rooms

To kill humidity in your room, place the open boxes of baking soda inside, and let them absorb the moisture and bad smells.

Use a Carpet Shampoo

If the smell persists even after you’ve tried the DIY methods, it means that you should try some of the best carpet freshener products. Most of them will require you to vacuum the carpet first in order to get notable results.

Some carpet shampoos are designed to be used in a carpet cleaning machine, while others can be applied with a sponge. Also, you may need to apply the product on the carpet and let it stay there for 20 minutes and vacuum the area again after that.

Hire Professional Carpet Cleaners

Sometimes you won’t be able to get rid of the musty carpet smell by yourself, but you’ll need to consult professional carpet cleaners and let them help you solve the issue.

They can determine whether your carpet can be cleaned and freed from bad smells and use their products and methods to remove and thoroughly clean a carpet damaged by excessive water or other damages.

Get Rid of the Damaged Carpet

If your carpet has been saturated with liquid for more than 24 hours, the best would be to replace it with the new one. If the moisture has been there temporary, you may be able to solve the problem by drying it or by implementing some of the methods we have mentioned so far.

carpet deodorizer

6 Essential Tips on How to Keep the Carpet Fresh and Clean

Many factors can cause moldy carpet smell in addition to water and pets. That said, you also need to keep it clean and free from dirt, stains, and dust if you want to prolong its durability and lifespan and prevent the development of odors.

Here are some tips that may help you ensure your carpet’s freshness and prevent bad smells:

1.      Use Doormats

The best way to keep carpets clean is to avoid the dirt from “entering” your home. Use doormats to wipe your shoes before you step on the carpet and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

That way, you’ll reduce the amount of dirt in your house.

2.      Don’t Wear the Shoes in the House

Carpets collect everything they get in touch with, which is why it’s crucial to avoid wearing shoes while at home. Shoes often carry a lot of dirt and bacteria that can damage the carpet fibers, causing other inconveniences, as well.

3.      Change Your Air Filters Regularly

It’s recommended to change or clean the air filters every 60-90 days in order to prevent the excessive dirt from falling to your rugs and furniture. Air filters collect the dust and stop it from covering your carpets, which is why it’s critical to keep them fresh.

4.      Vacuum Frequently

Using the vacuum cleaner is the easiest and the most effective method for keeping your rugs clean and fresh. Therefore, it’s essential to use it regularly to collect the dirt and keep your entire home tidy.

Vacuuming is especially important if you have pets that leave dander, hair, or feathers all over the room.

5.      Treat Stains Instantly

If you leave stains for too long, you are at risk of damaging your carpet permanently. That said, you should scrub the stain with a paper or cloth immediately after the accident.

You can use some of the commercial products designed for eliminating the carpet stains and remove them without the risk of damages and unpleasant smells.

6.      Deep-Clean Your Carpets at Least Once a Year

Professional carpet cleaners can do more than a vacuum cleaner, including the removal of dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and allergens from your rug. Therefore, you’re eliminating the risk of odor development, and you’re expanding its freshness.

Conclusion on Wet Carpets Smell

Carpets are an expensive investment, which is why you should take good care of them. Clean them regularly, especially if you’re a happy pet owner, and avoid walking in your shoes while you’re at home. Note that any water damages should be solved instantly, as well as other accidents that may cause a series of inconveniences.