Wet carpet

Top Ways To Get Rid Of Wet Carpet Smell

by Author

Damage caused to your home, whether due to extreme weather conditions or a home accident, is always daunting. Dealing with it can be a real pain, especially when it affects your home interiors, such as carpets. These scenarios, once they take place, can leave a really bad smell behind, especially on the carpets. The grace and stylishness that these rugs carry get wiped away due to the lingering smell that can stick around like an unwelcome guest. Even after you have tried scrubbing and cleaning, getting rid of it seems very hard. But don’t worry, as this blog will provide you with beneficial information. 

We will go through a list of some of the best yet simple ways that can help you get rid of that damp carpet smell and make your home smell fresh again. Finding out what’s really causing the smell is the first step towards getting everything sorted out, and once it’s done, you will be on your way to an odour-free home in no time. So, be ready to say goodbye to those foul odours and welcome a space that’s clean and inviting for all!

Exactly What Causes Rust Stains On Carpet?

One of the prime reasons for carpets to smell foul is because water gets trapped in them. What basically happens is that the water gets stuck in between the fibres of the rug or carpet, and upon getting unnoticed, it starts to smell bad, and slowly the smell becomes more noticeable to all.

Other than these, some other reasons might include the following:

  • Low-end material: Those carpets that are made using some cheap or low-quality stuff are likely to smell like diesel or burned oil after getting wet. The reason for this is that the stuff that was used to stick the carpet together comes into contact with water or other foreign liquids. These low-end materials aren’t capable of handling the water very well, which results in unpleasant odours that stick around for quite a while.
  • Mould and mildew: The moisture caused by leaks, humidity, or water spills gets trapped inside the carpet fibres, ultimately leading to it smelling foul. Furthermore, this moist environment causes a lot of mould and mildew to grow. These fungi produce a musty odour, which causes the carpet to stink a lot.
  • Old stains: Remember those times when you accidentally spilt some liquids like milk, wine, or soda on your carpet and left it as it was, thinking it would dry on its own? But guess what? It didn’t, and it left behind a stinky smell, just like an unwelcome guest. When left untreated, these stains keep getting worse over time.
  • Pet stains: Things such as your pet’s urine, saliva, vomit, and wet fur contain various bacteria, all of which emit a very musty odour, making your carpets smell very bad.

Ways to Get Wet Smell Out of Carpet

Are you fed up with the malodorous smell coming from your carpet? Irrespective of the causing agent, the best option to go with is to perform disinfection and proper cleaning on an immediate basis to avoid any hassle in the future. Still, for those who have trust in some DIY procedures, we have listed below some of the best yet simple methods of getting rid of the wet carpet smell.

But for it, there’s a checklist of some ingredients or things that you need to collect before following any single method of cleaning the carpet.

  • Carpet Shampoo
  • Sponge
  • Spray Bottle
  • Brush
  • Vacuum Cleaner 
  • Baking Soda
  • Borax
  • White Vinegar
  • Peroxide

1. Baking soda or borax

Baking soda or borax

Using baking soda or borax is one of the best ways to tackle the foul smell coming from your carpets, as it handles that stubborn wet smell very well. Plus, both of them are effective and easy-to-find solutions. You might come across baking soda in your household, as it’s a common household item known for its excellent cleaning abilities. 

It works by soaking up various odours and moisture present in the carpet and removing any stains, if any. To use it properly, just sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the smelly areas of your carpet and make sure to cover them evenly so that it can work its magic very well. In place of baking soda, you can always use borax after following the given instructions on the packaging. Just allow it to sit, and then vacuum up the powder from the carpet, ensuring that all traces are removed.

2. Carpet Shampoo

Carpet Shampoo

In serious scenarios, like older stains, the baking soda method might not work perfectly, and in those cases, using a commercial-grade carpet shampoo, which comes in different types, is the best option. Make sure to check what kind of carpet shampoo you are buying, as some of them require a carpet cleaning machine, while others can just be applied with a sponge. While some shampoos might ask for some water addition to get activated, others might work as they are in their dry form. 

Here’s how to use carpet shampoo: Start by vacuuming the whole carpet to remove any possible dust and debris from it. Then gently sponge the shampoo into the carpet and make sure not to use too much of it. Let the shampoo sit there for at least 20 minutes before vacuuming the carpet again to remove the shampoo and any loosened dirt or odour particles left. This simple process will leave your carpet smelling fresh and clean again, giving it a whole new life.

3. Commercial Products

Commercial Products

In cases where DIY solutions aren’t showing their effectiveness, relying on some commercial-grade products is the last option before dispersing the carpets for a professional cleaning. These products are filled with powerful enzymes that work very well to break down and eliminate the odour-causing bacteria. Remember to do a patch test for these products, as not doing so might cause unwanted harm to your carpet.

Start by identifying the source of the smell, and blot up any excess moisture with a clean towel. Once the area gets dried properly, apply the commercial odour eliminator as directed to be used on its packaging. Then let it remain there for a while, for around 10–15 minutes, so that it can enter the carpet fibres very well. Then use a moist towel to remove any remaining residue. Ensure the carpet gets dried completely before walking on it again.

4. Vinegar and Peroxide

Vinegar and Peroxide

While vinegar might help you to just remove odours from it, combining it with peroxide and using it is most likely to give you the best results when it comes to eliminating that foul smell from your carpets and cleaning some stains as well. Basically, the power of the vinegar gets doubled after it gets mixed with peroxide. In most cases, this solution works best for removing smells from carpets that are caused by water or spills.

To use this method, begin by combining ¼ cup of white vinegar with one tablespoon each of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a dye-free liquid soap of your choice. Now pour this mixture into a spray bottle, add some warm water to it, and spray it on the affected areas of your carpet. To avoid doing any unwanted harm to your carpet, always do a patch test of this mixture on a small, hidden part of the carpet and let it remain there for around 24 hours. If everything looks fine, you can continue using the mixture on the remaining part as well.

Suggestions to Avoid a Wet Carpet Smell

Prevention is always better than cure; we all know that. The same thing applies to wet carpet smell as well as after facing water damage; continuous carpet smell might make your house smell musty and unpleasant. Thus, it’s advisable to prevent any kind of moisture from affecting your carpets so that no further action is needed to get rid of them.

Take a brief look at some suggestions to make sure that no damage is done to your carpet that can affect its charm and elegance.

  • Try maintaining optimal air quality in your rooms. For this, strategically place fans and dehumidifiers in multiple areas of your room to ensure proper air circulation is achieved and humidity levels are also minimised. This proactive approach will effectively remove any kind of possible dampness and will also promote a fresh atmosphere throughout your space.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry the baseboards that are very close to the wet carpet to prevent lingering moisture, which could lead to unpleasant odours. This step is very crucial in preventing the buildup of bad smells.
  • Placing bowls filled with vinegar around the room to absorb any remaining odours is useful, as it will also enhance the overall scent of the room. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that will help to neutralise any form of unwanted smell and will leave behind an overall fresher environment for you.
  • You can also transfer some indoor plants to the area where there’s a wet carpet so that those plants can release their natural air-purifying abilities. Not only will they help absorb odours, but they will also contribute to improving your room’s ambience, creating a more pleasant atmosphere for you.
  • Allowing proper ventilation by opening windows and utilising fans to allow fresh air to circulate will prevent the buildup of moisture that can lead to unpleasant odours over time in your carpets.
  • Before removing the carpet post-cleaning, verify that its underlying floor is completely dried out to prevent any remaining moisture from worsening the odour. This precautionary measure will help you maintain a more clean and fresh-smelling environment.
  • Replacing the carpet if it has gotten excessively used or wet for an extended period is also a reliable option. This will also prevent mould growth and preserve the overall health of your home.


Getting rid of that damp carpet smell doesn’t need to be a headache. By trying out the effective ways discussed above, you can say goodbye to those unpleasant odours of your carpet and enjoy your fresh-smelling home again. Whether you are up for natural remedies or willing to invest in some commercial products, all solutions suit every preference and budget. 

But if you are still struggling to deal with those lingering carpet smells, it might be time to call in for experts. With their sheer dedication, these professional agents work their best to make your carpets smell clean and fresh. That being said, don’t let persistent smells ruin your home’s atmosphere; get them cleaned today only.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the DIY method, go with a mixture of white vinegar and warm water and spray it evenly on the affected surface, then use baking soda over it and let it remain for a while. Now you can simply vacuum it to get the desired results for yourself.

Baking soda works magic to neutralise the damp smell of carpets and give them a new life again.
It could, but going with shampooing to get rid of pet odours isn’t very effective, and one needs to go with professional carpet cleaning services.
For it, you need to apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the stinky and stained areas of the carpet. Baking soda, being a natural absorbent, is likely to gobble up the smoke smell, resulting in a bad odour in your habitat.
If your carpet isn’t that old, the foul smell is likely to go away after it gets completely dry if treated properly.
If the carpet is allowed to stay wet for a while, it’s most likely to grow mould and mildew in it.

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