The idea behind having your carpet professionally cleaned is to make your life easier, right?


However, there are scenarios in which you have the service done and instead of getting a nice and fresh looking carpet, you end up with a funky smelling mess.

But how to make your carpet smell good?

If you happen to be a victim to the same situation, calm down, there is no room for panic. It actually happens a lot more often than people care to admit. Now, put on your Sherlock hat and let The Cardiff Carpet Cleaning Company help you find the culprit for this nasty odour.

Where is that awful smell coming from?

In order to remove a nasty smell from your rug, you need to understand its origins. Sometimes the odour has a weird backstory, but no worries – there are cases that appear much more frequently than others. Book professional rug cleaning and let experts take care.

Low-quality carpet cleaning

Many people tend to put the price of a service before its quality and the same applies to professional carpet cleaning solutions. Overall, if the cleaning company you’ve hired is a bit too budget-friendly, the chances of you ending up with a smelly carpet are definitely on the higher side.

The most frequently seen issue with cheaper cleaning services is that the gear used to perform the task is not strong enough to fully extract all of the leftover water, leaving your carpet soaking wet. That’s why when part of a tenancy cleaning service, a fan will be left to further ease the drying process.

Other times, the cleaner himself is inexperienced, uses too much detergent and doesn’t rinse the carpet or the rug thoroughly.

Drying problems

One of the main reasons why carpets smell after a deep clean is the underlay.

Basically, this part of the carpet padding is not exposed to direct light or air, so it takes a lot more time to dry properly.

And you know what excess moisture leads to?

Precisely – mould and mildew smell after carpet cleaning. Exactly these two types of fungi are responsible for the musky smell coming out of your living room floor covering.   

The really bad news here is that sometimes it’s not even the underlay’s fault. If the carpet is located in a room with less air movement and sunlight, it will dry a lot slower. In just a few words: The more time a rug spends wet, the bigger the chances of it developing mould.

Having a damp carpet smell after cleaning should not be neglected.

Persistent stains

Another good reason for a funky carpet smell is an old stain. Many decide to choose a deep cleaning service exactly because something, or someone, stained the floor. The only sure way to get rid of the icky spot is to have the carpet professionally cleaned.

In such cases, the padding is at fault again. If the stain has been soaked up by the underlay of the carpet, usually even after a deep clean, it will remain there, and so will the smell. That’s why high-end treatments can help remove wet dog smell after carpet cleaning.

pet carpet cleaning

Other common reasons for a bad carpet smell

According to Dmitri Kara, a spoke person on behalf the local tradesmen at Fantastic Services in Cardiff, there are a number of other reasons for your floor covering to smell right after cleaning:

  • Cigarette smell has the ability to quickly penetrate all kinds of fabrics and surfaces, including carpets, rugs, curtains and even underlays. That’s why if you smoke regularly inside your home, even a professional carpet / upholstery cleaning will not help remove the smell.
  • If you own a pet which is not properly trained and often makes a mess on the carpet, regular cleaning is a must. Pet urine has a very specific structure and is a nightmare to remove from fabrics. Same applies to the smell that it leaves behind. If the stain is not taken cared of properly, the odour will get stuck in the carpeting and underlay, thus making it almost impossible to remove.
  • Just as we mentioned above, old or persistent stains are one of the main reasons behind a bad smell. However, a nasty spill penetrating the underlay of the carpet is not always the case. Every stain you don’t clean thoroughly and on time, will get soaked up by the carpet’s fibres and start to smell at some point. Milk, for example, has a very specific sour smell and is one of the most notoriously difficult stains to get rid of. So leave nothing to fate and always take care of stains as soon as possible.

There was a fire in that room before you moved in. Just like cigarette smell, smoke is very quick to establish in all kinds of fabrics. If you want to lure out that unpleasant and stale stench out of your carpeting, have your rug deep cleaned.

What to do and not do when you have a smelly carpet

Knowing what not to do in a certain situation is just as important as knowing how to act. So before we start with the smell removing remedies, let’s go through all the methods that sound like a solution, but will only make the situation even worse.

  • Placing furniture on the problematic spots. Whenever a kid makes a stain or breaks something, the first thing which comes to mind is to hide it somehow. And even though it sounds silly to a grown up, there are many adults that still do it. Ignore this ancient instinct and don’t put anything on your carpet, especially if it’s still wet and has a nasty smell problem. The rug needs to breathe as much as possible in order to dry up.
  • Stepping on the carpet when it’s wet. The pressure from your weight will only further insert moisture and new dirt into the carpet fibres. So whenever you are having a carpet treated in a certain room, make sure to reduce the foot traffic to the minimum afterwards.
  • Trying to vacuum the moisture out on your own instead of contacting professionals. First, domestic vacuums don’t have the power to actually suck out the water from your carpet, especially if the carpet in question is soaking wet. And second, electricity and water don’t have the best relationship and you don’t want to end up with a damaged vacuum cleaner or electrified.

Learn more about our carpet cleaning process.

Now that we go the “Big no-no’s” out of the way, we can start with the helpful stuff – effective home remedies for removing nasty carpet smells.

How to get rid of carpet smell with vinegar

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how wonderful vinegar is. You can use it for practically anything, and removing awful carpet odours is also on the list.

Method #1

  1. Make a solution from equal parts of lukewarm water and white vinegar.
  2. Apply the solution to the whole area with a soft carpet brush.
  3. Thе mixture will not only kill any potential mildew formations but also absorb any type of odour.
  4. Let the carpet air dry. Help it by opening all the doors and windows in the house. If you have a fan, place it pointing to the carpet to speed up the process.

Method #2

  1. Fill a couple of bowls with white vinegar.
  2. Place them all around the smelly carpet.
  3. Leave them overnight and make sure that nobody trips on them.
  4. The vinegar will absorb the smell.

How to remove bad carpet smell with baking soda

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over the smelly carpet.
  2. Leave it there to work until the flooring is dry.
  3. Vacuum up the residue.

Other solutions for removing bad carpet smell

  • Spread kitty litter over the carpet. It should soak up the moisture from the carpet along with the nasty smell.
  • Pour Borax over the smelly areas and with the use of a dry brush or a soft broom, scrub it in the carpet.
  • Place one or two dehumidifiers in the room.
  • Rent a space heater. It will soak up the humidity in the air and speed up the drying process.

What if nothing works?

If you have tried everything you could find on the internet and in your Great Aunt’s journals, but the smell is still there, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. If you have doubts that the person who dealt with your carpet might be the reason for this awful smell, then search for a trusted and most importantly – qualified, professional who can examine your carpet. He will be able to tell if the problem is one that can be resolved or if there is just no hope and you have to replace the whole thing.

If there is severe damage to the carpet fibres or the underlay, there isn’t anything or anyone that could do to resolve the issue.