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Musty carpet smells are most often caused by mildew developing on the carpet or under the carpet. Mildew thrives in humid, colder environments where it continues to reproduce. If a homeowner has a musty scent in their carpet, they must not only get rid of the mildew, but also stop it happening again.
Stop the Source of the Mildew First
Before one can even think about getting rid of a musty carpeting smell, they must find the source of the problem. In certain situations, it could be something that can’t be avoided, like mildew emerging in the bathroom from shower and bath condensation. In most other cases, there’s a source of rising mildew in the carpet that needs to be stopped or it’ll just come back.
If the musty carpet is in a home’s basement or ground floor, the home’s foundation or flooring can leak. Water can get under the carpet, and as it sits there, mildew may develop. Other triggers may be leaking pipes in the floor or walls and condensation from pipes. If a homeowner isn’t handy with home maintenance, they might want to call a professional to come and check out the problem and repair it.
If mold grows on the carpet, the only way is to get rid of the carpet. Mold is more risky than mildew and can cause health problems.
Clean Musty Carpets with White Vinegar
Once the source of the mildew problem has been found and fixed, it is now time to actually get rid of the musty smell in the carpet. White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner that is safe on most carpets. Before anyone uses any type of cleaner on flooring, it should be spot tested in a small spot that is not obvious.
Mix one part white vinegar to 3 parts warm water in a large bowl. For people who don’t like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of an essential oil can also be added to the cleaning mixture. Add the cleaning solution into a spray bottle and mist it over the musty carpet. Allow the cleaner to dry for at least 15 minutes and then vacuum the carpets. Repeat this once a day until the musty smell has completely gone away.
Wash Musty Mildew Carpets with Baking Soda
Baking soda is another great cleaner for carpets and it’s a very simple trick to remove the musty smell with this household item. Sprinkle the baking soda over the carpets that have the odor and allow it to sit for at least 2 hours so that it can start neutralizing the odors.
After a few hours, vacuum up all the baking soda from the carpets. This cleaning process can be repeated again if the smell has not completely left the room. If a homeowner finds that the baking soda is not getting rid of any of the odor, leave the baking soda on for awhile longer as they may not be leaving it on long enough to start working.
Last Resort for Getting Rid of a the Musty Smell in Carpets: A Professional Carpet Cleaner
Professional carpet cleaners can cost quite a bit of money. The larger the area they need to clean the more money it is going to cost the homeowner, which is why a professional carpet cleaner should be the last resort for musty carpets. The cleaner can perform a deep cleaning on the carpets which should entirely remove the smell from the home. These companies have the knowledge and experience to be able to remove the mildew and the odor on the first time.
When looking for a carpet cleaning company one should be sure that the company gives a guarantee for cleaning and is insured. If anything happens to the carpets the company should be liable and pay for the damage.
No one wants musty smelling carpet in their home, but it does happen, especially in older homes. Household items like white vinegar and baking soda can be wonderful cleaning agents for mildew and odors, but if for some reason they don’t work well enough, a professional cleaning company will have to be called in.