Woman scowling and holding nose because of bad odor

You’ve got a big party planned.

The guest list is set. Your house has been cleaned and decorated. Party tables and chairs and catering is scheduled for the coming weekend, but something doesn't seem right.

As you sit in the living room poring over final details, you detect an unseemly odor – foul, musty, with a hint of wet-dog thrown in for good measure. Of course, you don’t have a dog. A casual sniff of the furniture and drapery reveals nothing odious, but then you drop to your knees, nose hovering just above your freshly, professionally cleaned carpeting and – Ewww. That’s right. The carpeting on the entire first floor smells so bad you want to vomit.

Why Does My Carpet Smell Worse After Cleaning It?

The odor is borderline nauseating, but don’t despair. You have every right to be disappointed. But you’re not alone. While this happens more than it should after professional carpet cleaning, there are some reasons for the cause, and knowing what they are will help you select the right carpet cleaning services in the future. So, why does your carpet smell and what can you do about it? Let’s jump right and see what we can find out.

Did You Hire a Low-Quality Carpet Cleaning Service?

In many cases, a homeowner seeking improvements around the house will act like a government buyer and go with the lowest bidder. It’s not our place to tell you what to do with your hard-earned money, but the quality of service you receive – particularly with carpet cleaning services – is often proportional to what you pay. Keep this in mind: If the carpet cleaning company you’ve selected seems too budget-friendly, there may be a reason why and you’ll likely end up with a smelly carpet more often than not.

And why did the company you hired charge such low fees? Maybe the technicians are new and inexperienced. Maybe the equipment they use is old and out of date or, even more likely, simply isn’t powerful enough to completely extract all of the leftover cleaning solution and water. This can leave your carpet soaking wet.

Your Carpet Has Been Over-Saturated with Water and Cleaning Solution

We’ve determined that the biggest reason for odors post-cleaning is over-saturation of carpet and backing. So what does that lead to? You’re correct, mold. Unless excess water and cleaning solution are extracted, mold will begin reproducing.

This exact scenario happens more than it should. A new or inexperienced cleaning service comes in, uses too much water, and you’re left with a terrible odor and even worse consequences if the problem isn’t discovered in time.

Tough Stains That Were Never Cleaned Properly

Old stains are another common problem. How many times have you spilled food or drink on the carpet, given the spot a quick wipe with a paper towel or moist washcloth, and then forgot about it? A lot of people fall victim to this habit. But what happens to the stain that isn't properly cleaned? If the stain settles into the padding without having cleaned to begin with, an odor will linger. That’s why high-quality carpet cleaning services can help eliminate wet dog smell after carpet cleaning.

In some cases, removing old, dried-on stains will demand over wetting certain areas of the carpet. Next, a professional cleaner will execute a couple of dry passes to suck up as much of the moisture as practicable. Professional carpet cleaners use warm water, which can mix with deep-set stains and dirt to create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria growth. The bacteria quickly multiples, and the noxious odors intensify.

Tobacco Is Another Culprit

If you’re a frequent smoker, the odors from cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco-based products will seep into carpeting, furniture, and drapery, further contributing to bad smells even after quality professional carpet cleaning. This is a judgment call on your part, of course, but smoke outside whenever possible.

What to Do If Your Carpet Smells After Cleaning

  • Keep the windows open, weather permitting, to ensure air circulates near the wet carpet.
  • Baking soda is great for absorbing odors, and not just in the refrigerator or near the kitty litter box. Sprinkle it on the carpet or leave an open box open nearby to suck up the odors, then vacuum the next morning.
  • White vinegar is another odor absorber, so pour it in bowls and set them around the room.
  • Place a dehumidifier or fan in the room where the carpet was cleaned and let one or both run for several hours. Most dehumidifiers have an auto-off feature when the unit fills with water; check yours frequently, just in case, to make sure the reservoir doesn't overflow.
  • You can also use a store-bought odor eliminator, something which can be sprayed around the house or plugged into an electrical outlet. If you spray a product onto the carpet, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t cause discoloration.
  • Spread kitty litter in small quantities over the carpet and then vacuum within a few hours.
  • Don’t place furniture or other heavy objects onto freshly cleaned, and still wet, carpet. If this isn’t an option, then use carpet coasters on the bottoms of couches, chairs, and tables.

Search Online for Carpet Cleaning Near Me

Our best advice is to always choose experienced and trustworthy experts in carpet cleaning services. At Steve’s Carpet Care & Restoration, we’re proud to serve customers in Boulder, Longmont, and other Denver-area communities for more than 40 years. Contact our carpet cleaning team today at 303-530-4900 for more information.

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