Why Does My Carpet Smell After Cleaning?

Did you just wash your carpet but it still has an odour?  It can be very frustrating.

If you’re experiencing a particularly musty, mouldy or sour smell after cleaning your carpet, these could be the reasons why. Read on to learn more on why does my carpet smell after cleaning.

1. Over Washing

my carpet is smelly

If you clean your carpet with too much cleaning products or detergents, it will stink.

Just like not using enough cleaning products or detergents can be problematic, so can washing too much.

While a squeaky-clean carpet may be your goal, carpet fibre and padding will trap detergent and other washing product residue. As the residue builds up in your carpet, it will attract bacteria that produce a bad odour after cleaning.

2. Damaged Padding

Carpet paddings are made of fibre, which means spills are easily absorbed. Some carpet padding types are more susceptible than others.

If you spill a drink or food on your carpet and don’t clean it immediately, it will soak in and settle into the carpet padding. Build-up of food particles, drink spills or pet urine soaked up by the carpet padding will create a perfect breeding place for bacteria.

Unfortunately, you can’t see the bacteria; you can only perceive the smell. They are buried deep within the fibres of your absorbent carpet padding. The longer they live there, the more they grow and multiply generating lingering odours that become more noticeable when your carpet gets wet after cleaning.

3. Smell Masking

Using expensive fabric softener or carpet deodorizer to cover up gross smells in your carpet is not the best idea.

You’ll notice that the smells return as soon as the fragrance evaporates from the air. In addition, the oily residue from the carpet deodorizer or fabric softener will trap mildew, mould, and bacteria, which results in a stinky carpet even after cleaning.

The only way you will eliminate the odour is to inspect and find the source of the smell and address it properly.

You can use carpet deodorizer if you’re dealing with just a slight smell or need a fresh and pleasant aroma. Pick something light instead of a scent that is overwhelming.

4. Old Age

Old carpets smell.

If you have an older carpet, chances are the smell will persist even after you deep clean. This is because carpet is made of fibre that breaks down over time producing an old musty odour plus microscopic allergens.

If your carpet has an old smell after washing, then you need to consider replacing it immediately.

5. It’s Not Dry

Your carpet will smell musty if it doesn’t dry properly after cleaning.

The top fibres may feel dry but the padding underneath is still wet. Even a little wetness can cause a smell in the closed confines of your home.

Tip: If your carpet did not get enough sun time to dry, increase air circulation in the house to help dry the carpet. Also avoid placing furniture on your carpet before it dries out completely.

What Should You Do If Your Carpet Still Smells After Cleaning It?

If you can’t figure out why your carpet still smells after cleaning it, contact carpet cleaning pros. It probably needs a thorough professional deep cleaning, not just your usual carpet sweeper and portable carpet cleaner. 🙂

Certain smells such as those from pets can be hard to get rid of with a normal vacuuming and cleaning.