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Carpet that becomes wet, either from a large spill or flooding in the room, can develop mold and mildew if the moisture is allowed to remain. Mold and mildew spores quickly develop in wet, warm conditions and leave an unpleasant musty smell even after the carpet dries. To remove odor from wet carpet you must deal with the source of the odor. Proper supplies and procedures get your carpet clean as well as fresh-smelling.
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Extract excess moisture from the carpet using a wet-and-dry vacuum. Vacuum the entire carpet to remove water. If the carpet still feels wet rather than damp, go over it again with the wet-and-dry vacuum.
Shampoo the carpet, using carpet shampoo, to remove the source of the odor.
Allow the carpet to dry overnight. Aid the drying process by opening windows, if possible, during the daylight hours. Run a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.
Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the carpet. Work the baking soda into the carpet fibers with the bristles of a broom. Let the baking soda absorb any remaining odors for several hours.
Vacuum the carpeting to remove the baking soda.
Hang small carpets outdoors to dry in the fresh air.
Be sure the underside of the carpet is dry also so mold and mildew can't grow.
Blot your carpet with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water to kill mildew and remove its accompanying odor.
- University of Missouri; How to Prevent and Remove Mildew-Home Methods: Removing Mildew; Wanda Eubanks, Betty Feathers; April 1998
- University of Illinois Extension: Thrifty Living: How to Remove Mold and Mildew: To Remove Mold and Mildew Stains From Upholstery, Mattresses and Rugs
- Apartment Therapy: Why Does My New Rug Smell?
- University of Kentucky: Odor: What's That Smell: Car Interior