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Why do carpets smell after cleaning?

Updated: May 14, 2021

Carpets are fantastic at keeping rooms warm and cosy, not to mention the comfort and style that it brings to any decoration. However, keeping them clean is not an easy task. Carpets can easily absorb all the dust in a room, as well as moisture, which in some cases can lead to mildew.

A thorough cleaning from time to time is recommended to deal with the dirt on the surface, but sometimes carpets can smell even worse after they’ve been cleaned. Why? We listed a few reasons below, together with some advice on how to solve the problem.

Your carpet hasn’t dried properly

That’s probably the main reason why your carpet has a bad smell even after being cleaned. Whilst you notice the surface is perfectly dry and clean, the underlying material still might be wet or damp. During the cleaning process, it’s normal for the carpet backing to absorb moisture which can take longer to dry as it’s an area hidden from sunlight.

A wet carpet underlying material can lead to mould and mildew, leaving a bad smell, like a wet dog as a result. To fix this or avoid the problem altogether, make sure the room is ventilated enough for the carpet to dry properly. Avoid washing your carpet on cold, wet days. The longer a carpet stays damp, the higher the chances of it creating mould.

Old stains haven’t been cleaned properly

If you’ve tried to deal with an old stain or spill, chances are that the dirt has set deep into the fibres of the carpet, possibly even into the underlay. When you make the carpet wet during deep cleaning, the moisture comes in to contact with the dirt, making the bad odour from the spillage come back. One of the hardest spills to get rid of is milk products as they can have a persistent bad smell. To deal with the issue, you will need a professional cleaning company. To avoid problems in the future, try to clean spills as soon as possible.

Pets, cigars, and other elements to consider

Another reason that can make your carpet smell is pet urine. Once you try to deep clean the carpet, the odour is likely to come back as it’s settled into the carpet fibres. Cigarettes are also damaging to the maintenance of your carpet, giving they leave a strong smell that can penetrate the carpet.

Another cause of bad smell in carpets is if the underneath of the carpet is damaged, in this case, the carpet probably had a bad smell even before it was cleaned. This might happen if there are leakages in your property that can get under the carpet, creating mould. This can be damaging to your health and therefore it should be checked by a professional company as soon as possible. If your carpet is old and has a weird smell, it might be that the underlay has started to break and needs to be replaced.

Whatever the cause of your carpet having a bad smell, or if you just need to give your carpet a deep clean and don’t want to take any risks cleaning it yourself, a professional cleaning company can help. We have a team of specialists ready to help, just get in touch.

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