Divorce her - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV
Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 06, 2003 at 08:59:39:
Jowns, I have 29 years experience as the owner of a carpet cleaning company. You have a fairly rare problem that most people won’t recognize.
I think I know what your problem is and how to cure it.
You gave 3 important clues. First is that it wasn’t cleaned in 12 years, second that you steamcleaned it yourself and third was that the odor was like the smell of feet.
It your inexperience with steam cleaning machines you simply overwet the carpet as you tried to do the impossible, getting up 12 years of dirt in one cleaning.
Most portable steamcleaning machines can only revover about 75% of the water that they lay down, maybe less, depending on the experience of the operator. You just can’t go over expremely dirty areas enough times to get them really clean, especially if they are light colored, heavy traffic, areas. If you go over the bad areas repetedly after 10-15 passes you reach a point of over-saturation. This causes a very long drying time. The carpet develops a mildew problem which smells like feet.
Mildew is a living bacterial organism and as such it isn’t affected by detergents and cleaners. It takes bleach solutions to kill the musty odor. After your carpet is thoroughly dry, steam clean it one more time with a cup full of all-color laundry bleach. Wet it well but don’t overwet it again. 3-4 passes should be about rignt. It should come a litle cleaner and the odor should disappear upon drying.
Remenber this caution: NOTHING will kill the odor-causing bacteria except BLEACH. Don’t waste your time with detergents, spot removers, cleaners OR especially products designed to make your carpet smell good by masking the bad odors with more pleasant ones. None of these things will work, only bleach will solve this problem, if in fact it is a mildew problem.
To prevent overwetting combined with slow drying from causing the mildew to reoccur, be sure you do it on a warm day and have plenty of ventilation or use several fans at floor lever in the worst areas. The worst areas should be the ones that were the dirtiest to begin with.
Try this first, and only consider divorce as a last resort.