how can i get rid of musty smell - Posted by jowns

Posted by jowns on September 30, 2003 at 20:43:17:

my mom bought an ozone machine for my dad to smoke beside of in the house it worked dad desided he would just smoke outside insted of the corner she aloud him.It is still new and i will go get it in the morning.i would have never thought of it again thanks.The carpet is still in good shape to be old.My mobile home mover told me to use citron from a janitor supply store.I used it this afternoon and it smells great so far. thanks to all for the advice

how can i get rid of musty smell - Posted by jowns

Posted by jowns on September 30, 2003 at 14:25:57:

I bought a 16x70 that has not been cleaned in 12 yrs(no joke). I steam cleaned the carpet and it did wonders for the looks but now it smells like feet.what can i use to mask or get rid of the smell. any sugestions are greatly needed

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.


Regards, doc

Re: how can i get rid of musty smell - Posted by AL(Wi)

Posted by AL(Wi) on September 30, 2003 at 18:49:49:

Take a look at:

Re: how can i get rid of musty smell - Posted by Tony-VA/NC

Posted by Tony-VA/NC on September 30, 2003 at 17:33:22:

If this home has not been cleaned in 12 years, why are you keeping the carpets?

I would suggest that in this case, you consider replacing some, if not all the carpets and padding.

Starting from scratch may be necessary. If you do so, then paint the floor with Kilz to seal the odors. Then lay the new carpet.

New paint always helps mask odors as does incense but if that home sits vacant for long, the odors that have been ground into that carpet will win.


Re: how can i get rid of musty smell - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on September 30, 2003 at 14:47:50:

I use an ozone machine that I bought used (new they are really costly). Does a great job on smoke and even cat pee smells. Should work well on your wet carpet/smelly feet smell.

good luck,