Many problems can cause carpet odor, some of the most common of which are pet urine, mildew, dirt, or food stains. These odors can be embarrassing and overwhelming if not properly resolved. Some odors may require professional cleaning or full replacement of the carpet and underlying padding.
Mildew is the hardest carpet odor to clean. Mildew develops when water stains or floods the carpeted area. A mildewed carpet typically smells like molded fabric. This type of stain requires a heavy cleaning and drying process. Once the carpet becomes mildewed, it may be impossible to remove the stains and smells from the underlying padding.
Household pets are a leading cause of carpet odor. This can typically be attributed to the pet hair, urine, and dirt the animals bring into the home. Several cleaners can remove pet smells from carpets, and it is important to clean the soiled area as quickly as possible. This will limit the long-term damage to the carpet.
Tobacco smoke is another common cause of carpet odor. When a person smokes in a building, the smell of the smoke is trapped and causes the walls, draperies, and carpet to smell of smoke. This smell can be easily removed with a simple carpet-cleaning product.
Dirt and motor oil can make a carpet the smell like petroleum. This smell is difficult to remove and often requires the replacement of the carpet and underlying pad. Dirty motor oil can permanently stain carpet and cause a foul gas smell. This odor will smell similar to the odor often found in car service stations.
Old carpet has an odor similar to old rotting clothing. This dusty smell happens when the fabric in the carpet begins to break up and deteriorate. It usually is not possible to clean carpet odor out of old carpet, so typically, carpet that smells like this must be replaced. This type of carpet can cause excess dust in a home, which may lead to allergies.
Beer and alcohol can cause carpet to smell like a hospital. This is a difficult odor to remove from carpet and padding. If large amounts of beer or alcohol are spilled onto a carpet, it should be cleaned with a steam cleaner to ensure the stain is removed from the padding and carpet.
Food and cooking grease also cause carpet odor. This problem is often found in kitchens. Cooking grease produces a smell that is typically found in fast food restaurants. This type of smell is best removed with special carpet cleaners designed to removed grease.