Another phone call today asking me to clean a carpet because it smells.  A few questions later and I’ve determined that the caller cleaned their own carpet with a hire machine a few days ago.  As it smelled a day later they cleaned it again with no improvement.

I offered advice but when they insisted it needed cleaning again and I said it probably didn’t they got a bit stroppy with me.  I don’t care.  I know how to rectify the problem, they don’t.  My house doesn’t smell, theirs does.  If they buy a new carpet I’m not paying for it.  Their problem not mine etc etc.

I was going to give FREE advice but I can’t be bothered now.

But here is a summary of what has happened in case you have the same problem.

The carpet gets wet when it is cleaned.  Professional cleaning should get almost all the water back out again but DIY machines often leave them too wet.  The water sinks to the carpet backing from where it will take a long time to dry.

Although it is nice and warm today, at the end of August, the air is also very humid with the rain over the last few days.  The water can only leave your carpet by evaporation and if humidity is high then evaporation will be very slow.

For bacteria this is party time.  A warm, damp environment is ideal for them to multiply rapidly.  The bacteria is probably eating all the dead skin and dust their DIY cleaning efforts failed to remove.  Lots of bacteria munching away release gasses and they smell.

The carpet needs drying out for the smell to disappear.  Open the windows, puts some fans on, use a dehumidifier if you have one and wait a bit longer.  You could apply a product to kill the bacteria but that may be beyond a non-professional.

So a professional will be careful not to over wet the carpet, use fans to increase airflow and evaporation and advise you to leave windows open for a while.  Other methods can be used for some carpet cleaning jobs but I won’t bore you with the details.  On a particularly humid day or on a carpet type that is known to have extended drying times an additive can be put in the rinse water to combat bacteria.

Cleaning the carpet again may sound like the sensible idea but it is only adding more water to the carpet and increasing the drying time.  Cleaning it again is the last thing you should do.

But what do I know? Quite a bit really and I’m happy to give advice if you’re prepared to listen. You can contact me, Neil Worsnop, on 01926 492696 or neilworsnop@allsquarecleaning.co.uk.

All Square Cleaning offers a variety of services in Warwickshire, including