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How to Get a Sour Smell Out of Steamed Carpet

Chris Simon

Carpets in your home may emit smells after steam cleaning. A certain amount of moisture will stay in the carpet until it dries naturally.

Carpet with deep pile will take longer to dry after steam cleaning.

A steam cleaner using a hot-water extraction method should remove dirt, but sour smells may be apparent due to oversoaking of the carpet or deep sitting stains and bacteria left in the pile. Keep the room as ventilated as possible by opening doors and windows and allow the carpet to dry naturally before deodorizing.

  1. Mix 2 cups of baking soda with around 10 drops of essential oils. Baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer that will neutralize carpet smells. You may use whichever essential oils you prefer to add a fresh, pleasant odor to your carpet.

  2. Sprinkle the baking soda in equal measures on the sour smelling carpet. Add extra to an area if it is emitting a stronger odor than another area of the carpet.

  3. Allow the baking soda to sit in the carpet for at least an hour. You may allow the baking soda to sit in the carpet overnight, if possible. The baking soda will absorb the bad odors.

  4. Vacuum the baking soda on the carpet thoroughly. A little baking soda may be left in the carpet to prevent further smells from emitting.


A teaspoon of cinnamon powder may be used as a substitute if you do not have any essential oils.


Check the carpet padding for mold growth if the sour smell returns. The carpet must be replaced if mold growth is apparent.