Sour odor after carpet cleaning remains after recleaning with Rotovac 360i

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Boba

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Jun 11, 2018
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Bob Junior
#1
I had carpets cleaned last year but my A/C wasn't working and I believe the humidity contributed to my carpets smelling very very sour. I rented a rug doctor and cleaned the carpet but no matter how many times I went over them, the water that I dumped was very dirty. So I hired a professional who used a Rotovac 360i. The carpets are better, but they still have that sour smell. It doesn't smell from the air anymore, but it rubs off onto our hands and feet. How can I completely remove that odor? Do I hire someone, to scrub the fibers with a CRB, or to deodorize? What deodorizers should I keep a lookout for?
 

Mama Fen

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#2
The "sour" smell likely comes from bacterial growth, which happens when the carpet has been left too wet. Even if the carpet dries between cleanings, some bacteria can go dormant for extended periods of time, so saying "the last guy did it" isn't usually accurate.

Your best bet is to treat with an anti-microbial listed for soft-surface use.
 

Scott W

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#3
I basically agree with Mama Fen. The root cause is moisture and microbial growth. The dryer you can get the carpet, the better. Less odor.

Air movements through fans, ceiling fans, your HVAC system, open windows or whatever helps. Air conditioning helps dry the air. Using a carpet groomer to open up the pile helps the lower portion of the carpet get dry. Grandi Groomer - https://interlinksupply.com/index.php?item_num=AB24.

Apply a sanitizer or disinfectant to reduce bacteria and microbe levels. Clean Carpet Sanitizer by Microban if you can find it. I think it is being discontinued. Benefect Botanical Disinfectant is one of the safest disinfectant. https://interlinksupply.com/index.php?item_num=CD02GL

No disinfectant is specifically labeled with a claim to disinfect carpet. But, as home-owner, you can apply to your own carpet and it should be very helpful.
 

Mama Fen

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#4
I believe the Benefect Decon 30 is specifically labeled for deodorizing soft surfaces, and has specific instructions for sanitizing carpets (not disinfecting, as Scott has wisely pointed out - there IS a difference!):

Decon 30 label, with useage instructions




Edited to add: The majority of everyday soils found in a home can be handled with proper vacuuming (choose vacuum that has a good adjustable beater bar, preferably with a bag so soils don't escape, and make sure you vacuum at a slow pace, at least once per week per occupant of the home). And most of us don't vacuum properly. We buy the wrong vacuum, push it way too fast, and don't clean it out often enough. I include myself in this too.

The biggest problem with Rug Doctors and other home water-dispensing units - as discussed ad nauseum in these forums - is that their vacuums are weak and can't pull up much of the water that they put down, and people often "lean heavy on the trigger" thinking more water equals cleaner carpet.

This leads to overwetted carpet, often with crunchy detergent residue (since we're all trained to add extra juice to make it work better, lol), which in turn can lead to funky smells and resoiling. More is, in this case, definitely NOT better.

Get to love your vacuum. Cuddle with it at night. Stroke it lovingly. Take it out on romantic dates. Proper vacuuming, with a good unit and at regular intervals, will cut back significantly on the need to rent a Rug Doctor and will keep the carpet looking better between professional cleanings.

And make sure when those professional cleanings do happen, you're not going with a guy because he's the cheapest. Ask him about his process, and how long the carpets will take to dry, and when you use a true professional you'll get better results that last longer and the higher price will be well worth it.
 
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1ST CHOICE CLEANING

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#5
I had carpets cleaned last year but my A/C wasn't working and I believe the humidity contributed to my carpets smelling very very sour. I rented a rug doctor and cleaned the carpet but no matter how many times I went over them, the water that I dumped was very dirty. So I hired a professional who used a Rotovac 360i. The carpets are better, but they still have that sour smell. It doesn't smell from the air anymore, but it rubs off onto our hands and feet. How can I completely remove that odor? Do I hire someone, to scrub the fibers with a CRB, or to deodorize? What deodorizers should I keep a lookout for?
Are you a carpet cleaner or just a homeowner? The reason I ask is 99.99% of our customers have no idea what a 360i or CRB is.
 

ACP

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#6
If you want something "over the counter" you can get at home depot, grab some Odo-Ban



This stuff is a mildewstat, virucide, sanitizer, deodorizer.

works really well. I had a washing machine that had wet clothes left in it while on vacation for weeks. Sour smell was so bad it wouldnt go away from running cycle after cycles after cycles... one little glug of this odoban it was gone

We have used it on hundreds of carpet jobs as well, just make sure its rinsed out well .
 

Luky

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#8
I had carpets cleaned last year but my A/C wasn't working and I believe the humidity contributed to my carpets smelling very very sour. I rented a rug doctor and cleaned the carpet but no matter how many times I went over them, the water that I dumped was very dirty. So I hired a professional who used a Rotovac 360i. The carpets are better, but they still have that sour smell. It doesn't smell from the air anymore, but it rubs off onto our hands and feet. How can I completely remove that odor? Do I hire someone, to scrub the fibers with a CRB, or to deodorize? What deodorizers should I keep a lookout for?
Whatever the primary reason for your trouble is, " The Doctor " make nice contribution. Whenever there is a situation going on that wasn't properly rectified, every time you reintroduce moistute to environment is like disturbing bee hive. Even changes in atmospheric pressure will give you different levels of " sour" smell, right?
I would get disinfectant( not from Home Depot), something like Sporicidin, institutional X type, strong antifungicidal, anti microbial, anti everything,, sprayed nice even non diluted product, work it inbthe carpet with a planetary tool( Orbiter would suffice ) ler it sit at least half an hour, while recovering from wearing half or full mask. After that extract with strong shop vac and made up spotting tool( spot lifter, water claw) Lot if air movements required to force " soury" moisture out, open windows if permitted. Another option would be to call Pro, describe the situation and be prepared to pay hefty amount for fixing thw problem, which means, in certaom areas replace padding, possibly paddimg and the carpet.
Sorry for your troubles.
Whenever I'm on my way from Osco seing Doctor is being rented, I know I don't stand a chance, but I always advise customer to do 5-6 dry passes for one wet one.
 

Boba

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Bob Junior
#9
Thanks for the feedback. Attempted one last effort with a Bissel from Bed and Bath. Now I know that it's nothing compared to a 360i, but I passed over a couple of spot and it pulled up enough dirt to make the waste tank water opaque. Does it make sense that I could pull so much dirt from a residential cleaning machine shortly after getting my carpets done professionally? Should I just have someone come out again?
 

Scott W

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#10
Thanks for the feedback. Attempted one last effort with a Bissel from Bed and Bath. Now I know that it's nothing compared to a 360i, but I passed over a couple of spot and it pulled up enough dirt to make the waste tank water opaque. Does it make sense that I could pull so much dirt from a residential cleaning machine shortly after getting my carpets done professionally? Should I just have someone come out again?
It is possible for much soil to be heavily impacted at the base of the carpet. This happens if the carpet was neglected and had heavy traffic or years between cleaning. Cleaning should be done once per year for average traffic, more often for heavy traffic.

This illustrates what a vacuum cleaner sales person might do. "Mrs. Smith, vacuum that area with your vacuum. Go ahead vacuum some more and some more. Now I will show you how much dirt your vacuum left behind."

If there is a lot of soil in the carpet to begin with, every cleaning can take more out. I do not know how much traffic your carpet got or how long between cleanings, but one cleaning will not undo abuse or years of neglect.

However, there certainly are some cleaners who do a poor job, the majority who do an average job and a few who do an excellent job. If you wanted to share your location, the collective group of professionals on this site could probably suggest someone.
 

Boba

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Bob Junior
#11
Thanks for your response. I believe that my carpet guy did the best he could with his 360i. I'm just left wondering if more or something else may have had a better outcome such as using the CRB or an orbiter to really scrub the fibers first. This carpet has very dense plush fibers. Anyway I'm in Winter Garden Florida.
 

Boba

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Bob Junior
#12
I wanted to follow up on the mold / mildew smell in my carpet. Athough I had it professionally cleaned, and rented a rug doctor, and bought a Bissell the odor remained. Not so much in the air, but it definitely rubbed off on hands and feet. I was reluctant to use any of the antimicrobial solutions since they have very strong odors that will linger for a long time thereby creating another issue. I read a bunch of home remedies online and gave vodka a consideration. I had read on this forum people poking fun at the use of vodka to clean carpet, but I bought the big jugs of the cheapest I could find. I am relieved to say that it has worked.
 

Mama Fen

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#13
Well, vodka is alcohol, and alcohol is an antimicrobial, so... I guess, congratulations. :oops: