How do I get the stench out of my carpet?

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Hey guys!We have a sewer system underneath our house. I’m not sure if it is affecting our carpet inside the house. It’s a split level and the second floor living room in particular one spot (in pic) smells really bad, almost like poop, so I don’t know, but what the heck could it be? We thought it was old spilt milk, we have a one year old... but it’s not going away. I’m spraying with Febreze, vacuuming over it and even taking carpet cleaner to it and to no avail it is not working. What other products can I use? Should I use a cleaning company?? Help!!!

q how to i get the stench out of my carpet
  9 answers
  • Jeanette Jeanette on Mar 29, 2019

    I would call a pro carpet cleaner. The carpet needs to be lifted to see what is going on. Good luck with this and hope you find out what is causing that stink!

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Mar 29, 2019

    Lisa, get rid of the carpet before it ruins all the children’s books. Lay a wood grate over the dip in the room and cover it with a washable rug or two. Your smeller is correct. It is poop, or poopie water.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 29, 2019

    You could try spraying pure vinegar on the carpet, enough to get into the pad. Let it dry, once the vinegar is dry (it will no longer smell like vinegar) give it the sniff test and see if all or most of the odor is gone. Where it isn't totally gone, try spraying it another time. I have used this many times when my son's hybrid cat decided to use the carpet in the spare bedroom in the basement as her litter box for a few weeks. Once I got rid of all that strong urine odor she never did her business in the room again!

    • See 1 previous
    • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 29, 2019

      No problem, glad I could help. The vinegar will also help with disinfecting the carpet in that area. It not only is a good deodorizer, it is a very excellent antibacterial and antifungal agent. When I did in home nursing with kids on ventilators, we used it clean reusable catheters and tunings for the ventilators as they were only allowed so many changes a month with new catheters and tunings for the ventilators and feeding tubes and other equipment. I hope this helps you Lisa!

  • Alberta Coulter Alberta Coulter on Mar 29, 2019

    It seems strange that the second level has a problem with a sewer odor. Maybe you should get a plumber in to take a look. If your sewer line goes under that floor you may have a leak!

  • I agree about the vinegar. I use it all the time to clean carpet spots. I just pour the vinegar, let it sit for a couple minutes and follow up with hot water and blot clean. Works like a charm.

  • Linda Frey Irby Linda Frey Irby on Mar 31, 2019

    All the spray isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s only putting a bandaid on an amputation. You’re going to need to get under the house and cover the floor with a heavy plastic and then over that place carbon air filters. You can even use charcoal briquettes. NOT the kind with lighter fluid soaked into it. Just plain old Kingsford. The plastic will need to be (staples) secured to your wall beams in your crawl space then use a heavy duty tape, such as, Heavy Duty Gorilla tape.


    The carpet is toast. I wouldn’t want to be breathing that. I’d rip it out ASAP and if you really need carpet, put down some really thin indoor/outdoor. Washing that anymore will only make things wet. I’d rip the carpet out, do the crawl space, then wait for a month or two to let the floors dry. Get a good carpet padding that repels moisture and pet stains. After you have no smell leaking up, I’d put new carpet.


    Good luck!!! I hope this helps!! 🙂

  • Steff A. Sch Steff A. Sch on Mar 31, 2019

    I would do what I could to figure out what is causing the problem to begin with. If the spot is near an ext wall, pull the carpet back to see what is underneath. Maybe it is an old spill but maybe it isn't. Without too much destruction, you could try cleaning it with what has already been recommended. If the smell then returns, I'd be prepared to lift the carpet and do some investigative work.

  • Columbia GB Columbia GB on Mar 31, 2019

    The smell may be coming from the plywood underneath. So every time it gets wet, the smell is activated again. Try the vinegar and if it doesn't work, you need to look underneath the rug.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jun 30, 2021

    steam cleaning and baking soda .. and for sure keep humidifier on