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Looking For Info On "Earthy" Smell in Bedroom

Shaun Ketterman
25 days ago

Hello All,

As the title suggests, hoping to get some pointers here regarding an issue I just ran into in one of my bedrooms.

I had some folks renting out a bedroom, and once they moved, I went in and cleaned the room, top to bottom. Last thing I did was shampoo the carpet with a Hoover shampooer. Once that was done, and the carpet started to dry, a very noticeable "earthy" smell become very prominent (there was no odor prior to the shampooing). "Earthy" is the best word I can use to describe it. It just sort of smells like old carpet + dirt.

After shampooing, I left the ceiling fan on throughout the day, and left the single window open as well (small room, ~10x12). The carpet was pretty much dry in a few hours, but the smell lingered. So I went over the entire thing again with the shampooer, again leaving the fan on and the window open, and same result.

Fast forward a few days, and I hired some carpet cleaning folks who do Chem-Dry treatment. When they arrived, they pretty much told me that they would likely not be able to remove the smell, as it was likely in the carpet padding. Still, I had them do their thing, and, as they suggested, the smell remained. Carpet looks great, though.

So today I had a team come out and replace the carpet pad. The smell is *still* present.

About an hour ago. I went ahead and pulled the carpet back myself, one corner at a time, and ran my nose around nearly the entire room. The underside of the carpet has no smell (or, if anything, is has a faint smell from the cleaner the Chem-Dry guys used), and the carpet pad itself just carpet pad. Maybe with a slight hint of the glue they used. There isn't even a hint of this Earthy smell that fills the room anywhere around the floor. So I'm pretty much confused at this point.

Underneath the pad is the foundation / cement.

I'm trying to narrow down the source of this smell. I live in southern California. I definitely don't have an issue with humidity, and my water bill suggests that I have no mystery leaks anywhere. In any case, there was no Earthy smell in the room until I shampooed the carpet, so I would reason that if it was an issue with moisture or mold/mildew, I would have noticed it before?

The Chem-Dry team suggested that whatever the smell is may have clinged to all the walls and possibly ceiling. I did scrub all of the walls, from ceiling to floor, with warm water and Dawn dishsoap, + a citrus kitchen degreaser made by Zep..but I certainly did not soak the carpet whatsoever. The rag I used was wringed-out well prior to touching the walls

So the TL:DR version:

-No smell in room until I shampooed the carpet (Earthy smell, like old carpet + dirt)

-Chem-Dry treatment to carpet

-Carpet pad replaced

-No Earthy smell when pulling back the carpet and smelling the underside of the carpet and the new carpet pad

-No issue with humidity or water leaks

-Earthy smell remains despite the above

In any case, looking for any and all suggestions and recommendations. Thank you in advance!


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