How to remove the smell of decaying leaves from minivan carpet?
March 28, 2013 7:49 AM   Subscribe

I carried a few contractor bags full of decaying leaves to a disposal facility. The bags had been rained on and some of the goop inside leaked out onto the carpet of my minivan. The van smells like, well, decaying organic matter. It's awful.

How can I get the goop out of the carpet in such a way that the odor is neutralized? I know about things like vinegar and baking soda, but those will only treat the smell, rather than the source of the smell. I need to treat the source of the smell.

Surely one of you good people knows of a great product or concoction to deal with this. I'd rather not drop the several hundred dollars to have the car professionally detailed.

Thank you!
posted by DWRoelands to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
OxiClean. Follow the directions on the container.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:05 AM on March 28, 2013

You can rent carpet steam cleaners with wand attachments at grocery stores; often really cheap mid week. I've found them effective at removing creamed coffee from automotive carpet. Be warned you may end up doing the whole floor because the spot may end up cleaner than the rest of the carpet.
posted by Mitheral at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2013

To get the liquid stink out you need to rewet the goop if it is dry and pour lots of salt all over it. Then vacuum it up.

Then crumple up newspapers and cover the floor with them and leave them for a few hours and then throw them out.

Repeat both steps over and over.
posted by srboisvert at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2013

I would go with Mitheral's suggestion. If you have fabric seats, you may want to give them a quick go-over too.

Make that your final step, though. First treat as directed with Anti-Icky-Poo (you can get it at a lot of pet stores if you don't want to order). This is probably going to mean treating the carpet and then letting the stuff work for several days to a week, as it takes time for the enzymes to do their thing. During that time, the smell may become an actual living thing that could take your van for joyrides all by itself - if you can crack the windows, do.

This is what we did when one of the dogs barfed like a fountain in the back seat.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

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