Best way to get reptile smell out of carpet?
December 1, 2014 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Before we bought our house, one of the bedrooms was occupied by a ten year old boy and all his pets - numerous snakes, lizards, and tarantulas. These occupants have been gone for six months but the carpet in the room still really smells. We are in the UK.

My guess is that the kid let his pets crawl around and do their business on the carpet wherever they liked, and he didn't clean it up.

So our choices are either to get the carpet professionally cleaned, clean it ourselves with a Vax carpet washer (my preferred solution as it's the cheapest plus the Vax could be used on our other carpets), or just get a new carpet. The existing carpet would be ok if it didn't smell and we want to spend the least amount of money we can on getting the stink out. I think it's a synthetic carpet rather than real wool.

If we go the Vax route, and tips on getting the best result - i.e. special per leaning treatment, type of solution, etc? Or are none of these things worth trying for reptile poo and urine and we might as well get a new carpet?
posted by hazyjane to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
I would just get a new carpet.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:27 AM on December 1, 2014 [12 favorites]

Never tried to get reptile feces out of a carpet, but I know how they can stink. I think if you might have use for the cleaner anyways, try cleaning it yourself, but be prepared to replace the carpet. Animal smells are always hard to get out, and I doubt even the professionals have much experience with reptiles.
posted by catatethebird at 12:44 AM on December 1, 2014

Here's my line of reasoning:
if the cost of replacing the carpet is LESS than the combined cost of trying to clean it yourself and professional cleaning, just replace the carpet.
The thing of it is that the padding or subfloor could be soiled under the carpet and no amount of cleaning is gonna help that.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:05 AM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

I would replace the carpet, due to the high likelihood of the padding being saturated with reptile whizz. That said, I can highly recommend the Vax and pet whizz cleaning formula as a good investment anyway.
posted by skybluepink at 2:55 AM on December 1, 2014

Replace the carpet. If it dries slowly you have the added stink of wet carpet gone swampy on top of reptile-stinky underlay.
posted by glasseyes at 3:37 AM on December 1, 2014

Yeah, you really need to pull up that carpet. If it's wood underneath it too may be saturated and you're going to need to clean that before you put down new carpet. I'm not obsessively clean by any means but I would want to bleach the floor and kill any lingering bacteria.
posted by mareli at 4:55 AM on December 1, 2014

After you pull everything up, wash the subfloor, give the floorboards a chance to dry out thoroughly, and then take a whiff. If you still smell something, put a couple of coats of sealer on the subfloor before re-carpeting.
posted by beagle at 5:51 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not to pile on, but I was once acquainted with a family who'd converted their entire house into a reptile zoo. I also used to work with all manner of reptiles, and got plenty of their excreta on my clothing. And in my experience: Your carpet is done for. Replacing it is going to be the least stressful, least expensive option over time. Because that carpet is not getting clean ever again.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:58 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another vote for replacing the carpet. Cleaning the carpet itself is usually not enough to remove the smell of urine and/or feces that has been allowed to really soak in and dry. By then it's penetrated to the padding and even the subfloor, and nothing will remove it entirely. Pull up the carpet and give the subfloor a thorough (preferably professional) cleaning, then replace the carpet.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:34 AM on December 1, 2014

You will be absolutely disgusted when you pull the carpet up and see what's under there (and what it smells like.) Pull it up, you'll be so grateful you did. And paint the subfloor to seal it.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:33 PM on December 1, 2014

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