On Columbus Day, I was one of 20 people in St. Louis who had the day off (that didn't work for a bank or the Post Office anyway), so I decided I would rent a Rug Doctor, some cleaning juice fortified with pet de-odorizer and be productive. Things went well, I shifted around the furniture, went over everything a couple of times, and waited for it to dry.
Insert back story here: we have two lovely little dachshunds. A girl and a boy. The boy has issues...he was rescued from a puppy mill, is crazy protective of the house (i.e., barks a lot at movement), doesn't always like human males, and his primary weapon is urinating. You now know why I decided to shampoo the rug.
Well, a couple of days after celebrating Columbus finding our Iberostar resort in the Dominican that had a nice beach, we started to smell something awful...I say musty yuckiness...my wife says rotten death. I start freaking out. Did I ruin the one-year-old carpet? Did I put the furniture back too soon before it dried? Is there a dead family of raccoons that hid in the attack one winter and died of starvation just as I happened to vacuum?!
I go where any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer goes...the internet. The interweb says that 50-cent boxes of baking soda is the hidden elixir that will cure anything...so I pour 3 boxes on the carpet to absorb the offensive odor and neutralize it. I even find helpful pictorial blogs showing step by step instructions. Open box. Sprinkle powder. Wait hours. Vacuum. Gorgeous, closeups of carpet that will make you want to rub your face in its beauty.
I wait and wait. "Hey wife, isn't this better?" Wife says, " Are you kidding? Did you invite a second family of dead rodents to live with us?"
We go to the Walmarts and buy lavender scented powder - a $1.50 take on the baking soda elixir. Ooo, how floral and pleasant our indoor garden smells. Another 24 hours or so passes...mmm, is that musty funk I smell?
I go back to the webs, Google me some top 5 hits on Saint Charles carpet cleaners and start calling. I learn many things about pets, urine, and carpet while talking to my professional friends. You can clean up the moisture, but salts are left behind. When you wash those salts in your carpet, science takes over and the chemistry formulas you tried to forget in school become all too real. The salts reactivate and your noise tells you that Mr. Chemistry 101 was right.
What have I learned from this? Call the pros...especially when you only have one room of carpet and a hallway, a dog with a checkered past, and a science teacher floating over your shoulder reminding you to balance the formula.