Mold spores are everywhere – floating around in all their microscopic glory waiting for a host to feast on and the right conditions in which to thrive. And keeping them out of places like your carpet is no easy task either. Luckily, there are plenty of solutions for how to get mold out of carpet and to keep it from forming before it starts.
Because mold is already in the air, it is imperative to reduce the amount of moisture in your home. Any number of reasons can cause mildew in carpets. Muddy shoes may stop at the door, but soaked socks and clothes drenched in rainwater typically traipse through the household until the wearer reaches their room. Even the most well-behaved pets will have an accident now and then.
In sweltering hot climates or summers that are unusually humid, the high levels of moisture also cause an increase in mold colonies. Whatever the source of your mold woes, simple recipes containing some of your favorite household products, such as baking soda, lemon juice, and tea tree oil, can put you back on the dry, mold-free path.
Fantastic Recipes and Cleaning Tips for Removing Mold from Carpeting
Removing mold from carpeting is as simple as regular stain cleaning. Recipes for mold removers are also simple to make and require minimal time to create.
The increased risk mold poses to your health means an increase in the number of supplies you need when cleaning mold from carpets. Many of the supplies are already in your utility closet or are inexpensive precautions that will keep you safe during your mold extractions.
Not only do you need to get rid of mold in the carpet, having mold anywhere in your home poses a health risk. Areas frequently exposed to moisture are particularly susceptible. For example, it is important to remove mold from washer and dishwasher periodically, as well as from hidden corners of the basement.
Some additional tools to keep on hand are a HEPA vacuum cleaner or a steam cleaner. If you don’t have these tools, washing the floor by hand will work just as well. In the fight against mold, you can never have too many weapons in your cleaning arsenal.
1. Cleaning Mold From Carpets Using Baking soda and White Vinegar
If you are looking for the best way to kill mold, white vinegar and baking soda are the colossal team that refuses to quit. This combination is great for cleaning everything from clothing to bathtubs and works wonders on your carpet.
White vinegar alone is a disinfectant and kills most bacteria and mold. Baking soda is also a great way to get mold out of leather car seats and materials that cannot be machine washed.
For an easy and effective DIY mildew remover, spray your carpet with a solution of water and vinegar. If the smell of white vinegar is too unappealing, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to quell the odor. Citrus scents like lemon and orange work particularly well.
Let the vinegar solution sit for about two minutes, then dab away excess moisture with a dry cloth until the carpet is barely wet. After thoroughly cleansing the area with the vinegar solution, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the carpet.
Depending on the size of the mold patch, use either one or two cups of baking soda. Let the powder sit overnight to absorb odor and the mildew. In the morning, vacuum away the remnants of the baking soda and enjoy the fresh scent! Your mold problem is solved.
2. Remove Mildew from Carpet Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another excellent alternative when cleaning mold out of carpets. As a powerful disinfectant and bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide kills harmful bacteria and mold spores.
It’s purpose as a bleaching agent also makes it an excellent option for cleaning the crown molding around your carpets. However, only use it on light carpet, as it causes discoloration or lightening of darker colors.
Mix the ingredients, shake well, and spray the area. If you are concerned about bleaching the carpet, test a small square first to determine the effects of the solution.
Soak up additional moisture with a dry towel or cloth. Once dry, you may notice other spots you missed or some that require extra attention. Repeat this process as necessary.
3. Use a Steam Cleaner or Carpet Cleaner to Remove Mold
A simple solution for removing mold from carpeting is to use a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner. Steam cleaning uses high temperatures that are hot enough to kill most mold colonies and bacteria. The brushes on both steam cleaners and carpet cleaning attachments also flake away excess dirt and dust particles from between the carpet fibers to ensure a deep clean.
Carpet cleaners are equally as impressive at killing mold colonies due to their heat levels and effectiveness of cleansing shampoos. If using a carpet cleaner, use an industrial cleaner solution for carpet or make a DIY carpet cleaner.
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Most carpet cleaners have a reservoir where you add clean, hot water and an additional one where you add the cleaning solution. Use this cleaning solution for every gallon of water you add to the first reservoir.
Add your homemade carpet cleaner to the shampoo reservoir and use the machine to clean your carpet. It’s as simple as that!
For tougher areas or places with visible patches of mold, use a stiff brush attachment to chip away at the stuck-on flecks of mold. Vacuum the carpet after you finish cleaning to collect remaining particles.
4. Open Windows for Good Ventilation and Lower Humidity Levels
Never underestimate the power of proper ventilation. Sometimes cleaning mold from carpets requires more than getting rid of the patches of green you see on the floor. Mold is always in the air, so cleaning it while allowing the same conditions that caused it to persist only makes more work for you.
Keeping an area well-ventilated and free of moisture is the best way to prevent mold from returning. There are many ways to reduce humidity in the home. Something as simple as lowering the room temperature by a couple of degrees or leaving open windows to circulate air can help.
If you are unsure about the moisture level in your home, moisture meters are available to monitor the humidity. High humidity means more moisture in the air, providing the perfect conditions for mold to thrive. Whether you enjoy the heat or are trying to conserve on energy costs, the humidity should be kept below 55%. This prevents moisture from settling in the air and eventually seeping its way into your carpet.
5. Add Borax to Kill Harmful Molds
Many detergents use Borax to increase the freshness of laundry and reduce the buildup of mildew in clothing. Its high pH levels are what kills mold in carpet fast, making it an effective solution to counteract water damage and even the toughest mold spore. The following recipe uses Borax and white vinegar, which is also an excellent way to kill black mold.
Mix the ingredients in a bucket. Soak a soft towel and dampen the moldy carpet with the cleaning product.
Leave the solution for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Dry the carpet thoroughly to prevent the wet carpet from causing additional mold growths or water damage.
6. How to Get Mold Out of Carpet with Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a wonderful additive that is used in insect repellent recipes and acne treatments alike, in addition to numerous other uses. A natural anti-fungal cleaning agent, tea tree oil is a fantastic way to get rid of mold in carpet, mattresses, or on bathroom tiles and grout.
The smell of tea tree oil is strong, which can be a blessing when that moldy carpet really starts to smell of musty odors. If the oil’s fragrance is not your cup of tea, the smell usually fades after a day or so.
Add the tea tree oil to the water in a large spray bottle. Shake the bottle well, then spray the infected area. Instead of rinsing, let the solution dry on its own.
This mixture of tea tree oil is non-toxic and perfect for families with pets. High concentrations of the oil can be harmful if consumed in larger quantities, however, so it is imperative to keep the bottles out of reach of pets and small children as you would with any household cleaning agent.
7. Use an Anti-Mold HEPA Vacuum Cleaner to Prevent Mold from Collecting in Carpets
A great way to be proactive in cleaning is to prevent mold from forming in the first place by using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. HEPA vacuums are unique in their ability to collect tiny particles of dust, dirt, and allergens that regular vacuums miss. Small particles like mold spores are no exception.
Using these vacuum cleaners regularly keeps mold from building up in your carpet and stops carpet mold before it starts. When combating a mold infestation, the HEPA vacuum is also a great tool to have handy. Because regular vacuums do not pull out every mold spore from the carpet after cleaning, the chances of mold growing back are much higher.
In this instance, a HEPA vacuum is much more effective at removing the tiny particles left behind. After completing your cleaning treatment, use the HEPA vacuum to clean up any stray mold particles that were loosened while cleaning.
8. Use Lemon Juice for a Fresh Fragrance
If you are struggling with how to clean smelly carpet, lemon juice is the way to go. Not only is it a fantastic disinfectant, but it smells fresh, clean, and much better than vinegar. There are multiple ways to use this natural mold remover depending on the level of cleanup required on your carpet. Here is a wonderful carpet cleaning recipe.
After combining the ingredients, add them to a carpet cleaner for a full-floor wash. For tough to remove patches of mold, create a paste using a ½ cup of lemon juice and a ¼ cup of salt instead.
Using a toothbrush, scrub the moldy carpet until the particles loosen from the carpet fibers. Blot any wet areas until dry, then vacuum.
9. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner for Mold Caused by Pet Stains
Some mold and mildew spots arise from organic stains, such as pet urine. Pet stains may occur on occasion, and in some instances, you may not be aware of the “accident” until it’s too late. Once pee spots have settled into the carpet, they cause a musty smell as a result of mold growth.
Cleaning these types of mold may require an enzymatic cleaner which is uniquely designed to target pet stains. Most pet cleaners already use enzymes to break down pet stains, so check your carpet cleaning solution for pet stains before you remove molds.
Vacuum the area before applying the enzymatic cleaner to ensure you get rid of loose particles. Spray the moldy area thoroughly with the enzymatic cleaner, then let it sit for 30 minutes.
Afterward, dab the area dry with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture from the carpet. Once dry, vacuum the area again.
How will I know if I have mold in my carpet?
The best indications of mold are changes in the carpet that affect the senses. Musty smells and odors are the most common and signal bacterial or fungal growth somewhere in the home. While there is usually a drastic change in odor, it is not always apparent to those who spend extended lengths of time in the household.
If guests start to note the smell after visiting, it’s time to look for any mildew patches around the house. Mold will also cause health problems that are noticeably exacerbated by the presence of mold in the home. Allergic reactions triggered by mold, increased asthma attacks, or breathing concerns are all indicators of mildew growth.
Further evidence of mold is if an area of your carpet remains damp for longer than a day. Even after attempting to soak up the excess moisture, the dampness may linger, which usually means there’s a leak somewhere in the foundation of the home that needs to be resolved first.
The final clue to look out for is any discoloration in the carpet. Mold comes in multiple colors, including green, white, and black. If the color of the carpet changes or you notice small patches of fuzzy growth on or between the carpet fibers, it’s time to break out the mold cleaners.
When should I call a professional carpet cleaner to get mold out of carpet instead of cleaning it myself?
Sometimes a mold infestation is too much for us to tackle on our own. Mold can have detrimental effects on a person’s health and is not something to disregard when it comes to your family. Calling a professional cleaner is imperative in these situations, and the only way to start the mold remediation process.
How do you know when to handle the mold problem yourself, and when to call in reinforcements? Patches of mold should only be dealt with by hand when they cover an area smaller than 10′ x 10′ in space. A professional carpet cleaner should treat anything more significant.
Some patches of mold may not appear significant at first, so if you are unsure of where the source of mold came from, you should double-check for mold growth. For mildew caused by pet stains, spills, or other known origins, it will not spread far if you catch it soon enough.
If you are unsure of the source, however, peeling back the piece of the carpet will help. If the mold has spread into the floorboards or wood on the walls, it’s time to call a professional.
Safety is the number one priority when managing mold problems and when getting rid of mold in carpets. If the mold has spread to other areas of the house, a mold remediation or removal service may be necessary. Otherwise, these nine different solutions will work great and save you money in the process.
We hope you enjoyed our mold removal recipes for the best way to clean moldy carpet. Don’t forget to share your favorite technique for how to get mold out of carpet on Pinterest and Facebook.