Mold can appear anywhere in your home, including your AC, for example. Places that are subject to flooding or high humidity are especially susceptible to mold. Carpets are no exception!
What happens if you have mold in your carpet? Can you save the carpet, or do you have to dispose of it? Cleaning a moldy carpet can be hard, but it’s doable in some cases. In this guide, we will tell what kills mold in a carpet and how to remove mold right away in the most effective manner.
Why Does Mold Grow on Carpets?
When you need to decide whether you can save the carpet or not, think of the damage. If the damage was inflicted by a large amount of water, such as a flood, throw it away.
If mold is the result of a humid environment, you might be able to clean it. Don’t forget to fix the source of humidity to avoid mold in the future.
Surface mold often grows in dark and not well-ventilated rooms. It can survive on non-living materials, such as plastic and tiles, as well as living materials, such as plants. Mildew seeks out animal and plant materials and has a huge negative impact on crops.
Mold and mildew really can’t resist moisture. They grow and prosper in dark, humid, damp, and poorly ventilated conditions.
Mold spores start to spread with moisture. If you have a small and non-obvious leakage of water in your house, mold has more time to grow. If you manage to catch it in time, mold won’t be able to grow very much.
Either way, you need to clean your carpet as soon as you notice any signs of moisture or mold. Mold has the capacity to not only damage the carpet, but also the floor, furniture, and air quality in the house.
What Kills Mold in a Carpet?
Sanitize the carpet
Before getting your carpet professionally cleaned, use a sanitizing product to kill fungi and stop it from spreading. The product will be washed off when the carpet gets cleaned.
Dry rot can’t be reversed, but you can slow down the side effects with petroleum or keratin-based products. It will soften the fabric and make the rug less stiff.
Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning, so the rug doesn’t get damaged or fall apart. If you’re getting your rug professionally cleaned, let the cleaners know about the condition of your rug. That way they can employ adequate measures.
Use an anti-mold treatment
You can find anti-mold and anti-fungal sprays at your local drugstore or supermarket. Purchase one and follow the instructions on the box. Beware of kitchen and bathroom products though, those can discolor the rug!
Products that have an “encapsulate” treatment or a “mold barrier” leave a thin protective coat on the rug to prevent future mold growth. These are best for carpets that are kept in humid conditions.
Alternatively, you can mix a half a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, and use that. Make sure to use color-safe bleach and test it before applying to the whole carpet.
Deep steam cleaning
Steam and cleaning detergent penetrate through the carpet and kill all the fungi and bacteria. Don’t attempt to do this at home with no steam cleaner! Hire a professional to do the work, or buy your own portable steam cleaner.
The carpet will be damp after the cleaning, which could promote the growth of more mold. You need to vacuum as much water out as you can using the steam cleaner. Then, place a fan or a blowdryer in front of the carpet to help it dry quicker.
Don’t attempt to steam clean without a special machine. Applying steam or hot water can damage and shrink the carpet.
Lemon juice and salt
Start by removing mildew from the carpet with a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum both sides. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after as to avoid spreading mildew spores. Alternatively, you can use a soft bristle brush to clean the stained areas.
To make the solution, mix lemon juice with salt. Apply it to the affected areas and let sit for 30 minutes. Then, scrub it away and vacuum the leftover liquid.
Mix half a cup of white vinegar with 3 cups of warm water and a teaspoon of unscented dish soap. Use a brush to remove the stain. Then, apply a clean cloth to the area to help it dry. Wait for the rug to dry completely, and if there’s still a stain left, then repeat the steps.
Baking soda and white vinegar
It’s imperative to use white vinegar, as it won’t stain the carpet. Pour white vinegar over the affected area and scrub it in. Let it soak for 30 minutes and then add a generous amount of baking soda. Let is sit overnight.
Baking soda should absorb all the dampness from the vinegar and remove mildew smells from the carpet. Vacuum the remaining baking soda on the following day.
As you can see, removing mold from carpets isn’t fun, and can take quite a long time. At the end of the day, you might still have to throw your rug away.
The best thing you can do is work on preventing the spread of mold in your carpet.
Treat sources of mold and moisture right away
Use anti-moisture polyethylene sheeting in damp spaces to prevent mold growth. Ventilate your spaces.
There are many mold spores in your home already, and you don’t even know it. If you just add moisture, they will grow and spread. Keep your carpet clean and minimize the number of mold spores in your house.
Invest in good-quality padding
Buy anti-microbial, solid, rubber slab padding. It is on the expensive side, but it’s so worth it. If there’s any moisture at all, it will save you from mold.
Keep the humidity level in your home between 30% and 60%. At those levels there won’t be enough moisture for mold to grow.
Don’t leave potted plants on the carpet
Don’t do it, not even if you put a water tray underneath. If you must leave plants on the carpet, make sure they’re in glazed pots and have a moisture barrier underneath, such as a rubber tray or a mat.
Sundry loose rugs
Wash your rugs regularly and hang them out in the sun to dry.
Air helps evaporate moisture. Leave the window open or a fan blowing for at least a few hours a day. Open your windows in the morning to release moisture from the night.
Keep your carpet dry
We’ve all spilled stuff and just left it to dry naturally, or put a towel over it and called it a day. Next time, put some baking soda on the wet spot for an hour or two and then vacuum it. Baking soda will extract the liquids from the carpet.
Ending thoughts on what kills mold in a carpet and how to avoid It altogether
Mold is a serious issue that can even lead to health problems. It is especially dangerous for those with asthma, mold allergies, and respiratory illnesses. On top of that, mold leaves a musty smell.
Poor home maintenance and failure to clean regularly can lead to mold. However, moisture is the biggest threat. Remember to control moisture and focus on prevention. That way, you won’t have to worry!
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