How to Kill Mold in Your Carpet

A moldy carpet is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. There’s nothing worse than working to keep your home carpet clean and dry, only to realize that the damp, unappealing smell coming from your floor is a sign of mold growth. However, even if you know there’s mold in your carpet, there’s no need to panic. If you’re a first-time carpet owner, over-wetting or improperly cleaning your carpet is an easy mistake to make. As you get more comfortable with your carpet, learning how to prevent carpet mold with chem-dry or other helpful cleaning methods will become second nature to you. But for now, let’s focus on the problem at hand: Returning your home carpet to its clean, fresh-smelling state. It’s not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. If you’re dealing with carpet mold, here are a few ways to get your carpet back to normal.

Wear Protective Gear

First thing’s first: Mold isn’t pretty, and you need to protect yourself from breathing it in before you even start thinking about cleaning your carpet. Use head protection, rubber gloves, and wear some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. No matter what you end up using to clean your rug, you’ll want to remember to keep things as dry as possible. Too much moisture is how your carpet got moldy in the first place. Before treating your rug, take precautions to make it as dry as possible by leaving it to dry in the sun and running the dehumidifier overnight. This will help suck any excess moisture out of your rug and will help the cleaning process go a lot more smoothly, especially if you’re dealing with mold from water damage.

Do a Mold Test

Before cleaning, you want to know where the source of the mold is. It might not be as simple as finding mold growing in your rug due to a damp patch or a leak. Some homes have mold on their walls or their air conditioning unit, or in another area that makes the problem extremely pervasive and hard to deal with. Before spending any time treating your individual carpet, do a mold test to make sure you’re not dealing with a bigger problem. There are inexpensive tests you can buy to determine the extent of the problem and more in-depth tests that will help you identify whether you’re dealing with a toxic or non-toxic type of mold. In either case, if you find that your mold issue is way more serious than you thought, it’s time to call in a professional to help. Don’t try to handle it on your own: Mold is serious stuff, and if you’re not protected, you could end up exposing yourself to serious health issues.

Treat with the Right Cleaner

If you’ve found that your mold issue isn’t widespread and is only growing in your carpet fibers, you can start treating your rug. For cleaners, there are a few options you can use. If you’re going with an antibacterial detergent diluted with water to spray and set your rug, you’ll be able to kill the mold easily. However, the drying process may take more time than you’d like. Being careful to get your rug dry as quickly as possible will help you avoid a future outbreak. If you’re treating a white or light-colored rug, using bleach diluted with water will stop the mold in its tracks. When it comes to drying, the same rules apply: Don’t soak your rug: Spray instead. Make sure your rug isn’t soaking, and leave it out to dry overnight if you know it’s not going to rain. After the moisture is out of your rug, give it a thorough vacuum before bringing it back into the house. If you’re looking for a more natural cleaning solution, try a mix of household white vinegar and water and spray both sides of your carpet.

Go to a Professional

While there are plenty of ways to treat a moldy home carpet yourself, the most effective way is to trust a dry cleaning professional with your rug. Even if you do a thorough job cleaning your rug, it can be hard to tell if you’ve successfully killed all the mold spores without a professional looking at it. A professional will also be able to give you helpful information about mold prevention and classification. Even if you decide to treat your rug yourself, having a professional come in to consult will help you identify the source of potential moisture spots or mold outbreaks that could occur in the future.