How to Clean Mold and Mildew from a Carpet

sarahheller By sarahheller, 7th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Housekeeping>Cleaning

After a flooding event from a storm or appliance malfunction, the carpet in a home or office becomes soaked with water. This leaves the carpet and the materials under it as a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. If left on its own, the carpets will become health hazards, constantly releasing spores and potentially causing a variety of respiratory problems. Therefore, it is critical to clean the carpets as quickly as possible after they have become wet.

How to Clean

Start by pulling up the carpet and carpet pad. Typically, after a carpet has become soaked the carpet pad under the carpet will still be wet. Separate the carpet from the padding, and discard the padding. Carpet padding is relatively cheap, and nearly impossible to thoroughly dry without destroying it. Place the carpet in a dry area. Next, look at the flooring material and walls and make sure it is dry. If you have wood sub floors or drywall that is still wet, you may need to call a professional.
Next, place fans and dehumidifiers in the room with the carpet. Renting a high powered fan may be the best option for a particularly large carpet, since most house fans do not have enough power to move the air volume needed to dry a large carpet. Be sure the carpet is thoroughly dry before proceeding to the next step. While the carpet is drying, go ahead and lay down new carpet padding

Once the carpet is thoroughly dry, try to remove as much of the mildew as you can with a vacuum cleaner or by beating the carpet outside with a broom handle. If you use a vacuum cleaner, remember to throw the vacuum cleaner bag away after you finish, as the mildew and mold spores can spread from the bag.
Next, mix a solution of ½ teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent to one cup of lukewarm water. Depending on the amount of staining, you may need to double or triple the recipe. Sponge this solution onto the mildew stain. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for about 10 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a towel.
If the carpet is still showing mildew stains, you may need to use a harsher cleaning solution. Note that this recipe can discolor a carpet, so spot test it in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the whole carpet. To make this solution, mix a solution of two tablespoons ammonia and one cup lukewarm water. Blot this solution into the stain with a clean towel. Allow the solution to set for at least five minutes before blotting the carpet dry.

Once dry, replace and retack the carpet.


Carpet, Carpet Cleaners, Carpet Cleaning, Carpet Stains, Mildew, Mold

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