Molds are microscopic fungi that generally live on plants and animals. They are found in both indoor and outdoor environments, and sometimes they make carpet their home. It is not plain sailing to say goodbye to molds, especially when they are on carpet. In such a case, how can you identify the signs of these fungi on the carpet and “How To Clean Mold On Carpet?”
To find the answer, we’ll provide you a step-by-step guide on their removal, but before that, let’s find out their signs and how they get into your beloved wall-to-wall.
Signs Of Mold On Carpet
If your carpet has molds on it, then an unpleasant stinking or musky odor will give a big sign of its presence. Also, your room’s rug will have visible white, green, or black patches. In addition to this, the area underneath the carpet will show a significant amount of discoloration.
If you suspect that your carpet has molds grown on it, then you should definitely check all these signs on your wall-to-wall. And after getting a clarification to your suspect, you can hire professional mold inspection services.
They’ll help you detect the extent of molds present on your carpet and find out whether they are rooted deep into its fibers or not. With this, they will also suggest some good measures on how you can get rid of a moldy carpet.
How Does Molds Grow On Carpet?
Generally, molds are present in the outdoor environment and require moisture, oxygen, warmth, and bacteria to grow. But if your carpet is wet or has damp patches containing dust, then these microscopic fungi can also build up in 24 to 48 hours in the indoor environment, especially on carpet.
The problem of carpet molds generally occurs on a wall-to-wall located in a basement or in a nearby area containing moisture, such as a region near a bathroom, kitchen, or garden. Other than this, the moist climate also gives an ample breeding space for molds.
In a case like this, the safest method that carpet cleaning professionals suggest is to either go with steam cleaning or replace the carpet completely. However, these ideas are a little expensive but are worth giving a try if you can’t find any other alternative.
Are Molds Harmful?
Molds on carpets can lead to an unpleasant, musky smell that can impact the respiratory system or cause allergic reactions. They can even cause some deadly diseases like cancer. Now, you may wonder how a musky odor can lead to such big health hazards.
Musky mold odor is caused by Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC), which include a wide range of aldehydes, nitrogen compounds, carboxylic acids, lactones, esters, aromatic hydrocarbons, sulfur and terpenes.
This emission leads to off-gassing, which is basically produced by mold spores when they reproduce and feed. This off-gassing is hazardous to human health! So, as soon as it spreads inside the home, airborne triggers allergic reactions and respiratory problems, such as:
- Sore throat
- Skin irritation
- Stuffy nose
- Eye irritation
If you have someone in your home who starts to display any of these signs and sudden respiratory illness, then you can suspect that carpet molds for it.
Are Molds On Carpets Harmful For Children?
Mold exposure on carpets is especially harmful to children, pets, and someone with a weak immune system.
According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention), the weaker immuno-compromised people are at a higher risk of developing any respiratory illness, and one such trigger for them is mold on the carpet.
With this, the children are also at a greater risk of such illness because their lungs are not developed completely like elders. As a result, they can go through some serious lung diseases such as asthma.
How To Clean Mold On Carpet?
To clean molds on the carpet, you can either take suggestions from your nearby carpet cleaning service or use a few cleaning methods using home supplies. Whatever method you choose, remember a few points, which include:
- Scrub out the visible molds with a brush before going for a complete cleaning process.
- Don’t let mold spores get deeper into the fibers while cleaning.
- Ventilate your room by opening doors and windows to let off-gassing out of your home.
- Let your carpet dry completely after cleaning so that the left moisture does not become a reason for mold growth again.
Now, let’s check a few carpet cleaning methods to get molds out of the carpet!
Step 1: Clean Your Carpet
Whether you clean molds and mildew or go for regular deep cleaning, the first and most important step to start with is an initial cleaning. But before that:
- Remove the furniture pieces from the carpet and shift them to another room. If you have some big fitments, then move them from one corner to another while cleaning.
- Next, sweep up the entire carpet with a broom or a vacuum cleaner to suck up dry debris and loosen the mold.
- After completing this initial cleaning process, empty the vacuum bag directly in the bin so that it does not attach to other parts of your room.
Step 2: Sun Dry Your Carpet
Even though your carpet is not damp, you can sun dry your carpet to kill allergens, germs, and molds. For this, you have to detach the carpet from your room’s floor and hang it on a sturdy clothesline.
- Let the carpet sit under the sun for 24 to 48 hours so that the mold spores die in place and the moisture that encouraged mold growth evaporates.
- Molds are present not only on the top section of the carpet but also on its backing. Hence, turn the carpet after a few hours of drying the front section of the rug to give your baking a good amount of time to kill molds.
- Also, check the carpet padding, and if it has visible white, green, or black patches, then do the same evaporating process with it.
Step 3: Prepare A Carpet Cleaning Solution
This is the most crucial part of the complete moldy carpet cleaning process because it will decide whether you will get a perfectly clean carpet or not. If you prepare a solution that is ineffective for molds, then your entire cleaning effort will vanish. So, to get a proper result, use any of these cleaning methods:
Method 1: Use White Vinegar
White vinegar contains 5% acetic acid that helps break down any stubborn grime, filth, stain, etc. It also helps eliminate bacteria, allergens, and molds from the surface.
The only thing you need to remember while using a DIY cleaning technique is to follow the right method of preparing a natural cleaning agent’s solution and using it on the carpet for systematic cleaning. To prepare a white vinegar solution,
- Add 50% of vinegar in 50% of water.
- In this mixture, you can add a few drops of essential oil or herbs for odor correction.
- Now, pour the solution into any empty spray bottle and spray it on the molded part of the carpet.
- Leave the solution to sit for a few minutes, and then scrub the molded part with a stiff brush.
- Wipe the solution and loosen mold remains out of the carpet with a damp towel and dry it in a ventilated room or under the sun.
Method 2: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is the most versatile ingredient in cleaning. It is used not only for cooking but also to un-stain a filthy surface and neutralize odors. It helps eliminate the tough stains of a greasy spill, foul odor, and mold. However, if you have dogs in your home, then you must be wondering about is baking soda safe for dogs?
Make sure to use a generous amount of this cleaning agent and give it sufficient time to show its result. To use this cleaning agent on your carpet,
- You can directly sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on the carpet.
- Make sure to cover all the mold patches and their nearby areas so that no mold issue is left after cleaning.
- Leave the baking soda on the carpet overnight and then wipe it with a mob or a vacuum cleaner.
- The baking soda will not only kill the mold but also absorb the filthy moisture that leads to mold development.
Method 3: Use Dishwashing Liquid
Dishwashing liquid has very good fat-emulsifying properties that help blast out any filthy spill that led molds on the carpet. To prepare its solution,
- Add 1 part of dishwashing liquid in 10 parts of water and mix it well until the get dissolves properly.
- Pour a sponge into your prepared soapy solution and use it to scrub the carpet areas containing mold.
- Scrub in the inward direction so that the filth and mold do not get along with the other parts of the carpet.
- Wipe the solution with a clean, damp towel and dry your carpet under the sun for 6 to 10 hours.
Method 4: Use Chlorine Dioxide
Chlorine dioxide is an extremely effective disinfectant that kills bacteria, allergens, and molds present on the carpet. That is why it is also used in many carpet cleaning solutions.
Before using it directly on the carpet, always test its effect in an inconspicuous part of the carpet and notice the signs of discoloration or stiffness in the fabric. If there is no dull patch, then you are good to use it on your entire carpet.
Points To Remember:
- Always ventilate your room before using chlorine dioxide on your carpet.
- Use it as per the labeled instructions present on the product to avoid the chances of damage to the carpet.
- Keep your carpet cleaner ready with you because you will need a deep cleaning method to blast out the chlorine dioxide with molds.
Method 5: Use A Steam Cleaner
Carpet cleaning professionals mostly suggest steam cleaning methods for mold eradication because a steam cleaner can kill persistent mold spores on a carpet in just one stroke. To use this method, you can either rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional for a carpet cleaning service.
If you rent a steam cleaner, remember to use water between 150° and 300° Fahrenheit (66-149° Celsius) because extra hot water extraction can stiffen your carpet fibers and even lead to discoloration. This is one of the best methods for carpet cleaning.
How To Prevent Mold On Carpet?
Preventing mold on carpets is directly associated with preventing spills on carpets. As discussed above, moisture is the main reason for the development of molds on a carpet.
You can use a professional treatment or anti-moisture polyethylene sheeting to prevent molds from growing further on your beloved wall-to-wall. There are a few more mold prevention methods, such as,
- You can vacuum your carpet daily or thrice a week to prevent your carpet from getting filthy.
- Clean the spill as soon as you get one on your carpet so that it does not give ground to the growth of molds.
- Dry the carpet by ventilating the room after every spill cleaning so that no moisture is left trapped inside the carpet.
- If you live in a humid region, you can buy a humidifier and leave it running overnight to remove moisture in the air.
- You can use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaner if you suspect the growth of mold colonies on your carpet. It will help remove the deepened mold and minimize the number of spores traveling all over the rug.
“How To Clean Mold On Carpet?”- This question is mainly asked after mold colonies grow all over the carpet. In such a case, many professionals suggest replacing the carpet, but there are a few DIY cleaning methods that can help you achieve your desired spotless result.
But before you use any of these cleaning methods, test the cleaning solution in a hidden part of your carpet and check if there is any discoloration or stiffness on the fabric or not. If there is no damage, then you can surely proceed to use the cleaning method on the carpet mold.
How to deodorize carpet?
You can use any commercial deodorizer or baking soda to neutralize the foul odor on your carpet. Other than this, you can ventilate your room by opening doors and windows to let the unpleasant smell out of the room.
How does mold look on the carpet?
If your carpet has molds, then there will be black or brown spots all over the rug. To eradicate it, you can use a professional steam cleaner or a vinegar cleaning solution.
How can I prevent mold on wet carpets?
If you want to get rid of mold on your carpet when wet, then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over and leave it to stay overnight. This method will not only eliminate mold but will neutralize your carpet odor.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!