How to Get Mold Out of the Carpet

Mold is a fungus that often contaminates houses and makes the air musty, smelling like in an old basement. Mold has been around for over 200 million years. It settles in the most unimaginable places and can seriously ruin people’s lives. Removing mold odor and residue from the carpets is not an easy process. Mold often comes back after the cleaning, and the owners decide that it is easier to throw away the product than to remove the annoying mold. We’ll show you how to get mold out of the carpet forever (in mild scenarios) and prevent it from reappearing.

How to Identify Mold on the Carpet

Have you noticed a dark spot on your favorite carpet? Is that a reason to panic? It’s necessary to inspect the carpet and see if you’re dealing with mold. There are many methods to identify mold in the carpets. Below are the easiest and most common.

Sometimes mold is not visible on the carpet surface, and you may need to make a thorough check and identification. These signs will help you understand that you’re dealing with mold:

  1. Unpleasant odors and stains. A moldy carpet surface can emit a nasty smell, which is dangerous to inhale with a weakened immune system, allergies, asthma. Mold smell has been characterized as similar to rotten wood, damp socks, or even the earth. It is also commonly described as a terrible odor and is usually detected before any visible mold occurs. Mold’s most unpleasant characteristic is its strong odor, which is the primary cause of a noticeable change in the smell of a home. So if you notice that something doesn’t smell right, and all the other reasons have been eliminated, mold might be the reason.
  2. Visible mold. Mold has circular patterns. It looks like a thin black, brown, or green patina. In severe cases, you will even see visible signs on the fibers. Start the inspection from the padding since mold prefers dark and wet places. There is an excellent method to identify the mold from the usual stains. 
  3. Water damage on the carpet. Mold grows very fast and can become a severe problem even after the carpet has been wet for just 24 hours. If you suspect mold is present, touch the area with your hand. If it’s moist – the mold is most likely growing there.
  4. Mildew. If you see mildew on the carpet, it may also indicate a mold problem.

How to Remove Mold from Carpet

It’s bad for health to live in the same room with a moldy carpet. Either clean it or throw it away. It’s also pointless to remove the smell. The main danger lies in the spores, so you should first think about removing the mold from the carpet. After its destruction, you can start deodorizing and removing the visible stains.

Before cleaning up the mold on the carpet, it is vital to take steps to prevent the fungus spores from getting elsewhere. Try to clean in a designated area, and protect your furniture from the residue falling off while cleaning. It is also essential to clean the carpet with special gloves and a mask. You don’t want to breathe in the spores or antifungal chemicals. Who knows what’s worse!

The smell might come from a possibly unsafe source that you need to locate and take action against. Learn how to remove and prevent damp carpet smell.

Homemade Solutions

Vinegar

As we wrote before, vinegar is an effective cleaning agent for many surfaces, including carpets and rugs. For many years, it has been used for removing mold and unpleasant odors. The recipe is quite simple.

The vinegar should be applied undiluted with a sponge on the entire carpet’s surface on both sides for approximately one hour and then rinsed thoroughly with water. However, remember that acid is not suitable for all types of fabric. It can damage the delicate rugs. Therefore, test it first on a small, less visible carpet area before using it on the whole product.

Baking Soda

It is one of my favorite methods since it requires minimum effort and is still very effective. Regular baking soda nicely removes mold and damp odors.

  1. Dissolve 2-3 tbsp of baking soda in 1 liter of warm water. Stir it well.
  2. Take a soft brush and apply the solution to the carpet. Try to act so that the product penetrates piles to the full depth.
  3. Leave the carpet to dry.
  4. When the piles dry, tiny, barely noticeable soda crystals will appear on them. They have to be removed with a vacuum cleaner.
  5. Use a rug rake or a rug brush to make the rug fluffy again.

Hot Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is another effective mold removal method. Steam clean the carpet for at least 15 seconds at a high temperature for the best results. Remember to read the product description first because some rugs do not withstand extreme heat and can be easily damaged (for example, the woolen ones). Once you have finished the hot steam cleaning, dry the carpet fast. Steam can help the mold fungus grow if left wet for some time. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

If you don’t have it at home (steam cleaners are expensive and, to be honest, you don’t need it every day, right?), you can rent it from a local home improvement store. 

Bonus tip: Ozone

This method is only suitable if you have an ozonizer or a powerful UV lamp in your home. Both ozone and ultraviolet light have excellent disinfectant properties. In addition, ozonation helps to eliminate the odors.

Install the UV lamp so that it shines right on the surface of the carpet. Turn it on for at least half an hour. Then turn the carpet over and repeat the process. Turning on the ozonizer with a fan is advisable to supply ozone directly to the carpet. It is also necessary to ozonize the carpet from both sides.

Ozonation and UV light kill the germs and remove odors. However, ultraviolet light acts only on the surface. Ozone will also not penetrate deeply if the carpet is very dense or has a smooth surface. In other words, it will not reach the base of the product. Therefore, it is recommended to use lamps and ozonizers in combination with different types of treatment or as a precautionary measure.

Chemical Mold Removal Products

There are factory-made antifungal drugs in stores. They are called fungicides. You can also use many of them to treat mildew carpets. Typically, these products are sold in the form of a spray that you can easily apply to the surface. When buying a product, check how it will affect the material of your carpet. Also, be sure to read the instructions on the packaging and strictly follow them.

To begin with, you should change into work clothes, protect your hands with rubber gloves, use a breathing mask and goggles. The fungus spores scatter through the air and settle everywhere when you touch the mold. Therefore, protection, in this case, is critical.

Our favorite product is Mold Control from Concrobium. It’s used to eliminate mold, remove nasty odors, and prevent the mold from reappearing. The chemical acts to leave an invisible barrier on which the fungus cannot grow.

  • One bottle will be enough to clean an area of around 110 sq. ft., which is more than enough to clean the carpet.
  • To use this product, just spray it to the infected area, and then leave it to dry. There is no need for rinsing or scrubbing.
  • It’s effective on mold spores and unpleasant smells showing mold growth signs.
  • You can use it in homes, boats, and cars.

Professional Carpet Mold Removal

If none of the methods above worked, or if the problem appeared to be more severe than you’ve imagined, go for professional carpet cleaning. These people know exactly how to remove the mold and make your carpet good as new. They are much less likely to damage the product in the process of cleaning. Plus, they have already cleaned hundreds of them (if you’ve selected a company with many good reviews).

Prices for professional carpet mold removal range from $10 to $25 per square foot of infected area. Cleaning projects below 10 square feet may cost as little as $50. Of course, the price depends on the severity of the mold stains and which type of mold it is. The back mold is the most toxic and hard to remove and will likely cost more.

What Does Mold in a Carpet Look Like?

Are you wondering what to look for when inspecting your carpets for mold presence? Let’s dive into the different types of mold found on the carpets, and how to identify them.

Most Common Types of Mold on the Carpet

Acremonium

Acremonium

This mold starts as a tiny, wet particle that develops into a powdery form over time. Acremonium may be found in a variety of colors, most often in tones of grey, white, orange, and even pink, depending on the variety.

Typically found in: humidifiers in the house, air conditioner cooling coils, drain and drip pans, and windows with leaks.

Alternaria

alternaria
The University of Adelaide

Velvety texture in brown or dark green color with visible “hairs.”

Typically found in: carpets, wallpaper, showers, bathtubs, and under sinks. Often it indicates water leakage and grows rapidly.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus
Adrian J. Hunter/Wikimedia Commons

Mold spores that are long and flask-shaped, and which may produce thick layers of mold.” As there are more than 185 subspecies, Aspergillus can have different colors.

Typically found in: on the flooring of basements, bedding, as well as on wallboard materials.

Aureobasidium

Aureobasidium
Ninjatacoshell/ Wikimedia Commons

In its development, it is often a bright pink or dark brown color, but as time passes, it typically develops a deeper brown or black hue.

Typically found in: behind wallpaper and on painted or wood surfaces.

Chaetomium

Wikimedia Commons

This textured mold with a cotton-like appearance starts typically off white in color and gradually darkens with time, becoming gray, brown, and finally black.

Typically found in: water-damaged structures, the roof, carpets, basement, sewers, and drywall are the most common places to find this mold. Keep an eye out for a wet odor.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium
Medmyco/ Wikimedia Commons

Mold is blown or olive-green in hue and has a suede-like feel.

Typically found in: carpet, textiles, upholsteries, wood flooring, and cabinetry are the most common places where you may find it.

Fusarium

Fusarium
Ninjatacoshell/ Wikimedia Commons

The color may range from bronze and white to more vibrant shades of pink and burgundy.

Typically found in: wallpaper, carpets, and other materials are common places to find it. It can also grow on food, and once it gets into the house – it grows very quickly.

Penicillium

Penicillium
Jean.claude/ Wikimedia Commons

A mold that’s well-known for healing antibiotic properties is unfortunately not always healthy. The color of the mold is either bluish or greenish, and the texture is velvety.

Typically found in: homes that have been flooded, particularly on the carpets, beds, ducts, behind the wallpaper.

Trichoderma

trichoderma
Wikimedia Commons

They look like wooly colonies, which are often white and green in color.

Typically found in: wallpaper, rugs, textiles, and other surfaces that have been exposed to excessive dampness are all susceptible to growth. Most of the time, Trichoderma is not harmful, and it may be removed by a homeowner with the right safety precautions.

Ulocladium

Ulocladium
Ninjatacoshell/ Wikimedia Commons

It usually has a black color.

Typically found in: bathrooms, kitchens, and cellars that have seen water damage or have been exposed to moisture. When detected early, it’s easy to remove.

Reasons of Mold Appearing on the Carpet

Mold appears on the because of the excess moisture. If the carpet got wet and not dry properly or was washed and dried too slowly, you can already feel a specific smell. Sometimes for the mold to appear, it’s enough for the carpet to remain moist for only 24–48 hours. Typically, the base of the carpet, which dries longer, is the first one to suffer from mold. The pile dries faster and becomes infected later from the already affected base.

That is why removing any stains should be done with a minimum amount of water. And after cleaning, it is essential to ventilate the room nicely. If necessary, dry the carpet with a hairdryer at low speeds.

How to Get Mold Out of the Carpet in Your Car

The presence of mold in your car is not only irritating to the eyes and bad-smelling, but it may also be extremely hazardous to your health. In many circumstances, mold will form when moisture gets inside, and you don’t drive your car for a while.

Cars may develop mold inside for a combination of factors, but the most frequent is a leak. There is no need to set it on fire or spend hundreds of dollars on a professional cleaning service to get rid of it. You may remove the mold with a little elbow grease and effort, as well as a thorough cleaning.

To successfully remove mold from your car, you must first take the necessary precautions to safeguard yourself and your vehicle.

Dealing with a mold problem in your car is going to require a lot of protection. First of all, you’ll want to get a quality respirator mask, eyewear, and gloves. Boots and coveralls may be necessary for complete body protection in severe circumstances. Overkill is a great approach to mold protection!

Once you’ve put on your gear, you may be eager to start scrubbing your car, but hold off.

The best “DIY” cleaning solution ever may be white vinegar. Common white vinegar appears to be able to fix just about any problem that life throws at you. Moldy car carpet is not an exception. Vinegar is an excellent cure for mold because of its acidic nature. Additionally, it does not need any prior knowledge of chemistry in order to be put to good use.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Make sure you have a few jugs of white distilled vinegar on hand. The non-distilled substance can also be used, but you’ll need to use more of it to achieve the same results.
  2. Prepare a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle with a 4:1 vinegar to water ratio. If necessary, you can use plain vinegar to tackle a major mold infestation.
  3. Apply the mixture directly to the moldy areas, and don’t forget to saturate the spores’ surrounding area, too.
  4. Leave the solution on the carpet for around 15 minutes.
  5. Vacuum clean the carpet with your shop vac.

For heavier infestations: use pure vinegar. Add a spoonful of baking soda to the mixture. Apply it to the moldy spot.  Allow at least 20 minutes for the solution to soak in your car. Remove the mold remains by wiping or vacuuming them up.

These solutions may leave your car smelling of vinegar. To get rid of the odor, sprinkle some baking soda on top, leave it overnights, and then remove it with a vacuum cleaner.

How Do You Get Mold Out of Carpet on a Boat?

Mold-prevention treatments are commonly used on boat carpets. This coating may wear off over time, exposing it to damp air. Hazardous particles from filthy shoes may be found in the carpet of boats, giving it an ideal breeding habitat for molds to thrive. It’s only a matter of time until mold appears on the boat’s carpet.

You don’t need any special equipment to remove mold from a boat’s carpets. There are many strong chemicals available on the market. However, home treatment may be prepared that works just as well if not better. Spray the mold with a solution made out of equal parts water and vinegar. Allow the carpet to air dry after scrubbing it with a brush. If you’re dealing with stubborn mold stains, use a scrub brush.

Mould in Carpet: Health Risks

If you’ve read this far, you already understand that mold holds serious health dangers. Ome of them may have a temporary effect like causing allergy, and some are much more dangerous. If you are wondering what the dangers are connected with having old in your home carpets, let’s dive into details.

Who is most impacted by mold in the house?

Sensitive people include the following categories:

  • children and infants
  • older people
  • people with skin conditions
  • allergic and asthmatic people
  • people whose immune systems have been weakened, such as chemotherapy patients

These people need to avoid wet and mold environments at all costs.

Irritation and Allergies

Mold can cause allergic reactions in people who are already sensitive to it. Mold exposure can cause a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • an itchy, watery, or clogged nose
  • skin rashes
  • breathing difficulties, coughing with a sore throat, and sinus infection

People who already have asthma or other respiratory disorders may see a worsening of their symptoms if they are exposed to mold.

A 2012 research found that kids exposed to mold at houses have an increased chance of having asthma by age seven. Sounds scary!

Other Common Symptoms of Exposure to Mold

  • aches and soreness
  • mycotoxicosis
  • headaches and changes in mood
  • loss of memory
  • nosebleeds

It is very likely that prolonged exposure to a significant number of mold spores will result in allergy symptoms such as running nose, watering eyes, sneezing, itching, coughing and wheezing, trouble breathing, headache, and exhaustion. Mold exposure can raise a person’s vulnerability, resulting in even more dangerous allergic responses as a result of repeated exposure. These issues are increased indoors because mold contributes to poor indoor air quality. Particular types of mold have the ability to create poisons known as mycotoxins when certain environmental conditions are met. These Mycotoxins can trigger more significant sicknesses if you are exposed to them.

How to Prevent Carpet Mold from Appearing

Regular cleaning with disinfectants and frequent ventilation will reduce the risk of mold. Any time the carpet gets wet due to unforeseen circumstances, you should dry it immediately. Measures taken in time will not allow minor trouble to grow into a big problem.

Mold loves warmth and moisture and quickly spreads with air spores, so getting rid of it can be very difficult. Leaks or excessive moisture are often sources of mold. To avoid the appearance of mold on floors and carpets, you should ventilate all rooms in your home well – if necessary, use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in the room.

Avoid the bathroom carpets: use tiles or other non-porous materials for your bathroom floor. Hang shower mats and towels to dry after each use. Wash them on a hot cycle with vinegar at least once a week to disinfect.

Ensure that damp objects, such as pots or houseplants are not in prolonged contact with the flooring.

FAQ’s

Can a Humidifier Cause Mold in a Carpet?

You may be wondering if a humidifier may cause mold? The answer is yes!  I will describe it in more detail in the sections that follow.

You’ll notice mold growth in your house if the weather has been damp and rainy for several days. Water-damaged furniture and walls are especially vulnerable to the growth of mold. Mold develops when humidity is above 55 percent. So If the humidity level in your home is higher than the recommended level, mold development is likely to be a reoccurring problem. Sometimes when using humidifiers, people go beyond the recommended humidity levels, leading to excessive moisture or wetness. Mold will grow.

Mold growth can also be speeded up by humidifiers that have not been properly maintained. In most cases, people do not clean their humidifiers according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Is There a Mold-proof Carpet?

Yes! Basements and other damp parts of the house should have mold-resistant carpeting installed. In a basement, the concrete floor absorbs moisture, which then seeps into the carpet, creating an ideal habitat for the growth of mold. People with allergies or compromised immune systems should avoid exposure to toxic molds like black mold. Carpets that are resistant to mold are the best way to prevent these organisms from forming.

Carpets come in a wide variety of styles and colors, but not all the materials are resistant to mold. There are, however, some that are more resistant to mold than others.

Nylon

One of the really popular carpeting materials is nylon, which is resistant to mildew and mold. It’s more costly than others since it’s more durable and lasts longer.

Acrylic

This material is also water, stain, and sun resistant, as well as mold and mildew resistant. Acrylic, while less durable than nylon, is simpler to care for and less expensive than wool.

Olefin

Olefin is a polypropylene-based material that is highly resistant to stains, molds, and numerous chemicals. It’s best to keep it away from places with high temperatures, such as garages and fires, where it’ll be exposed to the heat.

Polyester

Although it has similar stain-resistance properties to nylon and olefin, polyester is significantly cheaper. Polyethylene carpets are also often created from recycled plastic bottles and are eco-friendly and resistant to mold.

Does Carpet Cleaning Cause Molds?

Yes, but not necessarily. If you don’t dry your carpet right once it gets wet, it will quickly become a breeding ground for mold. Carpets dry fast when the humidity in the room is low. Because of the high humidity, it doesn’t dry out properly. The growth of mold may start within 24–48 hours after exposure.

No mold will grow in an area after a steam clean has been performed correctly by a skilled specialist. A good professional will make sure that the carpet will dry quickly in less than 24 hours.

Will Bleach Kill Mold in a Carpet?

Bleach has the capacity to destroy mold on contact as well as destroy spores and allergens. However, bleach may discolor carpets, so you should dilute it before using it. Plus, you should try using bleach on the dark-colored carpets.  Create a solution consisting of one cup of home bleach, commonly known as hypochlorite solution, and one gallon of water. Apply this solution on the carpeted area that has been stained with mold and allow it to sit in for 10 to 15 minutes.

After allowing the bleach solution to destroy the mold, remove any residual mixture from the floor using the extraction mode on the steam cleaner. Using the steam cleaner for a second time will help destroy any leftover mold. In addition to cleaning the carpet, the steam cleaner will eliminate dirt and germs from the carpet. The heat also sanitizes the carpet and prevents new mold development.

The final stage in the process is to allow the carpet to dry completely. To begin, use dry towels to wipe the carpet down and absorb any remaining moisture. Fans placed near the carpet can speed up the drying process.

Can Carpet Mold Kill Me?

Modly carpets can contain deadly mycotoxins in addition to harmful allergens.

The immune system, particularly the stomach, is compromised if you are exposed to these poisons for an extended period of time. If you are living with a mycotoxin, in very rare cases, it can lead to death in extreme cases.

Conclusion

If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ve enjoyed our tips and will now be fully armed when facing the mold. You should use dehumidifiers in moist places like a basement. You should repair any leaks that may have occurred in the roofing, windows, or walls. When painting, use mold-resistant paint. Dry areas that have been wet or have been flooded in 24 to 48 hours. Throw away anything that can’t be dried. Always inspect the carpets for the first signs of the mold, and check for the dump smells. Quick action and regular cleaning will help you have a safe house and clean carpets.

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