You don’t want mold to grow in your home. Mold is a health hazard, especially for people who are sensitive to it. Mold can cause health problems such as upper respiratory symptoms as well as eye irritation.
Why is there mold growing in your carpet? Mold spores can be found everywhere in the house, especially in areas that are high in moisture and humidity. Since carpets trap moisture, this is why mold can easily grow on them.
Before you throw out your carpet that’s been infested with mold, here’s our guide to removing mold from carpets. Read on for easy, effective methods to breathe new life and freshness into your carpets.
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold reproduces via small spores. These spores are smaller than pollen grains, so they can be distributed through the home very easily. They can also cling onto clothing or pet fur, which further makes it easier for them to get transferred to other places in the home.
Mold spores need the correct environment in order to grow. They require moisture, oxygen, food (in the form of organic matter), and the right temperature.
Mold can’t survive in temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will thrive in temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It loves humidity and can survive in areas with low oxygen levels.
As for the food that mold consumes, any substance containing carbon atoms is considered to be nutrients for mold, such as oil from skin, soap residue, as well as paper, organic, and wood fibers.
How To Tell If Your Carpet Has Mold
There are two important signs that your carpet has mold.
- Check the carpet for circular patterns of brown, black, or green stains. If your carpet has stains, feel for any moisture in that area of the carpet.
- Smell the carpet. Does it smell musty, sour, or earthy? This is a sign of mold and mildew. Just make sure you don’t inhale deeply as you don’t want to inhale the mold spores.
Pro tip: Peel back the carpet by placing a screwdriver underneath the corner closest to the stained area, and then inspect underneath it for any of the above signs of mold.
How To Remove Mold From Carpets
Before you attempt to remove mold from your carpets, make sure you wear protective gloves, glasses, and a mask as you will come into contact with mold spores.
The best mask to wear if you’re going to be exposed to mold is an N95 respirator. Then, follow these steps to eliminate mold.
- Ventilate the room in which you’re working. However, make sure you don’t cause mold spores to spread into other areas of the house. You can do this by blocking off areas with plastic sheeting.
- Use a stiff brush to remove any visible mold from the carpet. Put the mold into a bag and discard it. While you can use a HEPA vacuum cleaner for this task, the mold spores could stay inside the machine and then spread to other areas of your home when next it’s used.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet. Place some baking soda on the area of the mold and let it work overnight. This will soak up the moisture and odor. The next day you can add vinegar to the mold and scrub it with a scrub brush. Make sure you also scrub the back of the carpet so that you get to all the areas of moisture and mold.
- If baking soda and vinegar haven’t worked to remove the mold, try using an anti-fungal spray. Here’s how to use this spray on a moldy carpet:
- Spray the area of the carpet where there’s mold and let it sit for an hour.
- Take a rag and blot the stain so you soak up any excess product.
- Let the anti-fungal spray work for 24 hours, keeping the room well-ventilated and off bounds to children and pets.
- When the carpet is fully dry, spray the area again and use a rag to blot at the stain. Again, leave a dehumidifier on and/or windows open to ventilate the carpet. Leave it for a few days.
- Check the carpet every few weeks. This will ensure that the mold is not growing again.
5. Always make sure you let the carpet dry properly after cleaning it, otherwise moisture can cause mold to grow again.
Do You Need Chemicals To Remove Mold?
If natural and DIY methods haven’t worked to remove the mold from your carpets, you should try stronger chemicals.
An anti-mold treatment that you purchase from a hardware store or online can be effective, but make sure it can be used safely on carpets so that you won’t risk it damaging or discoloring your carpet.
Another alternative if you don’t want to buy something from the store is to make your own mold treatment solution. Mix together a cup of color-safe bleach and a gallon of water.
After you’ve applied the bleach solution, make sure you use a stiff brush to scrub at the mold. Then, blot it out.
The key is not to leave the bleach on the carpet stain for longer than a few minutes. Repeat these steps until the mold is successfully removed.
Does Steam-Cleaning Your Carpet Remove Mold?
Steam cleaning kills many microorganisms, including mold. This is because it reaches hot temperatures at which mold can’t survive.
Steam cleaners usually produce temperatures of between 307 and 363 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Prevent Mold From Growing Back
Keep your carpets hygienic and mold-free by following these tips.
- If you have potted plants in the house, place a mat between the bottom of the pot and your carpet. This prevents dirt and mold from getting trapped in the carpet.
- If your home is prone to experiencing high levels of humidity, you should use a dehumidifier. This will lower the humidity and prevent too much moisture in the home which can stimulate mold growth.
- Install an air purifier. This device works well to keep your air clean and it also eliminates mold spores in the air. This is especially important to have in the home if you have mold sensitivity.
- Do regular roof maintenance. What’s the connection between your carpets and roof? If your roof leaks, water can end up dripping inside the house, such as on the carpet, and cause mold to grow.
- After cleaning your carpets, such as with a carpet cleaner or steam cleaner, you should ensure that you let the carpet dry thoroughly. This prevents moisture from accumulating. Mold can grow in a wet carpet after about a day or two, so it’s important to prevent soggy carpets.
- Consider avoiding installing carpets in areas of the home where high levels of moisture are present. For example, rugs in the basement or bathroom will be exposed to a lot of moisture so rethink their placement.
- The mold that grows on the carpet can damage the floor underneath it, so make sure you install high-quality padding between the carpet and floor. A good choice is rubber padding, which is anti-microbial and it prevents mold from growing in future.
Does vacuuming your carpets too much damage them?
A carpet can tolerate being vacuumed much more than it can handle being dirty. If you allow dirt to accumulate in the carpet, this is what will damage it, therefore you want to remove it with your vacuum cleaner.
Can you use Lysol to remove mold from your carpets?
Although Lysol will disinfect your carpet and it can conceal the musty smell of mold, it won’t kill mold spores.
What is that yellow powder underneath your carpets?
If you’ve noticed yellow powder forming underneath your carpets, this isn’t molding. It’s padding that was placed underneath the carpets and has become fragile and dry after many years so that it has started to break apart.
If you have mold on your carpets, you might feel worried that there’s no way to save them. Before you throw them out, try one of the mold-busting methods we’ve featured in this guide.
If you still can’t seem to eliminate the mold, it’s best to call the professionals. They’ll be able to find the most effective mold treatment for your carpets to eliminate it and take the stress out of cleaning your home.