How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

by Luke Armstrong · Published 05/30/2019 · Updated 09/13/2019

No matter how much you try to ignore it, a musty carpet filled with mildew can be hard to ignore. But this isn’t only a distraction, it’s a safety hazard for you and everyone on the property that can trigger significant health issues. Prolonging the cleaning process will also result in the spread of damage, possibly even causing the carpet to become irreplaceable.

On the bright side, getting a musty smell out of a carpet is relatively simple. Especially if the area was flooded, getting rid of the odor should be a walk in the park. Here are some tips on how to get mildew and musty smells from the carpet.

1. Dry the area

Musty, earthy, or dank smells – whatever you want to call it – are the result of excess moisture. So the area was definitely wet before the smell started. If there is lingering water damage in the area, dry out the area as best you can or call a professional water damage mitigation company. But keep in mind they may inform you that the carpet will need to be replaced if the carpet was heavily flooded.

2. Vacuum out the area

As soon as the carpet is completely dry, remove the remaining debris by vacuuming the area. A larger vacuum should be able to pick up more dust.

3. Apply vinegar water mixture to the carpet

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

To remove mildew and musty smells, apply a mixture of vinegar and water to the affected area of the carpet.

Vinegar is a great home remedy for absorbing stubborn odors. Depending on the amount of mildew on the carpet, mix one cup of white vinegar for every two cups of water. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and spritz the carpet, creating a light, misty layer. Just keep in mind that too much of the mixture can trigger additional mold growth.

4. Add lots of baking soda

One of the numerous amazing features of baking soda is that it is one of the best odor neutralizers. You can also trust that it won’t damage the carpet or cause harm to your pets.

5. Wait

Allow the baking soda to mix with the vinegar and water mixture for at least a few hours; the longer you wait, the better. It is recommended to let it sit overnight.

6. Using hydrogen peroxide as an alternative

If you still have mildew and the musty smell on your carpet, try using a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. For every part of hydrogen peroxide used, use five parts of water. This is also a great remedy to remove the mold spores and eliminate the musty odor.

7. Using foam carpet shampoo as an alternative

The cool thing about removing mold, mildew, and musty odors is that there are many solutions that can be applied. If both the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide fail to do the job, pick up a bottle of foam carpet shampoo from the store.

Add a good amount of the shampoo to the affected area, rubbing it in with a sponge. Then let the shampoo soak in for at least 20 minutes – you do want it to dry. Afterwards, vacuum the shampoo and the remaining debris.

For Extra Stubborn Odors: Call the Professionals

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

When all else fails, call the professionals of ServiceMaster by Mason to remove the musty smell and mildew from your carpet.

While many stains, mold damage, and musty odors can be removed with products at home, others will need some extra effort.

If you feel that you have exhausted all efforts, or just don’t want to deal with it, you can call on mold remediation professionals. These technicians will apply commercial grade products, using personal protection equipment (PPE) to get rid of the mildew and musty smell from the carpet once and for all.

They will also use a truck-mounted system to clean the carpets professionally, removing the embedded mold spores and debris to restore a like-new look to the carpet. Finally, they can provide the peace of mind of not having to worry about the threat of mildew returning to bring back that musty smell.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

About Luke Armstrong

Expert in emergency fire and water restoration services, fire cleanup and water damage cleanup, mold removal, as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Contributor to several restoration and cleaning blogs.

It is very annoying because they can cause wheezing in asthma sufferers, produce unpleasant odor, and harm your carpet.

To prevent those effects, you’d better check your carpet regularly. If mold and mildew have reached your carpet, you have to follow these tips to keep your carpet comfortable.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

1. Inspect the carpet

You have to inspect your carpet regularly to prevent mold and mildew infect your carpet. If the mold and mildew have reached the base of your favorite carpet, you have to do some actions to remove those molds and mildew.

You may hire the professional carpet cleaner or clean by yourself. If the mold and mildew already infected almost the whole of your carpet, you need to buy the new one.

2. Ventilate the room

Good ventilation is really important to keep your room stay healthy and to reduce humidity inside your room. If your room is a bit moist, it can invite mold and mildew to infect your carpet.

To prevent that case, you have to open all windows and doors in the room where you keep your moldy carpet. If you decide to use chemical cleaning products, good ventilation will help you reduce the irritation of your eyes and even lungs.

3. Sun the carpet

To keep your carpet free from mold and mildew, you need to hang your carpet outside to get the direct sunlight.

Hanging your carpet outside for 1-2 days can help to kill the mold and mildew spores and it can remove the moist as well.

If your carpet has been infected by the mold and mildew, you need to hang your carpet longer and it may take several days.

4. Remove moisture with baking soda

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

Baking soda is also helpful for removing mold and mildew because it can reduce the unpleasant odor and absorb the moist.

You need to spread the baking soda in the affected area, leave that carpet for a night, and vacuum it. Besides baking soda, you may use baby powder also for removing the mold and mildew.

5. Scrub with white vinegar

Vinegar can be used for removing several types of molds and mildews. This step is cheap and effective for you who are very busy. You only put vinegar in a bottle, then spread it in the infected area.

Next, you need to blow dry the carpet or hang that carpet to get the direct sunlight.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

6. Use an anti-mold treatment

You can get anti-mold sprays in drugstores and supermarkets. Remember that you need to check the label provided for the instructions. Ensure that the substances are safe for your carpet. Don’t choose the product that can discolor or damage your carpet.

Those are the tips that you need to consider when you have to remove mold and mildew on your carpet. Let’s try those tips to keep your carpet comfortable and stay longer!

How to prevent mildew on wet carpetClean carpet for make good health and perfect decoration for your room. Image by: artdecorationsdesign.com

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It is very annoying because they can cause wheezing in asthma sufferers, produce unpleasant odor, and harm your carpet.

To prevent those effects, you’d better check your carpet regularly. If mold and mildew have reached your carpet, you have to follow these tips to keep your carpet comfortable.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

1. Inspect the carpet

You have to inspect your carpet regularly to prevent mold and mildew infect your carpet. If the mold and mildew have reached the base of your favorite carpet, you have to do some actions to remove those molds and mildew.

You may hire the professional carpet cleaner or clean by yourself. If the mold and mildew already infected almost the whole of your carpet, you need to buy the new one.

2. Ventilate the room

Good ventilation is really important to keep your room stay healthy and to reduce humidity inside your room. If your room is a bit moist, it can invite mold and mildew to infect your carpet.

To prevent that case, you have to open all windows and doors in the room where you keep your moldy carpet. If you decide to use chemical cleaning products, good ventilation will help you reduce the irritation of your eyes and even lungs.

3. Sun the carpet

To keep your carpet free from mold and mildew, you need to hang your carpet outside to get the direct sunlight.

Hanging your carpet outside for 1-2 days can help to kill the mold and mildew spores and it can remove the moist as well.

If your carpet has been infected by the mold and mildew, you need to hang your carpet longer and it may take several days.

4. Remove moisture with baking soda

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

Baking soda is also helpful for removing mold and mildew because it can reduce the unpleasant odor and absorb the moist.

You need to spread the baking soda in the affected area, leave that carpet for a night, and vacuum it. Besides baking soda, you may use baby powder also for removing the mold and mildew.

5. Scrub with white vinegar

Vinegar can be used for removing several types of molds and mildews. This step is cheap and effective for you who are very busy. You only put vinegar in a bottle, then spread it in the infected area.

Next, you need to blow dry the carpet or hang that carpet to get the direct sunlight.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

6. Use an anti-mold treatment

You can get anti-mold sprays in drugstores and supermarkets. Remember that you need to check the label provided for the instructions. Ensure that the substances are safe for your carpet. Don’t choose the product that can discolor or damage your carpet.

Those are the tips that you need to consider when you have to remove mold and mildew on your carpet. Let’s try those tips to keep your carpet comfortable and stay longer!

How to prevent mildew on wet carpetClean carpet for make good health and perfect decoration for your room. Image by: artdecorationsdesign.com

Thanks for Coming. Grab my Free eBook:

Black mold can bring about various problems, including structural deterioration and health issues. It is, therefore, essential to get rid of black mold safely and effectively to protect your family. If you need professional cleanup services, Service Master provides water damage cleanup in North Charleston and will take care of the mold and the rest of the mess.

Here is a step-by-step process of cleaning and getting rid of black mold.

Before Cleanup

As mentioned, black mold can be dangerous to your health, hence the need to invest in personal protective equipment before you start cleaning up. Make sure you have a respirator or a facemask, protective gloves, well-covering overall, and boots.

You want to ensure the mold spores do not come into contact with your skin during cleaning. This can be a challenging task that needs the help of a cleanup professional. Service Master provides water damage cleanup in North Charleston and will help you deal with the mold situation.

Remove the Source of Moisture

If you do not deal with the source of moisture, the mold will most likely reappear after removal. Find the source by inspecting the area around the mold to find any leaks or other water damage signs.

Seal Doorways

It is essential to seal all the doorways and other openings leading to the rest of the home. Use a heavy plastic cover and seal with duct tape to prevent the spores from spreading to the rest of the house. You may use an exhaust fan near the doorways to help remove mold spores from the room.

Cleanup

If the area is dry, use a light spray with water to reduce airborne mold spores. If there is any visible mold, use a wet sponge and soap to clean it up. Next, use a commercial black mold removal agent to clean the mold off the surface. Make sure you dispose of all the items safely after use.

Removing mold is not an easy DIY task, especially after extensive water damage. With the services of Service Master, you do not have to worry about cleaning it up. They provide water damage cleanup in North Charleston and will most definitely take care of the mold situation.

Last Updated on December 7, 2020 by Diana Rodriguez-Zaba

Carpets aren’t supposed to get wet, so you know that you’ve got a problem on your hands when water suddenly soaks the floor. Whether you’re dealing with ruptured pipes or storm flooding in the basement, that fiber and padding need attention right away. Why?

Because time isn’t on your side.

Since wet carpets cause mold to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours, you need an action plan. we’ve outlined the two do-it-yourself methods for the fastest way to dry wet carpet.

How to Clean Small Areas

Even if wet carpet is limited to a small area, it’s still very important to address the moisture as quickly as possible.

You can often take care of it without heavy equipment, but the job requires old–fashioned scrubbing. Follow these steps to clean and dry small areas of damp carpet and discourage mold.

Supplies

• Towels or old newspapers
• Baking soda
• White vinegar
• Scrub brush
• Antifungal spray

1. Spread towels over wet areas, and apply pressure. As they pick up moisture, replace them with dry towels, and repeat the process removing as much water as possible.

2. Sprinkle baking soda over damp spots, leave it in place overnight, and then vacuum. This helps absorb any residual moisture and also controls odors.

3. Lightly spray the area with white vinegar to combat mold growth. Scrub vigorously with a stiff brush, and then blow dry the treated carpet.

4. Follow up with an antifungal spray specifically formulated for carpets. Don’t confuse these products with cleaners meant for bathrooms and kitchens.

5. Ventilate the area for several days by running the AC and setting up fans in the room to circulate fresh air. Vacuum one last time to remove any trace of products and moisture.

Power Tip: Test products on an unobtrusive area before use to make sure that they won’t discolor the carpet.

Tackling an Entire Room

Don’t ever attempt to use a regular vacuum cleaner on a soaking wet carpet. The mix of water and electricity poses a serious threat to your personal safety. Instead, rent the necessary equipment, and read all accompanying documentation that outlines safe operation. Most home improvement centers carry everything you need to remove water from wet carpets and address mold growth.

Supplies

• Large wet-dry vacuum
• Window and table fans
• Dehumidifying units
• Carpet steam cleaner

1. Remove all furniture from the room, and check everything for signs of water damage. If possible, turn furnishings over so that legs and bases can thoroughly dry.

2. When using a wet-dry vacuum, make sure that it’s set to “dry” before you get started. As you work, slowly make multiple passes over soaked carpets in straight lines from wall to wall.

Power Tip: To avoid a mess, empty the vac’s water canister before it becomes full.

3. Set up dehumidifying equipment, run the AC, and position window and table fans inside the area to create fresh air crosscurrents. Allow several days to complete the drying process.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpetDehumidifying unit with air movers do most of the work for you.

Power Tip: Keep fans and dehumidifying units off wet carpets to avoid electrical shock.

4. When carpets are completely dry, treat them with a steam cleaner using solutions specifically designated for carpet care and mold control. Finish with a final clear water rinse.

Power Tip: Use carpet cleaning solutions with a pH balance of l0 or less to preserve colors and fibers.

5. Repeat the drying process with fans, the AC and dehumidifying equipment. Depending on the weather, opening windows in the room can speed up drying time.

Preventing Carpet Mold Growth

Water damage to carpets never happens on a schedule that fits your busy timetable. When affected areas stay wet for more than 24 hours, mold quickly takes hold, and that makes DIY strategies less effective. Standing water saturates carpet padding, underlayment, sub-flooring and baseboards, so it’s very difficult to completely dry things out with conventional methods.

Before starting the cleanup process, take a realistic assessment of your carpet’s water damage. You can save time and hard work by calling in a professional service. A restoration contractor uses heavy-duty equipment to quickly remove water, completely dry affected areas and immediately address mold growth. Expert water extraction and mold remediation can also save the expense of replacing water-damaged carpets.

We’re at Your Service

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

Wet carpets and mold cleanup are often just a small part of water damage repair, so you might decide that the job of carpet water removal for Chicago home is too big. Just let us know if you need more information through our Comments Section. We’re always happy to share our experience and industry knowledge.

If you suspect that a carpet mold problem has gotten out of hand, ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba offers expert mold testing in Chicago and the suburbs. Our professional services include complete water damage restoration for homes and business owners. We’re at your service 24/7, so just give us a call.

About Diana Rodriguez-Zaba

As the founder of ServiceMaster by Zaba in Chicago, Illinois, Diana is IICRC certified in both fire and water damage restoration. Her years of experience include working in the field alongside her team helping home and business owners deal with the aftermath of water, fire and mold damage. Diana enjoys sharing her knowledge and making a positive difference in the community.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

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Wet carpet can be a perfect breeding ground for mold, especially if the air is humid and the water remains in place longer than 48 hours. It’s important to act quickly in removing moisture from the carpet fibers. Smaller areas drenched by a dropped cup of water can be dried quickly with an absorbent towel, but large or entire sections of a room require multiple drying methods. Removing as much water as possible on the first day of the incident will reduce the chances that mold spores will grow.

Soak up excess water with towels. Open the towels completely, and lay them around the wet sections of the carpeting. Press down with your hands or feet to absorb the water. Replace the towels as they become saturated with water. Keep a bucket nearby to store the towels or to wring the water out so you don’t drip water around other areas of the room.

Make sure your hands are dry and plug in the wet-dry vacuum. Set it to “Dry,” and move it around the wet carpeting. Go over the damp carpeting multiple times in slow, straight lines. Empty the vacuum’s canister as needed.

Open windows throughout the floor and in the room with the wet carpeting to provide a cross breeze. If the air outside is humid, keep the windows closed and run a window air conditioner, if one is in the room, or turn on the central air to reduce the humidity.

Plug in fans and position them in the doorway of the room or on dry areas of the floor in the direction of the wet carpet. Plug in a dehumidifier to suck in the moisture from the room. Empty the dehumidifier’s water-collection canister as needed.

Sprinkle baking soda generously over the carpeting and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to absorb any remaining liquid and odors. Vacuum the carpeting to remove the baking soda.

Keep the fans and dehumidifier running overnight. Check the carpeting the next day for any signs of wetness. You can press paper towels against the carpeting to see if any dampness remains. Return the furniture to the room once you have determined that the carpeting is completely dry.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

How Do You Know If A Carpet is Wet?

While it may seem like a silly question from the outset, sometimes wet carpet doesn’t actually appear moist. You may have some old moisture trapped below the surface of the carpet. Maybe there’s a leak in a corner of the house that you don’t frequently check that is causing your wet carpet.

One of the first ways to spot carpet moisture problems is by the foul odor emanating from the affected area. If left untreated, this odor will continue to permeate your indoor air and can really stink up your home.

If you notice a musty odor that just won’t go away with vacuuming and regular cleaning, you may be dealing with a wet carpet. Other signs of trapped moisture can include constant sickness and allergy symptoms in family members and pets, as well as discoloration in sections of your carpet.

Should You Let Wet Carpets Sit?

Let’s say you find your living room carpet soaked when you return from a weekend ski trip or you wake up to a flood in your basement. You may not know how long ago the leak happened, or whether the carpet was wet for a few hours or a few days.

Regardless of when the soaking occurred, once you know an issue exists you must take action to clean up the mess. Leaving wet carpet sitting risks not only damaging the carpet and the padding beneath, but risks damaging your subfloor as well.

Unattended wet carpet is prone to mold and mildew. When you leave moisture sitting in a warm, dark place, these toxins will invade your home – and once moisture and mold permeate a carpet pad, it’s impossible to eradicate.

Mold is incredibly toxic to humans and pets. Left untreated, it impacts those who are sensitive to allergens, and decrease your quality of life by tainting your home’s air supply.

Seven Expert Tips For Drying A Wet Carpet

If you have wet carpet, there’s no time to lose. Follow these steps for drying your carpet properly and preventing the spread of moisture and mildew.

1. Remove The Moisture

The most important part is first stopping water from flowing into the problem area. The easiest way to get the moisture or water out of your carpet is by removing it with a wet vacuum. Wet vacs are the perfect tool for getting rid of water in your carpet. They’re relatively inexpensive, and you can easily rent one if you think you may need a wet vac just once.

2. Assess Your Furniture

If you have furniture and fixtures in the room, check to see whether the moisture impacted those items. While you can remove, dry, and replace some objects, others – like upholstered furniture – may require more special attention. Unfortunately, you may have to dispose of items that have severe water damage.

3. Create Air Flow

Create as much airflow as possible in the wet area to help clear the odor and moisture from the room. Open windows, turn on fans and put a fan on the floor to help dry things out.

High-powered fans are best for this job. However, if you only have standard fans, a little airflow is better than none. Consider using a dehumidifier to remove even more moisture from the atmosphere.

4. Replace Carpet Padding

In most cases where water has saturated your carpet, your carpet padding is a goner. Replace it to prevent the main carpet from becoming saturated with mold.

5. Steam Clean

Steam cleaning wet carpet removes any toxins and deodorizes it. You can do this yourself or call a professional for help. Steam has a high enough temperature to kill any toxins, and also removes the toxins when the steam cleaner sucks up the dead mold spores.

6. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda works wonders when it comes to lifting and removing trapped moisture. Simply sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over your wet carpet and allow it to sit for at least half an hour. Then, vacuum it up and enjoy fresh dry carpets.

7. Sanitize Other Room Surfaces

To further prevent the spread of mold and mildew, thoroughly clean the other surfaces in the room. Scrub the walls and baseboards to remove the remainder of water and any mildew from your room.

How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

How to Prevent Mildew on Wet Carpet

Whether you live in a high-humidity area or have experienced some unexpected flooding, preventing carpet mildew is important to maintaining the quality of your floors. To minimize the likelihood of mildew and mold growth, follow these tips from 1877FloorGuy.

  • To prevent mold and mildew, a room’s humidity levels should be between 30 and 65 percent, and the temperature should hover around 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you live in a humid environment or experience high seasonal humidity, use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity levels in a room. Running a dehumidifier in wet basements or kitchens with carpeting is essential for mildew prevention.
  • If you experience unexpected moisture in carpeted rooms following flooding or high humidity, ensure that there’s proper air circulation in the room with fans and open windows.
  • If your carpet gets wet, you’ll need to remove the excess moisture to ensure that mold and mildew do not develop. If possible, pull the carpet back and let it dry. You’ll also want to dry out the carpet’s padding. In extreme cases, you may need to replace the carpet pad if it becomes spongy.

Visit 1877FloorGuy’s carpet and rug care page to find carpet cleaning products – including dry carpet cleaners – that will help address mildew odors after you’ve dried your carpets.

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How to prevent mildew on wet carpet

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Carpet mold is nasty stuff. While mold and mildew on hard surfaces such as tile are easy to remove, getting mold out of carpet fibers and backing can be difficult or even impossible. To make matters worse, mold often appears first on the carpet backing where it is not seen until it is too late.

Conventional wisdom suggests that moisture is the primary culprit that causes mold on carpeting and that ridding the carpet of moisture will take care of the mold problem. This is only partially true, however. As a it turns out, carpet mold is surprisingly easy to keep under control, moisture-control being only half of the answer.

A Different Look at the Origin of Carpet Mold

The potential for moldy carpets prevents many homeowners from installing carpet in their basements. Basements are notoriously damp places, even those that seem dry to our sight, touch, and smell. Light humidity in the largely enclosed environment of a basement builds up over time and can cause problems for carpet and other materials. But is humidity is not the only cause of mold.

A scientific study sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has provided a more complex picture of how mold grows in carpeting and how best to avoid the problem. Studies were conducted to find out whether high humidity (such as you might find in a basement, below-grade installation) caused mold growth on carpeting.

Carpeting in various conditions (new, old, dirty, and clean) were subjected to various levels of humidity. Researchers, in particular, wanted to see if high humidity (defined as 80 percent or more) provided mold/mildew with an incubator in carpeting. What they found was that dirt, more than humidity, contributed to mold growth. Carpets that were heavily or even lightly soiled, bred far more mold than clean carpets when subjected to the same levels of moisture. Simply put, high humidity plus dirt equals mold.

Clean Carpets vs. Mold

It is worth noting that if a carpet is clean enough, it is highly resistant to mold growth despite humid conditions. In the CRI study, clean nylon carpet was subjected to high temperatures and levels of humidity (80 degrees Fahrenheit; 80 percent humidity), and no mold growth occurred. Even clean carpeting that was known to have active mold spores did not support additional mold growth.

Dirt on carpeting grows mold for two reasons. First, the dirt contains mold spores. Second, dirt itself contains moisture. The moisture in the dirt combined with the room’s ambient humidity, therefore, provides a rich breeding ground for mold.

Even worse, dirt is a hygroscopic material, meaning that it readily soaks up any available moisture—whether ambient humidity or surface moisture. In other words, dirt is a moisture magnet.

How to Prevent Carpet Mold

If you have carpet in a basement or other area with potentially high humidity, there are a few simple measures you can take to prevent mold growth.