Removing Mildew From Carpeting

Home & Garden Blog

It doesn't take a whole lot for your carpet to retain moisture damage and begin to grow mildew. Do you have carpeting that has mildew damage? If so, you might think that your carpet needs to be ripped up and replaced right way. However, these cleaning tips may help you restore your carpeting and buy you a little more time before the carpet needs to be replaced.

Note: If anyone in your home has breathing or immunity issues, any mildew damaged materials in the home should be removed.

Vacuum Well

The first step to restoring your carpeting is vacuuming. If the carpet is dry, use your everyday vacuum. If it is damp, use a wet-dry vacuum. If you attempt to use your everyday vacuum on wet carpeting, you could damage the machine and put yourself at risk for electrical shock.

Note: After vacuuming the area, remove the vacuum bag and clean the filters. If you have a bag-less vacuum, remove the canister and clean it well and clean the filters. You don't want mildew spores left inside the machine to grow and become airborne when you turn it on at a later time.

Scrub the Carpet

Mix 1 cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water. This mixture will help kill the mildew spores and prevent regrowth.

Dip a scrub brush into the mixture and scrub the carpet using circular motions. Saturate the carpet with the mixture so that it reaches the mildew that is growing deep in the fibers.

If the damage is extensive, the underside of the carpet will likely need to be cleaned as well. This will require you to detach the carpeting from the tack strip, fold it over, and scrub the underside. Then, when the carpet dries a bit, re-stretch it over the tack strip and use a hammer to pound it into place.

After the area has been thoroughly cleaned, dump and rinse the bucket and refill it with clean hot water. Use a sponge to rinse the area well.

Dry the Carpet

Drying the carpet is an essential part of this process. If the carpet isn't dried, your efforts will be wasted, and mildew will begin to grow again. Use a wet-dry vacuum to suck the moisture out of the carpet. If you have a carpet scrubber, use it to go over the area several times without distributing any cleaning solution or water.

If you are unsure of your ability to salvage your carpet or worry that the mildew issues go beyond the deepest carpet fibers, talk with your local carpet expert for advice about full carpet installation or how to replace a portion of your carpet.


14 January 2016