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How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet?

Updated: May 10


How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet?

When your carpet is exposed to humidity or hidden moisture, it can start smelling musty. Such mildew odor is not only unpleasant but also harmful to your health, as it indicates a potential mold growth on or under your carpet. Therefore, handling it promptly is crucial to avoid serious mold issues later on your carpet. 


So, here is how to remove the mildew smell from your carpet. With these easy steps, using homemade solutions, you can make it smell fresh and clean again. 


7 Steps To Get Rid of Mildew Smell From Your Carpet


1. Wear protective gear

As mentioned above, a mildew smell can be an indication of mold growing somewhere on your carpet. So, before you begin to handle that musty odor, make sure to wear a mask and hand gloves. 


It is an essential safety tip for cleaning carpet, especially for people prone to mold allergies. This extra protection will safeguard against any potential infections from mildew. 


2. Dry out the carpet & ventilate the room

Spot the area where your carpet smells musty from. Dry out your carpet thoroughly by ensuring proper ventilation. You can lift that area of your carpet if possible and turn it over to air dry it. 


If not, make sure to use dehumidifiers, fans, and HVACs to dry it completely. Open the windows to allow air to circulate well in the room. 


3. Sprinkle baking soda powder & vacuum it

Your next step to deodorize your carpet is to use baking soda. The bicarbonate of soda is known for its ability to absorb odors and moisture effectively. Sprinkle some baking soda powder on the carpeted area. 


You can work it in with a brush and let it sit for a night. Once it dries and soaks in all the odor, you can vacuum it away thoroughly to reduce the mildew smell. 


4. Spray vinegar solution/anti-mold spray

Once you’ve used baking soda and vacuumed the carpet properly, use a mold-killing solution to further attack the odor. 

You can have two options here. 


  • Anti-mold spray


You can use a store-bought anti-mold/anti-fungal spray that’s safe for your carpet type. Keep in mind that if you use a commercial anti-mold spray, follow the product’s directions properly when using it. Use it after testing it in a hidden area to ensure safety.


  • Vinegar solution


Alternatively, you can prefer to make homemade vinegar solution instead of that. To make it, pour equal parts of white distilled vinegar and water into a spray bottle and mix well. Spray it on the smelly area on the carpet without over-wetting it. 


The acidic properties of vinegar will help eliminate mold spores and other hidden dangers in your carpet that are causing the mildew smell on your carpet. Leave it on for a few hours to let it work. 


5. Scrub and blot it dry

Once you’ve sprayed vinegar solution and let it sit, gently scrub your carpet with a rag or a cloth. This will further work it in and eliminate the traces of mold to remove the smell. 


Discard that cloth and dab the area with dry towels to absorb all the moisture. Allow the carpet to dry properly and completely after this. Skip this step if you are using a commercial product. 


6. Steam clean thoroughly

If you have a steam cleaner at home, you can prefer to add steam cleaning as an extra step to further make the odor removal more effective. This can be especially helpful if your carpet has a strong/stubborn mildew odor.


The heat of the steam cleaning is powerful at killing odors and most of the mold spores to a great extent. Fill up the steam cleaner and go over your carpet to clean it thoroughly. Make sure your machine extracts most of the moisture out. 


7. Dry and finish with HEPA-vacuuming (optional)

After steam cleaning, increase your room’s ventilation to allow the carpet to dry properly. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners to speed it up. 


Till this stage, all of the mildew odor should be gone from your carpet. But if there are any remaining spores of mold in your carpet that can make the odor reoccur, you can prefer to give it a final HEPA vacuum. This can especially be a helpful tip for cleaning carpets for allergy sufferers.


High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in a vacuum can trap such spores properly without stirring them back into the air. This last vacuuming step will clean it properly, while also fluffing it up. 


When Do You Need Experts For Mildew Smell Removal?

Most mildew odors in your carpet, if tackled at an early stage, can be removed easily with the above steps. However, if your carpet has visible signs of severe mold that is causing the odor, it can be tricky to handle. 


In such stubborn cases, a safer and an efficient option is to prefer carpet cleaning experts to help you. They ensure thorough cleaning and deodorizing methods to ensure all the traces of mildew odors are removed from your carpet. That will leave it fresh and odor-free again.

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