Clean carpets mean a clean home. Most individuals are in the habit of vacuuming their carpets regularly. It removes surface dust and dander. But underneath, a lot remains hidden. Sometimes, your carpet may appear clean but not smell like clean. Long-buried grime, stains, and mildew make a carpet smell foul.
You need to know a few things before attempting to remove mildew and its smell from the carpet. Learn more about the causes and how to remove the mildew smell from the carpets.
What is Mildew?
Mildew is a sub-class of mold. It travels through the air in the form of microscopic spores. When these spores land on a damp surface, mildew beings to colonize and grow. Mildew, unlike mold, grows only on the surface. It does not penetrate inside its substrate. Typically, mildew grows on anything damp and organic. It grows well on walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, crawl spaces, etc.
The most common forms of mildew found in homes are powdery and downy. Powdery mildew appears like a white or gray powder. And downy mildew appears as a yellow circular patch.
Mildews like mold trigger allergic reactions in humans. They secrete a form of a poisonous substance called mycotoxin. It is particularly damaging to human health. People suffering from allergies like asthma are prone to have a more severe reaction.
What Causes Mildew To Grow In A Carpet?
Mildew grows in a damp and dark environment. Mildew spores are everywhere in the atmosphere and can fly inside through the doors and windows. They settle down and grow in wet environments.
Mildew can start growing within 24 to 48 hours after the spores settle down. It feeds on organic material and spreads further, destroying the substrate eventually. There are several causes when it comes to mildew growth on carpets.
How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet
Now we know how the mildew grows in a carpet. Let us look at a few steps to remove its smell.
Dry The Area:
It is clear now that mildew thrives in a wet environment. Your carpet must be wet if it smells musty. Look for any moist area. Turn on the HVAC system, ceiling fans, and any other fans. It will help to dry the carpet faster.
Have proper ventilation in the room having a moldy carpet. Open up doors and windows to allow fresh air. It will also help to take away any excess humidity in the air.
Brush out the visible debris of powdery substance with a stiff brush. This process will remove the visible mildew from your carpet to an extent. If no debris is visible on the surface, check the carpet backing.
Once you’ve brushed out the visible debris, it is time to vacuum it. With a suitable adapter, vacuum up your carpet thoroughly. Do not miss any nooks or corners.
Apply Vinegar & Water:
Mix a solution of 2:1 vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution gently over the moldy-smelling carpet. Let the solution sit on the carpet for half an hour. Next, brush with a stiff brush on the affected areas. Vacuum any excess solution. Repeat the process if need be.
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the carpet. Let it stay overnight. Baking soda is a natural neutralizer. It is eco-friendly and harmless for pets and kids. Vacuum up the baking soda to leave no residue behind.
For a lingering mildew smell, use hydrogen peroxide. Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1:5 ratio in a spray bottle. Apply on both sides of the carpet. Let the solution stay for a few hours. It neutralizes the mildew smell effectively.
You can use carpet shampoo to eliminate the mildew smell. Apply a little shampoo to the affected area after wetting it. Do not saturate too much. Otherwise, dampness will promote mildew growth instead. Blot up the shampoo with paper towels. Vacuum up the remaining moisture from the carpet.
The Bottom Line
Mildew is a precursor to mold. Ignoring it is certainly not bliss anytime soon. Removing mold is tougher than preventing it. Always make sure to control humidity levels in your house. Ensure to dry up the carpets as soon as they get wet. Check the backside of carpets and rugs regularly.
Along with this, deep clean the carpets regularly. It helps to remove any allergens and spores lurking inside. Install a HEPA air purifier to eliminate any spores from the indoor air. Or Call for Professional Carpet Cleaning Services.