Home Improvement

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet in 5 Steps?

Some people forget to properly air-dry their carpets after a deep cleaning session. Others may leave the carpet to dry in its place after an accidental liquid spill.

In all cases, the result is the same: a moldy carpet smell.

With plenty of moisture and not enough air to dry it out, mildew starts growing in your carpet, causing a foul odor.

The smell can be annoying, especially when it’s persisting and filling your senses all day long. Aside from being annoying, it can also be a health hazard, especially for people with respiratory problems. 

Here’s how to get the mildew smell out of your carpet without much hassle:

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Your Carpet?

No one wants to stay in the same room with a moldy carpet. Although cleaning it can be a bit hassling, it’ll keep your house smelling fresh. Here’s how to clean a moldy carpet and get rid of the smell:

Step1: Dry and Vacuum

The primary cause of mildew is moisture, so the first thing you should do with your carpet is air it out and let it dry. You can do so by opening all windows in the room and turning the fans on. Alternatively, you can turn on the HVAC system and let it do its magic.

When the carpet is dry enough, it’s time to vacuum it to remove any dust and debris. If you have a shedding pet, make sure to get all the hair out of the carpet before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Clean the Carpet

When the carpet is entirely dry and vacuumed, create a mixture of two cups of water and one cup of vinegar. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and shake it well. Then, start spraying the mixture on the affected parts of the carpet.

If the mildew smell isn’t concentrated in specific spots, spray the entire carpet. However, make sure not to spray multiple times on one spot. Getting too much moisture into the carpet may lead to mildew growth again.

After spraying the vinegar and water mixture, sprinkle baking soda generously all over the carpet.

Baking soda is a known odor neutralizer, and adding it to vinegar creates a chemical reaction that releases gas and results in foam. The foam lifts the dirt and creates a deodorizing effect, removing the moldy smell for good.

After you’re done applying the baking soda, leave the carpet overnight so that the mixture settles in.

Step 3: Vacuum and Inspect

When you check your carpet the next day, you should notice the difference immediately. The smell should be gone, and all that’s left is to vacuum the carpet to remove any remaining traces of baking soda.

If the smell still lingers even after applying both vinegar and baking soda, you can take the cleaning session up a notch and use a carpet shampoo.

Step 4: Use a Carpet Shampoo

If the smell doesn’t go away after vinegar and baking soda, it likely needs something more potent with a faster effect. In this case, you can use a store-bought carpet shampoo.

The best thing about these shampoos is that they leave a pleasant smell behind. 

To use the shampoo appropriately, apply it to a sponge, then start blotting the carpet with it. If the mildew is only on a small part of the carpet, you can apply the shampoo to that part only.

After blotting the carpet, leave it to dry and try not to let anyone walk over it while it’s drying. Then, when the shampoo dries out, vacuum the carpet again and open the windows to let air in.

Step 5: Call Professional Help

If the smell doesn’t go away after multiple tries, then it’s time to call professional help instead of trying to clean the carpet again. Professional cleaners usually use extraction machines that deeply clean your carpet, removing any traces of mold in the fabric. They also use specially formulated solutions to precondition the carpet, so it remains unaffected after the cleaning process.

Aside from that, professional carpet cleaners will let you know if the carpet is too far gone and needs a replacement. 

Final Thoughts

No one wants to stay in a room that smells like mold. When that happens, the culprit is often the carpet or the walls.

If you did your inspection and already identified the carpet as the main culprit, it’s time to start actionable steps to get rid of the smell. Start by trying vinegar and baking soda, then use a carpet shampoo if the smell persists.

If it’s still there, it’s better to ask for professional help before taking further steps.

Sarah C. Burdett

I hail from Baytown in the American South. Reading is my passion; it broadens my understanding of the world. Sharing is my joy; I hope my content brings you delightful experiences. In a world rushing you to grow up, I aspire to protect the fairy tale within your heart with my words.
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