Removing Mildew from Carpet

A stubborn stain and odor on a carpet can be a challenge to remove. This guide is about removing mildew from carpet.

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Cleaning mildew from carpet.
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Question: Mildew Removal on Carpet

I read suggestions on mildew removal and read that mildew is mold. If I treat the carpet area, (vinegar, baking soda, and antibacterial gel,) and the smell goes away, does that mean I am safe? Have I only deodorized or is the mold really gone? No smell, no worries?

By Jeff

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Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

October 8, 2011

I don't know about the thoroughness of mildew removal in a rug. However, if you are using vinegar, baking soda , and antibacterial gel, none of these should be used at the same time. Vinegar and baking soda will neutralize each other if used together. And I have no idea what effect they would have on the antibacterial gel, but I wouldn't use them at the same time as it either. When I clean mildew off a shower curtain, for example, I just wash it in hot water and detergent. Usually that removes the mildew. I would start with a steam cleaning and shampooing of the carpet.

I also think that Deeli's suggestions about checking the floor and underlay are wise. If there is only mildew on the surface, shampooing might do the job on its own. Then I would go for the disinfectant. Either vinegar OR baking soda are good deodorizers.

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Question: Cleaning Mildew Off Carpet

We have a air conditioning unit in our window and it leaked water and we did not know it. Now we have mildew on our carpet, how can I get rid of it?

Gogo from Louisville, KY

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By Joyce 7 13 Flag

September 7, 2010

Nothing on earth kills mold, mildew, fungi, metal tarnish like good old olive leaf powder. Sprinkle it on carpet, let it sit a while, brush it in if you choose, and then vacuum it up! The olive leaf is one of God's greatest, all purpose creations, with a multitude of uses, far beyond just food!

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Question: Mildew Smell in Carpet

I spilled a bucket of water and Pinesol on the carpet. We have deep cleaned the carpet and it is still wet and now smells like mildew. How do I get the mildew smell out?

By Jennifer

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By Marie Brack 131 Flag

July 16, 2012

Pour straight white vinegar all over the affected area. Let sit overnight and then thoroughly dry the area by blotting with towels and blowing a fan over it until it's completely dry.

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Question: Removing Mildew from Carpet

I would like to know how to remove mildew from carpet.

By Phyllis

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By Frugal Sunnie 11 1,695 Flag

January 4, 2012

You can try using a vinegar and water solution in one of those rental carpet steam cleaners. The vinegar shouldn't affect the colour of the carpet but will kill the mold and the odor.

Use it instead of the shampoo they try to sell you, but do get the de-foamer and follow the directions if you have never used a steam cleaner on your carpet. Otherwise you'll be working far too hard to get the residue of the previous carpet cleanings out!

So you'll first do the de-foaming, then the vinegar and water (half and half), then the rinse. Should work, post your results, please?

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Question: Shag Carpet Still Damp and Smells of Mildew After Professional Cleaning

By Wendy 1

I had my shag carpet "professionally" cleaned 3 days ago. Some areas are still damp and now have a mildew smell. The "technician" hasn't returned my calls. What can/should I do?

The shag carpet was not my choice, we are renters.

By Wendy from Bay Area, CA

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thr755190 Flag

October 29, 2010

You could go to the office and insist on talking to the owner of the business. Even if they make excuses why you can't talk to him, at the very least, once the technician heard what you were up to, he would probably call you and try to resolve the problem because he wouldn't want to get in trouble with his boss.

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Question: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

By Cheryl 1 2

What cleaning products can I use with my steam cleaner for my mildew carpet smell problem?

By Cheryl

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By Melissa 1 1 Flag

September 5, 2010

I received this information from a mold specialist. Best advice is to remove the carpet however if not sprinkle borax over your carpet. Borax kills mold. This is best to do before you have a problem but will help with controlling your issue and rid your smell. Let the borax sit for a while, walk on your carpet or whatever small particles will sink down into your rug and for those with out a problem keep you from getting one and those with a problem help to kill your mold problem. After at least 15 min vacuum it up, the more in your carpet the better. Still the best advice is to remove the carpet.

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Question: Removing Mildew from Patio Carpet

I have outdoor carpet glued to my cement patio. In the spring, it was pressure washed to remove the mildew and stains from the winter. Now areas of it are getting brown. I'm assuming it is mildew again. Any suggestions for removing and preventing it from happening?

By Reed S.

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Question: Getting Rid of Mold and Mildew on Carpet

Can you use ammonia to get rid of mold and mildew on carpet?

By Nancy

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Question: Carpet Mildew Removal

I have a 6 foot square oriental carpet. It got soaked in the last rain. It is starting to smell with first stage of mold appearing. I don't want to bleach the colors out. Will baking powder help? Will Lysol bleach it out ? What is safe and efficient?

By C.. A.

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Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet


I live in a two bedroom apartment and my water heater broke over the weekend and my a/c went out as well. The maintenance man came out and used a dry vac to suck up the water but since there wasn't any air conditioning for two and a half days the apartment now smells like mildew and mold. Any solutions?

Sarah

Answers:

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Have you tried Febreeze? It works on most anything. Another good option may be baking soda, sprinkle generously, allow to sit for a few hours and then vacuum up. May require more than one treatment. Hope this helps. Danndgal (11/28/2004)

By Danndgal

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Try removing that Mildew Smell from your Carpet by placing a large bag of charcoal in the middle of the room. Make sure you open the bag and let it sit for three days. This should remove any unwanted oder in any room. It works good for unwanted smells in vehicles also. (11/30/2004)

By Daisy

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Fill a spray bottle with water, add about 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and spray the affected area and the smell should go away. Depending on severity of the mildew smell, may require two applications. Hope this helps you. Used car dealers use this trick to remove odors from cars before selling them! Good Luck (11/30/2004)

By Bevie1

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

White vinegar and water. Works on pet, vomit stains/spills too. Vinegar naturally deodorizes the smell. After blotting and allowing it to dry, I would spray some Febreeze on it. This might take a few applications. Mildew is hard to get rid of. Health wise I'd check into finding out that it isn't harming your environment. (12/03/2004)

By Jennifer

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I would pour some baking soda directly on the area & leave it there for several days. After that, vacuum it up. It should at least HELP the smell, even if it doesn't remove it all together. (12/31/2004)

By FrugalFriend

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I would try the vinegar spray but I would also use Lysol. It kills germs and bacteria. Mildew means mold of some sort is present so until you kill it it will continue to grow and cause odor. (02/21/2005)

By Barbie

RE: Carpet odor & grimmy feeling on carpet

Hi, I moved into my condo 6 months ago and cleaned my beige carpet twice already. Some parts of the carpet feel grimy or gooey and smells. Also, a few spots are hard and yellowish.

Any thoughts please.

Thank you.
Lees (06/12/2005)

By Lees

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Oh wow...just be very cautious. You should really get rid of the carpet and padding beneath it for you and your families health. We had storm damage from Cindy and Dennis! We've got brand new carpeting in our bedroom and living room now. You don't want to mess with mold. Perhaps you have a nice wood floor beneath the ruined carpet. Please have it checked out. (07/26/2005)

By HolJen

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Honestly if I were you and if this incident is not your fault I would complain to management about it and seek out a transfer to a new apt in the complex. It is worth a try at least. Either attempt with vinegar to rid the smell or find a new home. (07/26/2005)

By texasteacher

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I have heard to sit little bowls of bleach in the area, change it every 2 or 3 days. Of course if you have a pet in the house, that could be dangerous to it. (07/26/2005)

By Beverly

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Try Vanilla, on cotton balls. I do know it works for smelly campers with bonfire smoke all over and also for a smelly fridge, that we had stocked with crab to bring home, talk about a smell! YUCKIE, The vanilla took it right away in just a couple of days. You should contact the manager/owner of the apartment complex though, seems like it would be his/her responsibility to clean the air for you! (07/26/2005)

By rosa

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Stanley Steamer makes a bottle of Odor Out for carpets. It works wonders. I have used it on Urine spots, vomit, mildew, spilled milk that soured in the carpet. (09/10/2007)

By Stephanie

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

We have fairly new wall-to-wall carpeting in our living room. It is thicker pile called "California Berber", it is only about three years old. We had an unfortunate incident and there was a lot of water on an area of the carpeting. Unfortunately, there is still a mildew-ish smell that comes from the carpeting. I am sure there is mildew underneath. We are not in a position right now to rip up and replace the carpeting, although I know that is the ultimate solution. In the meantime, does anyone have any ideas on removing the mildew smell? Thanks.

Tracey from Westerville, OH

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RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Get a bottle of OdoBan (spray bottle at Wal-Mart or Gallon concentrate at Sam's). Vacuum first, then spray area liberally. I'd put a small oscillating fan on the floor and let it run for a day or two to help dry the area. You can saturate the area with OdoBan. It won't hurt a thing and has a very clean scent. Good Luck. (04/16/2008)

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

My hubby does floors.
If you are in the position to rip up the carpet in the area where the damage is (starting from the wall-no damage to the carpet), you can sprinkle baking soda between the carpet and pad and also the pad and the sub floor. This will cut down on the odor. You may also cut out the area of the pad and buy a small scrap of pad from the carpeting store. Cut the old piece out and cut a piece of the new to fit it. Use carpet seaming tape (you can get at Home Depot or the carpet store) to tape the piece of pad to the remaining pieces.

You will notice when you pull the carpet back that this is how the padding is put together throughout the house. If you have a wood sub floor, take a staple gun and staple the pad to the floor around the edges a little and a few staples in the middle. This will make sure it doesn't move around. If you would like to try this (easy and very inexpensive) let me know and I will walk you through it. Or my husband can talk to you.

You can also file water damage on your insurance and it will take care of replacing the floors and the labor needed. Check into this if you have homeowner's insurance. You can ask the workers at the carpet store or even at Home Depot for pad scraps. They normally have plenty. Get in touch with me if you would like to try any of these suggestions. I can walk you through them. Hope this helped. (04/21/2008)

By Elizabeth

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Rent a carpet steam cleaner and steam clean the carpet a few times. Also try to pull up the carpet and make sure the foam has completely dried. The foam won't really smell and if it does it doesn't really matter since the smell won't come through the carpet. The real culprit is the carpet. So just steam clean a few times and use fans to dry it. (09/07/2008)

By Robert P.

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

  • Get a spray bottle.
  • Get a funnel.
  • Add baking powder.
  • Add rice or white wine vinegar.

  • Add almond or some other extract.
  • Add hot water.
  • Put lid on and shake.
  • Spray over smelly area. (10/07/2008)

By likalaruku

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Just got done fixing my carpet. If the smell is bad and not getting any better. You are just going to have to bite the bullet and pull up the carpet to change out the padding. The padding is what is keeping the smell going, not the carpet. (10/13/2008)

By whoever you want me to be

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I just had a huge ring of mildew from my Christmas tree removed from my shag-like carpet. First my husband washed it with a dilute bleach solution and then cleaned with a pet stain cleaner and Bissel cleaning machine. This got the stain out, but the horrible smell remained.

The trick to getting the smell out is to scrub the area with a home-made cleaning solution. In a large bucket (this will bubble up a lot) mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 2 cups water and 2 cups white vinegar. Thoroughly scrub the area without soaking the carpet with liquid. Voila, odor gone. (02/06/2009)

By Erica w.

A well kept secret

Antibacterial gel. Vinegar might help, but to kill the smell you've got kill the mildew. Buy a big bottle of antibacterial gel and test it on your carpet to make sure it doesn't discolor it. Afterward place it on the part of the carpet that smells. You'll see an immediate difference in about 30 minutes.

This also works well with cars, if you leave your windows open when it rains. It'll kill the mold.

Don't mention it. (02/17/2009)

By tonyhouston

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

What can I put on carpet that has been wet and now stinks?

By pbawdon

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

If it has a mildew smell, then it's got mildew, which is mold and mold is a health hazard. And it grows and spreads even in to the sub-floor and up into the walls, even if the carpet feels dry. Sorry to say, but it's most likely best to get rid of it and for sure get rid of the padding and find out how to treat the sub-floor, etc. to kill any possible mold that might have spread before replacing with new carpet and padding. :-( (07/29/2009)

By Deeli

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

How do you get rid of mildew smell? Is it good to be inhaling it everyday? We have the smell coming from our carpet in the office. It rained and got soaked, so now it smells.

By Janice from HI

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Nope, not healthy at all. If it smells like mildew it is MOLD and it will make you sick. Even if you don't have allergies, it can make you start to have reactions, such as burning eyes, coughing, headache, runny nose and fatigue.

The only solution is to rip the carpet up and throw it away and fix the leak. Let me guess, the building you are in has a flat roof? I cannot for the life of me understand why they build buildings with flat roofs. Why can't they put a slight slope? It surely can't be THAT expensive. School buildings are the worst. (11/19/2009)

By sweetie6116

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

We moved into a brand new town home about 2 months ago. About a month ago, we started to notice a cat urine smell in one area of our lower level. The smell kept getting worse, but we could not find the source of it. About a week ago, it got so bad that we could not stand it anymore, so we sniffed around until we found it.

We have a one year builder's warranty, so I called him. They found and fixed a leak in the adjoining unit into our home and on the floor. The smell was coming from standing, stagnant water under the carpet and padding. They pulled up the carpet in the corner of the leak and cut out the wet padding.

We can no longer smell the odor around the whole house, but the carpet surrounding the area still smells. I am concerned about mold and mildew, but the builder thinks that it will be fine if we have the carpet cleaned, and does not believe he needs to replace it. Not sure what to do.

By Michelle from Kansas City, MO

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Michelle,
Years ago I fought a similar thing and about lost all my hair before an old lady neighbor told me her secret for most smells in carpets and rugs. Baking soda solution sprayed onto the carpet till damp (not wet)! Use two tablespoonfuls in a quart of warm water, shake until dissolved. Place in spray bottle and treat carpet. Can be repeated weekly till smell is gone. DO NOT use on wool carpet as it will remove colors! Hope this works for you too! (01/15/2010)

By Anonymous

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Take this builder to small claims court for the cost of new carpet. Likely it won't get that far and he will settle. It will only cost you about 30 dollars to file and when you win, and you will, he has to pay the filing fee. Don't wait. He thinks you will give up. Serve him with papers. (01/18/2010)

By Ann Parker

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I am an installation manager at a carpet store. Your carpet will not get any better. You may need to contact a restoration company such as ServiceMaster to treat the sub-floor and carpet for the mildew. The existing pad needs to be replaced after the sub-floor and carpet are treated. If the smell remains, the builder should be liable for the repairs since it was caused by an adjoining unit. Do not let your warranty expire before you take care of this! Keep on the builder until it is taken care of completely! Take care of it ASAP. Good luck! (01/18/2010)

By vickster

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I am voting for a call to the Better Business Bureau to see if they have any suggestions. You are going to eventually have to replace the carpet due to health reasons (black mold being one of them), so take care of it before more time passes. (01/18/2010)

By cookwie

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I would like to know how to remove the mildew smell out of my carpet. It was caused by a water spill. Thanks.

By Brian from Bakersfield, CA

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

Listerine and water in a pump spray bottle will disinfect the area and get rid of the smell! (02/26/2010)

By Monique63

Archive: Removing Mildew Smell From Carpet

I would like information on removing mildew odor from carpet. Thanks.

By divagirl50 from Holland, OH

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Home and Garden Cleaning CarpetNovember 12, 2012
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