5 Ways to Prevent Carpet Mildew

Woman sneezing while vacuuming a carpet
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The smell of carpet mildew is very distinct and is often the first clue to a problem before you see it. It's a musty and dank smell that wreaks of biological waste much like pond scum.

The underlayment of the carpet is a perfect place for mildew to grow and spread. Carpet mildew can spread quickly and remain unnoticed until it transforms itself into mold.

You can prevent carpet mildew from happening. The article that follows will provide you with tricks and tips on how you can prevent and stop the spread of carpet mildew.

1. Keep it Clean

Cleaning a spill on carpet

Mildew loves to grow in dark areas of the home and it may grow somewhere else and find its way on a carpet. The easiest places for mildew to grow are in a bathroom between the tub and a counter or sink.

Water is often splashed there and is neglected during the cleanup. This water will also get under the floor mat and mildew can grow and then spread.

The same applies to anywhere in the home where a dark corner exists. These areas are often left unattended and even dirt left behind can lead to the growth of mildew.

It is important you clean the carpet often to free it of dirt that can carry biological components which can lead to carpet mildew.

2. Dry Wet Spots

When you spill something on the carpet you need to blot it up quickly. Any moisture left on the carpet can cause mildew to grow and spread.

What will happen is the liquid will eventually get under the carpet. The moisture, in combination with the dark and cool area under the rug, will create the perfect conditions for mildew growth.

3. Steam Cleaning and Drying

steam cleaning a carpet

When moisture gets under the carpet and you feel mildew is present you can save yourself replacement costs by steam cleaning the carpet.

Steam cleaning carpet mildew will not only clean the carpet and the underlayment as well as the carpet pad but the heat will kill the mildew.

The trick to this procedure is to ensure the moisture is removed or it can cause mildew to grow all over again.

The easiest way to dry spot areas is to use a hairdryer. Do not be shy to press the nozzle against the carpet. On a low setting there is no concern of singeing.

4. Use a Dehumidifier

Having a finished basement is a great asset to any home but it is also where carpet mildew will most likely form quickly.

Even if you keep the carpet completely dry, the moisture present in a basement can still assist the growth of mildew due to the resulting humidity.

In order to prevent this from happening in the basement or anywhere you have moisture, use a dehumidifier at all times.

5. Clean the Carpet

In addition to regular cleaning, use a mixture of vinegar, water, and baking soda together once a month to help prevent mildew from growing.