Carpets are one of the perfect places for harmful microorganisms to hide and grow. If you do not clean and maintain your carpet properly, or if you do not dry this moisture from it within 24-48 hours, it can become the perfect reservoir for biological contaminants, such as toxic molds.
Once carpet becomes moldy, you really only have one safe solution and that it to tear it out. There is no absolutely safe cleaning method to remove and or kill all the mold in carpet once it has become infected. You can attempt to clean a small area, which I will explain further below in this article.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no safe nor effective method to remove mold from any porous and/or organic surfaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that you remove and discard all porous materials that have been wet for more than 48 hours such as carpeting and carpet padding.
This does not mean that you have to tear out all the carpet in your home.
The idea is to remove the carpet in the rooms where there has been water damage and mold growth. For example, if you have carpet in your bathrooms and or basement for years, you most likely have to rip it out and install tile or hardwood flooring.
If you have carpet in your bathrooms and or basement for years, you will most likely have to rip it out and install tile or hardwood flooring. Also, if your carpet has past water damage from leaks, spills or pet accidents and or has been steam cleaned, you most likely have to get rid of it and install tile or hardwood flooring.
If you have a very small area of mold growth and you are on a budget, you can attempt to clean and kill the mold in the carpet.
Please note, I recommend you make sure that you wear the proper protective equipment such as a disposable hazmat type coverall, rubber gloves, and a mask in order to be safe and prevent the inhalation of mold spores and mycotoxins. You should also put up a plastic vapor barrier with tape so that you do not expose other areas of your home to mold spores.
Get a plastic trash bag. Once you have found the area of the carpet that has mold and you have the right equipment, you can cut a small square around the mold in the padding that is infected with a carpet knife or utility knife. Take the padding, throw it in the trash bag, tie it up and when you are done, throw it in the dumpster.
You will also need to purchase some new padding from the hardware or carpet store, which you can pick up pretty cheaply from $10-$30.
Once you have cut the padding, you can then steam clean the infected carpet with two cups of hot water, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of tea tree oil, clove oil or white vinegar.
Then you will want to put a fan that is on high to dry it as fast as possible. For a small area, it should be dry in a few hours but to be safe, let it dry for 24 hours.
After it is thoroughly dry, you can repeat the cleaning process one more time to be extra safe and or finish off by installing the new padding in and then put the carpet back down.