How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Rug? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
25 min read

Is there a musty odor in your rug? Don’t worry; we’ll show you how to remove the mildew odor from your carpet.

Not only is it unpleasant, but walking on a carpet with a musty smell is also dangerous. It’s possible that mold spores could be floating about in the air because of these odors.

Moldy mildew odors can be more difficult to get rid of, especially if you don’t catch them early enough and they get all the way down to the rug. Any mold on your rug should be removed right immediately since it may signal that the rug has been harmed by standing water.

Why a Lingering Smell After Water Damage Just Isn’t Safe

You may think your clean-up job is over once you’ve mopped up the water, thrown away anything that can’t be saved, and dried what’s left. Although you might think so, you shouldn’t. Your home’s safety remains at risk as long as you can detect a lingering smell of water damage.

7 Tips for Cleaning Mildew from Your Carpet | RestorationMaster Finder

Mold or mildew may be forming in your carpet if it has a noxious stench. Mold and mildew flourish in wet circumstances and can quickly spread throughout your home, causing major damage.

You and your family’s health could be at risk if you have mold growing in your carpet or flooring, but that’s not the worst of it.

Mold and mildew can exacerbate existing respiratory problems and can even create them in young children. Their deposits of fungal spores can weaken the immune system and put everyone in the home at greater risk of infection or virus.

Mold and mildew can exacerbate or even cause respiratory issues in children. Having fungal spores in your home can weaken your immune system and put you and your family at increased risk of infection.

Types of Carpets that Hold Odor More Easily

Nylon, polyester, olefin, and wool are the four primary carpet fiber kinds.

  • Out of the four materials, nylon is the most long-lasting and wear-resistant. As a result, it is the most stain-resistant fiber on the market.
  • Polyester is well known for its opulent appearance and soft, supple texture. There are a vast variety of colors and styles to choose from when purchasing this carpet.
  • Olefin is a water-resistant material that works well in locations where it is likely to be exposed to the sun. Because of its resilience to moisture and mildew, it is frequently used as an outdoor carpet or in damp basements.
  • Wool has always been prized for its innate beauty as well as the fact that it is kind to the environment. Despite the fact that it’s built to last, it isn’t as stain-resistant as some other materials.

For families with small children and dogs, nylon carpet is an excellent choice because it does not retain odors as much as other flooring materials. Regardless of the type of carpet you choose, there are techniques to minimize unpleasant odors.

Types of Odors Carpets Could Have

Trying to figure out where these strange odors are coming from might be a challenge. The two most common odors you’ll encounter are as follows:

1. Pet Smells

If you have pets, you’re more likely to encounter these problems. Odors in carpets are most often traced back to urine. Many of us have had an accident with our pets at some point in our lives.

Unfortunately, even after applying deodorizers, the stench of urine or vomit might persist for a long period. Professional cleaning is often required.

2. Dampness or Moisture

A musty odor develops when water seeps into the carpet backing. There are a number of reasons why a carpet may have a musty or mildewy odor, including humidity and accidents. It doesn’t matter if it’s only water, a strange stench might build up over time. If you’re experiencing an offensive stench, it’s very likely that your home has recently been flooded.

As a result, mold and mildew might develop if this is not adequately treated. If this is done, the scent will get worse and could pose a health hazard to everyone in the house.

How do you get rid of the smell caused by water damage in your carpet? Continue to learn more by doing the reading.

What Can I Do to Treat Water Damage?

After a water damage incident, the foul odor that lingers in your upholstery can be remedied. You may take a number of tiny, practical steps to reduce the odor and improve the general atmosphere of your home on your own.

Among them:

  • After a water damage incident, open all the doors and windows – unless it’s raining! You can lessen the stench and speed up the drying process by allowing fresh air to circulate around your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to dry up the space. Mold and mildew can be prevented by reducing the amount of moisture in the air.
  • Spray the area with a solution of water and vinegar to get rid of any bacteria that could be present.
  • These will assist ease some of the effects of water damage, but they aren’t adequate on their own.

Deodorizing Musty Smells in Your Carpet – Does it Work?

The problem with deodorizing your carpet is that while it works well in the short term to get rid of damp carpet odors, it is less than ideal in the long term.

For a short time, deodorizers can make carpets smell better, but that’s about it. Baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils are all common household remedies. In terms of removing odors and absorbing moisture, baking soda is the most commonly used method. Essential oils can be sprinkled over the carpet afterwards by some persons.

Spot cleaning and masking odors are both possible with the help of these home treatments. You’ll need the help of a professional carpet cleaner for long-term remedies.

How To Eliminate Mildew Smell On Rugs?

It’s critical to address the source of the water leaking smell right once in order to prevent the spread of any mold or mildew spores. In order to protect yourself and your family, you should get any mold or leaks found and repaired by a qualified specialist as soon as possible.

Here’s a look at how to identify whether there’s mold in your carpet to help you learn more.

Method #1. Baking soda

Baking soda can be applied in the following ways:

Step 1: Spray your rug with baking soda. A thick layer of baking soda should be applied on the rug’s surface to accomplish this task.

If you have the time and finances, you can leave it in its current state overnight or for two days. This will keep your carpet smelling fresh as long as the odor is at surface-level.

Following a two-day baking soda treatment, if you still smell the carpeting afterward, you can sweep it with a stiff brush or portable brush. Use the broom with care to avoid damaging its delicate fibers.

Using a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda could damage the surface, so please do not do this step. Shaking your rug outside can save you both time and work.

Once you’ve shook the baking soda powder off, vacuum it up.

If the aroma has improved but is not completely gone, repeat the procedure. In order to keep the rug in good condition, you can apply baking soda as often as you need to.

Method #2. Vinegar

When it comes to eradicating musty odors from rugs, vinegar is a close second to baking soda. Vinegar can also be used to remove mold spores and dust mites from your home, which can trigger allergic reactions.

To use vinegar, follow these instructions:

Let the white vinegar lie on the rug for a few minutes before vacuuming. Blotting the discoloration with a fresh, soft cloth is another option.

If the odor is coming from a solution that has already settled, a generous amount of vinegar should be sprayed on the carpet. Also, be cautious when using the carpet cleaner should you overdo it.

The second step. The organisms that are causing the bad smell can be dealt with in 20 to 30 minutes. Use a clean cloth to blot up as much vinegar as possible.

Step 3: Use a spray bottle filled with fresh water and a clean, dry towel to pat the wet areas dry to eliminate any vinegar residue from the carpeting.

After a few hours of letting the rug air dry, check to see if the scent has disappeared.

Method #3. Hydrogen peroxide

Another way to get rid of mildew odor is to spray your carpeting with hydrogen peroxide. Before using it on the rest of your rug, make sure you can test it on a small portion of it.

Avoiding discolored test spots at any costs will be beneficial. If the carpet’s colors are stable, use a solution of 5 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide on the back of the carpet.

Carpet foam can also be used to remove odors from your rug.

The first step is to completely vacuum the damaged area, followed by a thorough shampooing of the carpet. Then, using a sponge, apply a generous amount of shampoo and gently rub it in.

Before moving on to the following stage, ensure that the product is dry. Afterwards, vacuum the floor thoroughly.

A clean, dry patio will help speed up the drying process, so place your carpet there and let the sun do its thing. To avoid color fading, the carpet’s backing should be placed with the sun at your back.

If you’re still having trouble getting rid of mold under carpets, refer to the following resource.

How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Rug In 3 Effective Methods - Krostrade

What you need to know:

The amount of time and effort needed to eliminate an odor depends on its intensity and nature. Consider applying for many applications if this is the case.

4 Best Ways To Remove Odors From An Area Rug

With careful research and scouting around the city, many new area rug owners have finally found their perfect rug… However, once their rug is unrolled and in position, a weird fragrance begins to permeate their home. In most cases, this is when people begin to freak out. Smelly Area Rugs are a fairly common problem, but the good news is that they can generally be remedied by simply following a few simple procedures. Make sure to bring in any odor-related issues with your area rug to your local Oriental Rug cleaner for professional diagnosis and complete cleaning if it’s an old or antique piece. Always test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous section of your rug before using it on the rest of your rug. Those disclaimers aside, we’re here to show you how to get rid of musty odors from your area rug with minimum invasive methods.

Check out the video for additional information!

1. Vacuum Your Area Rug

Regular, gentle vacuuming is the finest thing you can do for the health of your wool rug, as we’ve discussed in prior postings. By cleaning the rug’s pile with a vacuum (even one without a roller brush), most of the particles and, by extension, the associated odours, are removed. However, even if vacuuming doesn’t completely remove the smell, it’s an excellent place to start. If the scents persist even after vacuuming, simply move on to the next stage in the process.

2. Take Advantage Of Sunshine

Utilizing the sun’s UV rays is one of the most efficient ways to rid wool area rugs of bacterial and mildew odors. The DNA of bacteria and fungi is disrupted by ultraviolet radiation, which kills the microorganisms that create the strong odors. Make sure the damaged area rug is outside on a dry, sunny day so that air and sunlight can reach it. Hang it up on a fence, a couple chairs, or a sturdy clothesline if possible. A tarp or an old bed sheet might be used as a substitute for a rug pad. Flip the area rugs over after a few hours of exposure to direct sunlight to see the other side. This keeps the dye in the rug from fading too quickly while still allowing UV light to pass through. Direct sunlight is one of the most effective and mild ways to remove bacterial and fungal odors from area rugs, whether they are Wool Rugs or not.

3. Charcoal For Odor Absorption

To get rid of odors from an area rug, you may need to resort to more extreme techniques, such as using a deodorizer. When it comes to absorbing odorous organic compounds, charcoal has long been recognized for its ability to do so. This includes those that may be causing your area rug to smell. To make your own charcoal briquettes, get a pair of old nylon pantyhose and fill them with additive-free charcoal. You can use any charcoal you have left over from your grilling session from last weekend. While rolling up a large area rug, place additional rows of charcoal-filled pantyhose on the top to help keep the hose from slipping around. If you can’t fit the area rug in a garbage bag once it’s been properly rolled, use painter’s plastic or Saran wrap instead.

Close the door as closely as possible to ensure that the charcoal absorbs carpet scents and not any other aromas that may be present in the room. Allow the rug to air out for a few days before re-wrapping it. If any unusual odors persist, the treatment can be repeated.

4. The Kitty Litter Treatment

Much like charcoal, the natural clay in kitty litter is excellent in absorbing scents of various kinds. Move the rug to a place where it won’t be in the way of people’s feet. Apply an even layer of unscented kitty litter to the rug, but don’t sift it into the pile. Allow the rug to air out for a few days to allow the clay time to accomplish its job of eliminating odors. Vacuum the rug a few times once the kitten litter has settled for a few days. When the litter gets vacuumed up, the odor should go along with it.

Method Of Cleaning An Area Rug:

Rugs can withstand a lot of abuse, as you are surely aware. They’re always being walked on, petted, and spilled on! Deep cleaning is essential if you want to keep your rug looking its best for a long period. Fortunately, you won’t have any trouble getting those carpets back in shape with our guide on how to do it yourself!

1. Have Your Tools And Supplies Ready!

While cleaning an area rug can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, there are a number of shortcuts that can make the work go more smoothly. For your next project, here’s everything you’ll need:

  1. Shampoo for rugs or mild dishwashing liquid
  2. bucket
  3. A sponge or soft-bristle brush (optional)
  4. In this case, we’re talking about (plus optional rubber gloves).

2. Remove Dirt And Debris

The first step is to use a soft-bristle brush or sponge to remove any dirt, debris, hair, and other minute particles that have accumulated over time. Make sure you don’t scrub too hard, especially if your bristles are coarser.

3. Mix The Cleaning Solution:

Cleaning solutions might be difficult to mix. There are a plethora of choices, and the ideal one for you will be determined by the sort of rug or fabric you currently have. We’re here to answer any questions you may have regarding which cleaners are best for which materials.

To begin, a solution of 12 cup white vinegar to 12 cup water might be used. If you have a hand-knotted rug, it is preferable to use an ammonia-free cleaner because it might fade or discolor the fibers of your rug. Cleaning solutions that contain bleach will damage the rug, but if you don’t care about that, you can use any other type that doesn’t contain it. Avoid bleaching your fibers by using a solution of water and white vinegar, but be careful not to use too much. There are several different types of cleansers that can be used to remove light stains like chocolate or red wine from your rug without damaging the fabric.

Alternatively, you can create a solution of baking soda and water. Scrub the carpeting with an old toothbrush or your fingers to make a paste with a generous amount of cleaner. Hair dye, coffee grinds, wine, and tea stains can all be removed with this method.

Finally, hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean your rug, but be sure to test a small area first to avoid damaging your rug’s fibers and dyes.

  • Hydrogen peroxide or a baking soda solution might be used to remove a minor discoloration.
  • Vinegar can be used to remove pee, vomit, paint, tar, grease, and other heavy stains.
  • Rub a solution of ammonia and water over the discolored area.

4. Dry Out The Rug:

Vacuum the rug to eliminate any remaining moisture after placing an absorbent towel or bath mat at the end for a day. Drying your rug will help remove any unpleasant odors. It’s critical, and excluding it would be a mistake. Vacuuming your rug prior to allowing it to air dry is always a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions About Area Rugs

1. Where Can I Place Area Rugs?

Any hard surface can be used for an area rug. You can use them in your living room as an ottoman or coffee table, as well as in your bedroom to keep the cold floors covered. In your living room, dining room, or bedroom, you can put them. Avoid putting your rug on carpets because the weight of heavy furniture could eventually wear it down and ruin it. Rugs should be placed on wood floors and other hard surfaces like tile, where high-heeled shoes won’t create a trail of scratches.

Carpet Cleaning | 5 Tips to Remove the Odour of Your Carpet

2. What Should I Do If My Area Rug Has Been Exposed To Animal Urine?

Stains like this are among the most common in rugs. Blot up as much of the pee as possible with a white cloth or paper towels, and then sprinkle baking soda over it. After letting it sit for 30 minutes, use soap and water to scrub the stain vigorously to remove as much of the odor as possible.

3. How To Keep Your Area Rug Looking New?

It’s common for people to believe that an area rug they buy would last them a long time if they take care of it properly. The truth is, however, that there are some things you can do to keep your carpet looking new, such as vacuuming regularly, using rug protectors, and removing stains as soon as possible. Clean up spills as soon as they occur, or the stain will set and become much more difficult to eliminate.

4. What Is The Best Way To Clean An Area Rug?

The type of rug you have has a great deal to do with the answer. Spot cleaning with soap and water is the finest method for eliminating stains or dusting off debris from a natural fiber carpet. Synthetic carpets should only be cleaned with mild detergents, free of chlorine, to prevent damage to the fibers.

5. How Do You Clean An Area Rug For A Room?

Vacuuming an area rug once a month or so is the most effective method of keeping it clean. Brush attachments or vinyl gloves can be used to avoid causing the vacuum to stir up allergens in your carpet by working from the inside out while cleaning with soap and water.

6. How Do You Clean The Bottom Of An Area Rug?

The best way to clean the bottom of an area rug is to flip it over and use a sponge or cloth to remove the dirt. To keep your rug clean, you can rotate it more frequently. Every month, you should thoroughly clean your rug from every angle.

7. Can You Power Wash An Area Rug?

Do not power wash your rug since the high pressure could cause it to buckle. A rug’s fibers may be damaged or even shrink if it is power washed. In order to wash a rug, there are several simple and hands-on methods that you can use to do it.

8. How Much Does It Cost To Have An Area Rug Cleaned?

The cost of cleaning an area rug depends on its dimensions. Cleaning rugs can cost as little as $25 or as much as $250, depending on where you reside in the United States, how near they need to be transported, and what services they provide. You can clean a rug at home using some simple procedures or DIYs! Once a year, you may choose to hire a professional cleaner or cleaning service.

9. What Is The Best Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution?

In order to keep things fresh, cleaning must be done on a regular basis. Your rug can be cleaned professionally once a year or you can make your own DIY carpet cleaning solution out of coke and water or baking soda and water. However, vinegar and water is the most effective DIY cleaning remedy. These procedures can be used to remove odors.

Clean your rug using a solution of coke and warm water, which you may make in a bucket. For best results, apply it to the soiled parts of your rug and let it sit for about five minutes before cleaning it.

Excess baking soda and water: In a bucket, combine the baking soda and warm water. To clean and deodorize your carpet, wet the rug, then pour this mixture over it and scrub it thoroughly.

You can use a spray bottle or a pail of warm water to mix vinegar and water. Scrub your area rugs thoroughly with this solution and allow them to dry completely before putting furniture back on top of them. This will help prevent mold and mildew from growing on top of your carpeted areas. Pet scents and surface odors can both be effectively removed with this technique.

10. Can A 5×7 Rug Fit In A Washing Machine?

Yes! It’s possible, but you’ll need to know how to do it correctly. Before selecting to use a washing machine to clean a Washable Rug, you must ensure that the rug can fit inside of it. It’s best to place your rug on top or in the basket of a large washing machine to prevent it from becoming entangled. Set temperatures and cycles for appropriate fabrics to wash without scrubbing but with high water pressure if possible as this will help to clean the rug. If you have a small washing machine, place your rug into two smaller loads if possible and set temperatures for appropriate fabrics as well in order to create enough room and provide the right amount of water pressure during the wash cycle.

11. How Do You Clean An Outdoor Area Rug?

To reduce shrinkage or color fading due to exposure to the sun, you can use cold water to wash an outdoor area rug. Avoid stains that are difficult to remove by using a mild detergent and a soft brush on fragile fabrics. You need to clean your outdoor areas every once in a while to eliminate odors and a musty smell. Tea tree oil is also the greatest solution to get rid of the unpleasant odor of rotting food. ‘

12. Do Carpets Get Dirty Faster After Cleaning?

It’s possible to prevent shrinkage and color loss in outdoor area rugs by washing them in cold water. When cleaning sensitive fabrics, you should use a light detergent and a soft brush to avoid stains that are difficult to remove. You need to clean your outside regions every once in a while to eradicate odors and a musty scent. Tea tree oil is also the finest technique to get rid of the unpleasant odor.

Please do not hesitate to have your rug cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner if the aforementioned measures do not alleviate the odor. Some odors are just too deep-seated to be treated at home, such as by using carpet cleaning to remove surface odors, like cigarette smoke. RugKnots welcomes your questions concerning rugs, no matter how stinky they are. Many years ago, we began selling rugs. We’re happy to answer your rug-related inquiries by email at [email protected] or phone at (301) 660-7046.

13. Will wet carpet smell go away?

No, not unless you take action! Bleach and baking soda will mask the odor for a while, but professional-grade equipment or a complete carpet replacement are the only options for eradicating the odor for good.

14. Does baking soda get rid of carpet smells?

Yes. Let baking soda stay on the afflicted regions for two hours. Aside from that, there’s no way of knowing for sure whether or not the odor will ever go away.

15. Can mold grow from wet carpet?

Yes. For mold to thrive, it only need cellulose, water, and oxygen. Mold thrives in moist conditions, such as on a wet carpet. Prevent a colony from forming by removing mold as soon as you notice it.


As a result of this information, you can finally get rid of the mildew smell that has been lingering in your home for months now. You can also seek the advice of a professional in any situation.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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