How to Use Bleach to Kill Mold in Carpeting

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Mold is a type of fungus. Mold spores are present in all homes, and damp conditions can cause these spores to bloom into a mold invasion on your walls, upholstery and carpet. Mold in your carpet can not only change the color of your carpet, but it can also emit a musty smell and pose a respiratory health hazard. Using common household bleach, homeowners can take steps to clear their carpet of mold for a fresh and healthy room.

Things You'll Need

  • Face mask
  • Household bleach
  • Plastic bucket
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Rag
  • Put on a face mask to protect your lungs from the bleach fumes and any mold spores made airborne during the cleaning process. Also, open any windows and doors in the room for ventilation.

  • Pour a cup of bleach into a plastic bucket. Add 9 cups of water to create a carpet-safe, diluted-bleach solution. Fill a plastic spray bottle with the solution and shake to mix.

  • Spot test your carpet. Some carpet fibers, especially those in older carpets, may lighten easily when coming in contact with bleach. Dab a few drops of the solution on your carpet in an area that is not visible, such as behind a door. If the carpet lightens within 15 minutes, avoid using bleach and choose a different technique to kill the mold.

  • Spray the area on your carpet that is experiencing mold growth. Mist until the carpet fibers are soaked. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

  • Moisten a rag with fresh water and dab at the spot. Repeat with a fresh rag until the bleach smell is gone. Some staining may remain, though the mold fungus itself is dead.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your carpet cannot handle the bleach solution, use a solution formulated for carpets.
  • Mold growth is caused by excessive moisture. Killing the mold with bleach will work, but the mold may grow back if the moisture problem is not fixed. Increase ventilation or run a dehumidifier appliance to dry out the carpet and the air in the room.

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