Mold and mildew in rugs can be a major problem, especially in moist climates. Mold spores can get stuck in and between rug fibers and become extremely difficult to remove. Because of potential health hazards associated with mold in the home, it is important to clean spores from any item that regularly remains in or near the house. The following instructions, adapted from guidelines published by Michigan State University Extension, can assist in the fight with mold as it pertains to the battlefield of the rug.
Things You'll Need
- Face mask
- Vacuum cleaner
- Electric heater, fan or direct sunlight
- Rug shampoo
Brush the rug vigorously with a broom. This will help remove loose mold spores from rug fibers. If possible, do this outdoors away from the house to keep from spreading mold indoors. Otherwise, do this in a well-ventilated area with limited exposure to the rest of the house. It may be a good idea to wear a face mask to prevent inhalation as well. Also, wash the broom bristles with soap or bleach after brushing the rug to kill mold that may have made its way into the broom.
Vacuum the rug with a vacuum hose attachment. This will help remove some mold spores that are more deeply embedded into the fibers. When finished, empty the vacuum bag or collection canister into the trash immediately if possible.
Dry the rug thoroughly. Using an electric fan or heater is sometimes a good way to do this, but the most effective drying method is the sun on a warm day. This will stop further mold growth and dry any damp spores still present in the rug, aiding in the cleaning process.
Scrub well with rug shampoo. Rug shampoo directly sponged on and scrubbed into the rug will usually get rid of most remaining mold. Wipe the shampoo off afterward with a clean, damp rag and dry the rug one more time in the sun if possible. Keep a close eye on the rug to be sure to catch any possible future mold before it gets out of hand, and repeat this process if any is found.
Tips & Warnings
- A solution with equal parts rubbing alcohol and water can help eliminate mold in carpets and upholstery, but be sure to test this solution in an inconspicuous area to be sure the rug will not be damaged by the solution.
- Though mentioned above, it is important to minimize the amount of mold released into a human dwelling as sicknesses can occur from mold exposure. Do everything possible to protect yourself and family or roommates from contact with or inhalation of mold.
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