How to Kill Black Mold in Carpet

Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys atra, manifests itself as a greenish-black substance that thrives in moist, poorly ventilated areas. Inhalation of black mold spores can cause or aggravate respiratory conditions like sinusitis, allergies and asthma. When black mold forms on porous materials such as carpet, aggressive measures must be taken to kill it. Be aware that not all outbreaks of black mold can be effectively contained. If the mold is too pervasive, you will need to replace your carpet.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Laundry soap
  • Stiff brush
  • Bleach
  • Mop
  • Replacement carpet pad
  • Professional carpet-cleaning equipment

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To prevent the spread of mold while you clean, open all windows and turn off the heat and air-conditioning. Cover air vents in the affected room with plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape. Remove all uninfected furniture and belongings, and close all doors leading into the room with the infected carpet.

Raise the moldy carpet, if possible. If there’s a moldy or mildewing carpet pad beneath it, remove it, stuff it in a large plastic garbage bag, tie the top, and get it outside as swiftly as possible. To prevent spreading mold spores to other rooms, do not move the carpet from the room.

Scrub the floor beneath the carpet with laundry soap and warm water, using a stiff brush.

Mop the floor with a mixture of 1/4 cup bleach and 1 gallon of water, then let dry.

Vacuum and shampoo the moldy carpet with rug shampoo using professional carpet-cleaning equipment. The equipment can be rented from large home-improvement stores and some grocery stores.

Give the carpet time to dry completely, lay down a new carpet pad, and put the carpet back in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Kill patches of black mold as soon as you see them. If a room smells musty, locate the source immediately. Mold spreads quickly, and the more extensively it spreads, the less chance you have of salvaging your carpet. To eradicate a black mold problem, eliminate the source of the mold. If it's caused by a water leak, fix the leak, or the mold will return. Also make sure the room is properly ventilated. If black mold has spread through carpeting over a space of several square feet, treatment should be handled by rug-cleaning professionals.
  • Wear goggles, gloves and a dust mask over your nose and mouth while working, to avoid inhaling spores. People with respiratory ailments such as asthma should not participate in mold eradication efforts, because inhaled spores can dangerously aggravate such conditions. Keep the area well ventilated while working with bleach and chemical rug cleaners to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.


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