How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet

Published by Enaam Siam on April 25, 2023 | Last updated on May 20, 2023

Carpeting is a comfortable and stylish addition to any home, but when it develops a musty, mildew smell, it can quickly become a source of frustration. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also be a sign of potential health hazards, such as mold growth.

If you’re wondering how to get mildew smell out of carpet, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to get mildew smell out of carpet and how to keep your carpet fresh and clean.

By the end of this CleanersAdvisor guide, we’ll even provide you with a video on how to get mildew smell out of carpet!. 

Facing problems with feces, check those guides on How to Get Poop Smell Out of Clothes & How to Clean Poop Out of Underwear.

What is Mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, humid environments. It is common in bathrooms, basements, and other areas that are exposed to moisture. Mildew growth on your carpet can cause an unpleasant smell, and it can even pose a health risk, especially for people with allergies or respiratory issues.

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet

Causes of Mildew Smell in Carpet

Before we dive into the tips on how to get rid of mildew smell in carpet, it’s essential to understand what causes it. Here are some common causes of mildew smell in carpet:

  • High humidity levels
  • Water damage due to flooding or leaking pipes
  • Moisture from spills or pet accidents
  • Poor ventilation
  • Dirt and debris trapped in the carpet fibers

Understanding the cause of mildew smell in your carpet will help you prevent it from happening in the future.

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet

Here are the main steps to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet:

1. Remove the Carpet

If the mildew smell is severe or the carpet is heavily infested with mildew, you may need to remove the carpet altogether. This is especially true if the carpet padding is wet or has mildew growth. Removing the carpet will give you a chance to inspect the subfloor and make sure there is no damage or mold growth.

2. Clean the Carpet

If you decide to keep the carpet, you will need to clean it thoroughly to get rid of the mildew smell. There are several methods you can use to clean your carpet, including:

a. Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning involves using a powder or foam to clean your carpet. This method is less invasive than wet cleaning and can be a good option if your carpet is not heavily soiled or stained. Dry cleaning products are available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers.

b. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is a popular method for cleaning carpets, and it can be effective for getting rid of mildew smell. This method involves using hot water and a cleaning solution to deep clean your carpet. You can rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional carpet cleaning company to do the job for you.

c. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural cleaning agents that can help get rid of mildew smell from your carpet. To use this method, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

Then, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the solution on your carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot the area with a clean cloth.

3. Dry the Carpet

After you have cleaned your carpet, you need to make sure it is completely dry. Mildew thrives in damp environments, so leaving your carpet wet can lead to more mildew growth. You can use adehumidifier or a fan to speed up the drying process.

Make sure to open windows and doors to increase ventilation, which will also help to reduce moisture levels in the room. Avoid walking on the carpet until it is completely dry to prevent any additional damage or mildew growth.

4. Dehumidify the Room

To prevent future mildew growth and eliminate any remaining moisture, it’s important to dehumidify the room. A dehumidifier can help to reduce moisture levels in the air, which will prevent mildew from growing. Make sure to empty the dehumidifier’s water reservoir regularly to keep it functioning properly.

5. Remove Odors with Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a natural odor eliminator that can help to absorb any remaining mildew smell in your carpet. Place a bowl of activated charcoal near the affected area and let it sit for several hours or overnight. The charcoal will absorb the odor, leaving your carpet smelling fresh and clean.

6. Apply Carpet Freshener

Carpet fresheners are products that are specifically designed to eliminate odors in carpets. They come in a variety of scents and can be applied directly to the carpet. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results, and make sure to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of your carpet first to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.

Are you a fan of video guides to help you with your mildew problems? Here it is:

How Prevent Future Mildew Growth?

To prevent future mildew growth, it’s important to keep your carpet clean and dry. This includes regular vacuuming, wiping up any spills or moisture immediately, and using a dehumidifier in humid environments. If you have a leak or moisture problem in your home, make sure to address it as soon as possible to prevent mildew growth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When trying to get rid of mildew smell from your carpet, there are a few common mistakes to avoid. These include:

  1. Using too much water when cleaning your carpet
  2. Not letting your carpet dry completely before walking on it
  3. Using bleach or other harsh chemicals, which can damage your carpet
  4. Not addressing the source of the problem, which can lead to recurring mildew growth

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Carpet FAQs


Getting rid of mildew smell from your carpet can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible to eliminate the odor and prevent future mildew growth.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can get your carpet smelling fresh and clean once again.