Most carpet mold can be removed with a solution of bleach and water. Stubborn or severe mold should be handled with a commercial mold removal product. In order to avoid inhaling or touching mold spores, it is important to wear protective clothing, including a face mask, gloves, and heavy clothing that covers all skin whenever attempting to remove carpet mold. If it is impossible to remove the mold, the carpet must be discarded for health reasons, as the spores will continue to multiply.
Before addressing carpet mold, the floor must be inspected for damage and thoroughly cleaned. All carpet padding must be removed and discarded, as it is nearly impossible to clean effectively and must be replaced. The floor should be mopped with a mixture of 30% bleach to 70% water. For severe or stubborn patches of growth, a commercial product that is specifically formulated to clean mold can be used.
It is best to remove carpet mold in an outdoor area, so that the spores will not spread throughout the interior of the building. If it is not possible to carry the carpet outside, the area should be ventilated as well as possible. Before cleaning the carpet, the floor should still be thoroughly aired and cleaned. This can be done by rolling back carpet a portion at a time.
After testing a small portion for color-fastness, the bleach and water solution should be applied to the carpet with a scrub brush. In order to be effective, the solution must be worked deep into the fibers. As carpet mold spores can extend far into the fabric, the bottom of the carpet should be cleaned as thoroughly as the top portion.
If the bleach solution is not effective on a small area, a commercial product for mold can be used to clean the rest of the carpet. Mixing cleaning solutions should be avoided. As with bleach, all commercial products should be tested on a small area of the carpet first, to ensure that they do not damage the fibers.
Once cleaning is complete, the carpet must be thoroughly rinsed. It is then most effective to air dry the carpet outdoors if possible. Heavy-duty fans and hair dryers can also be used if the carpet cannot be moved. In order to ensure that new mold is not given the opportunity to grow, the carpet must be completely dry before it is put back on the floor.
If the mold is too severe to be completely removed, the carpet must be discarded. Keeping a moldy carpet can result in serious health risks due to inhalation of and skin contact with mold spores. If the carpet is not free of mold, it will also be easier for additional spores to grow.