How To Get Rid Of Mildew Smell In Carpet – 6 Simple Methods

How To Get Rid Of Mildew Smell In Carpet

When your carpet starts to give off a mold or mildew smell, it can be very unpleasant to the nose. This also poses a health risk as inhaling mildew can cause respiratory problems.

Learning how to get rid of mildew smell in carpet also teaches you how to deodorize carpet in general, whether it is mildew smell or not. There is various technique you can use for how to remove odors from carpet, and we are going to go through each and every one of them.

Read: Best Mold Fogger review

How To Get Rid Of Mildew Smell In Carpet

As stated earlier, there are various techniques you can use to remove mildew smell from carpet and deodorize it; these techniques can also be used to remove any kind of unpleasant odor from carpets.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an all-purpose cleaner and can be used to remove mildew smell from your carpet. Its absorbent abilities make baking soda very effective in removing mold or mildew smell.

If your carpet has a light mildew smell, you can make use of just the baking soda; if you would like to add some fragrance, you can add in a couple of drops of essential oil. Essential oils are a concentrated liquid extracted from certain plants, so they have a powerful and deodorizing scent.

There are different essential oil you can choose from, there are oils with strong fragrances like cinnamon and peppermint, and there are citrus scents like Lemon, grapefruit, and lavender.

To do this, you need to combine two cups of baking soda with 15 drops of essential oil of choice in a container, then Give it a good shake to mix everything thoroughly.

In the light of adding a deodorizing touch to the absorbent abilities of baking soda, instead of using essential oils for scent, you can make use of dry herbs.

This saves you the extra couple bucks you could have spent on essential oils, and this also allows you to customize what you want the scent to be.

Whatever dried herb you are using, in order to get a better scent distribution, you can crush it up in a food processor. You can make use of cinnamon, rosemary, or any dried flower you like.

To do this, you will need to combine a teaspoon of your herb of choice (crushed to a more fine-grain if possible) to half a cup of baking soda, add them into a container and shake thoroughly to combine.

You can also take the baking soda method up a notch by adding some borax. If you have a serious case of mold or mildew infestation, just using baking soda won’t do the trick.

Adding borax will help the mixture to not only remove the mildew smell but also kill the mildew spores as well. Borax acid is actually designed to kill mold pests and also clean.

To do this, simply combine half a cup of borax with one cup of baking soda inside a container and mix thoroughly. You can also add dried herbs or essential oil to give this a pleasant smell.


Any of the baking soda methods you would like to apply depending on the severity of the mildew problem, here’s how to go about it.

Step 1              

Mildew is caused by excess moisture, so if you perceive a musty mildew smell from your carpet, it means your carpet is wet or damp.

If the carpet is wet, you want to start by drying the carpet, and also try to locate and fix the source of the moisture. This is to prevent future reoccurrence.

Step 2

Once the carpet is dry, it is time to take out your vacuum and clean your carpet fibers. This removes embedded dirt that can also be a source of the smell.

In fact, regardless of your carpet position (whether in high traffic or low traffic area), you need to create a regular cleaning schedule for it so that dirt and dust don’t have the chance to become embedded in the carpet fibers in the first place.

Step 3

Once the carpet is clean, go ahead and sprinkle the baking soda mixture you have created. When applying the baking soda mixture on your floor, you want to make sure it is evenly applied and not piled on. Piling the powder will reduce its efficiency.

Step 4

After sprinkling the baking soda mixture on the carpet, you need to let it sit at least overnight or 24 hours for severe mildew smell.

Once the waiting time is over, you can either take your carpet and give it a good shake before using the vacuum, or you can just use a vacuum to remove the powder from the carpet.

And it should be as good as new; if the mildew smell still persists, you can repeat the process or try some other methods.

Using Vinegar

Vinegar has great odor eliminating capacity, so it can be used in this situation. Simply combine one cup of vinegar with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle and mix thoroughly. For extra efficiency, you can add two teaspoons of baking soda and mix.

Then spray the mixture unto the carpet generously and allow it to sit on the carpet for 15-20 minutes. Then using a clean cloth, blot as much of the vinegar as you can.

Then Spray some clean water on the area to rinse the vinegar out of the carpet and then, using a dry clean towel, press on the wet spots to absorb all remaining water.

Allow the carpet to air dry completely.

The vinegar removes the smell once it is dry. You can repeat the process also until you get your desired results.

Using Enzyme Cleaner

If your carpet smells of not only mildew but also the smell of a pet’s urine, this can be very tough to remove.

In fact, pet’s urine can totally damage your carpet, so if you are trying to get out pet waste smell as well as mold smell from your carpet, you can make use of enzyme cleaners. You can get this product at any home improvement and supply store or online.

These enzymes cleaners utilize bacteria to feed upon organic matter such as blood, vomit, urine, and feces, hence eliminating them and their smell.

Apply the enzyme cleaner according to package instructions.

Using Carpet Shampoo

If you have tried a couple of home remedies with no tangible results, maybe your carpet needs a deep cleaning.

This job is very time-consuming; however, to hasten things up, you can make use of a carpet cleaner like the Hoover PowerDash. You can either buy this machine or rent one at your local hardware or supply store.

You can get a bottle of carpet shampoo from the store, but you want to make sure it has odor removing abilities.

And before using it on your carpet, you want to test the shampoo out on a small hidden area of the carpet to make sure it is suitable for it and doesn’t cause any unpleasant reaction.

If you are using a carpet cleaner, you will need to add the recommended amount of carpet shampoo into the tank and plug in the machine. To apply the shampoo, you can press the release trigger; once the shampoo is applied, use the machine to go over the area and release the trigger to extract the water as you pull back.

Using a carpet cleaner is very effective due to its method of cleaning, and this machine removes all the moisture from your carpet and leaves it dry so that there’s a reduced risk of mildew infestation.

If you don’t have a carpet cleaner,  you can make use of a sponge. Simply apply a generous amount of shampoo to the carpet and rub it in with a sponge. Then let the shampoo sit on the carpet for at least 20 minutes so that it becomes dry.

You can speed up the drying process by placing your carpet on a clean (and dry) driveway and allow the heat of the sun to dry it.

You just want to make sure it’s the backing, not the fibers of the carpet facing the sun to avoid the fading of colors. Then finally, vacuum up the shampoo and the remaining debris.

You can also repeat this process until the mildew smell is eliminated.

Read: Best Vacuum for Carpet


Alcohol is a great stain and odor remover, and After treating a spot, you can spray some alcohol on it to further remove color and odor.

You want the brand of alcohol you are using to have high alcohol content like vodka; you can also make use of rubbing alcohol for this.

Apply the alcohol to the problem areas and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Then use some paper towels to blot it out; if there any moisture left, you can sprinkle some baking soda to help remove the moisture and vacuum up the powder.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Applying hydrogen peroxide to your carpet is another effective way to eliminate mildew smell. However, Before applying hydrogen peroxide to your carpet, you want to make sure you test it out on a small hidden area of the carpet to make sure it is safe.

If you notice any form of discolorations or reaction in the area, don’t use it. If it’s okay to use, you need to mix five parts of water with one part of hydrogen peroxide and spray the back of the carpet with the solution. This kills the mildew spores, which are the source of the odor.

Related: How to get wrinkles out of carpet without a carpet stretcher

How To Prevent Mildew Smell On Carpet

Having A Cleaning Routine

Having a regular maintenance routine for your carpet will help to keep odors at a minimum. Cleaning your carpet regularly gives no chance for dust and dirt to settle in or for mildew to grow. Try to vacuum your carpet at least once a week, and for a more deodorizing effect, you can add some laundry crystals to the vacuum bag

Proper Ventilation

Creating and ensuring proper ventilation in your carpeted rooms will help to keep odors at bay. When the weather allows, you should open up the windows to allow fresh air to enter the room; you can also make use of fans and dehumidifier to keep the humidity level in the room at a low level.

Cleaning Spills As Soon As They Occur

When spills, water damage, or pet accidents occur, cleaning them up immediately helps to prevent a spread and also prevent them from seeping into the carpet.


how to remove odors from carpet, how to deodorize carpet, and how to get rid of mildew smell in carpet are all techniques that carpet owners should know and frequently apply as this helps to keep the carpet in good shape.

Suppose you can not do any of this yourself. You can always take your carpet to professionals.

Scroll to Top