Mildew is a type of mould that can plague moist environments. Homes in warm, humid climates or with poor ventilation may have mildew spores in the walls and carpet. Carpet mildew not only discolours the carpet, but also can emit a musty smell and pose a health hazard. Chemical mildew killers can sometimes pose just as significant a health risk as the mildew itself. You can, however, kill mildew without toxic chemicals to freshen your home instantly and naturally.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 2 cups water
- 3 teaspoons tea tree oil
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Carpet shampooer and shampoo
Spray an antifungal solution. Mix 2 cups of water with 3 teaspoons of tea tree oil in your spray bottle. Tea tree oil, a natural fungicide, can be obtained at most health food stores. Shake the solution vigorously to ensure a thorough mixing. Spray directly onto carpet mildew until the carpet is damp to the touch.
Let it dry and freshen. Allow the oil solution to sit on the carpet, and do not rinse. The solution will kill the mildew, and the fresh scent of the tea tree oil also can help clear away the musty smell of mould.
Spot clean with vinegar. Use white vinegar if you need to clean only a small patch of mildewy carpet. The acidic nature of the vinegar kills mildew spores and also helps prevent future mildew from growing. Dab vinegar on the mildew spot until the carpet fabric is thoroughly soaked, and allow to air dry.
Remove moisture. Run a dehumidifier in the room in which you have mildewy carpet. Mildew needs moisture to grow, and a dehumidifier will suck this moisture out of the air and create a dry environment that is hostile to mildew. Run the dehumidifier until the mildew has dried up. Also consider running it as a preventive measure if you live in areas that are perpetually humid and prone to mildew infestations.
Clean the carpet. Use a carpet shampooer and an environmentally friendly carpet shampoo. This can help kill and remove mildew spores you may have missed and also can clean mildew stains and discolouring in the carpet fabric. Some nontoxic shampoos include Earth Friendly Products' Natural Carpet Shampoo, made with plant-based surfactants, and Seventh Generation Carpet Cleaner, made with hydrogen peroxide.
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