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How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet (No More Musty Smell)

If your carpet smells rotten, expect mold or mildew growth. Spilling liquids and not keeping the carpet dry after washing or leaving your rug dirty can lead to musty odors. Mildew in the carpet emits musty smells, and it is a result of excess moisture. 

To remove moldy smells from your carpet, you may:

  • Use DIY methods like vinegar and baking soda, or
  • Use commercial-grade products like carpet shampoo, hydrogen peroxide, or air purifiers. 

Continue reading to learn how to remove mildew smell from carpets using natural and chemical methods.

💩How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet?

Type of method MethodsHow to use it?
NaturalBaking Sodasprinkle on the affected region
Vinegarspray in diluted form
ChemicalCarpet Cleaning Shampoorub with a sponge
Air purifiersSwitch on the air purifier after vacuuming the carpet.
Hydrogen Peroxide and water solutionSpray the solution on moldy odor

💒How To Get Musty Odor Out Of Carpet Naturally? 

Here are some DIY home remedies that act as natural deodorizers and help naturally remove musty smells and mold growth from your carpet. 

Vacuum the carpet with a large vacuum as soon as possible after noticing a musty smell. That helps to remove dust and debris from the carpet fibers and enhances the effectiveness of the cleaning process. 

If needed, combine the cleaning methods one after the other separately for maximum effectiveness in one go. Let’s start!

🫙Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the best odor neutralizers that helps remove mold and musty smell from the carpet. Baking soda is safe for pets and humans and can also remove stains from the carpet.

👉How To Use:

  • Spread a handful-amount of baking soda to form a light layer on the affected area, releasing the musty odor.
  • Let it sit on the mildew growth for a day or two, depending upon the intensity of the musty smell.
  • Wash the carpet, or vacuum it. Make sure you keep the carpet completely dry.
Also Read: Can You Vacuum Baking Soda?


Vinegar is another natural ingredient that can kill mildew. Vinegar and water mixture kills mold spores and dust mites and fights the unpleasant smell of the carpet.

👉How To Use:

  • Add one cup of white vinegar to two cups of water. Fill it in a spray bottle. 
  • Spray the vinegar mixture and blot the affected areas. 
  • Let the vinegar work for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Clean the carpet thoroughly with a damp cloth. 
  • Dry the carpet completely with a clean towel and enjoy a fresh-smelling home.


Remember that mold growth and mildew smell result from excess moisture, so dry the carpet completely after cleaning, or you may invite additional mold growth.

Also Read: Why Does My Bed Always Feel Sandy 

🧐How To Get Strong Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet?

To treat a strong mildew smell, you need equally strong cleaning equipment. This is where you incorporate chemical cleaners to tackle the mustiness of your carpet. Let’s see what the cleaners are and how they help you remove the mildew smell from your carpet.

🧴Carpet Cleaning Shampoo

Before opting for a strong chemical cleaning solution, we can start with foam carpet shampoo. The detergent formula of carpet cleaning shampoo will kill bacteria and mold, eliminating the moldy smell from the carpet area.

👉How To Use:

  • Start by vacuuming the carpet. Use a larger vacuum to trap more dust.
  • Apply the carpet shampoo on the musty carpet.
  • Use a sponge to scrub and get the mildew out of the carpet fibers.
  • Wipe the shampoo with a clean soap. 
  • Vacuum the remaining debris and dry the carpet completely before use.
Also Read: How To Clean Dog Urine From Wood Floors

🔄Air Purifiers 

Switching on your air purifiers is a quick and easy solution to eliminate the mold spores and mildew smell from your carpet. You can combine this method with any of the above cleaning methods. Air purifiers are effective for people with asthma and allergies.

👉How To Use:

  • Open windows and doors for at least a few hours.
  • Start by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly. 
  • Once done, turn on the air purifier in the room and wait for the home to smell fresh.
Also Read: Is Vacuuming Artificial Lawn OK?

🧪Hydrogen Peroxide and Water Solution

Hydrogen Peroxide and water solution is the most powerful cleaner that can remove spores and mildew smell from your carpet.

👉How To Use:

  • Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide with five parts of water. Collect it in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the moldy areas. Don’t forget the back of the carpet.
  • Let your carpet air dry.


Regardless of which cleaning process you use, drying the carpet area, vacuuming, and waiting is a non-negotiable step to witness the actual effectiveness of the cleaning method. 

📝Some Other Tips

  • You can also try Febreze, Grade Plugins Plus, or Fresh Wave. These are good air fresheners in the market.
  • And if none of these methods help you fight the musty smell, probably it’s time to call for professional cleaning services. They have personal protection equipment to tackle the musty odors. 
Also Read: What Happens if You Vacuum a Wet Carpet?

🔦How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Carpet: FAQs

Why does my shampooed carpet now smell musty?

Mostly, we leave our carpet partially wet at the bottom after accidental spills and washing. This attracts mold, and the carpet emits mildew smells.

1. After washing your carpet, you must ensure it has dried completely. 
2. Try to sun dry your carpet because the sunlight kills bacteria and fungi.

What to do if my carpet smells like mildew?

Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet area, smelling like mildew. Form a thick coat and let it sit for a few hours before dusting it off and vacuuming the carpet.

Will the damp smell from the carpet go away?

Cleaning remedies can help you curb the mildew smell only temporarily. You must incorporate regular maintenance with the DIY cleaning methods mentioned above to have a lasting effect.

For a permanent solution, you must call professional-grade cleaning services or replace your carpet.

What kills mold and mildew in carpets?

To kill mold and mildew from your carpet, you can apply heat to the affected area with a steam cleaner. You may also use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner or anti-fungal sprays besides baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or carpet shampoo.

How to get rid of carpet odor with baking soda?

Baking soda can help you eliminate unpleasant smells from the carpet in 3 simple steps:

1. First, sprinkle a handful of baking soda on the mat. 
2. Let it rest for a few hours. 
3. Vacuum the carpet.

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