Dealing with mould at home is a serious business. Mould spores are not just unsightly and stinky, they can also pose a great danger to your health when you leave them ignored after some time. Aside from that, mould can be painstaking to remove, which is why you need to take action as soon as you notice signs of its growth.
Sure, on hard surfaces, getting rid of mould through thorough scrubbing should not come at the expense of your time and energy. The problem, though, is when it finds its way into the fibers of your rug or carpet. Remember, mould spores can be invisible to the naked eye--so much so that regular scrubbing is not likely going to make them all disappear.
What is mould?
Moulds are a type of fungi that thrives on damp and humid environments. Basically, they can be found in places where moisture is usually trapped. This means that they can grow on basement floors, around the bathroom, and yes, even on rugs.
How does mould get into your rugs?
There are many ways how mould grows into your rug: spills, ceiling leakage, flood, or for instance if you forgot to dry it thoroughly after washing it. By not carefully paying attention to these things, you might be leaving your rugs at risk. As we said, mould tends to take a life of its own in moist areas. Meaning to say, once your rug gets wet and you do not let it dry, moisture stays within, making it an ideal home for mould spores.
How much of a threat is mould?
Mould in little quantities is not something to panic about. You can clean it immediately and prevent it from spreading immensely. But that does not mean you should not pay extra heed in handling it either. Those who have high sensitivity to mould will find that even the most minute interaction with it may already trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, runny nose, skin rash, red eyes, and shortness of breath. If that already makes your immune system weak, imagine what it can do once it grows as a whole colony.
So every now and then, it is important that you ensure your rugs are free from mould. Better safe than sorry!
How do you get rid of mould from your rugs?
1. Hang your rugs under the sun.
The reason behind this is simple: UV rays from the sun helps kill mould spores and reduce moisture that encourages mould growth. 24-48 hours under the sun should be enough.
2. Ventilate the room where the rug is located.
If the first one is not a viable option, you can do this one instead. Opening the doors and windows will allow the air to circulate and consequently reduce moisture inside the room. You may also use an electric fan to blow some air out of the room. What is important is that you keep your room well-ventilated.
3. Use a stiff broom and sweep the mould spores.
This can remove the mould spores that are already in plain sight. Additionally, it can also loosen up those that are still deep within the rug, making it easier to brush thoroughly afterward.
Note: As much as possible, try not to use a vacuum. There is a huge chance that mould spores will persist inside it, which means that they might land somewhere else the next time you use it. Hence, this will just make your mould situation even worse. But if you still prefer a vacuum over a broom, just make sure that you choose the one that has a high gradation filter. Its contents should go directly into the trash.
4. Apply baking soda.
This is probably the most cliché trick in the book, but it works! Just put baking soda on the rug and leave it overnight. Not only will it absorb moisture, but it will also rid you of the bad smell.
5. Scrub your rug with a cleaner.
As we have already made it clear, scrubbing alone is not likely to eliminate mould. However, if you have done an ample amount of cleaning, it will do just fine. It is also recommended that you use a solution made specifically for mould removal. Rinse it off after.
Do not forget to let it dry completely. Remember that it is the moisture that attracted mould spores to travel into your rug in the first place so while you are at it, now might be a good time to inspect your home for any leaks that might cause your rug to soak in water.
If you are looking to avoid this mess altogether, you might want to consider buying a polypropylene rug. Polypropylene is water-absorbent, which means mould and mildew are hardly going to infiltrate its fibers. This is what makes the material so perfect for indoors and outdoors.