If you suspect you may have mold in your carpet, you're going to want to kill it right away. Having mold around your home can cause many health complications such as wheezing, stuffy nose, eye or throat irritations, or even severe lung complications and allergic reactions. Killing mold in your carpet is not an easy task, but it is something you can do yourself. You'll save a lot of money in the process, without having to replace the carpets or call in a professional.
Step 1 - Protection
When dealing with the mold you will need to protect your mouth, eyes, and hands. Mold is very toxic, and while you're cleaning it's important that you don't get these toxins on your skin or breathe them in. Always use some kind of eye protection such as goggles, a bandana or mask for your mouth, and rubber gloves.
Step 2 - Test for Mold
Do a thorough mold test on your home to make sure it's not anywhere else besides the carpet. There are many mold testing kits you can use to do this. If the mold is in your HVAC system or some other part of your home, cleaning the carpets alone will be a waste of time. There are a few different ways to test for mold. You can buy a test kit that has a tape in it that you use to swab surfaces and then send into a lab to check for mold. There are also kits that check your air for mold so that you will know if it's in your HVAC system. The air test is the most expensive test you can do yourself, but it is still cheaper than hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Step 3 - Clean the Carpet
There are a few things you can use on your carpet to get out the mold. You can use a dishwashing detergent along with water in a rug shampoo machine, but a lot of times it takes something more aggressive. Using Lysol and water in the carpet cleaning machine or bleach and water should kill the mold. Make sure you don't mix Lysol with the bleach as the bleach oxidizes the 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol that is in the Lysol resulting in toxic and irritating compounds.
Use about one cup of Lysol or bleach to a bucket of water. Spray the carpet with the solution and let it set for 15 to 20 minutes and then vacuum all the dirt and mold out with a wet/dry vac or steam cleaner. Get all the water out of the carpet that you possibly can, because you don't want the moisture to cause even more mold to grow. After you have vacuumed up all the water, you will want to either set up some fans or open windows for good ventilation. If you have access to a dehumidifier, this will finish getting out the moisture and hopefully leave your carpets mold free.