Mildew grows best in environments that are moist and warm. If left too long in the appropriate conditions, your oriental carpets may show signs of mildew growth. Stains from mildew may be black or dark brown in color, and will usually appear in small spots. These stains may cover a small area at first, but if not handled properly, mildew will grow quickly. Left untreated, mildew will destroy your fine carpet.
Oriental carpets should be treated with great care, so removing stains may be more difficult than stain removal from hardier types of carpets. Start by removing the carpet from the moist environment. Take the carpet outdoors and lay it on a clean tarp in the sun on your patio, porch or driveway. Allow the rug to dry completely before proceeding.
Vacuum first one side of the carpet, then the other. Remember to dispose of the vacuum bag when your project is finished, to prevent mold spores from recirculating to other places in your home.
Mix a paste of lemon juice and salt and cover the area of the stains with the paste. Wait for 30 minutes then gently scrub away and vacuum the remnants of the paste. Next, mix a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon unscented clear dish soap and 3 cups warm water. Gently scrub the stained area with a stiff brush. Dab the area dry with a rag, and allow the rug to dry completely in the sun. Repeat this process as necessary.
Once the stains have been removed, your carpet may be left with a lingering odor. Move the carpet to a safe place indoors where it will not be exposed to moisture. Sprinkle the area with baking soda and leave for two days or more to allow the baking soda to absorb any unwanted scent. Remove the baking soda with a vacuum, and repeat if necessary.
You can stop mildew before it starts by taking appropriate care of your rugs. Repair any leaks that may have caused the mildew to grow in the first place. If necessary, run your air conditioner or purchase a dehumidifier in order to remove excess moisture from the air. Check your rugs periodically for damage. Pay special attention to rugs that may have been treated for mildew growth in the past, to ensure that the mildew does not return.
If placing your rugs in storage, the room should be dry, well ventilated, and cool. Never place your rugs in storage while damp, and never store your rugs in plastic.
Remember that mildew can weaken the fibers of the carpet. Treating stains yourself may fix the most obvious problems, but with professional care your carpets will last longer and look their best.
Depending on the severity of your mildew problem, your carpets may not respond to home-concocted stain treatments like vinegar and lemon juice. High Quality Carpet specializes in the care and restoration of delicate oriental rugs. For value and expert service, contact the professionals at http://www.highqualitycarpet.com .