Can Moldy Carpet Be Cleaned?

This is a very common question asked by homeowners that have experienced a flood.  Carpet is pretty easily cleaned and is made of mostly plastic fibers and plastic can not rot, but there are some materials that can. The answer is dependent on a few points.

  1. If the carpet has got to the point after to many wet/dry situations that it is actually brittle then it is not really salvageable.
  2. Did the carpet get really wet or just the pad. If it was mostly the pad then just pull the carpet off the pad and replace the pad.
  3. If the mold has stained the carpet a blackish color it may be possible to fully clean it, but it will not be possible to restore the original color.

And finally, is it really the carpet that is what smells? Sometimes cleaning the carpet does not remove the smell if there is wet or moldy drywall, furniture, boxes, luggage etc.