How to Kill Algae on Porch Carpeting without Bleach
LESLIE: Sue in Ohio needs some help cleaning a carpet. Tell us what’s going on.
SUE: I have a concrete sun-porch slab that has – had been covered with black carpet. And it’s – we had a very muggy summer this year and green mold started to grow on it. And though I tried washing it off and rinsing it off – and it just won’t take care of it. And I know that you had helped other people with mold problems with 10-percent bleach. But I wouldn’t dare put bleach on that black carpet and I wondered if there’s something else that will kill that mold.
TOM: Well, how do we know it’s mold? It sounds like algae.
SUE: Could it be?
TOM: It could be, yeah. What I would do is I would simply – if the carpet’s that dirty, I would simply go out and rent a steam cleaner – rent a carpet cleaner. Those carpet cleaners are pretty darn effective. I rented one myself at The Home Depot just a few weeks ago for a couple of rooms in an apartment that we own that was getting a new tenant. And I’m always astounded with what a phenomenal job those steam cleaners do on what looks like carpet that has to be torn out.
But when you steam-clean it with the right materials, use the chemicals that come with the machine, it does a really good job. You’ve just got to take your time. Usually have to go over it a couple of times and it takes a little bit of work but it really does a great job. So I wouldn’t try to do this any other way.
The way the steam cleaners work is water is injected into the carpet and then almost at the same time, a very strong vacuum pulls that water back out with the dirt and debris attached to it.
SUE: Oh. So the steam kills the algae.
TOM: Yes. It’ll clean it. And then if you dry it really well after that, it should stop it from coming back.
SUE: OK. OK. Well, that’ll help me, yeah.
TOM: Alright? And that won’t damage the color.
SUE: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us.