One of the hardest odors to eradicate from your home is that musty, mildewy smell. The odor develops when mold starts to grow in carpets and area rugs because of water damage. No matter how you try to cover it up with air fresheners, candles or other scents, the musty smell will remain as long as the mildew remains. Luckily, when mildew develops on large area rugs, it is easy to remove because you can move the rug and scrub the underside.
Let the large area rug dry thoroughly in the sun if it is wet or damp.
Stir together 1/2 cup of baking soda, 2 tsp. of vanilla, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water until the baking soda has completely dissolved.
Put the solution into a plastic spray bottle.
Spray the rug until it is damp, paying special attention to the worst areas as well as the bottom.
Scrub the rug with a cloth or sponge.
Use water and a clean sponge or cloth to rinse the solution from the area rug, and repeat the treatment if necessary.
Sprinkle baking soda on the rug and allow the rug to dry completely.
Vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda and any dirt or mold, leaving a fresh scent.