Mildew Remover for Fabric

Mildew Remover for Fabric

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of mold and mildew as the “l,m,n,o,p” of fungi. Just as pre-schoolers put “l,m,n,o,p” together when they’re learning the alphabet, I’ve always put mold and mildew together. But, as it turns out, there are differences.

Among them is that mold is often green, black, blue or red and fuzzy. Mildew is often white or gray and is streaky. The steps to removing them are similar, but do vary. To make your own mildew remover for fabric, you’ll need the following:

  • A spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio

To use, simply spray the fabric – curtains, drapes, upholstery, patio furniture – and allow to dry. You don’t have to saturate the fabric, but do spray it liberally.

If you don’t want to take down the curtains or drapes before spraying, be very careful not to spray the surrounding area such as windowsills or walls. The vinegar may damage these surfaces.

For outdoor fabrics: it’s best to leave the item out in the sun to dry. The combination of the sun and the vinegar will kill the mildew. If the mildew smell does not come out after spraying and drying, repeat.

Always be sure to test a small area of the fabric to make sure the colors won’t fade or run.

Commercial Mildew Removers For Outdoor Fabric

Outdoor fabrics sometimes need a little more firepower than mere vinegar. 3M makes a mildew remover for outdoor-fabrics like canvas and sail fabric. You should follow the directions on the label, but for the most part, simply spray it on the fabric, allow it to work its way into the fabric and wipe off.

Wear Synthetic Fibers

If you live in Florida or another humid part of the country, it might be best to invest in clothing made of synthetic fibers. Organic fibers like cotton and leather grow mildew very easily. Sometimes, mildew can even begin growing because of the dampness sweat creates.

Mildew Remover for Clothing

Provided the article of clothing is machine washable, soak it in a mixture of 1/8 cup of borax laundry detergent and 4 cups of water. If you can, rub or brush the mildew spot gently to loosen it. Then, rinse the garment and launder per the instructions on the label.

If the garment label recommends dry cleaning, make sure your dry cleaner is aware of the mildew stain so he or she can treat it properly.

Always Scrub Outside

Whether the fabric that has mildew is a patio cushion or an article of clothing, if it has a lot of mildew on it and needs to be scrubbed or brushed, always do it outside, away from windows and doors.

Mold spores that are released from fabric travel through the air and can land on other susceptible surfaces. And, it’s always best to wear a HEPA mask to prevent inhalation of the mold spores.