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Mildew on Needlepoint Canvases

How do I clean mildew spots and smell off of needlepoint canvas? They are hand painted and have not been stitched yet. Some of them have large areas of yucky looking mildew on them and some of them only stink. My cousin had them stored on the California coast in a shed sitting on a cement floor and they got damp.

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They are beautiful and expensive canvases. She was going to throw them out, but I would like to save them. I have them here in Arizona, where it is definitely not damp, and have hung several of them on my patio to air out, but it takes months and I still have lots of them in boxes waiting for room to hang them up to air out. I also have the thread to stitch them and it stinks also. Any suggestions?

By Howdydoody from Yuma, AZ

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April 7, 20090 found this helpful

You could try dabbing with peroxide, rinsing by dabbing with a clean damp cloth, and air drying. It may help a little.

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April 9, 20090 found this helpful

There is nothing better to remove mold and mildew than old fashion vinegar - doesn't hurt the fabric, like bleach can. If it is on something that you can't throw in a washer, then put some vinegar in a spray bottle, spray on, and wipe off what you can.

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April 9, 20090 found this helpful

I would try spraying with vinegar, then machine washing one with the vinegar solution or non-chlorine beach (which is typically peroxide). That way if this process ruins the design you know right away, and you're only out one item. I think the ones that only stink should be laundered immediately. If the wet wash still smells, go down the line trying borax, baking soda, etc.

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