I have found a pair of stunning blue curtains that I would love to put up in my bedroom. But when I opened them up I saw that they are both riddled with Mildew. How do I get them clean? Please help!
By Claireuj from South Africa
I don't know if Good Housekeeping knows what they are talking about, but this is what they say about removing mold from various items, including fabric:
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Do you mean mold or mildew? I had mildew on some white drapes, caused by too much humidity in the house and condensation on the windows. Sometimes I get a similar thing on my bathroom shower curtain if there gets to be too much humidity in the bathroom or if the curtain doesn't get a chance to dry out. Mildew is black and is very thin. It won't rub off. I just laundered these white drapes as usual, with a warm wash and regular detergent. I likely used Tide. I do the same with the shower curtain. It washes right off. These would be polyester fabrics.
My mother sometimes used to get mildew on whites if she sprinkled them for ironing, and then didn't finish all of the ironing on that day and the damp clothes sat in the basket in the hot summer. If you get mildew on cottons, it is harder to remove. You may have to use bleach and hang it in the sun to remove the stain.
If you mean mold like you get on bread or on fruit, or that poisonous black mold that makes people ill, I have had no experience with that on cloth. I would suggest washing and bleaching; use a hot water wash. Hang in the sunlight after drying in the dryer. Heat and sunlight and bleach kill mold and mildew spores.
I suspect that it is mildew that you have, which is relatively easy to get rid of, and not really harmful. (08/23/2007)
A solution of 10% bleach and 90% water will kill mold, if that's what you have. You need to use gloves of course, and ideally have a lot of ventilation so you don't inhale a lot of bleach. I'd recommend you do the cleaning out doors. In the future, cleaning with products with vinegar can help retard mold growth. (11/02/2007)