Removing Mold and Mildew On Christmas Decorations and Tote?

My tote of Xmas decorations got wet on the outside so now the inside has mold on the decorations. How do I remove it and the smell from light strands, stockings, tinsel, glass, etc? Or is it all junk now?


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 23, 20180 found this helpful

I would throw the tinsel away. Wash the tote and all other washables in a diluted bleach solution and dry outside in the sun.

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December 25, 20180 found this helpful

If it were me, I would toss the lights (things that are electric and water is dangerous) and the tinsel.

For the stockings, if they are washable, you can try making a paste out of a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and baking soda in the bottom of a clean bucket. It will foam. Add cold water (to try to prevent the colors from running)--enough to cover the stained parts or if it is all stained, the whole thing.


Wearing rubber gloves, swish it for a few minutes and then let it sit for 15 minutes then rinse. You may need to repeat it several times. Do not use the dryer. Dry the stockings outside in the sun, if you can, to help facilitate the process.

For glass or plastic (including the tub), clean the bucket you used for the stockings thoroughly and make up a fresh batch of the vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda described above, and add hot water.

Use a white rag or clean sponge and sponge off the mold. You may want to wear gloves when you do this also.

If after a few treatments of washing down the items, the mold/mildew/smell does not go away, you may have to toss them as this can be dangerous to smell if you or a loved one has a mold sensitivity.

Sun drying is also the best thing for this process...even if it is cold out.

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December 26, 20180 found this helpful

Some Christmas items can be expensive or may have personal value so I would start with that group. Throw all the other stuff away unless it is glass or something easily washable.


I agree I would throw away any electric strings of bulbs but light stands (?) may be cleanable by wiping down the cords and wiping anything that can be cleaned without soaking in water mixture.

Pghgirl's cleaning methods sounds good. Many people recommend using bleach but I tend to use other methods myself.

Try to do all work outside if possible as breathing all this stuff cannot be good for you. Otherwise work in a well ventilated room.

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