Tips on Cleaning Mould
Below are some great tips for cleaning mould off a number of surfaces including shower curtains, bathroom grout, fabric and walls.
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Even if you use a plastic liner or washable plastic shower curtain, you can get it free from mould in your washing machine.
Wash plastic curtains on the highest temperature with a normal amount of detergent. Add two to three bath towels for extra cleaning agitation. Hang to dry (preferably outside) or put into the dryer on a low heat or air only. If your shower curtain is fabric or decorative, it’s best to wash it following the instructions on the care label.
Put on rubber gloves and eye protection. Mix 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach with 4.5 litres of water. Use a stiff brush to apply to one small area at a time. Be careful not to let the liquid spatter onto surrounding surfaces. Let sit for several minutes, then scrub and rinse.
First, take your fabrics (clothes, towels or bed sheets for example) outside and brush off the mildew spores (a stiff brush works best). Leave them to sun dry for about three hours. You can machine-wash whites with chlorine bleach or pre-soak coloured fabrics for 30 minutes in liquid non-chlorine bleach. Rinse and dry and they’ll be as good as new.
To remove mildew from wood cabinets, panelling or furniture, vacuum the loose spores with a soft brush attachment. Then clean small areas using a well-wrung cloth dipped in a few squirts of dishwasher detergent and 4.5 litres of water.
Rinse with a clean, water-dampened cloth and dry immediately with a fan. Take care not to oversaturate the wood, as it could warp and damage the finish. If a cloudy film forms, wipe the area with mineral spirits or a furniture polish to restore the shine and protect the finish.
Mattresses and upholstery
Start by vacuuming the entire item. Make sure you throw away the vacuum filter and bag when you’ve finished to prevent mildew spores from escaping into the air the next time you vacuum.
If any stains remain, sponge the surface with a cloth that has been moistened with one cup of rubbing alcohol and one cup of warm water. Do a spot test on a hidden area first to make sure the fabric doesn’t get damaged. To rinse, do a second wipe with a water-dampened sponge. Sun dry the sofa or mattress for several hours to remove odours or use a fan. Spray with a disinfectant to kill spores that can linger in thick padding. If your furniture still smells musty or stains reappear, throw the item out.
Mildew can quickly take root on walls, especially if ventilation is poor. At the first sign of growth, mix 3/4 cup bleach with 4.5 litres of water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply with a soft scrub brush. Let the solution penetrate for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Dry thoroughly with a fan for about half an hour. If stains reappear, you may have to replace the wallboard.
Air the pages of any affected books outside on a sunny, breezy day for at least three hours. Once they’re dry to the touch, brush off the mildew with a dry cloth. Remove stains by wiping them gently with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of one-part chlorine bleach to four-parts water (wring it well first).
Repeat the process using another soft cloth dipped in water to gently sponge away the chlorine. Just be careful not to rub or oversaturate the paper. Pat or fan-dry the pages. You can speed up the drying process by sprinkling cornstarch or baking soda on each page to absorb any remaining moisture. Finish by wiping off with a soft, clean paint brush.