How to Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture

How to Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture

Has your patio furniture been emitting a strong, musty odor lately? If so, it’s due to mold. If not checked, the mold deteriorates the quality of air and poses a major threat to your health.

Other than destroying the looks of your home, mold on fabric furniture can be very dangerous to your health. Knowing how to remove mold without using poisonous chemicals such as bleach will guarantee home and furniture safety for years to come. 

This blog will share with you some safe and effective ways of killing mold from fabric furniture using common household products and no bleach and which products and procedures work best without affecting the quality of the fabric or putting people around it at risk.

Let’s learn how to remove mold and how to stop it from coming back!

What Causes Mold on Fabric Furniture?

Mold grows on fabric furniture due to a number of conditions, such as warmth, high humidity, organic material for the mold to feed on, and inadequate ventilation. When there is continuous wetness or water damage, especially when furniture is exposed to these conditions, mold and mildew can grow there. Mold spores can readily colonize upholstery that has dust, dirt, and other organic detritus on it because it offers a rich food source.

Because of its complex fibers and weaves, fabric furniture is especially prone to mold formation. It may hold onto moisture and organic debris, giving fungi the perfect environment in which to grow. When these components come together, mold colonies proliferate and can lead to fabric degradation, discoloration, and a musty smell.

Some common factors include the following:

  1. High Humidity: Mold thrives in humid environments. If the relative humidity in a room is above 60% consistently, it creates a conducive environment for mold to grow. 
  2. Poor Ventilation: Inadequate air circulation can cause moisture to accumulate. Poorly ventilated rooms promote the growth of mold because the stagnant air settles the moisture on surfaces such as fabric furniture.
  3. Spills and Blots: Liquids spilled on upholstered furniture, if not properly cleaned and dried, can provide a breeding ground for a mold invasion; another is spilling organic matter from food and drinks onto the furniture.
  4. Dampness: Furniture exposed to damp conditions, for example in basements or rooms with leaks of any kind, is more susceptible to growing mold. Damp provides the required moisture for mold to grow.
  5. Lack of Sun: The Black mold prefers a dark environment. Mold thrives in dark places. Furniture placed in a room that never receives little to no sunlight is prone to the attack of mold because sunlight helps keep the fabric dry.
  6. Dust and Dirt: Dust and dirt give the appropriate medium for mold spores to absorb moisture and nutrition. This is eliminated through regular cleaning and vacuuming, making the growth of mold less possible in the area.

How to Identify Mold?

You may be able to see and perhaps even smell mold on your furniture because of the musty stench mold spores let out. Be wary of stooping too close to sniff for mold on your furniture; it may be an allergy or irritation. 

Pink, green, black, and white are just a few of the rainbow hues that molds come in. A mold’s color can reveal its species and frequently even its age. Don’t worry too much about the color; mold can be harmful to your health regardless of its type. The appearance of mold is typically fuzzy, like velvet, regardless of color.

Natural Remedies: How to remove mold from fabric furniture without bleach

1. Vinegar

One of the most powerful, non-toxic, natural cleaners to kill mold is vinegar, distilled white vinegar. This form of vinegar makes for the residue of diluted alcohol products, and it’s mildly acidic, so it works on more than 80% of mold species. White vinegar is a safe and inexpensive product available in nearly all supermarkets. Except for its pungent smell, it evaporates almost as quickly as it appears.

Though vinegar is very safe, some precautions must be taken when cleaning mold with vinegar. Protective gloves and a breathing mask should be worn, along with goggles to protect from any kind of potential mold spores. For best results, it should be in an undiluted form. Put this vinegar into a spray bottle and spray directly on the mold area. Do not wash or scrub. Let it rest for at least an hour so that the mold absorbs it.

If scrubbing is still needed after an hour, you can help yourself to some baking soda solution. In a spray bottle, mix one teaspoon of baking soda into two cups of water. Shake very well until it’s dissolved and then use it to spray on mold areas, scrub lightly using a brush, and give it a second go if required. Wipe the cleaned area out using a wet, clean cloth to remove the solution.

Because white vinegar is inexpensive but very powerful, it’s great to use on almost any surface. It also prevents mold from  returning to areas that have had a problem with it. Simply lightly spray the problem area every few days and wipe.

2. Baking Soda

NaHCO₃ or sodium bicarbonate can be found in nature in the form of Nahcolite. It is more commonly known as baking soda and it is found in just about every kitchen. Baking soda is an extremely versatile product and is used in baking, cleaning, deodorizing and even in toothpaste. It also can be used as a natural non-toxic treatment solution for getting rid of mold. Baking soda is an alkaline compound that when exposed with an acid like vinegar, produces carbon dioxide. These bubbles make baking soda popular as a leavening agent in breads. To work at its best, baking soda should be fresh. This can be tested by putting a drop of vinegar on a pinch of baking soda. If it bubbles vigorously it should work on the mold. When cleaning the mold, baking soda can work with or without vinegar. 

There are three basic ways to use baking soda on mold:

  1. Create and apply a liquid spray treatment
  2. Create and apply a paste treatment
  3. Use a combination of liquid spray and paste treatments

To make a baking soda spray solution, combine two tablespoons of baking soda with two cups of water in a spray bottle and shake until completely dissolved. Spray the solution on the mold and scrub with a brush or cloth. Rinse the area, then spray again and let it air dry.

To create a paste, mix equal parts baking soda and water in a bowl. Apply the paste to the mold and let it dry. Scrub the area with a brush until the mold is cleared away. If additional treatment is needed, follow the paste treatment with the spray solution.

Baking soda is milder than vinegar and may not work on more aggressive forms of mold. However, it has the added benefit of absorbing odors, and any remaining residue can help prevent mold from recurring. Since baking soda is slightly gritty, it can also serve as a scrub for the affected area. Baking soda meets all the criteria for an excellent non-toxic mold cleaner: it is safe for humans and pets, inexpensive, and easily available. It is environmentally friendly and, unlike some other options, odor-free. In fact, because it absorbs odors, it can leave an area smelling fresh.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another natural, non-toxic cleaner that many people already have at home. With a chemical makeup of H₂O₂, it is slightly thicker than water and is pale blue in its purest form. Although the name might sound synthetic, hydrogen peroxide can be found in nature as part of rain (in trace but not insignificant amounts). It is often used as an antiseptic, oxidizer, and bleaching agent, and it is also effective in removing various forms of mold.

Hydrogen peroxide bubbles when it comes in contact with bacteria, which indicates that it is working to mitigate the mold. It can be used on both porous and non-porous surfaces.

For porous materials, three percent hydrogen peroxide can be sprayed directly on the surface. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before wiping off with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat this process as necessary. Once the mold is removed, dry the area with a clean cloth or paper towel.

For non-porous materials, mix a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the surface. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash with warm, soapy water, rinse, and dry.

Remedies for Preventing Mold on Furniture

Preventing mold on furniture involves controlling the environment and maintaining cleanliness. Here are some effective remedies to help prevent mold growth on furniture:

  • Control Humidity: Keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50%. Use dehumidifiers, especially in areas where furniture is placed.
  • Ensure Proper Ventilation: Ensure good airflow around your furniture. Use fans and open windows when possible to reduce moisture.
  • Avoid Placing Furniture Against Walls: Leave some space between furniture and walls to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
  • Use Mold-Resistant Covers: Use mold-resistant covers on furniture, especially in damp areas like basements or near bathrooms.
  • Clean Regularly: Dust and vacuum furniture regularly to remove any spores before they can grow into mold. Pay extra attention to upholstered furniture.
  • Use Desiccants: Place moisture-absorbing desiccants like silica gel packets or activated charcoal in and around furniture to absorb excess moisture.
  • Treat with Anti-Mold Sprays: Use anti-mold sprays or treatments on furniture, especially in humid environments. Look for non-toxic options suitable for furniture.
  • Ensure Proper Drainage: If furniture is placed near windows or doors, ensure that water does not seep into the furniture during rain.
  • Use Air Conditioners and Heaters: Maintain a consistent indoor temperature to avoid condensation, which can encourage mold growth.
  • Store Furniture Properly: When storing furniture, especially in basements or attics, cover it with breathable covers to prevent dust and mold accumulation.
  • Address Spills Immediately: Clean and dry any spills on furniture immediately to prevent moisture from seeping in and encouraging mold growth.
  • Monitor Indoor Humidity: Use a hygrometer to keep an eye on indoor humidity levels and take action if they rise too high.
  • Use Furniture Polish or Wax: Applying furniture polish or wax can create a protective barrier against moisture for wooden furniture.

Conclusion

In conclusion, effectively preventing mold growth in your home and on your furniture requires consistent implementation of proactive measures. Controlling indoor humidity levels, ensuring proper ventilation, and maintaining cleanliness are paramount. By using dehumidifiers and fans to regulate moisture levels, addressing spills promptly, and employing mold-resistant products and treatments, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold formation. Regular maintenance, including routine cleaning and vigilant monitoring of indoor humidity levels, is essential. Additionally, utilizing moisture-absorbing desiccants and applying anti-mold sprays can provide added protection against mold.

For more detailed guidance on how to remove mold effectively and safely, it’s advisable to consult reliable sources or seek advice from Home Cleaning Services. These experts can offer specialized knowledge and techniques tailored to your specific situation, ensuring thorough mold removal and prevention strategies are in place. By incorporating these proactive measures into your household routine, you can create a healthier, safer environment, free from the risks associated with mold growth on furniture and throughout your home.

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