I'm stuck with a mould problem!

Published date24 August 2022
Publication titleWest Coast Messenger, The
Lots of people bleach mould away and then wonder why it always grows back again. Bleach will remove the colour of mould and mildew so you can't see it, but believe me, it's still there. All the health-risks associated with mould (especially for allergy and asthma sufferers) will still be there, whether you can see the mould or not

The only way to really get rid of mould is to kill it, remove it and then take steps to prevent new colonies forming in the same place as the old ones.

Remember that breathing in mould can be a serious health risk, especially for asthma sufferers. When cleaning up mould and mildew, wear a face mask and gloves and avoid handling the fungi as much as possible. Wrap up in newspaper and remove any brushed away mould and mildew. Be sure to do an allergy test for any of the products (such as Oil of Cloves) mentioned and do a patch-test on your fabric before you plough straight in.

Oil of Cloves is available from the pharmacy, but if you can't get hold of it, try tea-tree oil or eucalyptus oil in its place. Both of these are an excellent natural disinfectant. If you can't get any essential oils, you can use an antibacterial surface spray in place of the essential oil mix.


How to fix mouldy fabrics, toys and non-washable fabrics

Portable, washable fabrics, such as curtains, cushions, clothing, bedding or towels

1. Soak the fabric in 1 cup salt (non-iodonised) in a 10 litre bucket of water with 3 drops Oil of Cloves and 1 cup vinegar added (use the bath with the same ratio of water/oil/vinegar to salt for bigger items) and soak overnight. The salt, vinegar and essential oil will kill the mould.

2. In the morning, gently squeeze out as much water as possible and then hang the item in the sunshine to dry. A salt crust will form.

3. Once dry, leave the salt to sit for at least an hour, preferably longer.

4. Take the item down off the line and use a soft brush like a clean dustpan brush to remove the salt crust (use a stiff brush like a clean toilet brush for heavy fabrics). Do this over sheets of newspaper so when the mould and mildew comes away with the salt you can wrap the lot up and dispose of it in the bin.

5. Machine or hand wash the item in warm water with your usual detergent and hang in the sun to dry.

6. Spray lightly with a mixture of 3 drops Oil of Cloves to 1 litre of water and leave to dry completely. This will help prevent mould returning.


Portable, non-washable fabrics such as teddy bears, suede, leather or silk


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