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Getting Mold Off of Fabrics

Nov 14, 2007
Most of us who have lived in a home for a while have collected a large number of fabric items, including clothing, sheets, blankets, and linens, but sometime we run across an old and neglected item that has been in the back of the closet for quite a while and has become molded. If you do happen to find an item like this in your home, it is best that you go wash your hands after handling it as soon as possible, since letting mold come into contact with your bare hands can cause skin rashes and sometimes allergic reactions.

These items can be cleaned most of the time, depending on how advanced the contamination of mold is, but unfortunately, many times it will leave behind stains. Cleaning mold off of white fabric is fairly easy, since bleach can be used to remove stains, but if you are cleaning mold off of colored items, getting rid of the mold stains may be a little more difficult.

Borax laundry detergent can be used to kill and remove the mold, but you should use an old toothbrush to remove any substantial growth. Always wear latex or rubber gloves of some kind before working with these items and you can put a pre-wash stain remover on them to help with the stain removal process. Allow this to soak on it for about 45 minutes before you wash it the first time. Things should usually be washed in borax detergent at least twice and instead of using the electric dryer to dry them out, let them dry naturally outside the house.

A bad thing about mold contaminating items of clothing and furniture is that natural items like leather do not do very well. These items can rarely, if ever, be restored to their original condition. Leather becomes discolored fairly easily and since mold's job in nature is to decompose organic material, this is to be expected.

Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter on it to get rid of mold that can collect on drapes and furniture. Using this will collect the majority of mold spores from the air and capture them. When you are emptying the filter, however, do it slowly, so you do not stir the contents back up into the air. If possible, you should do this outside.

Air purifying systems are also available and will help reduce the amount of mold spores in your home, thus reducing the chance that it will build up on your clothing in the closet or in drawers. Purchase one of these that can handle your homes square footage or it will not work as intended.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
Arizona Wet Crawl Space Flooding Emergency Service
and
Maryland Flood Damage Cleanup
Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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