Breaking the Mould…

03 Aug

***Note: this post is lacking in pictures because technology sucks***

So, after knowing that I wasn’t airing Old Red as much as I should, and after realising that these actions had resulted in mould growing on some of his textiles, I continued to leave him to fester for a few more months.

With a festival looming ahead of us, and a pretty urgent visit to the mechanics on the cards, I needed to get off my bottom and make sure that I wasn’t going to give/get any breathing complications! And so into the van I went…

Since my last investigation I imagined that the mould would have gotten a million times worse, and that it might even have crept into the wardrobe to eat the summer dresses that I’d left hanging in there. To be honest, I deserved for the entire van to be swathed in mould, but the reality was that it had gotten no worse than it was before…and in fact, it wasn’t anywhere as bad as I remembered it! Bonus!

Okay, so the “upstairs” mattress was pretty well speckled with white mould, and the seat cushion of the sofa/downstairs bed had gotten a bit mouldy where the sun wasn’t hitting it, but the clothes in the wardrobe were all perfectly fine, and only the Ikea cushions had given way to the white pufty spores. The Primark cushions were clean and still smelt fresh (well, as fresh as they ever had), and the stuffed toys were also unblemished. I can only assume that Ikea don’t mould-treat their fabrics, but that’s probably due to the fact that they don’t store fabrics in damp conditions (unlike Primark…).

Luckily, I didn’t have to deal with any mildew (which stains), so I asked my good friend, Google, for advice on removing white mould from fabrics. I found lots of different methods for killing spores – like sunshine and bleach – so it was hard to decide which to choose. In the end I went for the method that required the least amount of shopping and held the least amount of peril (bleach? On fabrics? With my track record of ruining things?!)…

To Clean Mould from Fabrics…

You will need: vinegar, water, a spray bottle, a stiff scrubbing brush, a face mask, and sunshine

First, decide what you need to clean, and what you can bear to throw away. I didn’t have the time or resources to buy and cover new mattresses, but I could afford to throw away the two Ikea cushions (that cost just £1.50 each…they weren’t that comfy anyway!).

I carried my mattresses through to the back garden where I laid them out on the patio (in direct sunlight). I used a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush to get the visible mould off, but failed to wear a face mask. Note…WEAR A FACE MASK! I had a tight chest for days and days and days afterwards…

Once they looked clean, I gave them a good spraying with my anti-mould solution of white vinegar (I used distilled, which smelled vinegary, but if you prefer a nice cidery/winey smell then you could just as easily use cider or white wine vinegar) mixed in a clean spray bottle with some water. I sprayed and I sprayed and I sprayed until the fabric was soaked and my palm was a little blistery…and then I sprayed some more. When they were as wet as I could get them I left them in the sunshine to dry. Once they were dry I soaked them again.

Spray, dry, repeat.

Et voilà!…Mould-free mattresses with only the faintest smell of vinegar (which faded after a day or two).


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