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Killing Mould…Again…

Last year I wrote a post about having to get rid of mould from some of the textiles in Old Red.

I promised myself last year that I would empty the van for winter, and make sure that it got aired out properly every week, but that plan never really came into being, and so everything that was in the roof conversion (and therefore, out of the sunlight) had gotten spotted in that horrible white dusty mould again. I felt awful that I hadn’t learnt my lesson last time, and that I’d neglected Old Red so badly…

Mould on the seatpad from the rock'n'roll bed, which I'd stored in the roof...

Mould on the seatpad from the rock’n’roll bed, which I’d stored in the roof…

...and mould on the mattress from the bed in the roof...

…and mould on the mattress from the bed in the roof…

Luckily, it wasn’t too bad (although the pictures don’t do it justice), and there wasn’t any mildew so there was no terrible staining.

Like last time, I made up a solution of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. I didn’t have any white/white wine vinegar this time, so I made do with cider vinegar, but this was a LOT more stinky. Last time, the smell faded, so I’m hoping that’ll happen again this time!

I used a stiff bristled brush to get rid of the visible mould, but this time I remembered to cover my face to avoid breathing in too much nasty stuff…

I'm coming to get you Spores!...

I’m coming to get you Spores!…

My sister and her boyfriend both offered me a dust mask, but I was far more amused by my tea-towel bandito look.

Once I’d scrubbed as much as I could I sprayed all the mouldy surfaces and let the mattresses sit and dry in the sun, turning and spraying as necessary.

The mattresses look much better now, but they’re still a bit stained and tired looking after many years of use (by many people) and could really do with a refresh. We don’t have plans for a journey out any time soon, so new foam and upholstery has been added to our to-do list.

 

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Breaking the Mould…

***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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The Good…The Bad…And The Ugly Mould That Blights My Textiles…

Disclaimer: When I thought of writing this blog and decided on the title I was far too proud of my play on words (if I can call it that) that now it’s not exactly *accurate* I am not willing to change it and will, instead, share the irony with you…

The Good…and the irony…

I recently needed to get oil out of Red to put in New Silver, and was rather impressed that the battery condition meter was still showing a green LED (good!), despite him not having been started in a good few months…

I was so impressed that I decided I’d take a picture of it to post on here, and as I lined up the camera for the shot, the green LED gave up and the red one came on instead. Oh irony, how you mock me!

The Bad…

Well, this was going to be me. I have been neglecting blogging terribly…and now I’m still ‘the bad’ because I’ve also neglected the van and now I may have a flatish battery :-/

The Ugly…

Neglecting the van has also meant that I didn’t notice my cushions getting damp, and then mouldy…oops. Luckily the seats etc are fine and it’s jut the throw cushions that are suffering. Unfortunately most of these are Ikea cushions and don’t have a removable cover, so I’m going to have to soak and disinfect the whole cushion and hope for the best! Way to go me…

Mmmmmmmmmmould...

Mmmmmmmmmmould…

 

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