Mildew can be unhealthy especially for individuals with asthma or other respiratory problems. It can also smell bad and look even worse on furniture. Mildew and mold will attach itself to most any type of furniture from outside patio PVC or canvas to wood to antique furniture and to indoor fabric. Removing mildew stains from fabric can sometimes prove to be a problem even after the mildew is killed. If you are lucky the stains will disappear with the mildew but more times than not, the stain may prove to be permanent. This article deals with indoor fabric but can be adapted to outdoor furniture as well.
Things You Will Need
Protective gloves, Vacuum cleaner, Soft bristle brush, Depending on the severity of the stain, one or more of the following: mild soap such as liquid Ivory, a solution of 50/50 water and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, one-half cup Lysol to a gallon of water, or a Non-Chlorine Bleach and warm water mix.
If at all possible, mildewed furniture should be cleaned outdoors to prevent the mildew spores from being spread in the house. Vacuum loose spores and then lightly brush the mildew on the affected area and vacuum again. It is best to throw away the vacuum cleaner dust bag to remove the mildew spores from the house.
If the mildew is still present, try a mixture of liquid Ivory and warm water (1/4 cup soap to 1 gallon water) or the mixture of Lysol and water or water and rubbing alcohol. Before applying one of the solutions, test the fabric in a non-conspicuous spot. If possible remove the furniture cover to prevent the padding or filler from getting wet. If it is not possible to remove the cover, lightly sponge the area with the mix being careful not to saturate the fabric and underlying padding. Using the sponge, rinse with clear water using as little water as possible.
If the mildew stain remains after step two above, try the mixture of a non-chlorine bleach and water. As mentioned in Step Two above, before applying the solution, test the fabric in a non-conspicuous spot and then treat as in Step Two.
After treating the mildew, the fabric must be thoroughly dried to prevent the mildew from returning. Keep the fabric in a warm, dry area and place a fan to blow air onto the affected area until it is completely dry.
If you were lucky, the stain came out, the fabric was not harmed and life is good. The removal of the mildew will take care of most if not all of the mildew odor. To remove the remaining odor if any, increased air circulation with a fan, air fresheners and room deodorizers will be helpful.
Mildew and mold will attach itself to most any type of furniture from outside patio PVC or canvas to wood to antique furniture and to indoor fabric. Unfortunately the mold and mildew will leave behind stains. With luck the stains will disappear with the mildew but more times than not, the stain may prove to be permanent.
Tips & Warnings
Start with the mildest soap solutions first to see if they will successfully remove the stains before using the stronger solutions.
Bleach and other chemicals used to clean mold and mildew can be poison and the vapors can be toxic to individuals with breathing problems. Some individuals also may have allergies that can be aggravated by the mold and mildew itself. Protective gloves, safety glasses or goggles and a mask are recommended when dealing with chemicals.