No matter how cautious you are with your fabric furniture. There will always be factors like spilled food and liquid, humid climate, dripping ceilings, and dirt that can encourage an infestation of mold and mildew in the furniture.
Mold can reduce the durability of upholstered furniture and fabrics. Furthermore, inhaling mold spores caused by mold growth can result in major health issues such as lung cancer and asthma. To preserve your family’s health, you must remove the mold from the upholstered furniture.
What Causes Mold Growth in Fabric Furniture
Mold does not need so much to settle. It needs a warm and humid temperature, food source, and oxygen to thrive. If your house and furniture provide this ideal environment for mold spores, they will grow on your threshold. Below are some of the main reasons behind mold growth on fabric furniture.
- Leaky ceilings and floor: House leaks like leaky ceilings and floors, pipes, and even improper ventilation can be the reason behind mold and mildew growth. It would help if you addressed it immediately with the help of expert plumbers.
- Improper storage: When you store the fabric furniture in a dark and humid area like the basement, there is a high chance of getting mold built up in the fabric furniture. Therefore, you should position your furniture in a well-ventilated area with less humidity. Also, please do not leave the fabric furniture outside of your house.
- High indoor humidity: In areas with high humidity and temperature, it is obvious to have high indoor humidity. You can prevent the humidity by installing a dehumidifier. It can help to keep not only the upholstery but also your surfaces and ceiling mold-free.
- Food and liquid spills: Unattended food and liquid spills on your fabric furniture can cause long-term damage like mold infestation. It is highly recommended to wipe the food spills with a clean cloth or vacuum the upholstery from food spills.
Tips To Remove Mold From Fabric Furniture
- Always spot test cleaning agents beforehand. Cleaning items like solvent cleaners, vinegar, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide can damage sensitive fabrics.
- Do not mix vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. It can emit powerful fumes that are poisonous to inhale.
- Position the furniture in a well-ventilated area. You can inhale the mold spores while cleaning the upholstery.
- Follow cleaning code instructions for upholstery fabrics before removing mold from them. You can see the following codes in the upholstery tags:
W: Clean with water-based cleaning agents
W/S: clean with both water or solvent-based cleaning methods.
X: vacuum only, professional help required to clean.
S: only use solvent-based cleaning procedure.
How To Remove Mold From Fabric Furniture
Prepare Yourself Before You Begin.
Inhaling the mold spores can lead to allergic reactions like runny nose, red eyes, coughing, and irritant skin. Gear yourself with a proper mask, goggles, gloves, and long sleeve clothes to protect yourself from mold spores. Position the fabric furniture outside your home in direct sunlight to ensure the mold spores do not spread to other areas. Use a brush or vacuum to remove loose mold from the furniture surface before moving on to the next step.
Apply Diluted Vinegar
Vinegar is a safe anti-bacterial cleaning agent that can solve your mold problem. It is a safe method to use on soft fabric furniture. The 5-8% acetic acid content of vinegar creates a highly acidic environment for mold spores. It can kill common household molds found in fabric furniture.
To make the vinegar safe, make sure to dilute it with water. Some fabrics, like leather and vinyl, may be harmed by it. Before moving on to the next step, it is advised to test the vinegar in a discrete area. This approach applies to upholstery with the codes W, WS, and SW.
- Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the prepared mixture onto the mold stain.
- Utilize an old toothbrush or soft, non-abrasive brush to scrub the furniture’s surface.
- Wipe it clean with a clean cloth.
- Rinse the furniture with clean water.
- After drying the water with a dry cloth, let it completely air dry.
Vinegar can leave a foul smell on the fabric afterward. But, it does not stay for a long duration.
Apply Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains acid in it, which can be useful for eradicating mold. It is similar to vinegar but is less powerful. It is a natural and non-toxic way to remove mold. You will need three to five lemons for this method.
- Squeeze three to five lemons in a bowl.
- You can pour the juice into the moldy area.
- Let it sit for five minutes.
- Use a clean damp towel to clean the area.
- Repeat the process if mold remains.
Dish-washing Liquid To Remove Light Mold Growth
You can apply dish-washing liquid and water mixture for light mold stains. It can be effective for fresh mold stains but does not help remove highly affected mold furniture.
- Mix a few drops of dish-washing liquid in warm water.
- Use a clean squeegee and dip it into the prepared mixture.
- Start scrubbing the mold stain on the surface of fabric furniture in a circular motion.
- Change the used sponge with a clean one in the process.
- Wipe the soapy residue with a clean damp cloth.
- Rinse it with clean water.
- Finally, let the furniture air dry completely.
Using Borax Powder
Borax is a natural mold killer. It has a PH level of 9.3 that can eradicate mold from furniture fabric. Applying the borax powder to the mold-affected area can create an environment that is not suitable for mold. You can sprinkle it on a closet that has mold growth as well.
It can irritate some sensitive skin. Therefore, gloves and long sleeve clothes are suggested while applying borax powder to the mold-affected area.
- Mix ½ cup of borax powder in two cups of warm water.
- Spray the solution onto the furniture fabric.
- Let it soak for two hours.
- Scrub it using a soft brush.
- Rinse it with clean water and wipe it with a clean damp cloth.
- Dry the furniture in direct sunlight.
Bleach is another effective chemical solution to eliminate mold. It can, however, discolor black-colored fiber or multi-colored garments. Only use it on white-colored fabric like cotton. Perform a small patch test before applying bleach to the fabric furniture. Also, use a proper mask, goggles, and hard gloves before using this procedure.
- Form a solution by combining 1 cup of liquid bleach, one-quarter of mild dish soap, and 5 liters of water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray the prepared mixture into the stained area.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Wipe off the bleach residue with a clean cloth.
- Leave the furniture to air dry completely.
Apply Hydrogen Peroxide in Mold-Affected Areas of Fabric Furniture
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective solution for eliminating mold from fabric furniture. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties are very effective for mold treatment. It is advised to use 3% concentrated hydrogen peroxide for safer use.
- Use 3% hydrogen peroxide on the mold-stained area.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Scrub it with an old toothbrush or a sponge.
- Rinse it with clean water.
- Let it air-dry afterward.
Tea Tree Oil Kills Mold Naturally
Tea tree oil is one of the effective natural mold killers. Tea tree oil’s anti-fungal properties help eradicate mold from the fabric furniture. It is also a safe and environment-friendly cleaning agent that you can use to eliminate mold spores from clothes. However, it is expensive and can cause skin irritation if careless.
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a cup of water.
- Pour it into a spray bottle and shake it well.
- Spray it into the mold-affected area.
- Let it sit for an hour.
- Use an old toothbrush or a sponge to scrub the mold gently.
- Wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
- Let the furniture air dry completely.
Solvent-Based Cleaners for Code “S” Fabric Upholstery
You can only clean S-coded fabric upholstery with dry solvent-based cleaners. It is advised against cleaning these types of upholstery with water-based products. Fabrics like cotton, rayon, wool, silk, denim, and velour are included in the code “S.” Solvent-based cleaners are the best choice for cleaning these kinds of fabrics.
You can purchase solvent-based cleaners in hardware stores and online. Make sure to clean the affected upholstery in a ventilated area. Also, test the product in a small area before using the product.
- Using a soft brush, loosen up the mold from the surface. You can also utilize a vacuum to collect the loose mold.
- Apply the solvent-based cleaner to the mold-stained area.
- With a non-abrasive brush, scrub the mold from the area.
- Vacuum the mold residue from its surface.
Calling a Professional To Eradicate Heavy Mold
It is better to call a specialist to deal with mold problems if your upholstery has code ”x” fabrics. It is recommended to light vacuuming and brushing in these types of fabrics. In case of mold stain, it is better to take experts’ help to get rid of it.
Prevent Mold From Coming Back Into Your Fabric Furniture
The best way to remove mold from your basement, ceiling, clothes, and upholstery is to prevent it from returning. The mold spores are always looking for an ideal environment to settle down. If you are successful, you prevent creating this kind of environment. Then you treat the mold issue in your house.
- Always keep your furniture and upholstery dry. Address the food and spills immediately.
- Invest in a dehumidifier and keep the humidity level at 50%.
- Ensure proper ventilation in every area of your threshold. Install air conditioning with an HVAC filter, invest in an exhaust fan and encourage natural ventilation.
- Do not keep the furniture close to poorly insulated walls.
- Address the plumbing leakage with the help of experts.
- Inspect your whole house monthly. Look for signs of mold growth like the musty smell, stains, and allergies.
- Always keep your room clutter-free. Discard furniture and object you do not use.