How to Get Mould Out & Mildew of Curtains

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted

It is pretty easy and rather common for mould and mildew to grow on curtains as they both form in warm, moisture rich spaces such as windows. Whilst they have some similar properties and are both forms of fungi; it is important that you identify whether you are dealing with mould or mildew before you begin treating or preventing it as they do have a lot of differences.

They both occur in similar environments, but their effects and potential treatments are different. You can usually tell the difference between mould and mildew in the way it looks; mildew tends to be white, grey or yellow in colour whilst mould is black or green.

Whilst mildew grows is warm, moist areas; mould grows underneath surfaces of anything that has gotten wet. They can both appear on curtains as a result of things such as window condensation. Both mould and mildew can influence your health, so it is important to deal with the situation as promptly as possible. Mould is more serious than mildew and can often require the help of a professional as it is not as easy to remove.

How to Get Mould Out of Curtains

Mould is more common on curtains whereas mildew is more common on floors, bedding and walls. Whilst you may need to consult a professional if you think you have a mould issue, there are a few steps you can take yourself which can be just as effective when done with strategy and perseverance. Make sure you check whether your curtains require specific cleaning, such as dry cleaning or avoiding certain products before starting any treatments.

A green and pink sponge cleaning mould off a wall

  1. The first step in treating mould is to first use a hard bristle brush to remove as much mould as possible. Do this outside if you can to prevent mould spores travelling in your home.
  2. After this, apply a stain remover to the affected areas. Alternatively, you can use a solution of one-part bleach to four parts water and apply this to the area; spritzing the solution from a distance is the best way to do this to avoid bleaching the fabric.
  3. Once the solution has had time to settle and do its job, you can machine wash the curtains on low temperature of 40 degrees or lower. Make sure to use a powerful detergent, fabric softener and baking soda if necessary, to banish the smells and remove the spores.
  4. Don’t place the curtains in the dryer; instead hang them outside if possible, to let them fully air out.

Mould can be dangerous if left untreated and can cause serious illness, so it is important to address the situation as quickly and as effectively as possible. If you aren’t confident that you have managed to remove all of the mould from the curtains or worried there may still be mould spores in the air, it is best to consult a professional.

How to Get Mildew Out of Curtains

Mildew, although unpleasant, is generally easier to remove than mould.

A woman with a sponge cleaning mould off a wall, next to a venetian blind

  1. As with mould, the first step is to brush as much of the mildew off as possible.
  2. Then, if the material allows, the curtains should be machine washed and hung out to dry where possible.
  3. Mildew can leave a very unpleasant smell in the air so it important to make sure the curtains are washed with a strong detergent and baking soda.

How to Prevent Mould and Mildew

The best way to treat mould and mildew is to work to prevent it occurring at all. There are a few steps you can take to prevent both, each of which may differ slightly. Maintaining an even inside temperature throughout your home helps to prevent moist air from condensing in colder areas such as windows.

An electronic fabric cleaner being held against curtains

A good way to keep moisture out of the air is to invest in a dehumidifier which helps to keep the humidity levels in the home between 30-50%.

There are other things you can do to keep moisture levels low in your home such as avoiding bringing wet clothes and shoes inside or drying wet clothes inside. Make sure to keep your home ventilated by having windows open during the day to prevent moisture build up and make sure your window coverings are good quality as this helps to keep the inside temperature regular and prevent condensation.

Regular cleaning of windows and window coverings can help deter mould and mildew; removing any that is beginning to form before it affects your curtains or spreads anywhere else.

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