DIY Mould Removal for Fabrics and Upholstery

Mould Cleaning for Fabrics and Upholstery

Mould growth on fabrics and upholstery can be a common problem in many households. Not only does it affect the appearance and integrity of the materials, but it can also pose health risks if not addressed promptly and properly with effective mould removal. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective methods and mould removal techniques to clean mould-infested fabrics and upholstery, ensuring a safe and healthy living environment. Whether it’s your favourite sofa, curtains, or clothing, we’ve got you covered with practical tips and expert advice. 

mould removal cleaning upholstery

Understanding Mould Growth on Fabrics and Upholstery 

Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in environments with excess moisture. Fabrics and upholstery provide an ideal breeding ground for mould due to their organic nature and ability to retain moisture. When exposed to high humidity levels or damp conditions, mould spores can settle on these materials and start multiplying. If left unattended, the mould can spread, leading to visible stains, musty odours, and potential health issues requiring professional mould removal.  

Identifying Mould on Different Types of Materials 

To effectively clean mould-infested fabrics and upholstery, it’s important to accurately identify the presence of mould. Mould can appear in various colours, including black, green, or white, and may have a fuzzy or powdery texture. Different materials may require specific cleaning methods to prevent damage. Here’s how to identify mould on common types of materials: 

  • Mould on Clothing: Check for discoloured spots or a musty smell. 
  • Mould on Curtains and Drapes: Look for visible stains or dark patches. 
  • Mould on Carpets and Rugs: Inspect for discolouration or a damp odour. 
  • Mould on Sofas and Upholstered Furniture: Examine for visible mould growth or musty odour. 

Safety Precautions before Cleaning Mould-Infested Fabrics and Upholstery 

Mould removal and cleaning requires caution to minimise exposure to mould spores and prevent their spread. Before starting the mould removal process, ensure you follow these safety precautions: 

  • Protective Gear: Wear gloves, a mask, and goggles to avoid direct contact with mould spores. 
  • Ventilation: Open windows or use fans to improve airflow during cleaning. 
  • Containment: Use plastic sheets or tarps to isolate the affected area and prevent cross-contamination. 
  • Disposal: Seal and discard severely mould-infested items that cannot be salvaged. 

mould removal cleaning upholstery

How to Remove Mould from Machine Washable Fabrics 

Cleaning machine-washable fabrics that have been affected by mould can often be done with a few simple mould removal steps. Follow these guidelines: 

  • Isolate the Fabric: Remove the mould-infested fabric from other laundry to prevent the spread of spores. 
  • Pre-Treatment: Brush off excess mould outdoors and apply a mixture of vinegar and water to the affected areas. 
  • Wash Cycle: Place the fabric in the washing machine and add detergent. Use the hottest water temperature recommended for the fabric. 
  • Drying: After the wash cycle, inspect for any remaining mould stains. Air-dry the fabric in sunlight, as sunlight helps kill mould spores. 

Cleaning Mould from Delicate Fabrics and Upholstery 

Delicate fabrics and upholstery require gentle cleaning and mould removal methods to avoid damage. Here’s how to clean mould from such materials: 

  • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove loose mould spores and debris from the fabric surface. 
  • Dry Cleaning: Consult a professional dry cleaner experienced in handling mould-infested materials. 
  • Steam Cleaning: Use a portable steam cleaner or hire professional mould removal cleaners to steam clean the fabric. Steam helps kill mould spores while being gentle on delicate materials. 

Using Natural Remedies to Treat Mould on Fabrics 

If you prefer natural alternatives, several household items can help eliminate mould from fabrics. Here are some effective natural mould removal remedies: 

  • White Vinegar: Dilute vinegar with water and spray it onto mouldy areas. Let it sit for a few hours before washing or cleaning. 
  • Baking Soda: Create a paste with baking soda and water, apply it to the mould-infested fabric, and scrub gently. Rinse thoroughly. 
  • Tea Tree Oil: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to the fabric. Leave it for a few hours before washing. 

Preventing Mould Growth on Fabrics and Upholstery 

Taking preventive measures can help avoid future mould problems. Here are some tips to prevent mould growth and the need for mould removal on fabrics and upholstery: 

  • Control Moisture: Keep humidity levels in check, fix leaks promptly, and improve ventilation in damp areas. 
  • Proper Storage: Store fabrics and upholstery in dry, well-ventilated areas, and avoid packing them tightly. 
  • Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean and vacuum fabrics and upholstery to remove dust and prevent the accumulation of moisture. 
  • Sunlight Exposure: Allow fabrics to receive sunlight periodically as it helps inhibit mould growth. 
  • Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers: Use air purifiers and dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture in the air and maintain optimal humidity levels. 

Mould on leather bags

FAQs about Cleaning Mould-Infested Fabrics and Upholstery 

Can I use bleach to clean mould-infested fabrics?  

While bleach can effectively kill mould, it may not be suitable for all types of fabrics. It’s best to consult the fabric’s care instructions and test a small, inconspicuous area before using bleach. 

Are there any natural alternatives to bleach for mould removal on fabrics?  

Yes, white vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil are natural alternatives that can effectively eliminate mould from fabrics without the harshness of bleach. 

Can severely mould-infested fabrics and upholstery be saved?  

In severe cases, heavily mould-infested fabrics may be difficult to salvage. It’s important to assess the extent of the damage and consult mould removal professionals for guidance. 

Can I wash mould-infested fabrics with other laundry?  

It’s best to isolate mould-infested fabrics from other laundry to prevent the spread of mould spores. Wash them separately to avoid cross-contamination. 

How often should I clean fabrics and upholstery to prevent mould growth?  

Regular cleaning, such as vacuuming and dusting, should be done at least once a week. Additionally, prompt cleaning and drying of any spills or moisture can help prevent mould growth. 

Is it possible to completely remove mould stains from fabrics?  

While mould stains can be challenging to remove completely, diligent cleaning methods, including natural remedies or professional mould removal services, can significantly reduce their appearance. 

Cleaning mould-infested fabrics and upholstery requires careful attention and proper techniques to ensure effective mould removal results. By following the guidelines and safety precautions outlined in this guide, you can successfully remove mould, restore the cleanliness of your materials, and create a healthier living environment. Remember to identify the type of fabric, choose the appropriate cleaning method, and take preventive measures to avoid future mould growth. With proper care, your fabrics and upholstery can stay fresh, clean, and mould-free. 

Why Choose AllAces? 

At AllAces Cleaning & Restoration, we conduct all of our mould removal and remediation services in accordance with the ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard for Professional Mould Remediation. You can effectively safeguard the wellbeing of your family and/or employees by allowing our qualified technicians to properly treat the mould in your home or building. Our technicians are experts in the field, with training from both the IICRC and Australian College of Environmental Studies. We can ensure the best results by providing the correct equipment, handled by professionals, throughout a complete, comprehensive remediation strategy to provide the most effective mould removal solution. 

Contact the team today at 1800 00 10 10! 


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