Mildew is a black or white living organism produced by mold that can be found on several kinds of surfaces. Mildew can attach itself to anything from which it can derive enough food. For example, it can attach itself to the cellulose in cloth materials such as rayon, cotton, linen, etc. and also fibers like wool, silk, etc. The mildew feeds on the cellulose, thereby debilitating the fabric. Mildew actually comes from mold, which is a simple plant belonging to the fungi group. These molds are generally present in the air and are commonly observed in places with humid summer weather. Cooped houses also form a favorable environment for mold growth, as these fungi flourish in moist, slightly warm, poorly-lit, poorly-ventilated and gloomy conditions.
It's not surprising to find green mold proliferating on shoes in the closet or in the basements of such houses. Moreover, molds can also grow on curtains and other materials in the house if the construction material of the house has moisture in it. Mildew decolorizes the fabric, conducing to a fusty smell, and at times even eat their way into the fabric. To prevent the fabrics in the house from falling to bits (you don't want powdered draperies), it is important to remove mildew stain when you notice them. Moreover, since mildew can be deleterious to us all, it should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Mildew Stain Removal with Detergent
When you first observe mildew stains, work as quickly as possible. The more time you waste, the more the mildew will damage the cloth. To get rid of the nuisance stain, first take the stained cloth outdoors and brush it well. Shake off the mildew particles. This is done in order to stop further spread of mildew within the house. Apply heavy-duty liquid detergent onto the stain and allow it to deal with the stain for the next 15 minutes. Next wash the cloth in hot water. Check the clothing's label to find out the limit of hottest water suitable for the respective material. If the clothing needs to be dry cleaned, then just brush off the mildew outside and take it to the dry cleaners. Let them know the clothing has mildew or else you will be spreading the fungus.
Mildew Stain Removal with Bleach
Common bleach is another remedy for mildew stain removal from fabric. Bleach being a sanitizer destroys the mildew when brought in contact with it. Brush the affected area outdoors and treat it with bleach. Dilute one part of chlorine bleach with three parts of water and apply it to the affected area. After 15 minutes scrub the affected area gently with a soft brush and wash it with water. Bleach is effective, however, it's slightly on the aggressive side and can prove extremely caustic on textiles. Thus, for a more natural approach, apply a combination of salt and lemon juice onto the mildew affected area with a sponge. Dry the garment under the sun and wash.
Mildew Stain Removal with Tea Tree Oil
Though a tad on the expensive side, tea tree oil is a successful remedy for mildew stain removal from canvas, garments, moldy ceilings, etc. Take two teaspoons of tea tree oil and add it to 2 cups of water. Shake well in a spray bottle and spray it onto the affected areas. The smell of tea tree oil is strong, however, it will disperse in a few days. Another point to note is that you should not rinse the garment after spraying tea tree oil. Leave it to work its way! If you don't like the smell you can also use grapefruit seed extract instead of tea tree oil.
Vinegar spray can also be used to remove the mildew infestations. If your basement is plagued by musty odor, put some charcoal in a few bowls and place them around the basement. The charcoal will absorb the unpleasant odors. You could also use fans or dehumidifiers to circulate the air. Nevertheless, looking for an effective remedy for mildew stains from vinyl boat cushions can be quite difficult. The best part is to prevent stains and dealing with them as soon as they appear. What you could do is moisten the cushion surface and spray a mildew remover onto the stain and allow it to work for 10 minutes. Brush and flush with water.
Mildew stain removal is important because mildew can transform a beautifully done room or closet into an ugly setting. Moreover, it can also conduce to various reactions in people such as fatigue, depression, etc. To prevent these unpleasant situations from arising, it is best to undertake a few preventive measures. Use dehumidifiers in basements, fix leaks in roofs and plumbing as soon as possible. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!