Brandon asked: How do I clean mold/mildew from a painted fabric, such as a painting? I bought a hand painted fan in Singapore. It’s pretty big and very nice, but I had it in of my spaces that tends to be pretty cold, and we use for storage. Well, the ventilation went down one day, and it got pretty hot. About a month later, I went to go look at my fan, and it was moldy and very stinky. I can’t get another like it and don’t want to throw it away.
The Professional Method
Fabric fans are made from delicate materials that cannot typically withstand the cleaning required to remove mold and mildew. To preserve the fan, we recommend that you have it professionally cleaned. Contact your local cleaning companies to find someone who has the experience and expertise to properly and safely clean the fan. Improper cleaning could result in discoloration or damage to the material. Another contact would be cleaners who specialize in antiques. Although this piece may not be old, it does require the same special care to preserve the color and folds. Check the yellow pages for help finding a qualified person near you.
The At-Home Method
If you are willing to risk the piece to try and clean it yourself, here is method that should work in most cases.
You Will Need:
- Long-sleeve shirt
- A mask
- A paintbrush
Steps to Remove the Mold:
- Take the item outside. When cleaning mold, you always want to do so outside if possible to prevent spreading the spors throughout your house.
- Put on a long sleeve shirt and a face mask to prevent inhaling the mold.
- Use a paintbrush to gently brush the mold off the surface of the item.
- Set the item in direct sunlight for an hour. Do not leave it in the sun any longer than that or the paint may become damaged. The sun will kill any mold spores that remain on the surface to prevent it from returning.
- Leave your shirt in the sun for an hour as well to kill any mold spores that may have gotten on it.
Removing Mold Stains At Home
If the mold has stained the paint, removal of the stains may be nearly impossible, but there is something you can try. Keep in mind though that this is extremely risky, and simply painting over the stains may be a better option.
You Will Need:
- Cotton swabs
- Isopropyl alcohol
Steps to Remove the Stains:
- Dip a cotton swap in isopropyl alcohol, then blot it on a cloth to remove excess liquid.
- Carefully brush the swab over the stain, keeping each stroke only on one color of paint. The paint may dissolve slightly, so be sure to only work on one color of paint at a time to avoid smearing the colors together.