Vicky asked, “Anyone ever found white mould on furniture? What did you use to clean it?”
Mold is a fungus that can grow virtually anywhere, including on your couch. It is important to remove it as soon as possible, as it can cause the fabric to deteriorate quickly (in addition to causing health problems). Follow the steps below to remove the mold. When using a cleaning solution, always test it on a hidden area first to check for any adverse reaction.¹
Removing the Mold
You Will Need:
- Long sleeves & pants
- Mask or respirator
- Vacuum with a filter
- Rubbing alcohol
- White vinegar
Steps to Remove the Mold:
- Put on long sleeves and pants, preferably ones that you wouldn’t mind discarding afterward.² Also wear gloves and goggles.³ Wear a mask to prevent inhaling the mold spores², or you can use a respirator, available at a hardware store, instead of a mask.³
- Take the furniture item outside and set it in direct sunlight. Sunlight will kill the mold and taking the item outside will also prevent the spread of mold within the house as you clean.⁴
- Use a broom to sweep any mold that is visible off of the fabric. Do not sweep any areas where you don’t see mold, as you can spread the mold spores to those areas.⁴
- If your vacuum has a filter, use the hose with a brush attachment to vacuum the upholstery. It is important that your vacuum has a filter, otherwise you can send mold spores back out into the air later as you clean. As soon as you finish, take the vacuum canister outside to empty it into a trash bag.⁴
- If there was a lot of mold on the item, mix a mild detergent or soap in water to make lots of suds. Use a cloth to wipe only the suds onto the upholstery and rub them into the fabric. Then, wipe the area with a clean damp cloth to rinse.³
- Let the item sit in the sun for several hours.
- If there is still any mold or a mold smell, spot treat the area with a solution of equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and water.³
- Instead of rubbing alcohol, you can use a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray the upholstery with the solution, then let it dry.
- Rinse the vacuum canister, hose brush attachment, and the broom with undiluted white vinegar. Also rinse the vacuum filter with vinegar, but be sure to rinse the vinegar off thoroughly afterward. Set the items in direct sunlight for a couple hours, rotating as needed.⁴
Additional Tips and Advice
- There are other natural antifungals, such as tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract, that you can use for cleaning as well.³
- To use tea tree oil, mix two teaspoons of the oil in two cups of water, then spray the mixture onto the area where the mold was located. Let the spray dry; no need to rinse.⁵
- To use grapefruit seed oil, mix 20 drops of the oil in 2 cups of water, then spray the mixture onto the area where the mold was located.⁵
- If your furniture is leather, use the guide How To Remove Mold and Mildew from Leather Furniture instead.
- Mold cannot grow without adequate moisture. Consider using a dehumidifier in the room near the moldy furniture to help prevent the mold from returning.
- The Spot and Stain Remover Handbook by Jean Cooper
- How To Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports
- Cleaning Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli
- Natural Green Home Cleaning For Beginners by R. Kishore