Most mold removal instructions are about how to deal with mold that has bloomed on walls or on furniture in your home. In these situations you can usually call on companies like PuroClean (they do mold removal in New Jersey) to help deal with the mess.
Unfortunately, there are other ways mold can become a problem, such as on your drapes or curtains. Dampness around windows does create an ideal environment for mold growth, and finding smudges of mildew or mold on curtains is fairly common. How do you get them clean?
The obvious answer is to just wash them, but that may not be the easiest suggestion to follow. Curtains and drapes come in so many fabrics that “washing” can be a complicated situation.
For inexpensive curtains that can be machine washed, you have the least to worry about. Use a standard stain removal product on the moldy areas, let that sit for the required amount of time and then wash your curtains as usual. The stain product is a harsher cleanser than the usual laundry soap, and that’s necessary to really kill the mold. Don’t just toss the curtains in the wash because the hot water alone won’t be enough to stop the mold. Either dry in a machine or hang dry, depending on the care instructions on the curtains.
For more delicate materials, you should consider getting them dry cleaned instead. The chemicals used in dry cleaning should be strong enough to deal with any mold but you could consult with the technician to see if they have any suggestions.
If you have curtains that shouldn’t be dry cleaned either, your last solution is to make up a dilute mix of water and bleach (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) and gently try to blot out the mold. You do run the risk of bleaching the fabric though.
If the moldy spots return, give your cleaning plan another go. If the mold continues to return, you can either get a professional to take a look or simply accept that the curtains need to be disposed of. Moldy fabric, even if you can’t see it, will spread spores and increase the likelihood that you’ll start to find more patches of it around your house.
What About Blinds?
Blinds are also susceptible to mold problems, though their smooth texture makes them very easy to clean compared to fabric curtains. Use the same bleach mixture and scrub down the blinds with a brush or rough cloth.
Once you’ve gotten your curtains cleaned-up, you might want to think about some mold prevention. Ensure your windows are properly sealed with good weather-stripped around the edges. Moisture can and will seep in through any crack.
Make sure you close up the windows whenever it rains. Even a slight drizzle outside can seriously damped your curtains. If you really prefer to leave the window open in a little rain, tie the curtains back.
Rooms that are already otherwise damp could be helped by a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture. Makes the room more comfortable and reduces mold problems dramatically.