Fabrics easily absorb moisture and are often made with a blend of organic materials, making it very easy for black mould to take hold. When you find black mould spot stains on your fabrics, don’t fret – you can save them.
Here’s our quick guide on what to do if you find black mould spots on fabric and how to remove them.
Black Mould on Fabric
Black mould is greenish-black in appearance, has airborne mycotoxin spores and is one of the most well-known mould types in Australian households. It is drawn to damp or moist surfaces or in areas that are inadequately ventilated and is usually paired with a musty odour. When black mould is found on fabrics it can also be associated with a ‘damp’ smell.
Fabrics easily absorb moisture in the air and are often made with an organic blend of materials, making it easy for black mould to begin to grow and spread. These chances are heightened if the fabrics are in areas with inadequate ventilation or enclosed spaces such as wardrobes, attics or basements. Other causes may include:
- Wet clothes left in the washing machine
- Fabrics left near water-damaged areas
- Dark, damp, or inadequately ventilated spaces or houses
- Living in high-humidity locations
If you find larger patches of mould on furniture fabrics or on multiple items of clothing and personal items, then it may be part of a larger issue such as water damage. In this case, because their spores can cause respiratory discomfort and serious health concerns, it is best to seek a professional mould removal service team.
How to Remove Black Mould From Fabric
Discovering black mould on fabric doesn’t mean the fabric is permanently damaged. Depending on how old the mould stains are, you can wash the fabric using a high-quality detergent and a mould stain remover. These may include:
Store-bought bleach is an effective mould-killing agent, however, it will fade coloured fabrics. You can pre-soak fabric in bleach or apply it directly onto the mould stain. Ensure that you wearing gloves and are in a ventilated area (or outside) to avoid inhaling strong bleach fumes.
Mix 1:4 ratio of 20% Hydrogen Peroxide to water to create a mixture. Only apply this to organic fabrics such as cotton or linen that don’t have easy-care instructions.
To remove black mould spots from the fabric, follow these steps:
- Check Washing Guidelines: Always check the washing guidelines of the fabric including the preferred washing cycle, recommended water temperature and drying method.
- Apply Mould Stain Remover: Use store-bought mould stain remover (like Borax, bleach/colour-safe bleach or hydrogen peroxide) and apply to the mould stain. For tougher fabrics like denim or cotton, you can try to scrub off the mould with a clean toothbrush and stain remover. Be careful not to damage the fabric in the process.
- Dry or Pre-Soak: Depending on the fabric type and colour, you can let the fabric dry in the sun. However, if the fabric is delicate or coloured then direct sunlight may fade or damage the fabric. Alternatively, you can also pre-soak the stained fabrics for up to one hour in your chosen mould stain remover.
- Wash at a hot temperature: Mould spores don’t stand a chance against hot water – the hotter the better. Be sure to follow any recommended washing instructions for a safe temperature to wash the fabric. Use a high-quality washing detergent or capsule to help remove the mould stain and alleviate the damp smell.
- Hang-dry: You may need to repeat the above for tough mould stains, once the stain has subsided, hang dry the fabric in the sun to eliminate any remaining stains.
How to Remove Black Mould Naturally
If you are after a more natural alternative to remove black mould from fabrics, you can also use the following stain remover remedies:
Mix a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar into a spray bottle, shake well and spray onto the mould affected area. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 – 15 minutes before washing. For a more concentrated solution, mix an 80/20 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray onto the mould affected area and allow to sit for 15 minutes before washing.
Borax and White Vinegar
Mix 2 tbsp of borax with ¼ cup white vinegar and two cups of hot water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray generously onto the stain and wipe clean. Repeat this process and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before wiping clean and dry the area.
As a water-soluble solution, you can also mix ½ cup of borax with hot water and add the solution directly into the washing machine before washing.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is a natural fungicide you can add to your laundry detergent when washing clothes.
How to Prevent Mould Growth in Fabric
Because mould is naturally drawn to moisture the best way to prevent mould growth on fabric is to avoid leaving damp fabric for more than a few hours. You can also do the following:
- Empty the washing machine immediately or soon after the cycle has finished
- Hang wet clothes out to dry outside after washing or in the dryer
- Avoid hanging clothes inside, however, if not possible, ensure they are in a well-ventilated area
- Hang up wet or sweaty clothing to dry before placing them into the laundry basket
- If spillages occur on fabric furniture, ensure that the area is washed and dried promptly
- Regularly wash towels, hand towels and bath mats
When to Call a Mould Removal Professional
Finding mould on your fabrics may be part of a larger issue, especially if mould stains are recurring. Permanently removing mould through DIY and home remedies is very difficult and time-consuming. To ensure effective results, be sure to reach out to a professional mould removal service
If you are afraid of mould becoming a problem in your home and are looking for a long-term solution, be sure to call upon a professional team to help you. The MouldMen team will inspect, treat and provide you with a Mould Management and Prevent Plan to ensure that your home is kept safe and free from black mould. Call us on 1300 60 59 60 to book your free inspection today.