How To Clean Mould Off Blackout Curtains In Simple Steps

While mould can grow almost anywhere, in warm and moist places especially, the dark folds of your blackout curtains make the perfect home as well. This unsightly fungus contaminates clothes and upholstery, often leaving your home smelling awful too. Plus, mould spores can be seriously harmful to your health, resulting in issues like allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

A hand pushing blackout curtains away from the window

Do you already know how to get rid of mould from bathrooms, walls and clothes, but not curtains? It’s important to clean mould spores before they spread further. Fortunately, there are several cleaning methods you can use to get rid of the problem. This guide covers everything you need to know when it comes to your blackout curtains!

What causes mould growth in curtains?

Mould is airborne. This means it can easily enter your home through ventilation systems like air conditioners or open doors and windows. Additionally, mould can also be transported through clothing, bags, shoes, and pets. As long as the fungus has access to moisture and humidity, it can thrive almost anywhere.

Mould can grow in windows that have been damp for quite some time and have access to dust or dirt of any kind. The other factor that can also contribute to excessive mould is the lack of insulation in the exterior walls. It makes it easier for the curtains to absorb the humidity, which results in growing mould. 

Mildew and mould: know the difference

It is normal to get confused between the two since they are both a type of fungus and have similar features. Yet, few distinct features can help you figure out exactly what kind of fungus you are dealing with. 

Mould is round in shape and is often in black and green colour. In comparison, mildew is in a flat shape and could be found in yellow, white and grey colours

Each of them has a specific texture and growth pattern as well. Mildew is powdery and fuzzy that grows towards the edge in a splash-like pattern. However, mould is mucky and fluffy in texture, and it grows above surfaces in a circular pattern. 

If the curtains have black mould, it is essential that you begin with your cleaning solution and get rid of these mould spores. Keep in mind that the damage mildew causes is temporary and can be fixed with few home remedies, but mould can cause permanent damage to your household items if it is not treated at the right time.

 A girl finding mould in the corner of a wall

Not only to household items but your health as well. Smelling it can cause respiratory issues like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and it can turn into fever or intense headaches. Anyone who is susceptible to allergens might begin to show allergic reactions. It can either be asthma or a rash. Hence, it becomes essential to remove any stains or black mould that you find.

What are blackout curtains?

There are times when you want to have a good night sleep after pulling an all-nighter, but a ray of sunlight disrupts all your plans. To make sure you complete the REM sleep cycle, you need blackout curtains.

Blackout curtains are made of thickly woven cloth that is lined twice to prevent the sunlight from creeping into the room. They are best to use in home theatres, bedrooms, nurseries, or that dark room that you have set up for printing your photographs. 

Other than light, these curtains also block out harsh noises so that you can work or nap in peace. They are also energy efficient as they keep a room insulated. That’s why this type of curtain is trending right now!

The thick woven cloth in the curtain enhances your privacy as it reduces the chances of someone peaking in through the light curtains. It reduces the chances of the furniture fading in as it averts the harsh rays of sunlight. 

To make sure that you have the perfect fit of blackout curtains for your room, measure the windows before you make the purchase. If you are not well-versed with how to put up the curtains, consult with a professional for correct installation. In order to have maximum darkness, add a layered window. 

Blue and red blackout curtains

Removing mould off of blackout curtains

Unfortunately, your curtains have a possibility of becoming victims of dark mould. You do not need to take your curtains to the dry cleaners in order to get rid of it. You can use the proper cleaning methods at home to save your mouldy pieces. 

Step 1: Assemble the cleaning products

To begin the process of deep cleaning your blackout curtains, make sure you have the items you need beforehand. 

First of all, wear a dust mask, so you are protected against mould spores entering your lungs. Otherwise, you will have a higher chance of getting sick. 

Then begin your curtain cleaning procedure by clearing the affected areas with a firm bristle brush. You can attach a brush to a vacuum cleaner or do it yourself. Make sure you remove the majority of the mould ahead of the dry cleaning

You can pick up one of these cleaning products: soap, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, lemon juice, laundry detergent, borax, or bleach

Whichever solution you choose, verify that they do not have any ammonia, as mixing ammonia with bleach can create a harmful gas that can cause serious health issues. 

A woman vacuuming blackout curtains

Step 2: Create a cleanser

Rubbing off mould is not going to be enough. You will need extra armour to slay the mould and make yours look like new curtains. That extra armour is your trusting cleanser.

There are several ways you can use a cleanser. Either you can use a store-bought solution or create one right at home. 

To make a cleaning solution at home, you will need 3 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of borax and 1 cup of white vinegar. If you do not have white vinegar, you can use lemon juice as an alternative. 

If you choose to use rubbing alcohol, dilute it with water to save the curtain fabric from damage. Laundry detergent is best suited for shower curtains as it does not kill off the entire mould in blackout curtains. For shower curtains, it can be the best choice! 

Step 3: Scrub and clean

Once you have your cleanser ready, pick up a washcloth or put the cleanser in a spray bottle. Directly spray the mixture on the affected areas or rub it with the washcloth. Let the curtain lining soak for few minutes, and then scrub it with a firm brush. Ensure that you have scrubbed off the root of the mould before you move on to the next step.

Step 4: Wash it

You thought after rubbing and scrubbing, you have saved the curtains, and now you can get back to that show you put on hold. Well, there is another step left. 

After a thorough scrub, you will need the ultimate stain remover: The washing machine! Put your curtains in warm water and run the wash cycle a couple of times to assure that it does not have any stains anymore. Do not use cold water as it will harm your curtain fabric more. 

Once you drain the curtain of any excess soapy water, air dry them. Try to find a place with plenty of sunlight so it can wipe out moulds that may have survived. 

A woman cleaning with a rag her blackout curtains

By the end of this, you should be pretty confident in identifying mould and cleaning the curtains on your own. This way, you won’t need to buy new curtains every time yours are plagued with this enemy. The process might be tedious and time-taking, but it will save you the cost and trip to the dry cleaners. As it is mentioned above, mould can build up in any surroundings where they have excess humidity and moisture. It can even be clean water that can help grow mould on the curtains. In order to prevent it from happening again, you can invest in a dehumidifier that will reduce the chances of you having mouldy blackout curtains in the future.

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