How to Get Mold Out of Oilcloth

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Oilcloth picnic tablecloths are low-maintenance for the most part.
Oilcloth picnic tablecloths are low-maintenance for the most part. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Mold and mildew spores thrive on porous surfaces subject to hot, humid and moist conditions. Oilcloth is made with a vinyl surface and cotton backing. It's easily cleaned by wiping it off and is water-resistant. Oilcloth is often used to cover picnic tables at family gatherings or on camping trips. If your oilcloth is stored away for the season before it has the chance to dry, you're likely to find mold stains on the surface. You can get mold out of the oilcloth using supplies you may already have around the house.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons table salt
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Clean cloths
  • Drying rack

Spread the oilcloth out in a sunny location outdoors or near an open window. Allow the oilcloth vinyl and cotton to dry out completely to kill the mold spores.

Mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of table salt in a bowl. Stir the two ingredients with a spoon to create a paste.

Spread the lemon and table salt paste onto the mold stains on your oilcloth. Allow the paste to dry completely while the oilcloth remains in the sun. Brush the oilcloth with a scrub brush to remove the dried paste.

Pour 1 gallon of hot water into a bucket. Add 2 caps full of disinfectant cleaner.

Dampen a clean cloth with the disinfectant cleaning solution. Sponge the vinyl side of the oilcloth to remove stains left by the mold. Rinse the vinyl with a damp cloth.

Dry the surface with another cloth. Lay the oilcloth over a drying rack and allow it to air dry completely. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the cotton side of the oilcloth.

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