Mildew, the first stage of mold, can be a problem when temperatures and humidity levels rise. Mildew and mold grow outdoors in a variety of shaded areas, such as the curtains of a gazebo. The folds of the curtains or areas that are shaded provide an ideal area for mildew growth. Use a safe method to kill the mildew using a solution made from a product found in many households.
Things You'll Need
- Safety glasses
- Face mask
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda
- Measuring spoon
- Soft bristle brush
Measure 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda into the spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water, replace its top and shake until the baking soda and water are mixed well.
Put on a pair of gloves and safety glasses for personal protection, as well as a long-sleeve shirt and pants. Use a face mask to help reduce the possibility of breathing in the spray or stray mold spores. Spray the baking soda mixture on the gazebo curtains at a time when the wind is calm to prevent spray drift. Spray the solution until areas of mildew and mold are soaked.
Scrub the sprayed areas with a sponge. Spray the sponge with the mixture and then scrub again, especially when dealing with heavily mildewed areas.
Rinse the mixture from the curtains with water. Attempt to remove as much of the mixture and loosened mildew or mold as possible. Spray the curtains again with the baking soda mixture, and leave to dry, which will help kill any remaining mildew and mold and help prevent future growth.
Tips & Warnings
- Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 quart of water when dealing with powdery mildew. Spray the curtains a couple times a week to keep them clean. The cider vinegar's high acidity level kills the mildew.
- Add 1 part vinegar to 4 parts baking soda to create a paste or scrub to use on stubborn mold and mildew.
- Alternate cleanings between baking soda and vinegar to keep different molds and mildews at bay.
- FEMA recommends using a bleach solution to remove mold and mildew. If the curtains are white, spray with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. The bleach disinfects the cloth and maintains a mildew free area. The solution should be mild enough to not harm plants. If you are concerned, take the curtains down and wash with the solution in a tub or the washing machine.
- Use extreme caution when working around mildew and mold. Proper protective equipment such as gloves, a mask and safety glasses should be worn, since the process of cleaning stirs up the mold spores, which may result in breathing issues or skin irritation. Individuals highly susceptible to mold may experience flu-like symptoms if proper protection is not used.
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