How to Remove Mold & Mildew From Cushions

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Cushions infested with mold and mildew look dirty and are unsanitary.
Cushions infested with mold and mildew look dirty and are unsanitary. (Image: flowers on the cushions image by RUZANNA ARUTYUNYAN from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

If your cushions have been in storage or are outdoor furniture cushions, they may develop mold and mildew if they've been exposed to warmth and moisture. Left unattended, mold and mildew on cushions can eat away at the material, as well as create a health hazard. Supplies found in most homes can be used to remove mold and mildew from your cushions, saving you money that would otherwise be spent on expensive, chemical-based products.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Wet vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxygen bleach

Combine 1/2 cup borax and 2 cups of hot water in a bucket. Stir the mixture well with your gloved hand.

Dip a clean sponge into the borax solution. Rub the borax into the areas of your cushion that have mold or mildew on them. Allow the borax solution to soak into the cushions for a few hours until the mold and mildew stains disappear.

The gentle effectiveness of a sponge makes it the perfect cleaning tool for cushions.
The gentle effectiveness of a sponge makes it the perfect cleaning tool for cushions. (Image: sponge for cleaning image by Serghei Velusceac from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Rinse a clean cloth in cold water, then squeeze out the excess water. Rinse your cushions by scrubbing them with the damp cloth. Continually rinse the cushions in cold water so you're not rubbing mold, mildew and borax solution back into the cushions.

Remove excess moisture from non-washable cushions with a wet vacuum. Spray the cushions with undiluted white vinegar to prevent mold and mildew from returning. Allow the vinegar to dry on the cushions; the smell will dissipate when the vinegar dries.

Place washable cushions into the washing machine with the hottest water allowed for the fabric. Wash the cushions with laundry detergent and oxygen bleach, which is safe for all fabrics, to kill any tiny traces of mold or mildew spores.

Set your cushions outside in the sun or by an open window to dry.

Sunlight is nature's best mold and mildew cleaner.
Sunlight is nature's best mold and mildew cleaner. (Image: Sun image by KPICKS from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Tips & Warnings

  • Store indoor cushions in an airtight container when you're not using them. Tip outdoor cushions on their sides, after the rain, so the water can drain off instead of sitting on the fabric.
  • Supervise children and pets when cleaning with borax.

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