Mould growing on curtains is a common problem in damp homes. We chat to curtain specialists Harvey Furnishings about how to prevent mould growing in the first place and how to protect and clean soft furnishings
How to prevent mouldy curtains
Why does mould appear in the first place?
Mould grows in damp areas where there is a food source such as dust, dirt or organic material. That’s why single glazed or drafty windows, where condensation and dust are common, are often a problem area.
What are some tips for preventing mould growth?
Clean soft furnishings regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves a regular light vacuum, with less frequent dry cleaning or laundering. Regularly clean windows and wipe down window surrounds and venetian blinds or shutters with a mild detergent in warm water.
Does the material of the curtains affect how much mould will grow?
Yes, consider selecting window coverings manufactured from man-made materials, particularly in damp areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and on south-facing windows. It’s best to use a wipe-able, water-resistant blind or shutter in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Even man-made fabrics don’t cope well in those environments.
How do I remove the mould?
Once mould develops it’s best to nip it in the bud as early as possible with a thorough clean. Some curtains can be hand washed (check the manufacturer’s instructions) but, for best results, we recommend taking them to a specialist dry cleaner.
In Auckland we recommend Zenith Curtain Cleaning Services. If using any commercial (or even homemade natural) mould removers, be very careful to test a patch on the back of the curtain first.
Since moisture is the culprit, how can we minimise it in our homes?
- Use lids on pots and pans when cooking.
- Never hang clothes to dry inside and vent your clothes drier to the outside.
- Keep your roof, cladding and guttering in good repair.
- Check that stormwater is being discharged to an appropriate outlet.
- Check plumbing for leaks.
- Replace any unflued gas heaters with flued gas or electric heaters.
- Avoid bringing wet clothes or shoes into your home.
- Open north facing doors and windows when you are home during the day, even during the colder months.
- Use exhaust fans in areas where water vapour is created (eg: the kitchen and bathroom).
How do I minimise condensation on windows?
- Insulate ceilings, floors and, where possible, walls.
- Improve the insulative properties of your windows by closing your curtains/blinds as soon as the sun goes down each day.
- Replace any thin or unlined window coverings with quality thermal or lined curtains or roman blinds.
- Fit your curtains or blinds as close to the wall as possible to trap air against the window and take your curtains all the way to the floor to prevent air circulating out from under the curtain
- If you are planning any home renovations, consider upgrading joinery to double glazing or installing a retrofitted secondary glazing.
Tips and tricks by: the experts at Harvey Furnishings.