Finding mold on one of your furniture pieces can induce a drop in your stomach and almost instant regret that you did not catch it sooner. While you may be thinking this is the end of THAT piece, don’t e so sure. Many pieces of furniture, both upholstered and wooden, can be salvaged with the appropriate steps. To help guide our readers through this process, we have provided the following tips.
1. Move Outdoors
Since you are cleaning potentially harmful spores off of your furniture, you will not want to be scrubbing them off in to your own home. The best first step is to move any and all furniture you are cleaning outdoors, to an area that can be easily hosed off or cleaned. If you are cleaning in the grass, put down a tarp to protect your lawn from the cleaning chemicals. If the weather is humid or wet, you will need to find a safe place indoors instead. Just be sure the area you choose is easily cleanable and well ventilated.
2. Analyze the Damage
Before you start the cleaning, make sure the furniture can be saved. The first rule is that the damage must be recent. If the water and mold has been sitting on the furniture for weeks or months, the hazards of keeping the furniture increase. You may also want to open a part of the damaged furniture at the seam to see if the mold goes beneath the outer upholstery. If the damage has spread to the stuffing, it will need to be thoroughly scrubbed and completely re-stuffed. If your furniture is made of wood, damage should be apparent and easy to detect. Any wood rotting away is a definite sign to throw that piece out.
3. Protect Yourself
Whenever dealing with water or flood damage of any kind, you should always be wearing protective gear. For this chore, you should have a minimum of long gloves, a mask, and long-sleeved clothes that can be washed in heat. Never take risks when it comes to cleaning or touching mold.
4. Brush Away Debris
If there is visible mold caked on to the furniture, you will need to brush off as much as you can first. Use a hard, bristly brush for the task which can be sterilized or thrown out after the task. Brush away the mold, and rinse the brush in a bucket of hot water and a powerful cleaning agent between strokes (note: test all cleaning agents on your furniture surface before using, to reduce the risk of bleach spots). For wooden pieces, a brush is probably not necessary. Use a thick rag or soft scrubber to buff away the mold instead.
5. Clean Off Remainder
After brushing away any and all mold debris, you will want to disinfect the area in case of the possibility of spores’ unseen. As stated before, before to test any cleaners on your surface before using for the possibility of discoloration or distortion. Concentrated bleach mixed with water is used often in mold cleaning, but most fabrics will be discolored by it. Finding color-safe bleach is a good replacement, but they also make cleaners made especially for upholstery cleaning, which would also work. Wooden pieces can be sanitized with a clean rag and alcohol. Discoloration may be hard to avoid, but spots affected can always be sanded and re-stained.
6. Rinse, Dry
After letting scrubbing and rinsing the cleaner, you will want to let the newly clean furniture dry in the sun. If the weather is not holding up, put the furniture in a dry place with as many fans as you can round up to dry efficiently.