Get Rid of Mold & Mildew From Pillows
By Ashley Garay / Home Guides
Pillows left in storage or in damp environments for long periods may end up with ugly and potentially harmful mold and mildew spots that you need to remove before you can use the pillow again. Prevent mold and mildew on pillows by drying completely before using and airing them out in humid environments. Treat mold and mildew stains that have already occurred with the gentler, more natural methods for lighter stains and the stronger solutions for darker, more persistent stains.
Sun and fresh air naturally kill mildew and mold spores that build up in dark, damp environments. Take affected pillows outside and into direct sunlight until they are completely dry. Brush off dried mildew with a stiff bristled brush before continuing to treat fabric. Prevent mold growth and mildew stains by airing pillows in sunlight frequently, and place pillows that you have treated with other stronger solutions in the sun to completely dry and remove stains.
Vinegar safely and naturally kills mold spores and helps remove black mildew stains on pillows. Use plain vinegar for tough stains or dilute with half water before applying to mildew stains. Scrub gently with a damp sponge, adding enough baking soda to make a paste for difficult stains. Wash the pillows in the washing machine according to label instructions and then dry completely, or simply rinse with fresh water and dry outside. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries.
Combine enough lemon juice and sea or table salt to make a paste and use a damp sponge to apply to the mildew stains on your pillow to make a natural and safe mildew remover. Scrub gently with the sponge, or simply dip the cut side of a lemon directly into salt and use as a scrubber on the pillow. Repeat until the stain is no longer visible, and then wash the pillow according to label instructions and dry completely.
BRIGHTENING WITH BORAX
Make a solution of 2 cups of very hot water and 1/2 cup of borax, a natural laundry booster and mold killer. Dampen a sponge in the mixture and saturate the stained area. Allow to sit for several hours, and then launder according to label instructions once the stain has disappeared. Repeat before drying if the stain persists. Use gloves when handling borax and keep away from children and pets.
DEEP CLEANING BLEACH
Wash pillows in the washing machine on the hottest cycle recommended on the pillow label along with a 1/2 cup of bleach to kill mold and remove mildew stains. Soak tough stains with full strength laundry bleach applied directly to the stain with a damp cloth, allowing it to soak for 30 minutes before washing in the machine. If pillows cannot be machine washed, apply bleach to the stain and allow it to sit for a half-hour. Then, rinse with a cloth dampened with soapy water, dabbing until the bleach is removed, and then rinse with plain water. Let dry completely. Work in a well-ventilated area and use gloves when handling bleach, and keep it away from children and pets.