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mildew stain removal from furniture


Micha's Avatar
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02-29-08, 04:17 PM   #1  
mildew stain removal from furniture

Hi everyone! I got a really nice couch and loveseat at a real steal on craigslist and the only problem is there are tiny little mildew spots on the arm where the previous owner had laid her wet clothing to dry !

There are also a couple small areas where a child had apparently decided it was a great place to color! I'm not sure if this is crayon or marker. Neither of these things are terribly bothersome as they are in places that can be covered with pillows and are not necessarily noticeable unless you're looking for them. However, I would really like to clean them up and plan to go down and rent an upholstery shampooer. Can anyone tell me whether or not the shampooer will get either of these stains out -- or suggest an alternative cleaning method. The fabric is polyester - kind of like silky feel.

Thanks for your help!

 
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Shadeladie's Avatar
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02-29-08, 05:16 PM   #2  
The problem with the mildew is that it probably goes down deeper and the only way to really get rid of it is to have it reupolstered. As far as I know, bleach is the only thing that really kills the mildew but of course, that will also bleach the fabric. You could try spraying some Lysol, but not sure how well it works on fabric. To get rid of the black spots you may have to use something abrasive, like maybe a very fine sandpaper.

As for the crayon (if it's a crayon), the following is from the Crayola website:

How to remove Crayons (Regular) from carpet and upholstery:

Cleaning Materials
Sponge
Paper towels
Dull knife or metal spoon
WD-40® (car part lubricant)
Liquid dishwashing detergent
Small stiff bristle brush
Amodex® ink & stain remover

Stain Removal Tips
Scrape excess crayon off with a dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Spray with WD-40 and let stand a few minutes. With a small, stiff bristle brush work crayon stain and wipe with paper towels. Respray with WD-40 and apply liquid dishwashing detergent on the sprayed area; work in with the brush and wipe stain away with a damp sponge. If stain remains, repeat the procedure. For another method, use any brand upholstery cleaner as directed on the container.

(Optional)-Amodex® ink & stain remover

PROCEDURE: Use according to directions on container.


Not sure if an upholstery cleaner would work or not.


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twelvepole's Avatar
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02-29-08, 06:42 PM   #3  
First of all it is important to determine type of fabric and if it is possible to clean with water-based cleaning methods. Most upholstered pieces have a cleaning label somewhere beneath the cushions. The label indicates if water/water-based cleaners, dry cleaning, or either method, or vacuum only.

Crayon can be cleaned with a solvent like rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, or dry cleaning fluid, blotting outside toward middle of stain to prevent spreading, using white rag. Solvent is applied to the rag before blotting.

Mold/mildew stains are next to impossible to remove. At best they can be lightened. An enzyme digester cleaner like a pet mess cleaner from the pet store, Out, Nature's Miracle, OdoBan, or other can be applied. The trick to using enzyme cleaners is to give them time to digest the stain. Do not over saturate the area, just keep it damp with cleaner. As indicated mold/mildew may extend within the padding beneath the fabric.

Because the furniture was purchased used, it would be best that a professional upholstery cleaner be called. They have the equipment to clean and disinfect and the proper cleaners for stain removal.

 
Micha's Avatar
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03-01-08, 06:06 AM   #4  
Thanks Twelvepole - I'd thought about calling a pro; maybe that's the best idea.

 
Youseff's Avatar
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03-24-08, 08:47 PM   #5  
Let me give you a tip on getting rid of mildew stains:

Outdoor wooden furniture should be sealed and varnished. Unfinished wood should be coated with a paste wax. Except for teak and cedar furniture, all wood and wicker pieces should be brought inside for the winter, umbrellas, too, preferably. Cloth cushions can be sprayed with a mixture of warm water, detergent, and borax. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blast it off with a pressure hose. For stains on canvas, it’s the same, except use naphthalene soap instead of detergent and borax. These methods may not remove all the mildew stains, but it’s about the best you can do.

I hope this helps!

 
Micha's Avatar
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03-25-08, 07:06 AM   #6  
I appreciate your response and this is good to know, but the mildew stains I have are on the arm of a couch -- not sure a pressure hose would be a good idea on a couch.

 
stickshift's Avatar
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03-25-08, 06:22 PM   #7  
Mildew's tough. I'd hire a pro and be prepared for it to still be there when the pro's done. Today's crayons are pretty easy to remove and Shadeladie's given you plenty for that.

 
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03-25-08, 10:35 PM   #8  
Yeah i would stay away from using high pressure on uph....55 psi is about all you need for it....After seeing what you have tried and it hasnt come out...could this be dye bleed or migration...you said the clothes were sit there wet....this could of caused the dyes in the clothes or if it is a patterned love seat to migrate... at this point in the game i would say its there to stay

 
Micha's Avatar
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03-26-08, 06:22 AM   #9  
I'd say your right!! As I said, it's not really all that bad and can be covered with pillows... til I can afford to reupholster, the pillows will just have to do! Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

 
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03-26-08, 07:03 AM   #10  
your welcome stop by anytime

 
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