Curtains are a great aesthetic addition to homes, offices and other commercial premises. However, for some reason, the curtains are always neglected until their condition becomes too obvious, is when people think of cleaning them. Curtains often look lovely at first when you set them up, but you don’t notice how much mold and dust has accumulated until they start to discolor. It is at this point that most homeowners are faced with a choice of either cleaning or replacing their curtains.
Why do the curtains get moldy?
Usually, the curtains get dirty, moldy and dusty for a good reason. They act as a barrier between the external environment and the interior of our buildings. It is common practice to open the windows during the day. The curtains absorb dirt and dust from the air flowing into the interior. The curtains also get dirty when other openings such as vents allow dust to flow into the house. If you have ceiling fans, then your curtains will obviously get dusty and dirty from their daily cooling operations. Similarly, the activity of vacuuming triggers the dust to float in the air and in the process, some will settle on your curtains.
Mold grows as a result of the accumulation of moisture. Moisture can get into your home through various avenues such as broken pipes, flood water or a leaky roof. What you need to know is that once moisture is present in your home, mold grows quickly. Further, it grows on any surface that is damp including the floor, walls, and the curtains. The floor and the walls can be cleaned relatively easily. However, you will need to put in more effort and resources for the curtain.
Singapore’s climate is relatively warm and humid. So, if your interior is closed and cool, then, chances are that moist air will get in and condense creating a pool of moisture in your house. You also need to be aware that moisture builds up as a result of people overcrowding in rooms and drying clothes indoors. The presence of appliances such as washing machines, stoves, and dishwashers require proper exhaust systems that eliminate moisture.
Mold needs some organic matter to thrive. The curtains’ surface and a moist environment provide just that. If you live under these conditions, you might want to take a second look at your curtain.
Take a look at some ways to deal with mold stains on your curtain:
Using the washing machine
The use of the washing machine as a tool for stain removal totally depends on the material of your curtains. Once the mold has grown on the curtains, it will affect the fabric and perhaps, loosens it a bit. If this is the case, you are advised to use the delicate cycle of the washing machine. Alternatively, you could use a cold wash but with a slower spin. Whereas your standard detergent is fine to use, you can look for detergents that are mold stain removers. They are available at your local store and are much more efficient.
Some curtains may shrink due to the material that they are made of. If this is the case, do not use the washing machine. Instead, just hand-wash them. Curtains made of heavy materials retain water and you are advised against using the machine to clean them. Additionally, curtains that are made of cotton need particular attention during cleaning. Cotton shrinks when washed with hot water. So, be sure to read the label on the curtains before opting to launder them.
Hands wash the curtains
Hand washing the curtains is a safer option for the curtains but not for you. Cleaning them by hand means that there are high chances of the mold getting into contact with sensitive body parts such as your eyes, nose and into the respiratory system. Mold causes irritation, asthma among many other breathing problems. Get gloves and the right detergent to use for mold removal. You can soak the curtains for 20 minutes with the mold removal detergent and proceed to wash them as you normally would.
Be sure to follow the instructions shown on these detergents so that you get the most out of the cleaning exercise. Hand washing curtains is a recommended option if your curtains are made of delicate fabric. The disadvantage is that curtains are heavy, and you may need more labor to clean and dry them properly.
Steam cleaning curtains
Steam cleaning is an excellent way to clean dust, mold, and other dirt. In the case of mold, steam cleaning is only applicable to the very mild mold growth at its early stages. It is convenient, but only if you suspect that your curtains may be under a mold infestation. Steam cleaning is not an applicable method for dealing with a severe mold growth. While steam cleaning your curtains, work your way from the top going downwards. If you discover that the material is getting wet, increase the distance between the curtain and the cleaning equipment by holding it a distance farther away.
Heavy curtains that are particularly difficult to take down are the ones suitable for steam cleaning. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your curtains with the machine. Steam is hotter than boiled water. So, you need to take extra caution while using the machine to avoid burns.
Seek professional help
There are some curtain cleaning services out there that can get the job done for you. These are professionals who are knowledgeable in ways and means of dealing with the mold stains. They are a preferred option mainly because they have the equipment and manpower to deal with heavy materials such as curtains. Most of them charge a small fee but the service is often worth every penny as they leave your curtain clean and sparkling. If you are a busy person with a tight work schedule, then you can call them so that they pick and drop the curtains at a time of your convenience.
As a precaution, if you are asthmatic, you are advised against getting close to the molds as they will worsen your condition. Extensive growth of molds beyond a meter square is a health hazard, and you should call in the experts. Finally, ventilate your house and keep it dry so that mold does not grow. Prevention is key when it comes to mold control. Get an exhaust fan for rooms that have moisture buildups such as the kitchen and the bathrooms.