How to Kill Mildew on Non-Washable Fabric

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Things You'll Need

  • Old towel

  • Vacuum

  • Trash bag

  • Bucket

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol

  • Sponge

  • Clean cloths


Substitute denatured alcohol for the rubbing alcohol.

Spot-clean your nonwashable fabric with a weak detergent solution. Rinse with a damp cloth and air dry.

Too much moisture during cleaning can damage nonwashable fabric.

Mildew successfully develops and thrives on any porous or organic surface subjected to prolonged humidity or moisture. Although most textiles and clothing can be tossed in the washing machine to kill and remove mildew, this approach doesn't work on nonwashable fabrics. Nonwashable fabrics used in upholstery or clothing can be irreversibly damaged by machine washing and respond best to spot-cleaning. You can kill mildew on nonwashable fabric and get rid of the accompanying stains with careful techniques and common household supplies.

Step 1

Sunshine dries the fabric while drying up the mildew spores, too.

Position an old towel in a sunny location indoors or lay it on the ground outside. Place your nonwashable fabric item on the towel in direct sunlight. Leave the fabric in the sun for two to three hours to kill the mildew spores.

Step 2

Vacuum the surface of the nonwashable fabric to remove the dried up mildew spores. Throw out the vacuum bag afterward to prevent the transfer of mildew.

Step 3

Pour 1 cup of water into a bucket. Add 1 cup of rubbing alcohol.

Step 4

Moisten a sponge with the diluted rubbing alcohol. Dab at any remaining mildew stains on your nonwashable fabric. Rinse the sponge as needed before adding more rubbing alcohol solution and continuing to sponge the stains.

Step 5

Press a clean cloth into the nonwashable fabric to absorb the rubbing alcohol solution. Allow the fabric to air dry completely.


Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.