It’s easy to forget about bean bag cleaning and maintenance when you’re enjoying a relaxing, laid-back summer. Unfortunately, neglect has consequences. If you assume your outdoor bean bags are bulletproof and let them sit out in the rain, wind and sun for months on end, you might get a surprise visit from an ugly, smelly guest. So it’s important you know how to remove mould from fabric.
As with any outdoor furniture, long-term exposure to moisture can encourage mould and mildew growth.
Mould: It’s Not a Pretty Sight
Mould is easy to recognise; you’ll notice a spotty black or green discolouration and a musty, decidedly nasty smell. It can completely ruin the experience of sitting in your beautiful bean bag and embarrass you in front of your friends.
Once mould or mildew infiltrates the fabric cover of our outdoor bean bags, it can be difficult to remove, but don’t even think about leaving it there. If you don’t remove mould, it can cause serious problems.
Mould doesn’t just look and smell bad; it can also trigger symptoms in allergy and asthma sufferers. Some types of mould are toxic. Fortunately, hope is not lost; there are ways to conquer mould. Here are a few mould removal tips for managing growth on our outdoor bean bags.
Avoid the Strong Stuff
If you need to remove mould from a hard surface like a countertop, chlorine bleach is your best friend. Unfortunately, it is not a real solution for outdoor furniture with fabric covers. It will instantly fade the colour of your bean bag, and it may damage or weaken the fabric.
The fumes released by chlorine bleach are dangerous, and residual bleach left on the fabric could cause skin irritation. Do not use chlorine bleach or any product containing it on your bean bag. Avoid other types of spray-and-wipe chemical mould removal products that warn against colour fading or skin irritation. A safer alternative is washing your cover in water with oxygenated bleach.
You can remove the outer cover of your bean bag to wash it by releasing the child-proof zipper. Use hot water and mild detergent. Add oxygenated bleach according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The inner liner is also washable, however, if mould has infiltrated your bean bag’s inner liner, you may need to replace the entire contents.
Mother Nature to the Rescue
If you are not a fan of chemicals, there are several natural remedies that can effectively kill mould and mildew.
- Vinegar is a weak acid that kills 82 per cent of mould species. It is non-toxic, and there are no harmful fumes. Buy distilled white vinegar and spray it full-strength onto mouldy areas. After leaving it for an hour, wipe the area with plain water, and allow the surface to dry. Don’t worry; the vinegar smell will go away in a few hours.
- Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca alternifoliate, is a potent substance that kills fungus and bacteria. Make a solution containing one teaspoon of tea tree oil to every cup of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray directly onto the mould; there is no need to rinse. The smell may linger for a few days, but many people consider the fragrance pleasant.
- If you need an odourless solution to remove mould from fabric, try grapefruit seed extract. Its citric acid content is lethal to mould. Make a spray solution using 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract for every cup of water. Shake well before spraying, and apply directly to mouldy areas. Rinsing is not necessary; the residual extract will continue to treat mould and help prevent its return.
Prevention Is the Best Cure
It only takes a few minutes of your time to protect the most beautiful outdoor furniture in your yard, and treating your bean bag with care is much easier to accomplish than mould removal. Make the commitment to enjoy fluffy, colourful mould-free comfort by storing your bean bags in a dry location when not in use.
If they do get wet, immediately place them in the sunshine and open air until all water evaporates. Never store them in an enclosed area while still wet. Pool bean bags should be drained thoroughly after each use. If you don’t have a dry outdoor storage area like a garage or shed, bring your bean bags indoors. They look great in casual settings, and they’ll be ready for outdoor activities as soon as weather permits.