Expert QA

Mildew and mold

Dear Wendyl, Help! Last winter my net curtains became full of mildew all along the bottom hems, even though the windows were dried with a cloth and opened first thing in the morning. Try as I might, I am not making any progress. Is it also possible to treat them before winter damp sets in to keep mildew away? Your help would be appreciated,Noeline White, Ngongotaha

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oildew and mould can be a problem during warm humid weather, which is common in the part of Auckland where I live.  Fortunately, there are three very good essential oils for preventing the growth of fungal spores – these oils  are lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus. Wipe oil on neat, or dilute 20 drops in 500ml of water and spray it on surfaces or curtains. To get rid of mould and mildew in the bathroom I use baking soda mixed to a paste with a little bit of detergent – scrub, scrub, scrub, then wipe off with a rag dipped in vinegar.

Dear Noeline, You can use the spray recipe above for your curtains (your room will smell lovely) and wipe some oil neat around the window frames, etc. To get rid of mildew stains, it’s hard to go past good old bleach, although it’s not very environmentally friendly. I’ve also had some success (on just slightly mildewed calico) with fresh lemon juice, then rub with salt and hang in direct sunlight on a really sunny day so they get a good bleaching all day.Wendyl

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