If you own a caravan, you know how disheartening it can be to notice that your cushions are not only dirty but mouldy as well! You might wonder how this happened and what you can do to treat the issue as effectively and quickly as possible.
Chemicals like bleach can be damaging to foam, a material that’s commonly used to make caravan cushions, so it’s best to avoid them. Seeing as though you can’t use bleach (which is generally the go-to solution when it comes to mould removal), what are you supposed to use to remove mould from your canvas cushions?
Four ways to remove mould from caravan cushions include using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or tea tree oil. To prevent mould from forming, dry your clothing outside, promote air circulation, use exhaust fans, purchase a dehumidifier, clean regularly, and check for leaks.
Arguably the best way you can remove mould from caravan cushions is through the use of vinegar, which is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. White distilled vinegar with five-percent acidity is all you need to tackle mould in and around your caravan. However, if you don’t have any vinegar readily on hand, no need to worry – I’ve got you covered!
In the following sections, I’m going to explore four efficient ways in which you can effectively remove mould from your caravan cushions, how to prevent mould from forming in the first place, and why you need to eliminate it as soon as possible because of its possible health effects.
If neglected, mould can release toxins that are dangerous to your health, and it can also spread throughout your caravan by releasing spores that are distributed through water, air, and even your pets. Therefore, make sure to read until the end of this article to learn more about how to keep your caravan mould-free for years to come.
Seven Reasons You Have mould on Your Caravan Cushions
Understanding where the mould has come from can help you prevent it from forming again in the future. mould is attracted to humid, warm, and wet environments. This is why it’s a common occurrence in bathrooms. In caravans, you can find mould in several areas, such as the ceiling, bathroom walls, and around softer furnishings, such as your cushions.
Here are some common reasons why mould might be growing in your caravan cushions.
- Water or Liquid Spills: If you spilled water or another type of liquid in your caravan and it didn’t get mopped up, allowing it to soak into the caravan cushion, this could result in mould. Since mould needs water to grow and spread, it’s attracted to any moisture.
- Regular Condensation: If you shower with the door open, which causes hot steam to reach other areas of your caravan, this can cause condensation that encourages mould growth.
- Leaks: If you have a leaky ceiling in your caravan, water could get onto your cushions and cause mould to grow on them as well as on other surfaces.
- High Humidity Levels: If your caravan’s indoor air has a relative humidity that’s consistently higher than 70 percent, this will cause mould to grow..
- Lack of Air Circulation: mould thrives in conditions where the air doesn’t move and contains lots of moisture. If your caravan isn’t exposed to a lot of ventilation, this provides the perfect humid and moist environment for mould.
- Lack of Sunlight: If your caravan doesn’t get regular sunshine to dry its interior, this can cause moisture to hang around instead of being eliminated. This is especially problematic if your caravan is never parked in the sun.
- Dust: mould needs to feed on organic matter in order to survive. It can also feed on dust, as the Washington Post reports. This is why vacuuming your caravan at least once a week is extremely important.
How To Remove mould From Caravan Cushions
If you’ve noticed mould on your caravan cushions, you’re going to have to treat it immediately so that it doesn’t become a health hazard or eyesore. While you might think mould removal requires the use of harsh, abrasive, and dangerous chemicals, such as bleach, this isn’t always the case.
You should never use bleach on your caravan cushions as it can damage them, especially since many of them are made out of foam. Here are four effective mould-removal alternatives.
Vinegar is effective at removing mould because of its acetic acid. When vinegar contains between five and eight percent of this acid, it disrupts the growth of fungi, of which mould is an example, Healthline reports.
Here’s how to use it on your caravan cushions:
1. Mix one part vinegar with one part water.
2. Apply it to a small area of the cushion so you can be sure it won’t damage it.
3. Apply it to the mouldy area with a sponge.
4. When you’ve removed the mould, wash your caravan cushion to remove the vinegar left behind and its pungent odour. An excellent way to clean caravan cushions is to put them in the bath or a large container with a small amount of light detergent.
5. Dry the caravan cushion well so that no moisture remains.
If you have a small mould stain on your caravan furniture, hydrogen peroxide can effectively remove it. Just make sure you use a 3-percent solution that’s strong enough to get the job done, as Today reports. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down mould’s proteins, DNA, and other essential components.
Here’s how to use it:
1. Put some hydrogen peroxide on a clean cloth and blot the mouldy area of the cushion.
2. Leave it for a few minutes to work.
3. Rinse the hydrogen peroxide solution by dabbing it with a damp sponge and a dry, clean cloth.
Otherwise known as rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol is another effective solution that can help you remove mould from your caravan cushions. However, it should have a 70-percent concentration to possess the most fungicidal activity, as the Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences reports.
Here’s how to use it:
1. Mix together equal parts rubbing alcohol and water.
2. Dip a clean cloth in the diluted mixture and wipe down the mouldy area until you can’t see any mould.
3. Dry the caravan cushions outside in the sun.
Tea Tree Oil
This is an antiseptic ingredient that’s also a natural fungicide, so it works effectively to remove mould and prevent it from recurring, as Country Living reports.
What makes tea tree oil powerful enough to remove mould is that it contains two compounds: alpha terpineol and terpene-4-ol. Both of these compounds possess antifungal properties, as the Journal of Applied Microbiology reports.
Here’s how to use tea tree oil to remove mould.
1. Put 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil in 1 cup of water.
2. Shake the solution well and pour it into a spray bottle.
3. Spray it on the mouldy area on your caravan cushion.
4. Let it work for an hour.
5. Dry the area with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
How To Prevent mould on Caravan Cushions
There are several steps you can take to prevent mould from reappearing on your caravan cushions. Here are the most effective mould-prevention methods.
Dry Clothing and Other Items Outside
If you bring wet clothing, towels, and other items into your caravan to dry them, this can promote moisture and dampness, causing mould to thrive. Instead, ensure that you dry your wet items outside, benefitting from the warmth of the sun. Hang-drying your clothing outside also helps them better maintain their structural integrity.
Promote Air Circulation
Make sure you regularly open your caravan’s vents, hatches, and windows to encourage better air circulation throughout the vehicle. Otherwise, you might be contributing to a humid, stuffy air that makes for the ideal environment for mould growth and several health-related issues.
Use Exhaust Fans
When you’re cooking in the kitchen, which produces steam, make sure you use an exhaust fan to eliminate the excess moisture and stale air. You should also use an exhaust fan in the bathroom where you shower, as this will prevent moisture in the air from hanging around.
Purchase a Dehumidifier
Using a dehumidifier in your caravan regularly can help you to dry out the air. I recommend the Meaco Portable Dehumidifier DD8L Junior from Amazon as it’s ideal for small spaces. It prevents dampness, condensation, and mould. It makes use of a desiccant drying system that runs quietly.
Clean and Wipe Down Surfaces
You should clean your caravan regularly. This involves wiping down surfaces, washing and cleaning floors, and vacuuming your caravan cushions. Remember to air out your linen, bedding, carpets, rugs, and cushions when you’ve finished your cleaning session to ensure they don’t retain any moisture in them.
Check Your Caravan For Leaks
You should check your caravan for leaks regularly so that the next time it rains, you won’t end up with excess moisture in your caravan. Invest in a leak sealant and keep it handy for emergencies.
I recommend the Sikaflex Caravan Adhesive and Sealant from Amazon. It can be used for various tasks around your mobile home, such as repairing window strips, leaky gaskets, roof vents, and more. It’s easy to use and waterproof.
Should You Worry if You Have mould on Your Caravan Cushions?
You should worry if you have mould in your caravan cushions. mould is dangerous to human health, especially if you’re exposed to it regularly. It causes a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, skin conditions, and asthma.
Health Effects of mould
When you inhale mould spores, this can cause allergic reactions in the form of a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and coughing. If you breathe mould spores into your lungs, this can cause bronchial spasms that lead to coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks.
Even if you’re otherwise healthy, mould can harm your health. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there’s a strong link between a healthy person’s exposure to mould and their experience of upper respiratory tract symptoms such as a cough or wheezing.
If your immune system is weak, you’re even more susceptible to mould-related infections, such as those in the lungs. Since mould circulates in the air, it can also affect your skin, such as by causing rashes or eczema, which leaves your skin red, itchy, and bumpy.
Based on the health effects of mould, you should eliminate mould from your caravan as soon as you smell its musty odour or see it on your caravan cushions.
Health effects aside, mould can also damage your caravan cushions. If it sets deeply into their foam, you might have no choice but to throw them away, which will inevitably cost you.