Test Results--Mold/Mildew Removal

-- Last Updated: Dec-01-04 8:03 PM EST --

This is a new thread from the Mold/Mildew question I posed earlier. For the good of us all, I decided to go for broke and see what chemical would remove mold/mildew spotting and stains from yellow nylon float bags/sprayskirts. I discussed it with the flotation bags, and they agreed to be my test subjects.

In strictly controlled conditions (end of the driveway, on a cooler) I tested the following products: Hydrogen Peroxide, Woolite laundry soap, Fabulous (an all purpose cleaner/degreaser), Oxy-Clean liquid, and finally Comet Soft Cleanser with bleach (basically Soft Scrub). Each product was applied with one of the small rectangular thin scouring pads (yes, the green ones), approximately five minutes waited for any change, then thoroughly rinsed off. End result: None of them worked. Nada. Zip. Zero. Bumpkus. Negative, ground control. I then decided to see if any adverse effect was had on the material. I inflated the bags at 3:39pm, placed them in the most climate controlled environment I could find (back of my pickup)and at 7:57pm they were still fully inflated. It appears there was no short term adverse effect, long term we have yet to see.

In summary, after $11.00 and an hour of time, we have five tests and five failures. Any stronger chemicals may just eat through the material If you get the crud on nylon, its there for good, apparently. Happy moldy paddling......


Thanks, Great Report…
You should be doing consumer spots on your local news station… GH

plain 'ol bleach?
seems like you didn’t use the cheapest, and probably most effective product out there … plain old laundry bleach … ya know, Chlorox.

bet that would’ve worked … it has hypochlorite bleach and nothing but hypochlorite bleach and a higher concentration of it than those other wanna be’s.

try antifreeze
apply librally.Antifreeze is an effective biocide. It will kill mold and fungus in wooden boats.


Clarification needed

– Last Updated: Dec-02-04 7:57 AM EST –


Is your criterion for success the killing of the mildew or the removal of the spotting, or both? Hard to know from your post, maybe the earlier one was clearer and I just missed it. Here is a web article with home remedies as good as any commercial product. The article had some good info for me at least. I have had mucho problems as well.


How to Remove Mildew: Home Methods
Remove mildew spots as soon as you discover them. Do not give the mold growth a chance to weaken or rot the material. Brush off any surface growth outdoors to prevent scattering the mildew spores in the house. Sun and air fabrics thoroughly. If any mildew spots remain, treat washable articles as described below. Dry clean nonwashable articles.
Wash mildew-stained articles at once with soap or detergent and water. Rinse well and dry in the sun. If any stain remains, use lemon juice and salt or another bleach. If you use a bleach, be sure to test colored fabrics for colorfastness.

Lemon juice and salt
Moisten stain with a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Spread in the sun to bleach. Rinse thoroughly.

Peroxygen bleach
Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of sodium perborate or a powdered bleach containing sodium perborate or potassium monopersulfate with 1 pint (0.47 liters) of water. Use hot water if it is safe for the fabric; otherwise, use lukewarm water. Sponge the stain or soak the stained area in the solution, or sprinkle the dry powder directly on the dampened stain. Let solution or powder remain on the stain 30 minutes or longer, then rinse thoroughly.
If mildew stains have been on the fabric for some time, it may be necessary to soak the fabric in the bleach solution overnight. Applying sodium perborate solution at or near the boiling point may remove stubborn stains. Be sure this treatment is safe for the fabric.

Chlorine bleach
Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach with 1 quart (0.95 liters) of warm water. Sponge the stain or soak the stained area in the solution. Allow the bleach to remain on the fabric from 5 to 15 minutes, then rinse. An additional soaking in weak vinegar (2 tablespoons to a cup of water) will stop further bleach action. Never use a chlorine bleach on silk, wool or Spandex fabrics. Some fabrics with wash-and-wear or other special finishes may be damaged by chlorine bleaches. Articles with such finishes usually have a warning on the label or on a hang tag attached to the garment when it is sold.

Aha! Further testing apparently needed.
I shall continue my quest…my goal is to remove the spotting and make the articles look brand-spanking new (what exactly is “brand-spanking”, anyway?, or as close to it as I can get. Killing the legions of invading microbes is, of course, also a primary goal to prevent recurrances. Next week, I will try the remedies posted, and report back on the success. Into battle I go…microbial spores and vermin beware…


I didn’t see your first post. Use a product called Trisodium phosphate (TSP). You can find it at any hardware store, it comes granulated in a box. It should solve any mildew problem you can think of on just about any surface except those who are greasy or oily by design. TSP is quite a sucessful degreaser as well. That means use rubber gloves if you don’t like ultra dry hands.

Hope this helps,


Don’t forget to try vinegar, too.

Thanks, Meat. I’ll give TSP a try.