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Old 11-05-2012, 06:35   #1
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Mildew Smell on Bed Cushions

Got on the boat and had a terrible odor, turned out to be our stern hatch had leaked, another problem, and water got on the bed cushion. Smells REALLY BAD. So, we have set them out in the sun for a few days but the odor persists. Any suggestions on how to get the smell out. I cannot take the fabric off so whatever is done needs to be done with the foam and fabric. Thanks Aloisius
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:05   #2
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

look under the coverings--you may see black mold---is time to change those cushions out. black mold causes bad breathing problems. if you cannot look under covers, ditch em and start over.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:35   #3
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

With our constantly high humidity, we call mildew our national flower
I bit the bullet and hotknifed the longest side of my cushions, and put in zippers.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:43   #4
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

See if you can find a product called Febreeze, spray it on and continue the sun treatment. It might help. Worth a try before replacing the cushion.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:50   #5
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

bomb it

STAR BRITE Boat Bomb Deodorizer at West Marine
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:02   #6
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

BOMB will not work. black mold doesnt bomb out. is tenacious and deadly.
get rid of it with vinegar or replacement of the foam. then no more spores to grow more.
west marine will sell you anything you wish to spend too much money on. good luck.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:18   #7
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Borax is known to kill mould too. We've got some mildew on our boat as well, and will be using a combination of borax wash followed by a vinegar/tea tree oil spray. Letcha know how it works when I get to do so..
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:57   #8
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

Replace the cushion.

b.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:08   #9
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

I am finding pillows are even worse for mould. You really can't afford not to air them if damp. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done!
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:30   #10
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

I used high percentage alcohol previously to soak cushions with mold. Use the 90% or better and soak, not spray the area. May cause non-color fast fabric to bleed so check first. Place in the sun to dry after squeezing out the excess. Alcohol at that level should cause the cell walls of the mold to explode- a trick I learned from a conservator friend. Wear gloves rated for solvent so you don't absorb too much alcohol through your skin. ZeeHag is right about the dangers of black mold to if this doesn't work- replace the cushion.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:42   #11
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

If it is a polyurethane type foam cushion, use bleach.
I took off the cloth cover and washed that separately.
Made a bleach solution 25% in a big bucket
Put cushion on old wood sheet plywood
Poured the bleach into the cushion all over it

stepped all over the cushion working bleach solution all over

let it sit a few hours

then took a hose and rinsed it and stepped all over it, squeezing out the water.

let it drip dry with it set up at an angle the water will slowly drain out.
It will take several days to fully dry out the cushion. And squeeze the edge to force out the draining water.
To this day, it has not remolded or gotten that smell back.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:04   #12
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
BOMB will not work. black mold doesnt bomb out. is tenacious and deadly.
get rid of it with vinegar or replacement of the foam. then no more spores to grow more.
west marine will sell you anything you wish to spend too much money on. good luck.
I have had amazing success with vinegar. Wash the mold off first with diluted vinegar and then hit it with a straight shot and let the vinegar dry. It will smell of vinegar for a few days but after a while that goes away.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:48   #13
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

I don't believe the OP said it was "black mold"....another assumption by a poster. I would start with the vinegar treatment. If you could rent an ozone machine for a day, it would eliminate any spores present in the boat. But remember it's O3. You cannot be around it while it is producing ozone.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:50   #14
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

Glyecol kills mold spores. It's a pain to dispose of, but it works. Glyecol = Car Antifreeze
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:03   #15
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Re: Mildew smell on Bed Cushions

vinegar does not hurt the fabric or stain it. vinegar KILLS spores by changing the environment to one unfriendly to spores and molds.
the usual mold in boats is black mold. it is illness causing, and can be fatal.
leave something open for ventilation in boat when you are away. circulation of air prevents molds fr om forming. they like it moist and dark and airless.
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