Originally Posted by windsaloft
Someone in here came up with a gosh-awful concoction involving bleach and borax that is the absolute industrial cleaner/preventer that works, but as they say, use a respirator and allow good airing out!
That's me. If you actually want to remove the mold
(and if you are allergic to it) there is no other way to remove it and keep it gone.
There is another way, but not everyone has the ability. You have to lower the humidity in the boat, allow lots of natural light in and stop any and all leaks
, etc... You also have to keep a clean boat with no food
residue/dust the boat can grow on.
Cleaning with bleach alone just temporarily bleaches out the mold
. Mold will then easily grow back in a matter of weeks/months if the conditions are right for it (humid, dark & cool).
I didn't "come up" with the concoction...
I consulted a microbiologist and took their advice into account.
Bleach is used first, primarily as a cleaning agent. The borax is the real mold stopper. It changes the pH of the area, making it more basic. The mold can't grow if the pH is off.
If the area is dry enough (no water
entering from a leaky boat), the Borax keeps mold away for a year at a time, even in a badly wet, full time liveaboard
boat with cooking
going on, closed up in winter.
But... I didn't go into this method because you had mentioned it was cushion mold. Cushion mold is, unfortunately, not easy to get rid of. If it's just on some vinyl on the cushion cover, you can clean it off. If it's in a fabric
cushion, deep into the foam, you need new cushions to get rid of it completely. If you're just looking to clean, you may try a carpet steamer machine, but you *must* dry out the cushions outside the boat for several days in the blazing sun so as not to have even more moisture for the mold.
Remember, there are 3 things mold needs to grow:
Damp conditions (condensation is one of its favorites!)
Darkness (direct sunlight will keep it in check)