Sofa mould discovery
November 8, 2010 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Where did the mould on my sofa cushions come from, and how can I be sure it won't come back?

I recently started sneezing and getting itchy eyes. After some investigating, we found that the front edge of the sofa cushions contained mould *under* the covers. I'm really not sure how this could have happened - there is no mould anywhere else. The covers themselves were fine.

We've thrown away the sofa cushions and ordered new ones, but kept the covers since they cannot be replaced. The covers are at the dry cleaners since they cannot be washed ("do not wash" is written on the tag).

Will the chemicals used for dry cleaning the covers stop it coming back?
If not, I have read about borax - should I put the covers in that, or does that go against the "do not wash" rule? Will it discolour the covers or make it smell bad?
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So mold = moisture. You should try to find the source of that moisture and prevent it from happening again.

I could see a drink getting spilled on the couch and it never fully drying. Then mold found a cozy dark warm space between the cover and the cushion and voilĂ . If that happens again, Lysol spray is pretty good at killing mold in upholstery. As is lots of sunlight, an occasional steam cleaning, good air circulation, etc.

What are the covers made of? If they're are poly/plastic that might be another reason moisture stuck around long enough for mold to set in.
posted by fontophilic at 9:15 AM on November 8, 2010

I'm really not sure how this could have happened - there is no mould anywhere else. The covers themselves were fine.

Something spilt on the sofa? Theoretically if it got wet enough and the covers are not "breathable" enough, the inside could have stayed damp while the outside seemed dry.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:15 AM on November 8, 2010

If you live in a damp climate, sometimes that's enough. I recently moved my couch, only to find that black mildew had grown on the wall behind it. The couch wasn't directly against the wall, but close enough that a stagnant air pocket formed and trapped enough dampness to foster mildew.
posted by ErikaB at 10:53 AM on November 8, 2010

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