Getting mildew out of color shower curtain

gsciencechickSeptember 15, 2012

I have tried vinegar, color-safe bleach, putting it in the sun, hot water, and I still cannot get this mildew out of the fabric. Nor can I find a replacement anymore. It's a blue and yellow striped beachy curtain, and it seems anything with yellow is out,out, out. I originally got it from JCP

Do you have anything that works?

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Fun2BHere

Washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex. Most mildew stains can be removed during regular laundering if they are moistened beforehand.

If a stain remains:

Test fabric for colorfastness.
If color doesn't change, cover stain with a paste of lemon juice and salt.
On cotton and linen, make a paste from an oxygen bleach, water, and a few drops of ammonia.
Let paste cover stain for 15 to 30 minutes.
Flush thoroughly with water and launder again.

I find Oxiclean will remove almost any stain. I had a white 100% cotton napkin with dried red wine stains. I had tried every remedy I could find. Finally, I stuck it in a bowl with a scoop of Oxiclean dissolved in water and let it soak overnight. The next day, the stains were completely gone. I don't know how it would affect color, however, so this remedy might be your last resort before throwing the curtain away.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 3:38PM
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trailrunnerbiker

I used Oxyclean on a dark green cotton shirt that had a large grease stain on the front. The stain had already been washed and dried in the dryer..sigh. I figured it was a lost cause. Well the shirt looks new after I soaked it for 24 hrs in the powdered Oxyclean and hot water. None of the color came out at all. It states that the Oxyclean is used for colors too. Your shower curtain is a lost cause so go ahead but you will likely be pleased. Remember to use the powdered and dissolve it in hot hot water and then add the curtain. Good Luck. c

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 5:26PM
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gsciencechick

Thanks for the suggestions of the Oxyclean. That is the one thing I have not yet tried. I bought a curtain from West Elm that is the closest I could find, so at least I have something if it doesn't work.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Fun2BHere

Let us know if it works, please. :)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:02PM
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gsciencechick

Yes I will. I will probably not get to it this weekend. I may even already have some Oxyclean that I've never used.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:57PM
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sis3

I have never found the color safe bleach to be very effective. If all else fails with your shower curtain I would soak it in a very mild solution of regular chlorine bleach. Many fabrics, including shower curtains, are extremely colorfast so mild bleach often takes out the 'intruder' without affecting the fabric color. I would gradually increase the strength of the bleach solution until it removes the mildew. This has worked for me many, many times with mildew and other stains.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Fun2BHere

Update?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:35PM
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gsciencechick

No, I've had too busy of a week at work. I hope to get to it this weekend.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Fun2BHere

That sounds like me. Weekends are so full of activities and chores that it's hard to find time for special projects sometimes.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:53AM
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gsciencechick

It's in process. I've changed out the hot water once and used a plastic scrub brush as recommended. I've got the powder in the canister. It will still have to soak longer than it has, but it seems better. I am not optimistic I will get the entire stains out.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Fun2BHere

I don't think you need to change out the water. Just leave the affected section in the water that has a good amount of the OxiClean dissolved in it undisturbed for at least 24 hours, then check it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 6:12PM
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gsciencechick

Thanks. I will let it soak overnight and probably check on it tomorrow after work.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 6:53PM
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gsciencechick

Well, it soaked for over 30 hours, and there is only a little improvement. One area looks pretty good, but the two others are not so good. I don't know if it's worth another round or not.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:04AM
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stinky-gardener

Well, GSC, you're the proud owner of the world's cleanest shower curtain (the mildew must be completely disinfected, though persistent!). Sorry the results of all your efforts are not what you hoped for.

I wonder about this shower curtain in the "Limeade" color? It's a modern stripe.

Love your wall color, btw, what is it? Your floor tile is cute too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Martha Stewart Shower Curtain

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:42AM
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Fun2BHere

I'm so disappointed for you. Try one last thing...if you want to...make a thick paste from Oxiclean and a little bit of water. Cover the mildew spots with the paste and leave it overnight. If that doesn't get the stain out, I don't think anything will.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:44AM
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sis3

When you have exhausted all other ideas please try my suggestion of a weak solution of regular chlorine bleach. Gradually add more bleach, waiting 10 minutes or longer between each 'dose' to assess the effect until either the mildew disappears or the color from your shower curtain disappears! This has worked for me so many times over the years, including on mildewed shower curtains.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:50PM
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gsciencechick

Thanks, ladies, for the feedback. I may try the other solutions, but once again, it will have to wait for the weekend most likely. I have this shower curtain from West Elm, but it's much more green than it looks on the screen.

S-G, our walls are painted in a sand texture paint from Lowe's with a coat of clear poly over it. I don't have the color anymore but it was some kind of aqua. It was very messy to apply because when you roll it per the directions, it gives you a free exfoliation and you have to wear eye protection. This bathroom has has been painted many times over the years, so this hides all the defects until we do a gut remodel. Ultimately, we'd love an addition and expand both of our baths.

Here is a link that might be useful: West Elm Shower Curtain

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:19PM
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gsciencechick

Oh well, this weekend has gotten away from me, so no update.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Fun2BHere

LOL! Thanks for the no update-update. :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:23PM
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gsciencechick

UPDATE: Sis3's method WORKED! I started out weaker and added just a little more bleach, and that did it! Thee colors did not fade, either. Wow, it even got that one lower corner opposite the one in the pic that was really a mess. I truly thought it was hopeless. I was ready to take down the Christmas shower curtain so I figured I'd give it a try or else hang up the new one.

THANK YOU!!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:38PM
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sis3

You are welcome! I am so glad you gave it a try! Thank you for the update.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Fun2BHere

Yay, Sis3. I'll be keeping your method in my mental file. Thank you, Gsciencechick, for the update and congratulations on your success.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:50AM
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