How to Remove Mold from Backpack

How to Remove Mold from Backpack?

Where do you store your knapsack? If you leave it lying around in a damp place, it might start smelling like mold. During off-season, you could crumple it up in a corner of your basement. It might be in the back of your closet or somewhere in a pantry. How to remove mold from backpack? Many people advise you to throw it away at once. Try to remove mold stains. Efficient methods exist. Let’s discuss them. What works better: direct sunshine exposure or vinegar solutions? Find herewith some simple tips on how to avoid mold growth and how to get rid of it.

Mold Growth Conditions

Have you found that your backpack smells like mold? What a terrible discovery! If you store your knapsack in a dry, well-ventilated place, mold spots won’t appear. Mold grows only when it gets essential conditions. They include:

  • warm temperature;
  • high humidity;
  • availability of mold spores and nutrients.

Mold spores are tiny. Their size is 3-40 micron. Spores are invisible to our eyes and ubiquitous. They are virtually everywhere, on all surfaces, materials and fabrics. Elimination of mold spores is a hardly feasible task.

Mold growth is possible thanks to available nutrients. Quite naturally, it consumes bread and similar foods. All organic materials, such as leather, paper or wood support its growth. Mold consumes oil from leather surface. It might get inside the fibers. Eliminating fungi nutrients is virtually impossible.

Unfortunately, mold grows on plastic and synthetic polymers. Do you have to remove fungi from nylon? It’s possible. But the fabric is mold-resistant. Manufacturers treat it with stain-resistant chemicals to prevent mildew growth. Let’s check which fungi type is the most dangerous.

Difference Between Mold and Mildew

Commonly, we cluster all fungal species and mention them as “mold”. Both mildew and mold are fungi, so they have multiple similar characteristics. They cause disgusting musty smells. Some fungi emit odorless gases. They produce hazardous mycotoxins. All of them grow best in warm, damp environments. How to identify the difference?

Appearancefuzzypowdery or downy
Colororange, green, pink, blackyellow-brown
Growth on surfacespenetrating beneath themon surfaces only
Growth patternin irregular patchesflat
Locationsfoodfabrics, paper, damp walls
Health risksseriousminor
Damage to buildingsdecomposingcosmetic

Scientists often classify mildew as a kind of mold that is its early stage. Mildew is typically grey or white in color. White mold and mildew are common in damp places such as bathrooms or basements. They usually attack leather items like sandals. White fungi affect textiles such as backpacks. It’s not difficult to remove it, as it’s commonly mildew. It might appear to be an efflorescence. Salt deposits cause it, so it does not pose serious health risks.

Orange, green or red mold lives outdoors. The fungi survive on wooden materials and plants. They require a lot of moisture, expanding in damp places. Indoors, each mold species is dangerous. Black mold may lead to severe health issues. Black mold’s growth occurs after water leaks or floods. It damages buildings and causes side effects such as rashes or sneezing. Black mold hardly attacks your backpack. If it happened, throw it away.

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How to Get Rid of Mold?

How to Get Rid of Mold from backpack

Fungi are terrible microorganisms. They consume all organic materials to survive. Mold is eating your house inch by inch. Its growth starts due to water damage. Roof leak, high humidity, flooding or damp basement may cause it. How to prevent damaging exposure? As we know, mold spores and food they consume are impossible to eliminate.

But we can control temperature and humidity.

  1. Use dehumidifier.
  2. Keep the humidity level below 60%.
  3. Increase airflow.
  4. Fix all leaks asap.
  5. Avoid condensation build-up.
  6. Install proper insulation.

What about the temperature? Keep it higher to avoid condensation. Bathrooms are particularly vulnerable to mold. Moisture exposure and leaks allow mold to thrive in the environment. After bathing, wipe down the walls. A powerful exhaust fan does the job too.

Do you think it’s easy to treat mold on backpack? It’s a stupid-hardest task. So, don’t leave your backpack in the bathroom. Store it in a dry place. At the end of the season, wash it by hand. Using your washing machine might be possible. Select gentle cycle, cold or warm water. Apply mild detergent. Let the backpack air dry. Don’t leave it sitting around. Otherwise, it might start developing mildew and mold. Try to wring the knapsack out with a body towel. Hang it upside down. Avoid direct sunshine exposure when it’s still wet.

How to Clean Mold Off Luggage

How to Clean Mold Off Luggage

Have you noticed these terrible stains? It’s a pity. In many cases, you can clean them out. Don’t forget to consider your backpack type. It might be hard shell, leather, or consisting of soft fabrics like canvas or polyester. So, read the label and follow washing instructions.

Does your backpack feature a leather bottom? Avoid soaking it. Spot clean it. Use a brush, a sponge and special detergent. Do you clean mildew from canvas luggage? It’s easier as synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester are machine washable. Canvas backpacks have special waterproof coating. After washing, restore water resistance. Apply canvas proofing spray.

Before cleaning your backpack, empty it. Check all pockets and corners.

  1. Go outside to avoid spreading of mold spores.
  2. Disassemble it, removing gear and zippers.
  3. Wear a face mask and protective gloves.
  4. Turn your backpack inside out and shake it.
  5. Gently remove all dust and dirt, using a soft bristle brush.

I think vacuuming is not a good idea. It removes all dust and dirt particles from the fabric. But harmful mold spores remain inside the cleaner.

Brushing and shaking are much safer if you do it outdoors. This way, you prepare your backpack for spot cleaning and washing.

What is the Best Way to Clean Mold?

Direct sunshine, vinegar solution, borax and bleach are efficient methods. Fungi don’t use photosynthesis. They don’t have chloroplast cells. UV radiation kills mold. Hang your backpack in the sunshine. Spray white vinegar over the stain or wipe them out them with a damp sponge.

Borax and bleach solutions are efficient. Just avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Remember about safety precautions. Spot clean the backpack outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. Dilute 1 cup of chemical with 3 parts of clean water. Rinse the fabric with lukewarm water properly. Wring the backpack out and let it dry completely. I hope it helps you to remove mold from your backpack. If the stains are not stubborn, these methods work. So, continue using your backpack and don’t leave it in a damp place.


Marion Humble

Marion Humble

Welcome to my blog. Call me Marble. Now I live in Chicago and work as a courier. Every day I use different types of backpacks. In this blog I want to share my experience in the selection and proper care of backpacks. About me.

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