Mold & Funk On Gear

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by bourbon&bisquits, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. bourbon&bisquits

    bourbon&bisquits Scout

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    its been 3 weeks w/o the sun and nothing but fog and rain --- any tricks to clean up my gear/bags? (lysol and bleach not doing the trick)
     
  2. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Mildew might leave a stain that won't come out, but I believe it is killed by the methods you mentioned. Air out indoors and make sure it's well dry before storing. I've heard the mildew stain can be reactivated easier than non-stained areas on the same gear later on if it gets stored damp. If drying outdoors, take it in overnight otherwise you'll find it damp from morning dew reversing your drying from the previous day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  3. KFF

    KFF Scout

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    Soaking in white vinegar before wash should help some
     
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  4. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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  5. Harper

    Harper Bushmaster

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    +1 on the enzymes. It should help with the funky smell and maybe even get some of the stains out. It is also used on wet suits.

    Colloidal silver can be sprayed on and will also kill mold. It will be nicer to your equipment than bleach.
     
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  6. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I have permanent stain spots on my kayak pfd from it developing mold when it was improperly stored one winter. I was able to clean the mold off, but the stains seem permanent. I should try those enzymes to see if it will help.
     
  7. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    Tea tree oil diluted makes a great cleaner. It has natural properties that make it: antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal.
     
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  8. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    I use oxyclean to get the stains out and concrobium mold control to ensure it does not come back.

    upload_2018-10-10_16-59-23.jpeg
     
  9. Chriiis.Glover

    Chriiis.Glover Tracker

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    What do you dilute it with?
     
  10. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    I have used this on hard surfaces:
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    3 cups water
    1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil
    mixed in a spray bottle.
    -Edited to add, I personally would not be afraid to use this mix on my own bags and such(nothing in it to mess up anything), I just have a huge bottle of the Dr. Bronners already which makes it easier.

    I also use Dr. Bronners liquid tea tree castile soap mixed/lathered with hot water on softer surfaces like fabrics and my body.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  11. Chriiis.Glover

    Chriiis.Glover Tracker

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    Thanks, I’ll give it a try.
     
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  12. gargoyle

    gargoyle Scout

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    Cleaning your moldy gear is one step, but you need to address the cause before you will eliminate the problem.

    Dank, moist areas need to be dried out.
    Peel back any carpet/pad and examine. Remove it if its wet or stained with mold. You may need to remove some drywall or paneling? Fix any exterior leaks that may be present. Clean the area and allow to dry.

    Try a dehumidifier to get rid of the moist air. Empty it often.
    Chemical treatments (Damp Rid) will also soak up excess moisture, which you then dump outside or down the drain.
    Adding ventilation or a fan will help, but be sure the mold is gone or you risk spreading the spores elsewhere in the home.
    Even putting a incandescent lightbulb in a closet can be helpful. The heat from the lightbulb (left on 24 hours a day) will reduce the moist air.
    An AC/Central air unit will also lower the humidity level.
    Clean your gear outside to prevent spreading the spores inside And then store your gear elsewhere until you remedy the cause.
     
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  13. bourbon&bisquits

    bourbon&bisquits Scout

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    thanks to all -- some new ideas
     
  14. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My takeaway from this thread is the surprising (to me, at least) lack of any one product/mixture that has bcusa members saying "This. This is what works, used it for years and it does the trick on moldy funk."
    with other people posting "Yep. That's the stuff. Buy some and your mildewy gear problems are solved."

    This alone tells me that a mold & mildew problem is difficult to completely get rid of.
    Quick anecdote:
    I once bought a vintage ruck that arrived reeking of mildew. I tried oxy clean, white vinegar, sunlight, everything I could think of, but there were so many folds and crevasses in the thick canvas that it always ended up still smelling funky.
    After searching the vintage military uniform collectors forums for a few hours I came across a method that quite a few people endorsed: cheap vodka. Yessir, douse the offending piece with cheap vodka and let it dry completely.
    So I tried it and while I won't say it was a 100% success it worked far better than any of the other methods I tried.
    If all else fails, buy a cheap fifth of vodka, put it in a spray bottle, and soak the hell out of the stinky item.
    Plus it's fun to squirt vodka into your mouth with a spray bottle.
     
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  15. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Often times the product that you use on mold or mildew only kills the exterior layer of the substance and runs off hence why you may see a stain or notice that it comes back. Mold often has tendril like roots that get into surfaces that the chemicals do not penetrate deeply enough to destroy. Using a product with Microban will usually do the trick since it seals the area and prevents the mold from getting oxygen. If the substrate is porous then treat both sides to re-mediate. Also, most fungi's and molds can be re-mediated with a proper fungicide or mildicide containing a micronized copper azole compound (aka copper dust like they use in pressure treating lumber). Just look for ones that are green to blue in color as that is often a sign of the copper tarnishing inside the bottle.
     
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