Getting rid of mildew in seat covers & foam? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-01-2006, 09:36 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1999 Burro 17 ft Widebody
Posts: 24
Hi All,
Well, this recent deluge of rain in Vancouver (WA, not BC) has revealed one leak under the front window on the Burro (it may be through enlarged hinge screw holes for the rock guard, as Per mentioned in a previous post). In the process, the water puddled on the drivers' side FG seat and the seat cushion got soaked - it smells very mildewy now. And after putting my nose to the other cushions they too hint at mildew.

I understand the cushions are original (1999 Burro), and it looks like the covers are made of some kind of synthetic, but there is no label to tell me what they are for sure. Has anyone had any experience dry cleaning their upholstery, or more generally does anyone have recommendations on getting rid of mildew in the seat covers and in foam cushions? (If direct sun is needed, it may be months before we can do that).

Also, the bottom edge of the fiberglass insulation in the trailer, on the driver's side (under ths counter of course) is wet, this is probably a second leak, maybe from the roof vent - I'm guessing this wet insulation is prone to mildew and mold too. Is bleach the best and safest way to treat this area (once I find the source of this leak). Alternately, I'm thinking of replacing the lower band of FG insulation with a strip of closed cell foam to eliminate soaked FG batting (when our next leak occurs)- any thoughts on using closed cell foam for this?

As Always - Thanks,

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Old 01-01-2006, 09:52 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1994 20 ft Bigfoot 5th Wheel / Toyota Tacoma SR5
Posts: 229
Sounds to me like your on the right track. I'd wash my covers in cold water with Clorex color safe bleach and even soak the seat foam in a bathtub with water and bleach. 2 inches of water with a 1/2 cup of bleach might do it. Then squeeze them out till almost dry and put them where they will air dry. Like dryer rooms used to do. They won't shrink...I've heard people put them in dryers with no heat.

I'd also wipe anything that has molded with a bleach solution. Things that have just gotten wet I'd only worry about drying.

If the covers and foam already smell of mildew, it's possible that the cushions had molded before, like a leak from a year or two ago, and re-wetting them may have re-activated the mold and mildew smell. Bleach will fix that.

Good luck with it.


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Old 01-01-2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1981 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 9
A good friend of mine in London, Ontario(Rick Myers) told me to use Apple Cider Vinegar on mold, and takes it away, and leaves Your trailer smelling better than Bleach. Try it, and see if You like it.....
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:06 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1999 Burro 17 ft Widebody
Posts: 24
Thanks, I'll try washing the covers in cold water with color-safe Chlorox. I may try vinegar to wash the FG, and see how it goes.

Any idea if bleach or vinegar breaks down foam?

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Old 01-03-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,912
I know chlorine bleach breaks down rubber products, ask anyone that uses it in their white laundry!

You might want to read the label on Tilex: TILEX Mildew Root Penetrator & Remover

or the label on Simple Green: Simple Green

But, I'd try the vinegar before the bleach
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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Name: Joel
Trailer: market
Posts: 1
With the apple cider vinegar. If I wanted to use that to soak it in like the bathtub how much would I use? I know earlier someone said about 1 cup of bleach in 2" of water, but was curious if it would be the same with the vinegar.

by the way, sorry to dig up an ancient post. lol, I just stumbled across it, when searching for a solution to this problem.

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