Blockout Curtains and mould in Queensland, NT and Northern NSW

17th Apr 2013

We have had a lot of customers asking about what can be done about mould on there blockout curtains. This is a real problem in the northern parts of Australia. Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory in particular. But the problem is also on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and around Northern NSW ie Bryron Bay. The problem is the condensation that builds up between the window and the back coating of the curtain. Blockout curtains have an acrylic coating on the reverse (the white side of the curtain) this acrylic coating basically stops the curtain from breathing and you get a lot of condensation between the curtain and the window. This problem occures during the wet summer months. The condensation, doubled with the warm humid weather presents a perfect breading ground for mould. And it is extremly hard to manage

What to do about mould on your curtains? Prevention in the first instance is the best way to manage the problem. Here are a few tips

  • Dettol Glen 20 spray is pretty good for Killing 99.9% of germs and viruses on hard and soft surfaces. It works on curtains killing the source of mould allergen and controlling the growth of mould and mildew. You need to use this frequently during the humid months. Spray it on the window frames and surrounds and also on the curtains. You can spray it lightly on the blockout side of the curtain also, but keep them closed for a while so the backing surfaces dont touch and stick together if you spary on too much. You dont want the surfaces to be wet from sraying on too much!
  • Be sure to create as much ventilation around your curtains by openning the windows around them as much as possible
  • Washing coated blockout curtains during the wet humid season is not recommended. If during drying, the coated surfaces touch then they stick together and the coating peals off so best not to wash then during humid weather as they never dry out properly
  • Install outside awnings or shade sails etc on the windows that get direct sunlight
  • Even the non coated type of blockout curtain has this problem as the fabric is so tighlty woven that the fabric does not breath and condensation still builds up between the window and the curtain.
We have this problem in our apartment in Noosa. What we have found to be the best solution is the use of Glen 20. Heaps of it. And we never keep the curtains closed completely for any length of time. We have actually made sure that they are a bit shorter than we would normally hang curtains. They are about 5-10cm up off the floor allowing some ventilation.
On our windows with direct sun we have used shutters with a light weight, open weave curtain in front to soften things a bit, rather than a blockout curtain that can easily be washed and allows good air flow.