Removing Algae and Mildew Stains From a Hammock
A hammock may be your favorite place to relax outdoors, but it requires a bit of maintenance and upkeep, eventually. Mildew grows in humid, damp environments, which can include outdoor fabrics. Algae from nearby trees may leave stains on the hammock. A thorough treatment with vinegar and soapy water renders the hammock mildew- and algae-free once again. Bypass the chlorine bleach when cleaning your hammock, as it may compromise the fabric.
Brush the algae or mildew stains and spots on the hammock with a scrub brush while the hammock is hanging in its usual area. Wear a dust mask while brushing to avoid breathing in mildew spores, which may aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms. Do this while the hammock is dry; if wet, allow it to dry out completely.
Flip the hammock over to inspect the underside, brushing away any mildew or algae spots you find. Enlist the help of a friend if it is difficult to keep the hammock turned sideways or upside-down.
Pour a small amount of white vinegar over each stain. Allow the hammock to soak for 10 or 15 minutes, ideally in direct sunlight.
Rinse off the scrub brush to remove any dry mildew or algae particles; then scrub the spotted areas on the hammock. Rinse the brush from time to time if scrubbing many spots to avoid spreading debris and dirt.
Sprinkle a little baking soda over the spots if they still exist. Scrub with the scrub brush after several minutes. Rinse the scrub brush.
Fill a shallow bowl with warm water and add a squirt of a mild dish soap. Mix the water with your hands; then dip the scrub brush into the soapy water. Scrub the spots with the soapy water, and rinse it with a garden hose. Avoid spraying the spreader bars or hooks that hold up the hammock.
Mix an oxygen bleach into a bowl of water using the proportions recommended on the package for difficult stains if spots are still present. Oxygen bleaches use oxygen to remove stains, rather than chlorine-style bleaching agents.
Dip the scrub brush into the oxygen bleach solution and scrub the spots on the hammock. Wipe the solution away with a damp sponge or with a rinse with a garden hose. Allow the hammock to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.
If algae and mildew are common occurrences on the hammock, move the hammock to a sunnier area, at least once in a while, to allow the fabric or roping to dry out.
Avoid getting the entire hammock saturated, if possible, to prevent stretching. Concentrate water sprays on stained areas.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.