Get Mold out of Clothing

If you want to get mold out of clothing, there are a few methods you can try. Mold is almost always difficult to remove – especially if it gets in fabric. Clothing made out of cotton and organic materials is especially vulnerable, as it makes a great food source for mold to live and grow on.

get mold out of clothing

Guidelines to Get Mold Out of Clothing

The good news is that you don’t have to throw those clothes away. With the right tools and know-how, you can get rid of the mold or mildew. 
Time is of the essence – the sooner you spot and identify mold, the better. The more it grows on fabric, the more difficult it will be to get rid of, and the worse it will smell.

Here are some steps you can take to get rid of mold stains on clothing items:

  1. You’ll first want to try washing the clothes in hot water. Water is more likely to kill mold when it is set at a high temperature. It does a better job of removing spores and allergens as well. Wash the affected pieces of fabric through a minimum of two full cycles. WARNING: make sure the water isn’t hot enough to damage the clothing. When you’re done with the washing, let the clothes dry out the old fashioned way. Hang them outside on a line so that they receive full sunlight. The UV rays will help kill the mold. 
  2. You could also try using bleach to kill mold, if hot water alone isn’t enough. Either add a cup of bleach to the washing machine while you are washing the load of affected clothing, or simply allow the clothes to soak in bleach. Do this by adding a concentration of half a cup of bleach per every gallon of water. Allow the clothes to soak in this solution for a few hours. This might not be the best method if you are concerned about colors fading.
  3. If neither bleach nor hot water is enough, there is always vinegar, which is a known natural remedy for getting rid of bacterium, and can thus kill the mold growing on fabric. Put the clothes in the washing machine with a good mold-killing detergent and let the machine fill with water. Add one or two cups of vinegar, and allow the machine to run through its cycle as normal. Like the bleach method, you could also let the clothes soak in white vinegar (one cup in a bucket of water) for an hour. After an hour, wash the clothes in the washing machine like normal with laundry detergent.
  4. Borax is a natural mold killer. It’s safe to use, as it does not emit toxic fumes. You can either use borax laundry detergent or add some borax powder to the load. Make sure it is completely dissolved before adding it. Do this by mixing the powder with hot water. Wait until the washer has filled up before adding the dissolved borax.
  5. If there is only a small amount of mold on clothing, you can try removing it with hydrogen peroxide (1% - 3%). Just spray it or dab it on the moldy spot until the affected area until the hydrogen peroxide completely saturates the fabric.
  6. Depending on the amount of mold present on the clothing, you might be able to scrub it off with a toothbrush and one of the aforementioned cleaning solutions. Borax is a good choice. After pre-treating the stain, gently scrub the troublesome area with the toothbrush. The clothes will still need to be laundered afterwards in order to kill any remaining spores.

How to Prevent Mold from Getting on Clothes

Of course, you won’t have to worry about your clothes getting ruined if you prevent mold from getting moldy in the first place. Mold or mildew in wardrobes can be caused by a variety of factors, with the two primary causes being condensation and damp clothes. Avoid keeping the clothes in any place where there may be condensation, such as around windows, near bathroom sinks, basements, etc. Don’t leave them in the washer, either. Take them out and dry them immediately.

You must also make sure that clothes are completely dry before putting them back in the drawer or closet. Clothes require an open, airy environment in order to dry. Even if they’re just a tiny bit damp, they could still develop mold if placed in an enclosed, dark space.

Another thing you’ll want to avoid is overfilling your wardrobe. Don’t stuff a drawer with too many clothes. There should be a bit of space between each clothing item hanging in the closet. When fabrics are tight up against each other, mold can grow and spread from the fibers of one item to another.

If you are already spotting mold on any clothes, isolate those clothes from the rest of your wardrobe and try to fix the problem. It’s essential to get mold out of clothing as soon as it begins to grow.