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How to Remove Mold from Clothes

Updated on October 27, 2014

Proper washing and drying makes removal easier and the likelihood of it returning very low.

Getting mold out of clothes is not an impossible task, but it does take a little know how. Make sure you wash clothes in hot water and dry outdoors when possible.
Getting mold out of clothes is not an impossible task, but it does take a little know how. Make sure you wash clothes in hot water and dry outdoors when possible. | Source
Wear protective gear when handling fabric stained with mildew and mold. This protects against breathing in mold spores if they become airborne. A mask and rubber gloves will do the trick.
Wear protective gear when handling fabric stained with mildew and mold. This protects against breathing in mold spores if they become airborne. A mask and rubber gloves will do the trick. | Source

Getting mold stained clothes clean is possible with know how and elbow grease

Removing mold from clothes is a tough job. Unfortunately, this item typically results in stained fabric. Additionally, mold and mildew normally comes hand and hand. Mildew has a strong bad odor that is tough to get out of clothing. Catching clothes stained with it as quickly as possible increases the possibility of getting rid of any blemishes or spots as well as removing any odor coming along with it. The toxins from substances like mold and mildew are removed with a little elbow grease and know how.

Not only are these particular kinds of substances bothersome with their odor and to see, but countless are dangerous for your health.

Where to start

Wear protection

Wear protective gear doing this job. Whenever these are found in clothes there are live spores spreading. Carefully remove clothing from wherever it is being kept so the spores are unable to move around or become airborne. Once airborne they will negatively effect even the healthiest person's immune system. Rubber gloves and a face mask are the best gear to wear while taking care of this.

Where to find it

There are a number of places in any house where it is possible for this poison to form and grow. This makes finding it on clothing fairly common no matter what type of housekeeper you are if the circumstances are right.

Warm and dark spaces is where it likes to prosper. For anyone living in a warm weather climate most of the year, the chances of discovering damaged clothing increases. Add humidity to the mix and an ideal combination exists for the poison to fester.

After identifying mold and mildew as the culprit, find ways to get rid of it. Follow precaution and safety while doing so.

Washing it out

Any fashions found tarnished need to be washed in hot water with lots of soap. Add a cup of baking soda to wash loads. This helps deal with the odor of mildew. After washing, dry them thoroughly. The best way to dry is putting them out on a line in the hot sun. Store clean and dry garments in a clean space with a lot of ventilation to prevent reinfection.

Do not wash anything free of mold and mildew with anything infected with it. Cross contamination occurs. This means anything in your wardrobe free of unhealthy spores which come with these bacteria will obtain it during the washing process if they are mixed together.

Tough stains removed

Depending on the spots and how deep it has saturated into the fabric determines the plan of action for tough stains. Typically a pretreatment method or stain removal products are necessary to get these out.

Cold water soak

Using a cold water soak before washing helps combat some of the worst blemished spots. The longer you soak the better chance of getting them out. Add a little bit of soap to a cold water soak if they are exceptionally hard and no improvement is seen after several hours.

Over the counter items

There are more than a few over the counter items advertised as aiding in getting fabrics clean of mold and mildew. Check the web for reviews of customers that have actually used them to determine how well they really work before investing lots of money in a product for the job. Be careful and read all precautions before using. Some have the capacity to get rid of the stain, but could ruin your wardrobe as well.


Bleach is a valuable cure to remove tons of stains along with germs. However, bleach has a tendency to discolor any fabric color other than white. A solution of lemon juice and salt is affective for working hard ones out of colored garments. Rinse in cold water after the lemon juice and salt solution remedy.

Never dry in between products

If using more than one of these methods for tough stain issues or repeating a process, never dry the fabric in between actions. Keep it we until you are completely done with deleting any spots. Whenever fabric is allowed to dry, they become set in and are more difficult to get rid of.


Always dry outdoors

Take clean clothes outdoors after washing to let them dry. Drying clothes outside of the house is necessary for more than one reason. First and foremost is it is energy efficient. This is always wonderful. Not using a clothes dryer to do the job and letting it happen naturally is nice whenever possible.

Outdoor processing ensures the entire item is dried evenly. Having the sleeves of a shirt dry while the collar is still wet presents a problem. Although lighter materials dry faster, heavier ones dry out better with this method.

The best weather for dealing with contaminated clothes already washed is hot and dry. The sun and heat used to get the water out of affected clothing kills mold bacteria. Additionally, when these are outside any left over spores will not be in your home. Having weather hot and humid is not the ideal conditions.


These types of toxic fungus thrive in a moist dark environment. Wherever clothing is stored and attacked it will need cleaning. A number of stowing areas are not great places for the toxin to form. One of the best is inside of a plastic container in a warm and moist environment.

If they were previously stowed in plastic containers you do not have to throw the receptacle away. Clean it with a solution of bleach and water to make it reusable. The combination of water and bleach sterilizes and kills spores. Allow it to dry thoroughly before reusing.

Colored ones will possibly fade and discolor if enough bleach is in the cleaning solution. Therefore, a water and vinegar mixture for colored plastic receptacles works better to prevent possible fading.

You are able to safely store any fabric in a clean and dry container after removing mold and mildew. Do not store any affected clothes with clean ones. You would do well to set these out in the sun for drying just like drying clothes.

In conclusion

Mold is a live fungus used to make antibiotics and even some cheeses. In these forms it is beneficial for humans. However, the majority of is toxic and detrimental to health. According to the CDC this toxin is associated with almost 300 different lung diseases, asthma and breathing problems.

Small children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to health related illnesses tied to the poison, some even cause death. These are reasons why removing mold and mildew from clothing is very important.

Removing it is a wonderful way to preserve clothes, save the environment and in many circumstances your health. These are quick and easy tips for getting the job done the right way.

Instead of storing clothes in airtight containers, consider this alternative. The Whitmor Double Rod Closet is wonderful for storage. An added plus is being abl

Details on using cold water to get out the stain and smell of mold and mildew


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    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web

      thanks for the comment and useful tip tamron.

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 5 years ago

      I live in South Florida and mold can easily get out of control. If you leave your clothes in the wash a machine for more than a day. Your clothes smell like mold any longer you can see the mold. I rewash my clothes with vinegar and it removes the mold. Great Hub!