How to get mold out of clothes?
Moldy cheese might be a favorite by many, but mold on clothes doesn’t seem like it would excite as many people.
Well, you don’t have to worry. You don’t have to throw away your clothes! We have just the thing for this problem. Without further ado, let’s get to know your mold-removing partners.
Before You Start
Don’t forget your protective gear! Mold is harmful to you for several reasons. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Wear some gloves since your hands are probably the ones that would get direct contact with the mold. You might also want to wear a facemask and some goggles or glasses to be sure.
To add, we strongly suggest you work in a well-ventilated area.
1. Washing Machine
Sometimes you only need to wash the garment in question to get rid of the mold.
If you notice the problem immediately, a good wash with hot water and a good detergent will be enough. You’d want to wash the affected garment at the hottest possible temperature. Make sure you check the care label to see how hot you can get the temperature to be. Hot water would help with the mold, but it could also ruin your clothes.
Also, make sure you wash the moldy clothes separately from the unaffected ones.
On the other hand, if this solution does not solve the problem, you need not worry. We still have eight ways how you can get rid of that mold.
We usually recommend bleach as a last resort because it could be bad for your clothes, you, and the environment.
However, when it comes to mold, bleach is one of the best choices. If you’re dealing with a big pile of moldy clothes, using bleach might be your best chance at taking on that pile.
Bleach might be good for dealing with mold, but you can’t use it for every type of fabric. If you don’t want to use bleach or you can’t use it on the clothes in question, you might want to try out one of the next ones.
Vinegar is one of the best when it comes to laundry concerns. It helps with many laundry problems, and it is even known to be a mild bleach.
There are many ways you can use vinegar. You can soak the affected clothes in a vinegar solution, or you can even add vinegar in the wash.
If you choose to add vinegar to the wash, many suggest filling the washing machine with water, adding a cup of vinegar after, and not immediately adding detergent. You can let the clothes sit in the vinegar solution for some time or run the first cycle already. After that, you can add detergent.
It is important to remember not to mix vinegar and bleach. Vinegar and bleach may both be good for getting rid of mold, but these two are not good together. When you combine these two, you could make a toxic gas that could be more harmful than mold!
If vinegar did not work, make sure you rinse the garment off of any vinegar. After you’ve made sure the vinegar is all gone from your clothes, you can try bleach next.
4. Lemon Juice
On the other hand, if you don’t like how vinegar smells, you can use lemon juice.
Lemon juice is another mild bleach. Like vinegar, it is also widely known when it comes to laundry concerns.
Again, like vinegar, there are many ways you can employ lemon juice when it comes to solving laundry problems. For one, you can use it with salt. Put some lemon juice on the affected area and sprinkle on some salt.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another form of mild bleach that you can use as an alternative to store-bought bleach.
Again, there are several ways you can use it. For one, you can spray the affected area with some hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a few minutes before washing. However, many suggest diluting it before use. It might be a mild bleach, but it could still be a strong chemical.
In addition to using detergent on the wash, you can also try using it as a pretreatment.
First, you’d want to use an old toothbrush or anything similar to scrape off as much mold as you could. (Ideally, throw out this brush after use.)
Next, put some detergent on the affected area and let it sit for some time. Alternatively, you can make a soaking solution and soak the garment there.
After that, you can wash it as usual.
On the other hand, you can also use borax.
Like many of the other things listed here, there are several ways you can employ borax in getting rid of mold on your clothes.
You can use it how you’d use detergent for one. You can use it in a soaking solution or even put it in the wash.
Borax seems to work best with organic fabrics. It may work on your cotton shirts, but it might not be that effective for your polyesters.
8. Stain Remover
You can also try your trusty stain remover for this problem. However, you might want to keep in mind that not all stain removers can help with odor problems.
When dealing with moldy clothes, sometimes you’re not only dealing with stains. Moldy clothes could also introduce odor problems in clothes. It could have even been the giveaway for you to notice the mold on your clothes.
With that, you might want to find a stain remover that could help with odor problems too. On the other hand, you might want to use stain removers to solve your stain problem and partner it instead with one of the other things on this list for the odor problem.
Finally, let’s talk about the sun and its rays.
Placing your moldy clothes under the sun would probably not be enough to get rid of all the mold on your clothes, but it could be a great first or last step. In other words, coupling the sun’s rays with any of the other suggestions on this list would be a good idea.
With that said, it is advisable to air dry clothes after treating and washing them. Let the air and the sun work on your clothes.
Preventing Mold from Staining Your Clothes
Among all the stains, mold is probably one of the most harmful ones. It can introduce health problems from allergies and rashes to more serious matters like asthma. That’s why in addition to helping you get rid of it, we’ve also compiled a list of ways how you can prevent it from happening.
Dry Your Clothes Immediately
Dry your clothes as soon as possible. Whether it’s a wet swimsuit you’ve put in a plastic bag, a sweaty gym shirt you’ve chucked in your bag, or even the clothes you’ve only washed recently, dry them as soon as possible.
Also, make sure that all your clothes are fully dry before you store them. To add, you might want to make sure the places you store your clothes don’t have any moisture problems. If they do, try to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Get Rid of It Fast
Mold on clothes is not a localized problem. Once it starts, it can spread fast to other pieces or other areas. Quickly dealing with it is the way to keep it contained and prevent it from spreading.
With that said, you might want to take a good look around the area where you found your moldy clothes. Chances are, the surroundings already have some mold too. You might want to place your moldy clothes under the sun and clean up in the area first.
Silica Gel Packets
Don’t throw silica gel packets out!
When buying new clothing, you might sometimes find that they come with a small packet. You might have even tried to open them and decided to throw them out after. Don’t!
You can use these little packets to help prevent mold. Just place them in the closet or wherever you store your clothes.
Whatever kinds of laundry problems you’re dealing with, don’t forget the following.
We know you’re eager to get rid of whatever problem it is but go easy on your clothes. You might get rid of the problem, but you might also ruin your clothes.
Use Gentle Products
Yes, you’d usually want to use strong products to get rid of stains and such. However, you would want to make sure you’re using a product that’s strong enough to tackle the problem but gentle enough not to ruin your clothes.
With that, make sure you test the cleaning partner you’ve chosen on a hidden area before using it on the problem area.
How to get mold out of clothes？
Mold on clothes could spell trouble. However, as you’ve seen, there are many ways you could get rid of it quickly. Today, we’ve discussed nine things that can help you with your moldy clothes problem. To add, we also showed you three ways how you can prevent it from happening.
Feel free to check out our other discussions if you have other laundry concerns.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.