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A Cleaner World Blog

How to Remove Mold Stains from Clothing

Before we get started on how to remove mold, let’s first talk about what it is. Mold is a fungus made of small organisms typically found almost everywhere, and when it’s in small amounts, mold is typically harmless. The problem comes in when they land on a damp spot; that’s when they can start to grow. When mold starts growing, it releases spores into the air where they can then be inhaled.

Mold usually starts growing on clothes when they are wet for more than 24 hours; this typically happens if you leave them wet in the washing machine too long or if you let sweaty gym clothes pile up. It can also happen if you put damp clothes away in your closet or if the air in your house is excessively humid.

It's important to remove mold from clothing as soon as possible; not only is it more difficult to remove the longer it sits, but it also begins to smell with time.

Home Remedies for Removing Mold from Clothing:

  • Baking Soda. If they are color clothes or towels, try adding a small box of baking soda to the wash. Launder items according to the care label’s directions.
  • Bleach. Adding 1 cup of bleach to your load is one way to remove mold from clothing; however, bleach will also remove color from clothing too. Check the care label on each item before washing. If the label says you can use bleach, we still recommend that you test an inconspicuous place on the garment for color fastness. Also, sometimes chlorine bleach can damage the optical brightness of white causing yellowing. Use caution if using bleach.
  • Borax. Add a ½ cup of borax to a hot water cycle to ensure that it dissolves. Again, check the care label on the clothing to make sure it can withstand a hot water wash.
  • Detergent. Look to see if you can find a laundry detergent specifically designed not only to clean your clothes but to also remove mold.
  • Vinegar. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your washer when washing moldy laundry.

These tips apply to any method you use:

  1. Before cleaning, check the care label to make sure the garment can be machine washed.
  2. Check garments when removing them from the washing machine to make sure all the mold is removed. If it isn’t, you may need to repeat the process or try another method.
  3. Never place the garment in the dryer if it still has mold on it; the heat from the dryer will set the stain.
  4. For best results, dry outside in the sun. Fresh air and direct sunlight help eliminate mold.

An additional mold removing remedy:

Dry Cleaning. If you have a dry-clean only item or if the item is fragile, made of temperamental fabric, or you are concerned about cleaning it at home, you can always drop them off at any A Cleaner World location. Removing tough stains is our specialty.

mold on fabric
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