Mold can easily grow on clothes and fabric if you have too much moisture in your home. Clothes made of cotton or other organic materials make great food sources for mold and mildew to live on.
Products to Remove Mold from Clothes
There are quite a few solutions you can wash moldy clothes in to get rid of the mold. Some good ones include:
- Baking soda
- Mold killing detergent
Tips for Removing Mold from Clothes
There are a few general tips when it comes to removing mold from clothes. One is that it’s best to wash your clothes in hot water. Hot water kills mold more effectively than cold water and better removes mold spores and allergens too. Of course make sure you don’t use water so hot that it can damage your clothing.
When you’re washing your clothes with a mold killing solution it’s best to wash them through at least two full cycles. Then after your clothes have been washed hang them on the line in the sun. The heat from the sun and the sun’s ultraviolet light help to kill mold. The sun has a natural bleaching effect that can also help to fade mold stains.
How to Remove Mold from Clothes with Bleach
Washing clothes in a solution of bleach and water can kill mold. Bleach can also fade away stains left on clothes by mold.
Before you use bleach make sure to check your clothes for any “do not bleach” warnings. You might also want to do a spot test on your clothes after you’ve mixed the bleach and water solution just to make sure they won’t fade.
Another option, instead of mixing your own bleach and water solution, is to wash your clothes with a bleaching detergent such as Clorox or Oxiclean.
How to wash your clothes with bleach:
- Start by putting your clothes into the washing machine and adding laundry detergent.
- Once the washing machine has filled up with water add about a cup of bleach (or whatever amount the label on the bleach says to use).
- Let your washing machine run like normal.
- If you notice the colors fading at any stage remove your clothes and rinse them well.
Alternatively you can soak your clothes in bleach:
- Use a concentration of about half a cup of bleach per gallon of water, or whatever ratio it says on the bleach’s label.
- Let the clothes soak in the solution for a few hours, making sure the colors do not fade.
- After soaking the clothes wash them in your washing machine with laundry detergent like you usually would.
How to Remove Mold from Clothes with Borax
Borax is a natural mold killer which does not emit toxic fumes. To kill mold on clothes with borax you can either purchase borax laundry detergent or add borax powder yourself to your washing. Mix the borax with hot water before adding it to your washing to make sure it is completely dissolved.
How to wash clothes using borax:
- Add your clothes to the washing machine along with laundry detergent.
- Dissolve half a cup of borax in very hot water.
- Once the washing machine has filled up add the borax that you dissolved in hot water.
- Let the washing machine run through like normal.
How to Remove Mold from Clothes with Vinegar
Vinegar kills 82% of mold species and can usually kill the mold growing on clothes. Vinegar will also remove the moldy smell from the clothes.
How to wash your clothes with vinegar:
- To kill mold on your clothes using vinegar, put your clothes in the washing machine along with detergent and let the machine fill with water.
- Then add about a cup or two of vinegar to your washing.
- Let the washing machine run through its cycle as normal.
Alternatively, soak clothes in vinegar:
- Let your clothes soak in a solution of one cup of white vinegar in a bucket of water for about an hour.
- After soaking, wash the clothes with laundry detergent in your washing machine to wash away the mold and vinegar.
- You might need to repeat the process to remove all the traces of mold and any moldy smell from your clothes.
How to Prevent Mold on Clothes
If you have mold growing on your clothes it’s probably because you left them in a damp pile for a few days or more. Every time you wash your clothes you should hang them on the line or dry them in the drier as soon as you can. Clothes that have been washed and then left wet for a day or more are at risk of mold starting to grow on them.
The same applies for clothes that have gotten sweaty or wet from you wearing them. Don’t throw wet clothes in the hamper where they’ll sit for days until you do the washing. Hang sweaty clothes somewhere where they can air out first. Do the same for wet swimming gear. Towels should also be hung up to dry after they’ve been used. If you have sweaty shoes you might also want to let them air outside on the doorstep or some other place before putting them away.
Not only might mold grow on wet clothes but moisture from the clothing can really increase the humidity in your home which can lead to mold growth in your house. Another related tip is to vent the clothes drier outside or at least ventilate the room where the drier is so that the moisture from drying clothes doesn’t get released into the air in your house.
For more ways to prevent mold growing in your home visit Prevent Mold.
Symptoms and Effects of Mold on Clothes
If you find mold on your clothes you should remove it as soon as possible. One reason to clean away mold and a sign that you might have mold on your clothes is the symptoms it can cause. If you’re wearing clothes with mold on them you may feel itchiness where the mold is contacting your skin and develop a rash. The clothing might also make you sneeze when you wear it.
Another reason to remove mold from clothes quickly is the damage it can do to your clothing. Mold digests whatever material it’s growing on so long term mold growth will destroy clothing. As mold grows larger it will also leave a greater stain on your clothing which can be difficult to remove and the clothes will smell.
Finally, mold on clothes releases mold spores into the air of your home which can promote mold growing inside. Additionally a build up of spores in your home’s air can cause you to suffer allergic symptoms while you are inside your house such as sneezing and sore eyes.
For more about the symptoms mold can cause see Mold Symptoms.