How to Remove Mold from Clothes
Updated: Feb 26
Believe it or not, mold may grow on your out-of-season clothes that are tucked away in a closet without much ventilation. Those big, plastic storage bags for clothes can be the perfect breeding ground for mold because they trap in moisture.
You may also smell a musty, organic odor on clothes. This can happen to clothes that haven’t been worn in a while, or that were left in the washing machine, forgotten for a week. The smell is probably mold. Mold can be harder to detect on clothes until it’s visible. Ideally, you don’t want to wait until it’s visible before removing mold from your clothes. If the problem persists, you may have to get rid of the clothing items.
As we’ve discussed previously, there are a few options for removing mold from fabric. We’ve taught you how to remove mold from your furniture and now we’re going to talk about how to remove mold from clothes.
How to Remove Mold from Clothes
White vinegar is often used to kill mold because it’s effective. You can use it on more than just white, cotton clothes that you suspect are growing mold. Just throw your clothes in the washer 1 cup of white vinegar and run your moldy clothes through a wash cycle. Then run them through a second wash cycle after adding ½ cup of baking soda. If you can do a hot water wash, that’s preferable.
Baking soda has an alkaline pH level, meaning it’s quite mild. This makes it an excellent choice for naturally and gently removing mold from clothes. To kill mold on your clothes using baking soda, fill a spray bottle with water and dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in it. Spray the solution on your clothing and scrub, then launder. For a more serious job than a spot-clean, combine baking soda with white vinegar instead of water. This increases your chances of getting rid of all the mold spores, since white vinegar can kill many mold species, even on porous items like clothing.
If the mold growth is extensive, or if you believe the mold has been there awhile, your best bet is to throw the moldy items away. Mold grows on fabrics because it’s an excellent food source. The mold colony consumes the fibers and causes fabrics to eventually rot away.
Other methods for removing mold from clothes
Antifungal detergents can be a great off the shelf option for removing mold from clothes. It’s a common misconception that bleach kills mold, when in reality it does not. Avoid using bleach to kill mold as it only kills surface mold and can actually cause the mold to re-grow even stronger.
Another approach is to use Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a spot treat method. Spray your clothes with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Before washing them let the solution sit for 15 minutes. Scrub any stubborn areas.
Can mold be washed out of clothes?
In some cases, yes, mold can be washed out of clothes. Let’s go back to our forgotten laundry example. If you’ve left your clothes in the washing machine overnight, and they smell a bit musty, they may be starting to grow mold. This can be taken care of quickly and easily. Add more detergent to your machine, select the hottest mode, and let it run through two cycles.
For added options to this method of washing mold out of clothes you can:
Use an antifungal detergent
Add vinegar, baking soda, or borax to a filled washer
Dry your clothes in the sun
Wash with vinegar and baking soda for extra cleaning & odor removing power
Make Sure Mold is Removed From Your Boston, MA Home
Once you’ve gotten rid of the mold on your clothes, you’ll need to make sure that it doesn’t come back. The best way to ensure that your Boston home is mold free is to have a professional inspect and clean your home.
My Pure Environment uses patented dry fog technology to remove toxic mold and bacteria from the air, by creating a blanket of mist throughout the room, eradicating microbes on contact. Mold spores are broken down on a molecular level leaving your home safe and mold-free.
For a free quote, call our offices today.
We have office locations in Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, and Fresno, CA.