Effective Methods for Removing Mold from Clothing

by Jennifer Sergent
how to get rid of washing machine mildew smell

Mold growth on clothing can be a frustrating and unsightly problem. Whether it’s due to a damp environment, improper storage, or a past water damage incident, finding mold on your favorite garments can be disheartening. However, there are effective methods for removing mold from clothing that can help restore your wardrobe to its former glory. Keep on reading to know more about how to get mold out of clothes and solve your problems.

Identifying Mold on Clothing

  • Look for dark spots or patches on the fabric.
  • Check for a musty smell coming from the clothing.
  • Feel for any dampness or stickiness on the material.

If you notice any of these signs, mold has likely started to grow on your clothing. It’s important to address this issue promptly to prevent further spread and potential health risks.

Taking Action

  • Remove any affected clothing immediately.
  • Wash the items in hot water with detergent and bleach, if possible.
  • Hang clothes out in the sun to dry, as sunlight can help kill mold spores.

Pre-Treating Mold Stains

To pre-treat mold stains on clothing, brush off any visible mold spores outdoors to prevent spreading. 

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, then use a clean cloth to dab the stained area. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Another effective method is to use a 1:2 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and water. Apply this solution directly to the mold stain and let it sit for at least an hour before rinsing thoroughly. 

For stubborn stains, consider soaking the garment in this mixture overnight before washing it as usual with detergent.

how to get rid of washing machine mildew smell

Washing Moldy Clothes

It’s important to act quickly and effectively when tackling mold on clothing. Start by sorting through your clothes and separating the moldy items from the rest of your laundry.

  1. Pre-treat: Pre-treat the affected areas with a mixture of vinegar and water or a specialized mold remover before washing.
  2. Hot Water Wash: Use hot water when washing moldy clothes, as this helps kill any remaining spores.
  3. Dry in Sunlight: After washing, hang the clothes out to dry in direct sunlight, as UV rays can also help eliminate mold.

By following these steps consistently, you can effectively remove mold from your clothing and prevent it from spreading further.

Using Natural Remedies

White Vinegar: To kill mold spores, soak the affected clothing in a mixture of white vinegar and water (1:1 ratio) for several hours before washing.

Baking Soda: Combine baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply it to the moldy areas, let it sit for a few hours, and then wash as usual.

Tea Tree Oil: To eliminate mold spores, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular laundry detergent when washing moldy clothes.

Using Commercial Mold Removal Products

Choose the Right Product: Look for commercial mold removal products specifically designed for clothing. These products are formulated to eliminate mold spores and stains from various fabrics without damaging them.

Follow Instructions Carefully: Before using any commercial mold removal product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Failure to do so may result in ineffective treatment or even damage to your clothing.

Test on a Small Area First: Before applying the product to the entire garment, test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with the fabric. If there are no adverse reactions after testing, treat the rest of the affected areas as directed by the product instructions.

By following these tips when using commercial mold removal products on your clothing, you can effectively eliminate mold while preserving the integrity of your garments.

how to get rid of washing machine mildew smell

Removing Mold Odors

Air out the clothing: Hang the mold-infested clothes outside in direct sunlight to help eliminate the musty odor.

Use baking soda: Combine baking soda and water to create a paste, then apply it to the affected areas. Allow it to sit for several hours before washing as usual.

Vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz this solution onto the moldy spots on your clothing and let it air dry.

By following these simple yet effective methods, you can successfully remove mold odors from your clothing. 

Preventing Mold Growth on Clothing

Store clothing in a dry, well-ventilated area: Moisture is a breeding ground for mold, so ensure that your clothes are stored in a location with good air circulation to prevent mold growth.

Use moisture absorbers: Place silica gel packets or activated charcoal in storage containers to absorb excess moisture and keep your clothing dry.

Regularly inspect and wash clothing: Check your clothes regularly for any signs of mold growth. If you spot any, promptly wash the affected clothing items with hot water and detergent to remove the spores.

Tips for Storing Mold-Free Clothes

Dry clothing thoroughly: Before storing clothes, make sure they are completely dry. Mold thrives in damp environments, so it’s important to eliminate any moisture before putting your clothes away.

Use breathable storage containers: To prevent mold growth, choose containers that allow air circulation. Avoid plastic bags or airtight containers, as these can trap moisture and create the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Store in a cool, dry place: Choose a well-ventilated area with low humidity to store your clothes. A closet with good airflow or a temperature-controlled storage unit is ideal to keep mold at bay.


Is it possible to eliminate mold from clothing? 

Mold on clothing can be a stubborn issue, but it can be eliminated with the right approach. One effective method is using a combination of vinegar and baking soda to target and kill mold spores. Another option is washing the affected clothing in hot water with a detergent designed to kill mold. Additionally, exposing the clothing to direct sunlight and fresh air can help dry out and eliminate any remaining mold.

Does vinegar have the ability to eradicate mold? 

Vinegar, commonly known for its versatile cleaning properties, has also gained popularity in mold eradication. Its acidic nature enables it to break down the mold’s structure, inhibiting its growth and eventually killing it. This natural solution removes mold and prevents it from regrowing due to its antifungal properties.

What causes mold to develop on clothes stored in closets? 

  • One common cause of mold developing on clothes stored in closets is high humidity levels. 
  • Another factor that can lead to mold on clothes in closets is poor insulation or lack of insulation in the walls of the closet space. 
  • Furthermore, neglecting regular cleaning and maintenance of closets can also contribute to mold growth on clothes. 
  • Regularly cleaning out and airing out closets can help prevent mold development and keep clothes fresh and free from fungal infestations.

In what way does baking soda assist in eliminating the smell of mold from clothing? 

Baking soda, with its powerful deodorizing properties, is a game-changer in eliminating the musty smell of mold from clothing. Its alkaline nature helps neutralize the acidic odors produced by mold spores, effectively breaking down and absorbing them. Additionally, baking soda is a natural abrasive agent when mixed with water, helping to loosen and remove mold particles trapped in fabric fibers.

How can one recognize the presence of mold on clothing? 

One indication is a musty or unpleasant odor emanating from the clothes, signaling the presence of mold spores. Additionally, visible patches of discoloration or fuzzy growth on fabrics can also be a clear indicator of mold infestation.

Another important aspect to consider is the texture of the clothing. Furthermore, if you notice any lingering symptoms such as skin irritation or respiratory issues after wearing certain clothes, it could be due to exposure to mold particles in the fabric.


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