How to Remove Mold from Clothes and Fabrics

Excessive moisture in the house can lead to mould growing on clothes. Cotton and organic materials particularly, are more susceptible to mold and mildew.

Fabric Mold Removal Solutions

Totally getting rid of mold from clothes and fabric is not an easy task. Few solutions exist, that can be used to remove mold from clothes. Some examples are-

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Bleach
  • Mold killing detergents

Guidelines for Removing Mold from Fabrics

Some important general guidelines will apply when it comes to removing mold from fabric. Firstly, use hot water when washing moldy clothes. Hot water does a great deal of killing mold and eliminating mold spores as compared to cold water. Before washing in hot water, it is good to confirm that hot water will not damage the cloth otherwise look for an alternative mold removal option.

If you have opted to use a mold killing solution, do a two-cycle wash then hang your clothes under direct sunlight. The sun’s heat and UV light help in killing mold. The sun is known to have a natural bleaching effect that is good for fading stains from mold.

Removing Mold from Clothes using Bleach

Bleach serves two purposes. Removing mold from clothes and fading away stains left by the mold.
First things first, bleach is not intended for all clothes. Therefore, you have to check your cloth-labels for warnings against bleaching. Again, just to be sure that bleach is the ideal option, perform a spot test with a little bleach and water on your clothes and confirm that they are neither discoloring nor fading.

For those with the challenge of mixing water and bleach in the correct proportion, an equally good alternative is bleaching detergents like Clorox and Oxiclean.

Guidelines for washing your clothes with bleach:

  1. Place your clothes in the washing machine and then add laundry detergent.
  2. Fill water and add a cupful of bleach or the recommended quantity as indicated on the clothes’ label.
  3. Run your machine the usual way.
  4. Remove your clothes at any stage when their colors begin to fade and rinse them thoroughly.


  1. Soak your clothes in a mixture of bleach and water in the ratio of a cup of bleach to a gallon of water.
  2. Give your clothes some hours in the mixture while making sure that their color is not fading.
  3. Wash your clothes normally in the washing machine using a laundry detergent.

Removing Mold from Clothes using Borax

Borax is a preferred mold killer because it is natural and non-toxic. You can use borax as a detergent by purchasing detergents with borax as an ingredient or you can use pure borax powder by mixing it with hot water. Hot water allows it to dissolve completely before you can use the mixture or washing.
Washing clothes Using Borax

  1. Place your clothes and some detergent in the washing machine
  2. Dissolve half cup of borax in hot water
  3. Add in the borax mixture once you have filled the washing machine
  4. Run your washing normally

Removing Mold from Clothes Using Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective mold killer that eliminates up to 82% of mold species. It is also very effective in eliminating moldy odor from your clothes.

Washing clothes using vinegar:

  1. Place your moldy clothes and some detergent in the washing machine and fill it with water
  2. Add in one or two cups of vinegar
  3. Continue with your washing as normal


  1. Add a cup of white vinegar into a bucket of water and allow your clothes to soak in this mixture for an hour or so.
  2. Once soaked, use laundry detergent and water to wash off both the mold and vinegar from your clothes.
  3. This process may be repeated until clothes are rid of all traces of mold and moldy odor.

Preventing Mold from Attacking Clothes

Mold comes with dampness, and for clothes to be attacked by mold it means they stayed in a damp heap for some days without being hung on the lines. One way of preventing mold is drying clothes either by hanging them on the lines or in a dryer as soon as they have been washed.

Secondly, sweaty or wet clothes after being worn should be stored in such a way that they are aerated. Stuffing such clothes in the laundry basket and waiting for when you will wash them is a sure way of inviting mold to grow on them. The same procedure applies to swim suites and sweaty shoes. In addition, towels should always be hung on the line after every use.

Wet clothes are not only susceptible to mold attacks but are also a major contribution of excessive humidity in the home. Finally, your clothes drier is not an exception. It also needs to be maintained to prevent mold room growing in it. Occasionally, take the dryer out in the open to aerate it or properly ventilate the room in which you operate it, to keep moisture in drying clothes from spreading to the rest of the rooms.

Signs and Effects of Mold on Clothes and Fabrics

The first sign that you have mold on your clothes is that you will itch when you wear them. Mold causes itchiness and redness resulting in a rash where it comes into contact with the skin. Secondly, due to the allergens present in mold, you will react by sneezing.

An effect that mold has on clothing is that it digests and eventually destroys the clothes. The larger the mold on your cloth, the greater the stain, and as well the more challenging it will be to remove the stains. Mold is also associated with bad odor in clothes.

Another effect that mold will have on clothes is that it will release mold spores in the home which promotes further growth of mold and allergic reactions such as sore eyes and sneezing.

Any time you notice mold on your clothes, it’s a cinch there are more clothes with mold. Sort all your clothes and remove mold from the affected ones as soon as is possible. Take time to aerate your home and clothes regularly.

To learn more the symptoms caused by mold, check this previous article –

What are the health symptoms caused by black Mold

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