How to remove mold from clothes

How to remove mold from clothes

Wardrobe items are spoiled not only by street dust and accidentally planted stains, but also by mold fungi. They grow both on clothes that have overwintered in a cold dacha or garage, and on things from a home wardrobe, pantry, or mezzanine. How to remove mold from fabric and prevent it from reappearing?

Why does mold form and what to do about it

Mold mycelium requires a moist environment and darkness to grow. Therefore, a gray-white, black or green coating on the fabric appears if:

  • the room is too humid;
  • the dressing room had not been ventilated for a long time;
  • things were put away for storage without being dried;
  • suits and coats were in cellophane covers;
  • There were dirty clothes in the closet with spores on them.

Mold stains are not a reason to go to the dry cleaner. Without extra financial investment, they can be successfully eliminated at home using chemicals, pharmaceutical products, natural cleaners (products and substances from the kitchen cabinet and refrigerator). After preliminary testing on an inconspicuous area of ​​the item, they are used in different ways:

  • locally, cleaning only the areas affected by the fungus;
  • prepare aqueous solutions for soaking on their basis;
  • added to water for washing and boiling.

Substances that can clean mold from clothes can be universal or designed for a certain type of fabric. They are used in pure form or in combination.

The following will help remove mildew from white and colored items: laundry soap, chalk and tooth powder, ascorbic and acetylsalicylic acid, salt and soda, onion and lemon juice, ammonia, sour milk.

To remove mold stains from light-colored clothing items, use ready-made bleaches and stain removers, hydrogen peroxide, turpentine, boric acid, table vinegar, borax, and citric acid.

Having discovered a thing with a characteristic stain, you need to start cleaning it immediately. Otherwise, holes will appear on the material, and the mold will spread to neighboring woven surfaces.

Localized mold removal

If the mycelium has not had time to grow much, it is removed locally. Depending on the type of tissue, local cleaning is carried out in one of the following ways:

  • The contaminated surface is moistened, generously soaped with laundry soap and left for 60 minutes.
  • The contaminated area is placed in a container with any fermented milk product without impurities (including whey) at room temperature so that the liquid covers the stain. The product is kept in sour milk from 30 minutes to 12 hours.
  • Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to the stain with a cotton pad. Sprinkle table salt on top and let the area dry completely.
  • A thick layer of baking soda is applied to the surface moistened with water. After a few minutes, the fungus is scrubbed off with a wet brush.
  • Acetylsalicylic or ascorbic acid is dissolved in wine alcohol or vodka (3 and 2 tablets per quarter glass, respectively). The resulting solution is applied to the stains and left to dry.
  • Grind onions or squeezed juice are applied to the mold for half an hour. For better results, lemon juice is added to the product.
  • Ammonia is mixed with ethyl alcohol and water (1:1:1). The mold-affected segments are wiped with a cotton pad soaked in the solution.

The described treatment methods are suitable for both dense and delicate fabrics, such as wool, silk and synthetics. High-temperature-resistant items can be cleaned as follows:

  • Bring half a liter of water to a boil. Dissolve 100 g of salt and 5 ml of ammonia in it. Apply the mixture to the stains for 2-3 hours.
  • The mold formation is sprinkled with crushed chalk or tooth powder, and then ironed with a hot iron through a cloth or paper napkin.

Methods for light fabrics

You can clean mold stains on white clothing using one of the following compounds:

  • 9% solution of table vinegar;
  • pure 3% hydrogen peroxide or an aqueous solution (3 tablespoons of the preparation per 200 ml of water);
  • an aqueous solution of borax prepared at a ratio of 1:2;
  • turpentine (after treatment, a greasy stain may remain, which is sprinkled with talc or chalk and ironed through gauze);
  • ascorbic acid dissolved in ethyl alcohol (vodka) (1-2 g per 100 ml).

The products are treated for 15-20 minutes and then thoroughly rinsed or washed.

When spot cleaning, protect your hands and respiratory system, as mold spores or toxic fumes from cleaning agents may come into contact with your skin or into your body and cause poisoning.

Soaking. Washing. Boiling

Even if local cleaning has produced a positive result, it is worth subjecting wardrobe items to more thorough treatment (except in cases where this is not possible).

An effective way to remove mold from clothes is to wash them by hand or in a washing machine with preliminary soaking, for which one of the following solutions is prepared:

  • Add boric acid (2 tbsp. per 1 l) to hot water (from 40°). Keep the items in the mixture for 60 minutes.
  • Half a glass of 9% vinegar is diluted in 5 liters of water and soaked for 1 hour.
  • A concentrated solution is prepared from shavings of laundry soap. To remove mold, the product will need 1-2 hours.
  • Add bleach or a special anti-mold agent to the washing basin according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

After soaking, rinse the items and wash them with regular detergents. Cotton and linen items of clothing with large areas of dirt are recommended to be boiled for a quarter of an hour with a chlorine-containing product, for example, with “Whiteness” (2 tablespoons per 1 liter of water).

Heat treatment not only effectively fights stains, but also eliminates the mildew smell from items.

To prevent mold from returning

To prevent the fungus from settling on your clothes again, it is enough to resort to the following preventive measures:

  • Wash items that were in close proximity to mold-affected items, even if there are no visible stains on them.
  • Dry the clothes outdoors (preferably in the sun).
  • In cold weather, before storing items, thoroughly clean and dry them and only then place them in the closet.
  • If a protective cover is used, it is advisable to give preference to products made from natural fabrics that allow air to pass through and prevent condensation from forming.
  • The closet in which contaminated wardrobe items were found should be emptied and treated with a disinfectant, for example, a solution of furacilin, peroxide, or soda.
  • When the wardrobe is full, moisture-absorbing bags or regular camphor are placed between the items.

Thus, in most cases, mold stains can be washed off easily. But getting rid of them forever is only possible with regular use of preventive measures.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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