Can I Wash Moldy Clothes?
Mold growth on clothing can be a frustrating problem, resulting in stained and smelly garments that may seem beyond repair. But the answer to this all-too-common issue may surprise you: in some cases, yes, you can wash moldy clothes! Here are some tips to help you decide the best course of action:
1. Consider the Fabric
Fabrics like wool, silk, and leather should only be gently hand-washed or professionally dry-cleaned, as these materials are susceptible to damage from water and harsh detergents.
2. Tart Up Your Rinse
In some cases, a regular detergent may not be enough to break down the mold’s hold on clothing. Adding a half-cup of vinegar to the final rinse of the cycle can help neutralize the smell and refresh the fabrics.
3. Remove Lingering Spots
Even after washing, some stubborn discoloration may still remain. To tackle these areas, you can make a paste out of dish soap and baking soda. Rub this paste into the impacted area and let it sit for a few hours before laundering again.
4. Air Dry
When you take the garment out of the washer, it’s important to give it the proper care before it goes in the dryer. Make sure the piece is completely mold-free and use a low setting if you choose to machine dry.
5. Musty Smells
If the clothing still smells musty after it’s clean, try putting the garment in the freezer overnight. The cold can help kill spores, making it easier to remove the smell in your next laundering.
When facing a mold issue with clothing or other fabrics, it’s important to take a common-sense approach and take care of the item to the best of your ability. If the fabric isn’t able to be laundered, you may need to discard it and start fresh. Following these steps should help you get back on the path to a clean wardrobe.
Tips For Mold-Free Clothing:
- Know the limitations of the fabric.
- Use a vinegar rinse.
- Treat discoloration with a paste of dish soap and baking soda.
- Air dry with a low setting, if necessary.
- Use the freezer to remove musty smells.