Removing Mold from Clothes
Mold can be an unsightly nuisance, especially on our clothes. This fungus can cause discolorations, odors and even premature tearing of fabrics. Here are a few tips for safely removing mold from your garments.
1. Clean immediately.
The longer you wait, the harder mold will be to remove. Treat spills or sweat marks as soon as they occur before mold has the opportunity to grow and spread.
Run your garment through the washer with a bacteriostat detergent, like bleach. For best results and safety, be sure to use half the recommended amount of detergent and no more than the highest temperature recommended on the care tag.
3. Air dry.
Don’t put the garment in a dryer after laundering. The heat could cause the mold particles to become airborne, spreading the mold to other items. Hang the garment outdoors and let it air dry instead.
4. Baking soda.
If the mold is persisting or your garment is a delicate fabric, you can try removing it with baking soda. Make a paste with a 1:1 mixture of baking soda and water, lay the item flat, and rub the paste into the affected areas. Let it sit for a few hours, then rinse it off and hang it to dry.
5. Vinegar solution.
Vinegar’s acidic properties can help remove the mold, but watch out—vinegar can also have an effect on dye if the garment is brightly colored. Create a solution of 5 parts water to 1 part white vinegar, and proceed as you would with any other cleaning solution—apply, let sit, and rinse.
6. Call the professionals.
If all else fails, consider taking your clothing to a professional cleaner. There are specialized cleaning agents and services that are designed to target and remove mold.
Prevention is key!
The best way to deal with mold on your clothes is to prevent it in the first place. The following tips can help:
- Wash and dry garments promptly.
- After being worn, put clothes in the washer immediately.
- Be sure to dry damp clothes as quickly as possible.
- Keep clothes clean.
- Wash your garments according to the care tag instruction.
- Replace dirty or sweaty clothing as soon as possible.
- Don’t overfill laundry baskets.
- Give garments room to breath between washings.
- Overstuffing your basket can cause mold to thrive and spread.
With a careful eye and a little diligence, you can prevent and remove mold from clothes.