Best Way to Remove Mold From Clothing
Mold is a fungus that grows in clothing and on surfaces that provide food, moisture and humidity for an environment favorable to mold. Fabric and any starch in fabric can be food for mold, or there may be food spilled on the fabric that will grow mold. When mold grows in clothing it makes an unsightly stain and makes the clothing look uncared for and dirty. If it is allowed to remain on clothing too long, it can gradually weaken or eventually rot the material.
Mold on clothing may not always be obvious. One way to know is if every time the clothing is worn the eyes feel sore, sneezing and itchiness occurs or a rash develops for seemingly no reason. Mold on clothing can be released into the home and begin to grow in other places that are damp and dark. Especially corners in the bathroom and kitchen.
Prevention is the first step. Cleaning food spills as soon as possible will remove any basis for the mold to form. Also, after washing any cloths, make sure they are completely dry before putting them in drawers or closets. Good ventilation in the place where clothes are kept will also help prevent mold from forming. If there is mold on clothes, it is most likely they have been left for some time in a damp pile either before of after washing.
The sooner mold stains are removed from clothing the better. The longer time they have to grow on the cloth the more difficult they will be to remove. Once mold starts, take the clothing outside and brush off any loose mold particles. Better not to go this inside the house as the mold will fly to other surfaces and grow there. Wash the clothing in hot water. This will kill the mold better than cold water.
If there is other clothing that has been touching or near the molded piece, take it outside also, shake it and let it air before putting it away. The drawer, closet or shelf where the clothing is stored can be cleaned with a white vinegar solution or a light bleach solution to kill any mold spores that may have attached themselves to the furniture. Keeping the clothing in sunlight may be enough to remove it, as most molds will die in bright light.
After an airing if the mold stain is still there, it needs to be washed. This can be done with white vinegar, bleach or borax.
With white fermented vinegar (not acetic acid synthetic vinegar) add ¾ cup to a load of wash. This needs to be repeated until the mold and its odor are gone. Then the load should be washed in the usual way.
Clothing can be soaked in vinegar for ½ hour before laundering. The acid will kill the mold.
Moldy clothing can be soaked in cold water for ½ hour then washed in warm water with laundry detergent. If this doesn’t remove the stain, it can be rubbed with a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach to a quart of water. Rinse out the bleach after a few hours. Then launder again and let dry in the sun. Chlorine bleach should not be used on silk, nylon, wool or Spandex. For colored fabric, make a solution with lemon juice and salt to kill the mold. Rinse out the solution with cold water after 10 minutes.
Borax is another natural mold killer and is more environmentally safe than bleach. The clothes can be washed with laundry detergent that already contains borax or the borax powder can be added to the load of wash. First, dissolve the borax in hot water and then add it to the washing machine when it is filled with water.
It is not difficult to remove mold from clothing and removing it will have a positive effect on the health of the wearer as well as on others who live in the same home.