How to Remove Mold From Clothes


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Mold on clothes is way more common than you'd think, and ignoring it is like leaving dirty laundry on the floor—eventually, it'll stink up the place. So, let's tackle this pesky mold issue together, because your clothes deserve better.

Mold doesn't just ruin your favorite shirt; it can also cause a few health hazards. Spoiler alert: sneezing and itchy eyes are not the latest fashion trends.

So let's dive in and learn how to evict this unwelcome guest from your wardrobe.

What Causes Mold on Clothes?

So, what's the secret recipe for mold growth on your fabulous outfits? The science behind it is as simple as a PB&J sandwich.

Mold loves damp, dark environments—think of it as a tiny vampire that thrives on your clothes.

Some key factors that invite mold are:

Piling Up Wet Clothes

Almost everyone has left a pile of wet clothes somewhere after coming in from getting wet outside, whether it's from the rain, a pool, etc. This is a horrible practice!

High Humidity

High humidity in a space such as a closet, basement, etc can cause clothes to become moldy fairly quickly.

Any kind of mold has a taste for warm, humid environments (around 77°F or 25°C). So if you're rocking a tropical vibe at home, it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet for mold.

How To Detect Mold on Clothes

Before we dive into mold-busting, we need to find the uninvited guests. So, how do we spot mold crashing our wardrobe party? Easy peasy! Here's what to look out for:

Funky smells

If your closet smells like a science experiment gone wrong, chances are molds in the house!


Mold loves leaving its autograph on your clothes in the form of ugly, discolored spots.

How To Clean Mold Off of Clothes

Ready to show mold the door? Let's do it! Follow this detailed guide and you'll be mold-free in no time:

What You Need

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Pre-Treat With Vinegar

pre-treat with vinegar

Before beginning, put your mask on. Then, fill your bucket with water and 1 cup of white vinegar. You can also use half a cup of borax instead.

Soak your clothing in this solution for at least an hour. This will help disinfect the fabric.

Vinegar can also bleach clothing, so you should spot-test on a garment before treating it this way.

Warning: Never mix vinegar with bleach; it creates toxic gas.


Scrub The Clothes

scrub the clothes

Gently scrub the treated areas to loosen up any mold growth and those stubborn mold stains.


Use Baking Soda

use baking soda

Sprinkle baking soda onto the moldy areas, if any remains, and gently brush the baking soda in the stained area.  Baking soda is a great mold cleaner and can kill it too, but it's only for spot cleaning.  People often say to mix baking soda and vinegar together, but one is an acid, and the other naturalizes acid. If mixed directly together, they don't actually work very well. You can use baking soda as an abrasive cleaner before or after vinegar is applied, though.


Throw In The Washing Machine

clothes in washing machine

Use hot water and your trusty detergent. Borax detergent is one of the best, and cheapest on the market. Hot water helps kill mold spores, so crank up the heat (within reason, of course).


Dry In The Sun

clothes drying in the sun

Hang your clothes out to dry in the sun—the sun's UV rays are nature's mold zapper.

If you can't dry them out in the sun, you can use your clothes dryer instead.

Remember the do's and don'ts while battling mold: DO: Follow the care instructions on your clothes' labels—no one wants a wardrobe disaster.

DON'T: Mix bleach with vinegar –  it's a big no-no!

Now that we've covered the basics, you might be wondering if there are other ways to evict mold from your clothes.

Well, you're in luck! Our next section explores alternative methods for removing mold. Get ready to expand your mold-fighting horizons!

Alternative Methods for Removing Mold from Clothes

Sure, we've conquered the basics, but why stop there? Let's explore some eco-friendly and DIY alternatives to keep your clothes mold-free and Mother Earth happy:

Lemon juice

A natural mold assassin, lemon juice is both eco-friendly and effective! Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, apply it to the moldy spots, and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse and dry your clothes in the sun for a citrus-fresh finish.

Tea tree oil

This natural wonder is a mold-fighting champ! Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil with a cup of water, spray it on the moldy areas, and let it sit overnight. Wash and dry as usual, and voilà! Mold, be gone.

Grapefruit seed extract

Mold doesn't stand a chance against this fruity foe. Mix 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract with 2 cups of water, and spray it on the moldy spots. Let it sit for an hour, then wash and dry your clothes.

These alternative methods are not only kind to your clothes but also to our planet! But, what if we could stop mold from ever growing on our clothes again?

Get ready for the grand idea: our next section is all about preventing future mold growth. Say hello to a mold-free wardrobe for good!

Preventing Future Mold Growth on Clothes

Congratulations! You're now a certified mold-fighting superhero. But let's ensure that pesky mold doesn't make an unwelcome comeback. Here's how to keep your clothes and closet mold-free:

Dry clothes thoroughly

Don't let damp clothes crash in your closet. Make sure they're completely dry before storing them.

Ventilation is key

A well-ventilated closet is mold's worst nightmare. Keep your closet door open and let the fresh air in!


Keep humidity levels in check with a dehumidifier or moisture-absorbing products. Mold hates a dry environment. Now that you know how to prevent mold from returning, it's time to treat your clothes with some TLC.

Our next section will share tips on refreshing and revitalizing your wardrobe after the mold battle. Get ready to pamper your clothes and give them the spa treatment they deserve!

Treating Clothes After Mold Removal

You've fought the mold battle and won—hooray! Now let's give your clothes the VIP treatment they deserve. Here's how to ensure they're properly disinfected and ready for the catwalk:

Vinegar rinse

A final rinse with white vinegar is like a “mold-be-gone” magic potion. Add a cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle for that extra peace of mind.

Essential oils

A few drops of tea tree, lavender, or clove oil can help keep mold at bay and add a touch of luxury to your laundry routine. There's a large list of essential oils that effectively eradicate mold.


Let your clothes soak up some UV rays. Sun-drying is eco-friendly and zaps any lingering mold spores.

Congratulations, you've successfully completed the journey from mold-infested to mold-free.


Moldy clothes aren't uncommon, but they can still be a pain to deal with.

There are various ways to get rid of mold from your clothes, including vinegar, borax, etc.

Take care of your clothes, keep your closet well-ventilated, and stay vigilant in your fight against mold.

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