How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

Mold on clothes is not only unsightly but can also pose health risks. Whether it’s due to damp storage conditions or accidental exposure to moisture, mold growth on fabrics is a common issue.

Fortunately, there are effective methods to remove mold from your clothes and prevent it from coming back. In this guide, we’ll explore various techniques to get mold out of clothes, ensuring they are fresh, clean, and safe to wear.

How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, warm environments. When it grows on clothes, it can cause discoloration, unpleasant odors, and potential allergic reactions.

Mold spores can settle into the fibers of the fabric, making them difficult to remove without proper treatment. It’s crucial to address mold growth promptly to prevent damage to your garments and protect your health.

Common Causes of Mold on Clothes

1. Humidity and Moisture: High humidity and moisture are the primary culprits behind mold growth. Clothes left in damp conditions, such as wet laundry left in the washing machine, are prone to developing mold.

2. Poor Ventilation: Closets and storage areas with poor ventilation can trap moisture, creating an ideal environment for mold to thrive.

3. Flooding or Water Damage: Clothes exposed to flooding or water damage are at a high risk of mold contamination. Immediate action is needed to dry and clean affected garments.

4. Sweating: Sweating in clothes, especially during workouts, can increase moisture content, promoting mold growth if the clothes are not dried promptly.

Read more…How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Clothes

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Mold from Clothes

Identify Affected Areas

Before treating your clothes, inspect them thoroughly to identify moldy areas. Mold typically appears as black, green, or white spots and can have a musty smell.

Pre-Treat Stains

  • Brush Off Loose Mold: Take the clothes outside and brush off as much mold as possible. This prevents spreading spores indoors and reduces the amount of mold that needs to be treated.
  • Soak in Vinegar Solution: Mix one cup of white vinegar with one gallon of water and soak the affected garments for at least an hour. Vinegar helps kill mold and remove odors. For more severe cases, you can increase the vinegar concentration.

Wash with Mold-Killing Solutions

  • Use Hot Water: Wash the clothes in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Hot water effectively kills mold spores. Always check the care label to avoid damaging your clothes.
  • Add Borax or Baking Soda: Enhance your laundry detergent by adding half a cup of borax or baking soda. Both substances have mold-killing properties. Borax is particularly effective because it inhibits mold growth and eliminates odors.

Dry Thoroughly

  • Sun-Dry Your Clothes: Whenever possible, dry your clothes in direct sunlight. UV rays from the sun can help kill any remaining mold spores and naturally bleach mold stains.
  • Use a Dryer: If sun-drying isn’t an option, use a clothes dryer on the highest heat setting safe for the fabric. Ensure that clothes are completely dry before storing them.

Inspect and Repeat if Necessary

After washing and drying, inspect your clothes for any remaining mold. If you still see mold stains or smell a musty odor, repeat the treatment process. Some fabrics may require multiple treatments to fully remove mold.

Alternative Mold Removal Methods

1. Lemon Juice and Salt: For a natural alternative, create a paste using lemon juice and salt. Apply it to the moldy areas and let it sit in the sun. The acidity of the lemon juice and the abrasiveness of the salt can help lift mold stains.

2. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal agent. Add a few drops to your laundry detergent or create a spray solution with water to treat moldy areas.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an effective mold killer. Apply a 3% solution to the affected areas, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wash as usual. Be cautious as hydrogen peroxide can bleach fabrics.

Preventing Mold Growth on Clothes

To keep your clothes mold-free, consider these preventive measures:

  • Store Clothes Properly: Ensure your storage areas are dry and well-ventilated. Use moisture absorbers like silica gel packs to reduce humidity. Avoid storing clothes in plastic bags, which can trap moisture.
  • Avoid Dampness: Never leave damp or wet clothes in piles or hampers. Always dry them promptly after washing or exposure to moisture.
  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your wardrobe and storage spaces regularly to prevent mold growth. Wipe down surfaces with a mold-killing solution to keep the environment dry and clean.


Q: Can mold on clothes make you sick?

A: Yes, mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues, especially in individuals with mold sensitivities. It’s essential to remove mold promptly and prevent its recurrence.

Q: Is vinegar effective in killing mold on clothes?

A: Yes, white vinegar is a natural mold killer and deodorizer. Soaking clothes in a vinegar solution can help eliminate mold and remove musty odors.

Q: Can I use bleach to remove mold from clothes?

A: Bleach can be effective in killing mold but is not suitable for all fabrics. It can damage delicate or colored fabrics. Always check the care label before using bleach.

Q: How do I prevent mold from growing on stored clothes?

A: Store clothes in a dry, well-ventilated area. Use moisture absorbers like silica gel packs and avoid storing clothes in plastic bags, which can trap moisture.

Q: What should I do if mold stains persist after washing?

A: If mold stains remain, try soaking the clothes in a stronger solution of vinegar or borax and wash them again. Persistent mold may require professional cleaning.

Q: Are there natural methods to remove mold from clothes?

A: Yes, natural methods such as using lemon juice and salt, tea tree oil, or hydrogen peroxide can be effective in removing mold from clothes.

Q: Can mold spores spread to other clothes in my closet?

A: Yes, mold spores can spread to other clothes if the environment is conducive to mold growth. Ensure your closet is dry and well-ventilated to prevent mold spread.


Mold on clothes is a common problem, but with the right techniques, it can be effectively removed. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can restore your clothes to their original condition and prevent mold from returning.

Remember, the key to mold prevention is keeping your clothes dry and clean. Stay proactive in your laundry and storage habits to enjoy fresh, mold-free garments all year round.

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