How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

Having mold on clothes is nobody’s favorite thing. If you’ve stored your clothes in the closet for a long time or left a box of clothes unopened, you may find some mold already growing on your clothes. This article goes through 10 methods to handle mold and prevent your clothes from developing it in the first place. 

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows on different surfaces, including walls, carpets, upholstery, and clothes. Usually, mold thrives in humid conditions. So, if you have mold problems, it means your clothes get damp.

Also, if you store your clothes in a box for a long time or pile up damp clothes, you might get mold growing on them. Mold emits an unpleasant smell, stains fabrics, and may lead to health complications. For this reason, it’s best to know how to get rid of them from your clothes. 

10 Methods to Getting Rid of Mold From Your Clothes

The good news about mold is that there are many ways to get rid of them and prevent them from getting to your clothes in the first place. Here are ten different methods to get rid of mold and return your clothes to their former glory: 

1: Bleach

Clorox Cleanup + Bleach

Bleach works well to remove mold from clothes, and it’s one of the best choices to get rid of them. But bleach can’t work for every fabric. To avoid bleach stains, it’s best to use it on white clothes only. 

To use a bleaching method;

  • If you are using a machine, add bleach to the machine
  • If hand washing, mix bleach with warm water and let it soak for some minutes before washing with detergent. 
  • Inspect the clothes for any lingering mold after washing 

Non Bleach Methods

If your fabric cannot be bleached, here are some methods you can consider.

2: Detergent or Stain Remover

Tide Detergent

Detergent or stain remover is an important laundry material that can work effectively to remove mold stains. For this method, you will need a brush, preferably an old toothbrush with very soft bristles. To go ahead: 

  • Try to brush off the stained parts to remove as much mold as you can
  • Apply a stain remover to the stained area or soak in detergent for about 20 minutes
  • Wash as usual in a machine or by hand

3: White Vinegar 

Vinegar is an excellent product for many cloth laundry problems, including mold. When used the right way, vinegar kills mold just after one wash. To use vinegar to remove mold from clothes:

  • Add 2 cups of vinegar into the washing machine and spin on a normal cycle (without adding detergent). Afterward, add detergent and wash as normal.
  • For handwashing, try soaking the clothes in vinegar for 20 minutes before washing as normal

Note: It’s bad to mix vinegar and bleach because vinegar works like a mild bleach. 

4: Lemon Juice

Like Vinegar, lemon juice helps remove different kinds of laundry stains, including mold. To go on with this method; 

  • Soak a cotton pad in lemon juice and place it on the stained parts of your fabric
  • Leave for some minutes, and then add salt to the area to boost efficiency
  • Allow them to dry, then wash as normal

5: Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerful smell killer and can remove mold. For better results, consider mixing your baking soda with vinegar. 

  • Mix half a cup of baking soda with one-fourth cup of water
  • Spread this mixture over the stained parts of the clothes
  • Leave for 2 hours or until the paste is dried, then use a toothbrush to dust off the dry powder 
  • Use a towel to wipe the damp area before washing in the machine or by hand

6: Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen Peroxide

As a disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is a great solution to get rid of mold, viruses, and germs on your clothes. This is an excellent alternative to bleach, but you must be careful while using it because it may damage colored fabrics. 

To use this method:

  • Do a color test by dabbing a hidden cloth area with a small drop of Hydrogen peroxide. If it changes color, that’s your cue to discontinue this method. If it doesn’t, then you can go ahead. 
  • Use a cotton pad to apply the hydrogen peroxide to the stained area
  • Leave for about 10 minutes and wash as normal

7: Borax


Borax is another substance that works as an insecticide, herbicide, and disinfectant. removing mold from surfaces. This substance works just like Hydrogen Peroxide when mixed with water. To use Borax to remove mold from your clothes;

  • Mix about half a cup of borax with hot water. It may not dissolve quickly, so consider stirring for some minutes until it’s fully dissolved
  • If you are washing in a machine, add the liquid to your washer. If by hand, soak your fabric in the mixture for about 20 minutes, then wash as usual.

Note: Keep borax out of reach of children and pets, as it is toxic when ingested.

8: Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is a great way to remove mold and other fungi. Just some drops, and you’re good. 

  • Mix a teaspoon or five drops of tea tree oil with one cup of water, then pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the stained parts of the clothes and leave the spray on for up to 10 minutes
  • Pour the remaining spray bottle’s content into your washer or bucker and wash as normal

9: Sun

Let’s talk about spreading your clothes directly under the sun’s rays can kill fungi like mold. Combining this with other methods is best before spreading air-drying the affected fabric under the sun. 

10: Dry Cleaning

Consider dry cleaning if you do not have the materials for the above methods at home. You should also consider giving your cloth to a professional if your fabric is delicate or try DIY dry-cleaning.

How To Prevent Mold From Staining Your Clothes

As mentioned earlier, mold can harm health, so it’s best to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Here are some great tips to prevent mold from getting on your clothes;

  1. Dry Your Clothes

The best way to prevent mold is by ensuring you don’t give them room to grow. Mold loves humid conditions, so it’s best to always dry your clothes after washing or wearing them. Whether it’s a cloth, you just washed or a sweaty shirt in your plastic bag, dry them as soon as possible. 

  1. Good Ventilation Helps

Another tip to prevent mold is ensuring your room and closets are well-ventilated. Open the windows and turn on the air conditioner or ceiling fans to ensure the air circulates. 

  1. Keep Your Carpets Dry

Your wet carpets can house mold, which may end up affecting your clothes. To prevent this from happening, keep your room clean and ensure your carpets are dried.

  1. Try Silica Gel Packets

The silica gel packets that come with your new clothes help prevent mold. Keep it in your closet or close to your garments to prevent mold from growing. You do not need to open the silica gel packet to do its work, but you should keep it out of the reach of little children. 

  1. Use Humidifier

Humidifiers help control humidity levels, and placing one near your garments can prevent mold growth. You can place the humidifier in the closet or near the drying rack for effective performance.

  1. Act Fast

Mold can spread from one place to another, one cloth to another. Whenever you notice mold on your clothes, you should act fast to get rid of it before it starts spreading. Any of the methods explained in this article should help remove mold. Also, check your surroundings and inspect other garments to ensure they don’t have mold. 

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