How to Get Mold Smell Out of Clothes

Mold is a species of fungus responsible for the funny smell you get when your moist clothes sit for extended periods. Mold smells are not exactly straightforward to eliminate because, first, you must determine the root cause of the smell before you can take steps to redeem your clothes.

If your garments smell of mold, it may be due to high humidity in your locale or poor garment handling. But whatever the case, you’re here because you want to get rid of that funky smell you have in your clothes. Keep reading to find out how.

10 Ways To Get Mold Smell Out of Clothes

You can easily remove sweat and other unpleasant smells from your garment by washing them, so you naturally assume that it’s the same way with mold smell. Unfortunately, you may have to do more than that.

Sometimes, even after washing and thoroughly drying a previously mold-scented cloth, the smell may persist. Well, if there is accumulated dirt in your washing machine, it may be a breeding ground for mold. So no matter how many times you wash, the smell won’t come out.

If you want to permanently eliminate the mold smell from your clothes, here are 10 ways to do it: 

1. Clean Out Your Washing Machine

As we pointed out earlier, a dirty washing machine will only give you clothes that look and smell less than perfect. If you notice that your garments no longer smell fresh when they are machine-washed, then maybe it’s time to clean them out.

Check if your machine model comes with a cleaning cycle. If it does have one, then you can bring your machine back to tip-top condition by following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning out your washing machine.

While you’re at it, add a cup of cleaning vinegar, like the Green Gobbler 30% concentrated vinegar

This will help to dissolve and remove any caked scum or minerals serving as a foothold for mold growth in your machine. We recommend that you clean out your washing machine at least once every month.

2. Turn Clothes Inside Out Before Washing

Believe it or not, washing your clothes turned inside out allows them to wash better. It exposes the parts that come in contact with your body so that the machine can wash it more thoroughly. It only makes a small difference, but you need every advantage in the fight against mold smell on your garments.  

3. Wash Small Batches At A Time

If you’re tired after a long day of fulfilling other household chores, then doing the laundry is something you probably dread. So what do you do? Dump as much cloth into the washing machine as possible, we’re guessing. It’s tempting, but you shouldn’t do it.

If you cram clothes into the washing machine, water and detergent may not be able to penetrate the fabrics, resulting in a shoddy wash. You only need to repeat this pattern a few times to make your garments fertile ground for mold growth (and its associated smell).

Instead, always split your laundry into batches that your washing machine can manage. This way, you can be sure that your laundry will be thoroughly washed. 

4. Don’t Overuse Detergent

Adding extra detergent will not help to fight stains or odor better. On the contrary, you might be compounding the problem by doing that. This is because the excess sud becomes harder to remove and your clothes dry more slowly, giving mildew ample time to sprout.

Always follow the application instruction that comes with your dry cleaning detergent and your clothes should lose the mold smell. If your garments already smell like mold, try your hand on Concrobium Mold Control Spray; one application eliminates mold smell and prevents it from coming back.

4. Treat Fabric With White Vinegar

If you’ve had enough of mold smells on your clothes, then you should try treating them with vinegar. Simply load the affected clothes into the washing machine, set it to the highest allowable temperature for the fabrics, then pour in one cap of vinegar- no detergent.

Washing with white vinegar and at a high temperature is effective for cleaning molds and bacteria that make fabrics smell sour. So always have a bottle of vinegar nearby.

5. Use Borax

Borax is known for its use as a cleaning agent. It is an active ingredient in many cleaning products, so it’s no surprise that Borax is also effective for eliminating moldy smells from clothing. 

To get mold smell out of your clothes using Borax, take ½ cup of Borax and dissolve it In a half-filled laundry bucket. Then soak the affected garment in the Borax solution for about an hour. Then pull it out and wash it normally in a washing machine. 

6. Sun-dry Clothing Thoroughly

Even the best of us sometimes take our clothes off the line or stop the dryer before they are completely dry – that’s a mistake, and could be the genesis of a mold problem. Mold loves a humid environment, and the moist fibers of your garments turn into a breeding ground for them. 

Next time, let the clothes stay in the dryer until they’re completely dry before taking them out. Even better, try sun-drying your garments every once in a while; it not only prevents them from catching a moldy smell but also gives your garments a fresh outdoor scent.

7. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda can eliminate all kinds of sour odors from clothes, including mold odors. The alkaline nature of baking soda allows it to effectively remove the mold smell. For more effect, first, treat the affected clothes using vinegar (as described in 4 above) before finishing off any remnant smells with baking Soda. 

Simply load your laundry into the washing machine and pour in a cup of baking soda, add laundry detergent and wash your clothes using the highest allowable temperature for the fabric. Your laundry should come out smelling fresh as ever. 

8. Use An Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic excel at breaking down odor-causing. In reality, mold is a fungus, but regardless, many users have found enzymatic cleaners to be great for eliminating mold smell from garments – and it works like magic. 

One of the best Enzymatic cleaners you can find in the market is Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover. It is citrus-scented and is formulated with powerful plant surfactants that can help you eliminate the toughest mold smell from your garments.  

9. Use Laundry Enhancers

When it comes to sheer odor-removing ability, unscented laundry enhancers can work wonders for your clothing. If you’ve tried a few of the methods above but the mold smell didn’t come out completely, then you should try your hands on a laundry booster. 

If you’re in the market for an excellent laundry enhancer, then look no further than EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer Odor Neutralizer. It works for eliminating all kinds of smells including chemicals and mildew smell. 

10. Use Essential Oils

After fabrics have been washed and dried but still have a faint mold smell, you don’t have to rewash them. Simply spray dilute essential oils lightly on the garment and let it hang out to dry.

Can You Rewash Clothes To Remove Mildew Smell? 

Yes you can, but there are certain conditions you must fulfill:

  • First, make sure that your washing machine is not to blame for your garment’s mold smell. If it’s dirty, then you need to clean out the washing machine itself before you wash your clothes in it. 
  • If you don’t have objections about spreading your garments to dry out in the sun, then you can rewash your clothes and spread them out in the open to dry. If you have concerns about the colors fading, turn the clothes inside out before spreading them.
  • Resist the urge to use more detergent than is necessary when you have to rewash. 
  • If you must rewash, try using an enzymatic cleaner or white vinegar. These can effectively eliminate mold smells from your clothing. 

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