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How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

How to Get Mold Out of Clothes

Discovering how to get mold out of clothes is essential for anyone who’s faced the unpleasant surprise of moldy garments. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can also pose health risks. This guide covers the telltale signs of mold on your clothes, effective removal techniques, and crucial steps to prevent mold from returning. Let’s get started!

Recognizing the Signs of Mold

Mold is a nuisance at best, and a health risk at worst. Luckily, there are multiple warning signs that your house has been infested. By identifying it as soon as possible, you minimize the risk of it ever reaching your wardrobe. Listed below are some of the key signs of mold in your home:

  • Smell: There is no denying it; mold smells unpleasant. If you have noticed a new, unidentifiable scent in your home, it could be mold.
  • Darkened Shower Tiles: If the space between your bathroom towels has gotten darker or looks almost black, it is probably mold. There is nothing mold loves more than warm, damp environments, and that’s exactly what your shower provides.
  • Peeling Wallpaper: Discoloration is the first sign, but when wallpaper actually starts to peel from your walls, you know you have a problem. If you notice these issues in your home, it may be a sign of moisture infiltration and potential mold growth behind the surface.
  • Dark Spots: In the corners of your rooms and on your ceiling, if dark, damp patches start to appear, it is likely to be mold.
  • A New Cough/Cold: If you have a cold that seemingly won’t disappear, it could be mold spores irritating your respiratory system.
  • Visible Mold Growth: The most obvious sign of mold is the presence of visible mold growth. Mold can appear in various colors, including green, black, white, or brown, and it often has a fuzzy or patchy appearance. Common areas for visible mold growth include walls, ceilings, corners, and around windows.
  • Respiratory Issues: Prolonged exposure to mold spores can lead to respiratory problems, particularly in individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. If you are experiencing unexplained or worsening respiratory issues, it could be a sign of mold.
  • High Humidity Levels: Mold thrives in moist environments. If your home consistently has high humidity levels, especially in areas like basements, bathrooms, or kitchens, it increases the risk of mold growth and can be a sign of potential mold growth.
  • Condensation: Condensation on windows, walls, or pipes can create damp conditions that are conducive to mold growth. Be especially vigilant in areas where condensation is common, and consider improving ventilation to reduce moisture buildup.

Any of the above indicates a mold infestation in your home or potential mold buildup risks. The sooner you catch it, the sooner you can get rid of it before it causes any damage.

If you suspect mold in your home based on these signs, it’s essential to take action promptly. Mold can spread and become more challenging to remove as it grows. Consulting a professional mold remediation company is often the best thing to do to assess the extent of the problem and develop a plan for safe and effective mold removal.

How to Get Mold out of Clothes

There are many ways to effectively remove mold from your clothing, depending on the severity of the staining. The most appropriate technique can also vary based on the material. If you want to have any hope of salvaging your garment, you still need to adhere to the appropriate techniques.

Machine-Washable Clothing

Yes, it is possible to machine-wash mold out of your clothing, but this is only possible with two requirements. First, the item in question is machine-washable. Second, the mold hasn’t gotten totally out of control. A washing machine can only do so much, but it can remove mold in the early stages.

To achieve this, you need to wash the clothing at a high temperature. Most fungi species die when exposed to heat over 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most washing machines will have a designated ‘high-heat setting for this purpose. If not, you can always manually set the temperature yourself.

Clothes Being Machine Washed

Clothes Being Machine Washed

An important step in this method is to wash the item by itself. If you attempt to wash it with other clothing, the mold spores could transfer, and you may end up with even more moldy clothing. You should keep the clothing in a high-temperature wash for two full cycles to be absolutely certain the mold has been removed.

Once the washing process is complete, hang the affected clothing up in direct sunlight to dry. The sun is a natural mold killer, so if there are any spores that the water can’t wash away, they should be taken care of when drying. If you live in a wetter climate, then you can use a drier for this. Just make sure to put the clothes in immediately after washing. Otherwise, the moist climate may result in further mold growth.

Hand Wash Clothing

If the item of clothing is non-machine-washable, then hand washing is your best bet. To do this, fill a bucket or large bowl with hot water and add laundry detergent. Leave the item to soak for twenty minutes before cleaning it thoroughly. For worse infestations, you can leave the garment for up to an hour.

If you feel like hand washing may not be enough, you can do a hand wash followed by two cycles in the washing machine. This should completely clean out even the most stubborn of mold stains. If this doesn’t work, there is a third option available.

Dry Cleaning

Some items can only be dry cleaned anyway, but sometimes mold is too persistent to handle alone. All you need to do is brush away as much of the mold as possible, bundle the clothing into a plastic bag, and let the experts take it from there.

You must inform the dry cleaner about the mold, and it could be beneficial to point out where the staining has occurred specifically. This will give the cleaners a clear idea of where they need to target.

How to Prevent Mold on Clothes

The best way to prevent mold growth on clothes is to dry them as quickly as possible. You should never leave damp clothes in a pile for any period of time, as this will certainly attract mold growth. Though it can be tempting to leave the laundry for another day, the quicker you deal with it, the less likely you are to suffer some unpleasant consequences.

Additionally, if you want to take it a step further, you could purchase specially designed fungicide sprays that can be used on clothing to add a new level of protection. This isn’t always necessary, but in homes that naturally accrue a lot of moisture (especially older homes), it can be a good preventative measure! See more tips on how to prevent mold on clothes below:

Proper Storage:

Store clothing in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Avoid damp or humid spaces like basements or attics for long-term storage.

Use airtight containers, such as plastic bins or vacuum-sealed bags, to protect clothing from moisture and mold spores.

Dry Clothes Completely:

Ensure that clothes are thoroughly dry before storing them. Mold thrives in damp environments, so avoid storing even slightly damp clothing.

If clothes are wet from rain or sweat, hang them up to air dry before placing them in a closet or storage.

Regularly Clean and Maintain Closets:

Keep closets and storage areas clean and free of dust and debris. Vacuum or sweep regularly.

Install a dehumidifier in areas prone to high humidity to help maintain dry conditions.

Use Desiccants:

Place moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets, activated charcoal, or moisture-absorbing bags in closets and storage containers. These products help reduce humidity and prevent mold growth.

Keep Clothing Clean:

Wash clothing regularly, especially items that have been exposed to sweat, dirt, or other contaminants.

Avoid overloading your washing machine to ensure thorough cleaning and rinsing of clothing.

Dry Clothing Properly:

After washing, promptly remove clothes from the washing machine and hang them to dry or place them in the dryer. Leaving damp clothes in the washer can promote mold growth.

Use a high-quality dryer vent to ensure proper ventilation and reduce moisture buildup in the dryer.

Sunlight and Fresh Air:

When possible, hang clothing outside in direct sunlight. Sunlight has natural mold-killing properties and can help freshen clothes.

Periodically air out stored clothing by taking items outside and shaking them to remove dust and promote ventilation.

Avoid Overstuffing Closets:

Allow some space between clothing items in your closet to encourage air circulation. Overcrowded closets can trap moisture and promote mold growth.

Address Leaks and Moisture Sources:

Regularly inspect your home for water leaks, roof leaks, or plumbing issues that could introduce moisture into your living spaces.

Promptly repair any leaks or moisture problems to prevent water damage and mold growth on clothing and other belongings.

Use Mold-Resistant Hangers and Storage Accessories:

Consider using hangers and storage accessories designed to resist mold and moisture, such as cedar wood hangers or moisture-resistant storage boxes.

To prevent future mold growth on your clothes, ensure they are completely dry before storing them. Avoid storing clothes in damp or humid areas, and consider using moisture-absorbing products in closets or drawers.

Read more: What to do with water-damaged clothes?

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If you are concerned about mold growth in your home potentially affecting your wardrobe, contact All Dry USA today! Our experts can answer any questions you may have and are fully experienced in removing mold for good.


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