Removing Mold from Fabric

I live in the tropics and with the wet season here Mr. Mould has moved into my home taking over and ruining my daughter's plush toys and most of my linen. I'm unsure as to how to remove mould stains from fabric. Any help is much appreciated. I don't want to have to replace all my damaged items as it will be a very costly exercise. Most of the items are cotton, the majority are coloured.

Here's a picture of some mould which has grown and stained her clothes basket. I thank you in advance for any help.

Tina from Darwin, NT Australia


Removing Mold from Fabric

Soak the fabrics in water, smear on soap abundantly and lay them in the sun for some hours. Wash and repeat if necessary. In Brazil, also tropics, we have white coconut soap bars, which is the best for washing. Hope this helps. (03/14/2007)

By Sylvia

Removing Mold from Fabric

Chlorine bleach is best to kill mold. Spray it on or apply on whites. You could use with light colors, too. Also, put anything with mold in strong sunlight. (You will probably have to use a bleach or hydrogen peroxide to get rid of mold stains.) And use dehumidifying dryers to absorb moisture. Avoid putting things in plastic, so the moisture sweats and creates an environment good for mold. Make sure there is good ventilation in storage areas. (03/14/2007)


By pamphyila

Removing Mold from Fabric

Can you get some Quaternary Germicidal Cleaner, this is what the professional water restoration companies use when dealing with mold. It is very concentrated and can be used to disinfect as well as kills mold/mildew. (03/14/2007)

By Ann29

Removing Mold from Fabric

Forgot to mention, it can be used on fabrics, carpet, etc. and will not discolor like bleach. (03/14/2007)

By Ann29

Removing Mold from Fabric

Do not use chlorine bleach for this. Bleach only removes the top layer of mold and leaves the roots, which allow more mold to grow. Bleach containers even say that they do not clean mold.
Use a straight solution of 5% acidity distilled white vinegar. This cleans the mold and prevents it from coming back, because it also kills the roots (07/14/2007)


By Heather

Removing Mold from Fabric

I had the same problem with colored linens. I washed them with Lysol, about a cup, and Oxyclean (tons) and some detergent. I also used a colored fabric bleach. The laundry will stink. Then you rewash with a deodorizing detergent, like Arm and Hammer. Then you dry with tone of fabric softener sheets.

It worked completely. Nothing got ruined, but don't be scared about the Lysol smell it goes away in the second wash and the dryer. There are no more mold spores in the stuff. I have asthma so I would know. I made up this solution for myself (nothing lives past Lysol) and Oxyclean is just that along with the colored fabric "bleach". On the white stuff use Clorox. Good luck. I was just lucky. I had to throw out the bag they were in however. I never could get it out. (09/27/2008)

By Elizabeth

Removing Mold from Fabric

How to remove mold from colored clothing (probably works with white, too). Worthy of the Good Housekeeping Nobel Prize.

First, let me tell you, I tried everything. I tried a bleach alternative stick, Wisk with bleach alternative, soaking in bleach alternative. It would lighten the black spots, but do nothing for the mold smears and discolorations, and it would always come back, worse than ever.

When it got so bad that I was going to throw my beloved Calvin Klein down coat away, I decided to try one last thing. The Mold Armor Instant Mold and Mildew Remover said not to use it on nylon, but I tried it on a moldy nylon bra that I was going to throw out, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the result.

This is for black mold. It has black spots, and stains like you smeared something on it. It doesn't smell.

I can not attest to mildew, which does smell, but I have some suggestions below.

  1. As soon as you see the start of mold, take care of it. It will get worse, the spores will spread other places. Your other clothes will become moldy, then your house, and then you will die (just kidding). But take it seriously.

  2. Go outside, and brush the spores off. Do not spread the spores throughout your house.
  3. Put on clothes you don't mind accidentally getting bleach spots on.
  4. Put on rubber gloves.
  5. Completely soak fabric in "warm" water (cold water will set stain), and wring out. Make sure everything is wet, or you will have bleach stains.

  6. Spray on Mold Armor Instant Mold and Mildew Remover. I got it at the hardware store.

    NOTE: My coat and the bra were off white, sort of tannish. If your fabric is darker, you might want to try a test patch in an area that's not noticeable. Just spray it on that area, scrub brush it, let it stay on 5 minutes, and rinse it out. You'll see if there's any discoloration. If there isn't any, continue with the rest.

  7. Scrub with a soft toothbrush. Scrub in all directions, back and forth, up and down, and in circles until stain is gone.
  8. Let it stay in about 5-10 minutes, no longer, or it will stain.

  9. Soak in warm water, and rub it around until fully rinsed.
  10. Remove water and rinse again in cold water.

  11. Wring out.
  12. Dry in the hot sun if at all possible. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. If not possible, dry in dryer, then put in sun if possible.

If you missed any spots, repeat.

I couldn't believe the results on my down coat. The ugly smears that no other product would even touch were gone. I had missed a few small places, so alas, I went through the whole obsessive compulsive procedure again, but it was well worth it. I was so proud of myself. I have not tried this for mildew, so I can't guarantee it for mildew. But I would try steps 1-8 (5 minutes only) and then soak the fabric in a mixture of warm water and Armor Mold and Mildew Remover for 5 minutes. Then steps 9-12. If you don't have any spots, just the mildew smell, skip steps 5-8 and just soak in the mixture of water and mold remover for 10 minutes, and then steps 9-12.

I have heard that a cup of white vinegar in your wash works for the mildew smell, too. You might want to try that first if you have no mildew spots. (08/22/2009)

By Marina Moonlight


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