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How to remove mould from clothes

Check out this step-by-step guide on how to remove mould from fabric and deal with those stubborn stains.


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how to remove mould from clothes
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Key Steps

To remove mould from clothes, follow these key steps:

1.     Apply the stain remover of your choice to the stain and rub gently.

2.     Leave it to soak in and dry, then put the garment in for a normal wash.

3.     Let lighter colours dry in natural sunlight.

4.     Repeat process if required.

Whether on the bathroom ceiling, in the corner of your bedroom or the outside of your house, mould is always nasty. But have you ever found a damp sock that fell behind the bed a while ago? Or wet towels that have lurked at the bottom of the laundry bin for too long? There’s something particularly grim about mould and mildew on clothes.

Thankfully, even mould and mildew can be removed from your clothing if you know the basics of cleaning mould off fabric. In this article we explain how to remove mould from clothes, how to remove fungus from clothes and even how to get mould stains out of clothes. 

The best way to not have mould on your clothes is to stop the build-up of mould around the house in the first place with regular check-ups, preventing high humidity and frequent cleaning.

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How to get rid of mould on clothes: the basics

  • Always check the garment labels first and follow the manufacturer instructions. These might include information about the wash temperature and how to store clothes.

  • The less mould there is, the easier it is to remove so check your clothes regularly in order to catch any problem areas before they become too bad.

  • Mould is harder to spot on darker fabrics so always do a smell test too. The odour of mould is pretty distinctive so it’s easy to tell if your garment has been affected.

How to remove mould from fabric: key things you need to know

There are several parts to this process. Here’s how to remove mould and fungus from fabric in a few simple steps:

  • Apply a mould stain remover to the affected area. This could be a mixture of water and white vinegar or a dedicated stain removing product such as a laundry detergent like Omo. You may want to start with natural cleaners and work up to more powerful solutions until you get the desired result.

  • Once the stain remover is working on the mould, try scrubbing it off with a clean toothbrush. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this could damage more fragile fabrics.

  • Allow the fabric to dry – in direct sunlight if possible. This is the best option for lighter coloured garments but be careful about doing this for darker shades as the sun can zap their colour.

  • Now put the item in for a powerful wash. Use a good quality detergent such as Omo and hot water to kill those nasty mould spores once and for all. Afterwards, remove the items from the washing machine and let them dry naturally in the air.

How to remove mould stains from clothes

If you’ve done all that and there’s still a stain on your clothes from mould, it’s time to employ the big guns: dedicated stain removers. Start with a paste of baking soda and water, mix up to a thick consistency and apply directly to the stain. Leave to soak for 10 minutes then rinse thoroughly, repeat as required. If that’s not working, consider using Omo in the same way.

In this article we’ve covered how to get rid of mould on fabric – we’ve focused on clothes but some of these tips can help for other household fabric items such as upholstery, curtains or bed linens. Wherever you get mould, by taking action to tackle the problem, hopefully you can save your stuff.

Originally published