How Homeowners can Clean Mold Out of Clothes Without Harsh Chemicals

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Contact Satin Touch in Minneapolis Today For Mold Remediation

There are few things more dismaying than mold in a pile of clothing. Mold can grow in clothing for a large number of reasons. You changed out of damp clothes and forgot to wash them quickly. Your bathroom flooded and laundry got soaked. Or even clothes in the washer that didn’t get moved to the dryer fast enough.

Moldy clothes happen sometimes. Maybe your clothes or — typically — your kids clothes were left in a damp pile for too long and the mold happily leaped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, removing the mold is much more easily said than done. In many cases, hot water and detergent can’t quite hack it alone and there are often mold stains or a lingering smell left behind.

Today, we’re here to talk about how to wash mold, along with mold stains and that moldy smell, out of your clothes once and for all.

Two-Step Process

The first thing to understand is how the process works. And therefore, why there are a variety of ways to approach removing mold from your clothes. Restoring your clothes will actually be a two-step process. First, you have to remove the mold growth and kill the spores that are trying to make more mold. Otherwise, the clothes will just continue to grow new mold.

Second, after the mold is dead, you need to remove what’s left to get rid of the stains and smell. It’s easiest to think of mold as a plant, which it is. After a tree is cut down, for example, you still have to remove the stump. That’s also exactly how killing mold works, only on a particle level involving tiny plant spores and clothing fibers.

Hot Water

When cleaning mold out of your clothes, it’s best to use hot water whenever possible. Hot water makes detergent more effective and can kill mold spores with the intensity of the heat. If your clothes can be safely washed in hot water, use this option every chance you get until the mold is completely gone.

Of course, not all clothes can be safely washed in hot water. For delicates and temperature-sensitive garments, don’t use hot water. It’s not necessary to the process and you can clean the mold out with other methods. Hot water simply contributes to the solution.


The home remedy most people know for fighting mold is simple white vinegar. You may have also heard that citrus fights mold. Both are true for the exact same reason: Acidity. Even mild acids like vinegar can chemically burn and neutralize the tiny mold spores that make up a larger mold infestation.

For small mold spots, consider spraying a vinegar and water solution onto the clothes until damp, possibly scrubbing the vinegar into mold spots. For badly moldy clothing or large mold areas, soak the clothes in vinegar instead. This will kill the mold spores of most varieties of household mold, making it impossible to regrow after you’re done cleaning.


Borax is one of the coolest cleaning substances you’ve barely heard of. And it fights mold in a completely different way. Borax is called a ‘detergent enhancer”, helping soap to suds up and making it a lot easier to scrub things. For the same reason that it’s great at killing mold.

Borax is incredibly sharp and spiky on a molecular level. So even when it’s partially dissolved in water, soap bubbles suds up on it and those sharp molecules slice through mold spores, killing the organic cells and the growth. It’s also incredibly affordable to buy in bulk.

Washing your clothes with borax is a great way to get them cleaner by adding a scrubbing element to the washing machine. And a great way to kill mold because the mold spores can’t survive in borax-rich water. Washing your clothes in borax regularly can also help you to prevent mold growths in the future if your home tends toward humidity and/or mold growth.

Lemon Juice

Just like the acid in vinegar can kill mold, so too can lemon juice. And lemon juice smells a whole lot better than vinegar after you’re done using it. Soaking clothes or spraying them with lemon juice can help fight mold, though you will need to use higher concentrations than with vinegar.

However, the most useful application of lemon juice when fighting mold is removing the stains afterward. Lemon juice is a natural stain remover, especially combined with salt to add a scrubbing element. By mixing lemon and salt into a paste, you can create an effective mold stain removing solution to rub into any lingering stains.

Essential Oils

Many people don’t realize this, but there are actually a surprising number of fungicides (things that kill fungus) in nature. Peppermint, Thyme, Oregano, Cinnamon, Lemon, and Clove just to name a few. If you love any of these smells, you can use a small concentration of sprayed essential oil to help kill mold. And then later infuse your clothes with these essential oils to discourage the growth of any free-floating mold spores in the future.

Essential oils are also a great way to end a mold fighting round. If you have used vinegar, for example, to kill the mold and eliminate the lingering smell, then you may still be left with recognizable vinegar smell. And no one wants to wear vinegar clothes. Essential oils can help refresh your clothing back to it’s original enjoyable state.

Natural Mold Cleaning Formulas

But if remedies from your pantry don’t come through, we strongly recommend that you do not turn to chemical bleach. Bleach and other chemical mold cleaners can come with toxic fumes, damage clothing color, and even result in rashes after wearing treated clothing.

Instead, look for industrial-grade organic mold cleaning solutions and stain removing. Because the formula is natural, you won’t have to worry about damaging your clothes or harming your health after the mold is finally gone.

Rescuing your clothes from mold growth can be a real challenge, but it is possible. Whether this is the aftermath of a pool party or a chronically damp laundry room, mold can be defeated using these natural chemical-free home techniques. For more on ridding your home of mold once and for all with mold remediation and prevention, contact us today!