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Published on Jun 23, 2022 | Updated - May 17, 2023
Picture this. You've finally gotten around to cleaning out your wardrobe, but a familiar smell is coming from the pile of clothes in the corner.
But don't throw them out just yet.
Here's how you can get mould out of your favourite outfit.
It can be and can also destroy the material, while the smell and infestation may spread to other items of clothing.
Your clothing could be susceptible to mould if you:
It can be toxic when ingested by humans and pets, so take care.
Follow the above measurements closely, as too much can discolour surfaces.
While you can certainly treat your clothes, you will need to assess the rest of your home for other signs of mould – it’s likely there are larger mould issues at play.
Smaller mould issues on hard surfaces can be treated with a natural solution including a 1:2 mix of water and vinegar plus a few drops of tea tree oil if you have it. Our blog on treating mould yourself can be found here.
Your usual laundry detergent may be able to remove minor mould stains but will probably not kill all the mould and mould spores.
Here are some of your options:
To treat both the mould and remove the stain, we recommend a 2:1 mix of baking soda and vinegar.
Add it to a bucket of hot water and soak it for at least 30 minutes before washing.
Alternatively, you can add your vinegar and baking soda combination to your cycle once the tub has filled. Just make sure it isn't still fizzing when you add it in.
You should also test an inconspicuous section of the clothing with the mixture before soaking just in case it causes fabric discolouration.
Using hot water is one of the easiest and most effective ways of treating mould and mildew on fabric.
Check on your clothing label that it is safe to wash in hot water and ensure it is a high temperature above 60° Celsius.
While a hot wash will treat the mould and mildew, it won’t actually remove stains and prevent the mould from coming back. That’s why it’s a great idea to wash with vinegar (see above).
We recommend hanging the clothes in the sunshine to dry.
So, what about bleach? While bleach can be effective at ‘bleaching’ the mould, it does weaken the fibres and will shorten the lifespan of your clothing. It could also damage your clothing, which is why we don’t recommend it.
If you are going to reach for the bleach, only use it in well-ventilated areas and never mix bleach with chemicals or vinegar.
There are a few things you can do to prevent mould growth.
Remove clothes and wet towels from the washing machine as soon as possible after the cycle stops. You also shouldn’t dry your clothes inside on a portable line as the humidity can create mould on your clothes and potentially create a mould issue for the rest of your home.
Try not to seal clothes in boxes for long periods.
Keep your bedroom well-ventilated by opening windows and wardrobe doors when you can.
Once you discover mould on your clothes, it is likely in other areas as well and part of a bigger mould problem. Professional treatment with qualified mould remediators like Electrodry Mould Cleaning is highly recommended for the best results. A mould removal service can also provide advice on potential underlying causes of mould infestation.
Electrodry Mould Cleaning effectively treats mould without the need for re-painting and is guaranteed to keep the mould at bay for at least 12 months*.