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Does Washing Clothes Get Rid of Mold? (Read This First!)

Wet clothes are attractive to mold spores. If your clothes remain wet for a long time, usually about 24-48 hours, mold spores will attach to the fabric and spread. The mold will spread further and will leave stains on the cloth.

Washing clothes to get rid of mold

Hot water can get rid of mold. You can wash your cloth in high-temperature water to remove mold from your clothes. Organic fabrics and cotton have high-temperature tolerance, and you can wash them with hot water without any worries. You can then launder to remove the mold spores.

Hot water can terminate the mold. But does it work for all types of washing? Let’s find out.

Washing clothes in washer:

Washing moldy clothes in the washer can help. In the washing machine, select the highest temperature for the water. The hot water will remove all the mold from the clothes. It has the highest probability of removing mold from clothes.

However, before washing the clothes at high temperatures, ensure they are of organic materials or cotton.

You can wash organic fabric and cotton at high temperatures, and the hot water will not damage the fabric. Otherwise, look for the wash care symbols on the clothes.

Hand washing clothes:

If, you do not own a washing machine, you can wash your clothes with your hands. Removing mold from clothes this way is an alternative to washing clothes with mold in the washer.

Moreover, washing clothes with hands allows adding chemicals to the washing process to make the process more effective.

While hand washing clothes, you can add vinegar along with detergent. Vinegar is quite powerful and can naturally remove mold from clothes. Vinegar can destroy most mold species and also remove the foul smell.

If you have a lot of clothes to wash, you will need to add 2 cups of vinegar with laundry detergent. However, if there are not many clothes, 1 cup of vinegar will do the job.

What can get rid of mold from clothes?

Nowadays, various chemicals and items are available for removing mold from clothes. Some are known to be more effective than others, and some are less harsh on the fabric. Examples of some chemicals and household items are:


Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a powdery white element. You can use it as a household cleaner and a booster for laundry detergent. Borax is highly effective in fighting mold that grows in clothes.

If you plan on purchasing some, you can look for them in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores.


Besides removing the mold from clothes, bleach can also rid mold stains on the clothes. However, you will have to take extra precautions while working with bleach.

If it reacts with ammonia, it will release chlorine. The released chlorine gas is harmful and inhaling it will result in serious health issues.


The product formed when acetic acid and water combine by a 2-step fermentation process is vinegar. Vinegar is a standard household item, as you can find it in the kitchen of every home.

Along with its application in cooking, you can also use it with other chemicals in washing. White distilled vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent.

You will need to pour or spray some vinegar on the moldy area and wipe it off after letting it sit for an hour.

Mold and Mildew Stain Remover:

The RMR-86 Mold and Mildew Stain Remover has quickly become famous among consumers looking to remove mold from clothes.

The product claims to remove the mold and the stain left by the mold. Moreover, it also removes the foul smell produced by mold spores.

These are some of the most commonly used products and household items to treat moldy clothes. You can try out these products at home at no additional cost.

Washing clothes to get rid of mold

Washing clothes is an effective way of getting rid of mold from clothes. You can either wash the clothes in a washing machine or wash them by hand.

Moldy clothes in the washing machine

Washing moldy clothes in the washing machine is more comfortable than washing them with hands. Follow the steps below to learn how to wash moldy clothes.

Soak the clothes for an hour in a vinegar solution:

Before you put the moldy clothes in the washer, you will have to soak the clothes in vinegar. Take a single cup of vinegar in a bucket of water and soak the clothes. Leave the clothes for about an hour and let the vinegar work on the mold.

Wash with hot water:

After the clothes have been soaked in vinegar for at least an hour, put them in the washing machine. Select the hottest water temperature and add your preferred detergent for washing and start the washing machine.

Dry the clothes:

Drying clothes is important. If you have a dryer machine, you can use that to dry the washed clothes. However, you are suggested to dry the clothes by hanging them under the bright sun and letting them dry in the air.

Wet clothes attract mold spores. Therefore, always keep your clothes dry to make sure mold does not grow in them.

Hand washing moldy clothes

There is no need to worry if you do not have a washing machine. You can easily remove mold from clothes by washing the clothes by hand. Follow the simple steps below to make your clothes free of mold.

Scrub with a brush:

Before you use any chemicals or start scrubbing, wear gloves and ensure the area is ventilated. If you do not wear gloves, you may experience skin irritation. Working in a closed area will make you inhale any toxic fume coming off the clothes.

While wearing gloves, use a brush to scrub off most of the mold. You can add some hot water to the cloth to help make it easier to scrub.

Soak the clothes in vinegar:

When you are done scrubbing most of the mold off the clothes, you can soak the clothes in vinegar.

Take a single cup of vinegar in a bucket of water and soak the clothes for at least an hour. Vinegar is highly effective in removing mold and will also remove mold stains.

Clean the clothes with Borax:

Take the clothes out of the vinegar solution and put them in your washing bucket. It is better to wash with hot water since it will be easier to get rid of mold. Add borax and detergents and wash the clothes by hand.

Dry the clothes:

Drying the clothes is important to make sure the mold spores do not grow back. Also, if the clothes are dried in the shining sun, the fabric will not attract mold spores. Therefore, try drying the washed clothes under the sun in the air.

Never wear moldy clothes

Wearing moldy clothes can lead to severe skin issues. The mold buildup in clothes can cause skin irritation and itchiness. Different people have different reactions to mold; therefore, it depends on the person how severe the skin irritation or itchiness will be.

Additionally, if you wear moldy clothes for a long time, you will face issues for a long time. The part of the skin that is directly in contact with mold will have rashes or redness. This type of rash may need long-term treatment and will not go away soon.

Preventing mold to come back in clothes

Mold is a serious concern as it can lead to skin illness and causes rashes to occur. It is crucial to eliminate mold from clothes and prevent it from coming back again in the future. Some tips that will help you in preventing mold from coming back in clothes are:


If you live in an area where the humidity is high, chances are your clothes in the closet will attract mold spores. The moist air outside may get trapped inside your closed closet and help mold spores grow.

So, keep the closet door open for a few minutes to ensure the closet has good air circulation.

Wall damps:

Another source of moisture inside the closet can be damp walls. If your closet is built directly against a wall, check that the wall is not damp from leaking water. If you notice dampness, you can get help from a plumber.

Drying clothes in the sun:

Drying washed or damp clothes in the sun is preferable to drying them in a dryer. The warm sunlight will dry your clothes and also remove all the mold from the clothes.

These are some reasons why mold may grow in your clothes and how you can prevent it.

Final thoughts

You can remove mold from clothes by simply washing them with certain chemical products and household items. You should never wear clothes with mold because direct contact with mold can lead to skin illness. Always keep your closet and clothes dry and fresh to prevent mildew from coming back.