Mold does not only infect the wall or your furniture but can also develop on clothes. It appears as random dark patches with musty odor which gradually damage the fabric of your clothing. Wearing clothes that have been infected by mold is not uncomfortable at all.
Therefore, you need to know how to get mold out clothes properly before its damaging effect spreads larger on you and the clothes.
A. What causes mold to grow on clothes?
Letting your clothes stay in wet condition for hours is the primary reason why mold appear on them. It is said that in less than 24 hours, mold will start to grow in wet clothes.
The cause of it may vary but sweat is considered the most common cause. Sweaty cloth that is not washed immediately after you wear it will invite mold to develop on the fabric.
Other conditions which cause the growth of mold on clothes include the placement of your wardrobe. If the wardrobe is placed directly against the wall, mold from wall can be transferred easily to your clothes. In addition, mold can appear if you leave the clothes in the washing machine for too long.
B. The effects of mold on clothes
The presence of mold on clothes is harmful for both the clothes and those who wear them. If you are wearing moldy clothes, you may feel itchy all over your body. In more serious cases, the itchiness will lead to skin rash or hive. Mold on clothes also trigger some allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, and sore eyes.
In addition, mold will leave smell and stain that will make you uncomfortable when wearing the clothes. If it is not removed immediately, mold can damage you clothing by digesting its fabric or material.
C. What kills mold on clothes?
There are some effective solutions—natural or chemical—that can be used to remove mold from clothes. Baking soda and vinegar, for instance, have great effects on fixing moldy clothes. These home remedies could stop mold from growing as well as removing its unpleasant smell.
Alternatively, you can remove mold from clothes by using chemical substances such as borax and bleach. Borax is considered as an effective mold killer, while bleach is useful for taking away mold stain.
However, when it is used as the cleaning agent to remove mold from clothes, bleach comes with several precautions. It only works best with white clothing and cannot be used on clothes which have “do not bleach” warnings.
The clothing’s color may fade when you use the solution of bleach and water. To avoid such condition, you need to do a spot test on a small area of your clothes before watching them with bleach.
Besides those substances, some markets also provide several types of mold killing detergent which you can use to deal with moldy clothes problem.
D. How to get mold out of clothes
Using some substances mentioned earlier, you can follow the procedure below to remove mold from clothes.
1. Using bleach
Removing mold with bleach can be done in two different ways. First, you can launder the clothes as usual in the washing machine. Use hot water option for more effective result and add laundry detergent just like you always do.
When the water has filled up, add a cup of bleach into the washing machine. Let the machine finish the laundry process, then remove and rinse the clothes you have washed.
Another way to take care of moldy clothes is by soaking them in the solution of bleach and water. Mix a half cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Soak the clothes in the solution for several hours. After that, continue the process by laundering them in the washing machine.
2. Using baking soda and vinegar
To use baking soda and vinegar as mold cleansing agents, you need to create a solution inside a spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the bottle, and then fill it up with white vinegar. Mix them both by shaking the bottle.
After you get the solution, simply spray it onto the moldy area of your clothes. Once the solution spread thoroughly, rub the area using sponge, rag, or brush.
Repeat the steps if the clothes are infected with heavy mold. Then, let them dry before you put them into washing machine as the final step.
3. Using borax
Borax can be purchased in the form of laundry detergent or borax powder. Either way, you can create mold killing agent by dissolving a cup of borax in hot water. Once the solution is made, the next procedure you need to follow is similar to cleaning mold with bleach.
Put your moldy clothes into the washing machine. Then, add the borax solution when the machine has been filled up with water. Let the machine wash your clothes like it normally works before you dry the clothes completely.
E. How to remove mold smell and stain on clothes
Removing the mold alone is not enough. The smell and the stain it leaves should also be removed entirely from your clothes. To get rid of mold smell, add odor removal detergent when washing the clothes.
It can be used along with the usual laundry soap as well as the mold cleansing agent you choose. After washing, dry clean the clothing or hang it outdoor for better result.
Meanwhile, you can use the hottest water setting in the washing machine to remove mold stain on your clothes. The ideal temperature to wash moldy clothes is 65°C (150°F). Use a half tablespoon of baking soda in addition to laundry soap. Once the washing process is finished, remove the clothes immediately and dry them in a proper manner.
Because of the damage it can do to your clothes, it is necessary for you to know how to get mold out of clothes. In the end, the mold cleansing agent you choose is not really matter. What matters more is that you should get rid of mold as quickly as possible.
When it comes to removing mold from clothes, fast action will prevent the mold from ruining your favorite clothing. It will also save you from any unpleasant skin condition which leads to allergic reaction.