Mold is a common problem at home, and the annoying part of their episodes is their activities on our clothes. It’s always shocking to turn over a heap of clothes and discover that you’ve got some white and black problems on them.
You might be sick terrified of how to clean infested clothes, or worse, of the dangers it can pose? So how dangerous are mold on clothes? What are the things to know? And how do you clean clothes affected by mold?
What is mold? Why does it grow on my clothes? And is it dangerous?
Mold is basically a fungus. Its presence can be observed in various areas, episodes and items in our homes for instance in food spoilage, on furniture, in stored grains and even on clothing. But let’s take a step back and try to understand what gives birth to them in the first place.
Why do mold form? On clothes?
The answer is simple: Moisture and humidity. They’re the reason why you have mold on your clothes.
If you stored your clothes in a damp situation for long, that’s probably the reason why mold is colonizing it. Take one instance, piling up worn clothes into a heap to be washed later in the week. That pile can build up heat, and because it’s damp, provides the perfect condition for mold to grow.
And let’s not forget how deadly mold can be. They’re chief causes of allergy in people and can lead to respiratory problems when the spores are inhaled.
In short, mold can be very deadly if you stumble upon the bad kind. Because It’s difficult to point out which is mold is dangerous and which mold is good, you should treat all kinds of mold with the same precautionary moves!
Let’s learn below how to properly get rid of mold growth on clothes.
How to remove mold from clothes
There are various methods you can use to eliminate mold growth on your clothes. We’ll be going through the most popular and effective so you can have a variety of techniques to choose from, which best suits your clothes.
When it comes to tackling mold, bleach is your best bet. If you have clothes that are white, like all white, then chlorine bleach (which is the strongest form of bleach you can find in a household setting) is definitely what to go for. Chlorine bleach has disinfecting properties, and can definitely kill mold and get rid of their spores as well.
Before you begin any treatment with chlorine, take every precaution necessary. By that, it means you should have your mask and goggle on, as well as you protect your hands if you can.
To use bleach for removing mold, make a solution of it and water, and soak the clothes in the solution for as long as 15 to 20 minutes.
After that, run the clothes in the washer under the longest and hottest setting so long the clothes can tolerate that. If the clothes label says otherwise, use cold water and a delicate cycle, but you might have to repeat the cleaning process one more time.
When performing laundry after soaking, you can also add a little bit of bleach to help kick things up a notch. Rinse as usual and dry. Inspect for mold stains on the clothes and if you find any, repeat the process no more than a second time.
When it comes to the natural ways you can get rid of mold at home, white vinegar is the choice. It’s safer than bleach on your clothes and for your health.
Distilled white vinegar has been proven to be effective against 80% of mold species so be pretty certain you’ll have a good result when you use it.
Depending on the size of the stain or mold infestation, you may or may not have to use strong concentration vinegar. If you have a few spots of mold growth, create a slightly diluted solution of vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray directly on the affected spots and let’s sit for sometime. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Let it dry and you should have perfectly clean clothes free from mold.
When things are a bit more pronounced on the clothes, then you want to create a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar and then soak the clothes in the solution overnight.
Launder the clothes the next day using heavy duty detergent and the longest and heaviest settings of your machine if the cloth permits. You should have a cloth free from mold afterwards.
As lemon is acidic, it also has the property to destroy mold. You can use lemon directly on your clothes but make sure to perform a spot test to be sure that no damage will occur to the fibers or the colors on them.
To use lemon for mold, add ½ cups to the wash cycle. Feel free to repeat the process all over again if you find spots on the clothes.
Baking soda not only has the ability to remove mold on clothes, but can even remove smell.
Make sure you’re using fresh baking soda for the purpose as aged baking soda won’t come close to the effectiveness of a fresh product.
So how do you know your baking soda is still fresh? Add a drop of white vinegar to the baking soda and if it sizzles well, it’s fresh.
Now let’s use the baking soda to achieve some mold removal.
Make a paste of it and add it directly to the affected spots, let sit for some time, until almost dried, then scrub lightly for some time and wash off. Repeat the step all over again if there is the need to do so.
Another way of applying baking soda is as a solution. Create a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and two cups of water, then spray directly to the affected spots. Let sit for a minute or two, then scrub using a soft brush.
Repeat the spraying and scrubbing as much as possible until mold spots aren’t visible (make sure to do the same to the underside of the cloth since mold grow roots too!). Rinse and dry after that.
An easy alternative to all these is to simply add half cup of baking soda to the wash cycle and do the same in the rinse cycle.
How to prevent mold from growing on clothes?
As far as preventing mold growth on cloth is concerned, eliminating moisture in storage is key. When you eliminate moisture from clothes before dumping them in the bin, or keep clothes away from moisture during storage, then you have solved the puzzle of keeping clothes mold free already.
Find and identify moisture problems in storage and make sure to fix it yourself or bring in a professional to tackle the problem. You can also use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity to less than 50%.
Mold growth on clothes can be dangerous depending on the degree of mold infestation as well as the species of mold you have growing on the clothes.
Mold is known to cause respiratory problems as well as trigger allergic reactions in people. That’s why mold growth on your clothes is a serious problem, and if you’re going to be tackling it, then you must do so strategically, and with care.
Wear protection as always, and treat using bleach, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice or baking soda.