Good welcome is a bi-weekly column published in partnership with PuroClean from Wilton and Ridgefield on home security, maintenance, weather preparation, and damage prevention, in an effort to save homeowners the hassle and headache of serious property damage. Located in South Wilton (24 Danbury Rd., Suite 204), PuroClean provides 24/7 water damage remediation, fire and smoke restoration services, as well as mold and biohazard remediation services to the community of Fairfield County and Southwest CT and Northeast Westchester County.
Mildew and mildew can be troublesome, especially if it forms on your clothes. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also create an unpleasant odor. This can happen to clothes that have been left in a dark, damp place for too long, or it could be a sign that your washing machine or dryer has mold in it. That’s why it’s important to know how to remove mildew from clothes.
Mildew stains can develop on clothing from exposure to water or improper storage, and they can be difficult to remove. If you don’t wash clothes as soon as possible, bacteria can start to build up. Bacteria can create a pungent aroma, especially in your wash compartment. A pile of dirty laundry is an ideal environment for bacteria and germs; they will multiply in no time.
However, with the right products and the right care, you can get rid of mildew stains on all types of fabrics, even delicate fabrics. The best way to remove mildew from clothes would be to wash them thoroughly. Be sure to follow the suggested water temperature for the garment.
Tips for Preventing and Removing Mildew on Clothes
If a good wash doesn’t help, here are some tips that can prevent and remove mildew from ruining your clothes:
- Discover moldy clothes in your laundry basket? This may have been caused by wet towels or clothes in the bottom of the laundry basket. Use a disinfectant to kill any remaining mold spores before putting more dirty clothes inside.
- Regularly check your washing machine and dryer for mold. If your clothes smell musty right after a wash, mold may be present in your washer. To clean the mold inside the machine, run an empty cycle with hot water and bleach or detergent. If that doesn’t work, carefully disassemble the washer and clean any mold you find with hot water and cleaning product. Use a soft brush or an old toothbrush to remove as many mold spores as possible.
Mildew can form in the dryer and leave a foul odor on clothes.
- Dry wet clothes in direct sunlight. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and can help kill mold spores, and a breeze will help improve airflow to your clothes.
- Soak your clothes in a vinegar solution. White vinegar is suitable for disinfecting and cleaning stubborn mold stains such as porous, non-porous and black mold. Spray undiluted white vinegar on the mold-infected areas. You can also make a paste of lemon juice and salt to scrub areas that have mold. Leave it for a while and then rinse it off. To make a vinegar solution, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Soak your clothes in the solution for 30 minutes before washing them. Be sure not to mix vinegar and bleach.
- Wash your moldy clothes with very hot water and laundry detergent. Hot water will kill mold spores and laundry detergent will eliminate musty odors. Since mildew stains are difficult to remove, you should also pre-soak your stained garment before washing it.
- Add baking soda to your wash cycle. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help remove musty odors from your clothes. Add half a cup of baking soda to your wash cycle, along with your regular detergent.
- Apply a mildew stain remover like bleach, but you should read your clothing labels first to make sure the bleach can be used. Add laundry and detergent to the machine, then start a normal cycle. Pause the cycle when the washer is full of water, then add a cup of bleach and resume washing. Otherwise, soak the clothes in a solution of one cup of bleach and two gallons of hot water for at least an hour.
- Instead of bleach, you can use vinegar, baking soda, borax, or ammonia in the same way. Start a wash cycle with your washing powder and detergent, then add a cup of your favorite product. Stop the cycle when the clothes are soaked and wait at least an hour before starting it again. Pausing the cycle while clothes are wet will allow the chosen product to fight mildew. DO NOT mix ammonia with bleach as this can create toxic fumes which are dangerous when inhaled.
How to get rid of the smell of mold in the closet
After thoroughly washing and removing mold from clothes, the next step is to check your wardrobe. Addressing the source of the problem is essential; otherwise, your clothes will smell again.
Since closets are solid, enclosed structures, usually made of wood, there are no ventilation spaces or vents to dry wet clothes. Storing clothes in a closet that aren’t completely dry can create a breeding ground for mold and musty odors.
Allowing air to circulate in your closet can help prevent mold growth and odors. You may occasionally open your closet doors to increase airflow. Louvered doors are better than solid wood because they allow ventilation. You can also use a small fan and direct it towards your closet. Opening the windows to let in fresh air is also a good option.
It’s important to get rid of any mold spores that are present because not only can they make clothes moldy, but they can also cause serious health problems. If, after trying all of the above, you still detect a musty smell on clothes and in your closet, consider contacting a mold remediation expert like Wilton Puro Clean | Ridgefield.
For professional mold removal services, contact PuroClean by Wilton | Ridgefield
It can be difficult to clean up mold on your own. We recommend that you contact experienced professionals. Contact PuroClean by Wilton | Ridgefield today for mold remediation service. Find us on Linkedin, Facebook or Instagram; call us at 475.277.2400; or send us an e-mail. We are especially proud to be known as “The Property Damage Paramedics®and will work hard to restore your home to its pre-loss condition.