How To Get Rid of Mold Smells in Clothes

How To Get Rid of Mold Smells in Clothes

Have you ever been in a situation where you go inside the closet, pick up your favorite shirt, put it on only to find out that there is a musty smell coming from somewhere? 

Come to find out, that musty smell is coming from that favorite shirt you just put on.

How did this happen?

Mold spores are found just about everywhere – including clothing.

Sometimes, mold will develop inside clothing without being visible to the naked eye. This usually happens because of sweat or body oils that have been left behind when close have been worn and not washed.

It’s not necessarily dangerous to wear clothes with hidden mold, but they smell terrible!

Even worse, when you wash your clothes again, there’s a chance that the mold that was on your favorite shirt has left a stain that can’t be removed.

To prevent contaminating your other clothes, it’s important to get rid of those musty, moldy, smelly garments right away. 

Often, the mold growth can be removed but the discoloration will remain. If you’re ok with a couple stains after laundering that piece of garment, then that’s ok too. 

Follow these simple steps and you’ll get rid of that moldy smell once and for all!

How to Get Rid of Mold Smells in Clothes

  • If the clothes are dry, start by putting a small amount of vinegar in your washing machine instead of detergent or laundry soap.  
  • Don’t over do it because using too much vinegar can damage your clothing as well as cause damage to the washing machine itself.
  • If they’re already wet, soak them in a bathtub or sink that has white vinegar added to the water. If possible, let the clothing sit with the vinegar for about two hours before washing it again.
  • When you begin to wash the items, make sure you launder these items separate from your other laundry.
  • Repeat until there’s no longer a strong smell of vinegar when you remove the clothing from either the tub or the washing machine.
  • After the items have been laundered, dry them as you normally would.  You can air dry the items or place them in a dryer.

You’ll be amazed at how fresh your mold-free clothes can smell when finished!

Laundering other Fabrics

The steps that were discussed above, can be used in many situations where fabrics have been impacted by musty odors or small blotches of mold growth.

If the items can be placed in your washing machine, you should be able to perform the steps at home. For other bigger items, such as drapes or bedding, it may be best to take these to a laundry cleaning facility. 

Laundry facilities usually have larger machines with the capacity to wash bulky items correctly.

So, it may be best to take those bulky bedding material or window drapes to a laundry facility to be properly treated.

Is mildew smell on clothes dangerous?

In most cases, the smell of mold is worse than the actual health risks.

However, it may be a problem if you’re very allergic to mold or have respiratory problems such as asthma. In this case, mold growth in your clothes coming into contact with your skin can cause an irritant effect.

Are mildew clothes ruined?

There is no way to “save” items that have been in contact with mold for an extended period of time. If the mold is not too advanced, you can try cutting out the parts that are affected and then rewashing them carefully.

Otherwise, it may be best to consider throwing clothes away if they’ve been exposed to mold growth for a long time. The smell will likely go away completely after washing, but there will still be some staining!

If there’s any doubt about whether or not your clothing contains any hidden mold, just toss it in the trash instead of risking damage to your clothes or your health!

How can you prevent musty smells and mold growth on clothes?

  • The best way to prevent mold from developing on clothing is to store them properly. When you’re not wearing them, be sure to hang the clothing up or keep it in an area with good air circulation and never over a radiator!
  • Never place damp clothes in your closet. Damp clothing can be a breeding ground for mold to grow and spread. Before placing clothes in your closet, make certain they are dry and not damp.
  • If you haven’t worn something for a while, wash it first before storing it away just in case any sweat or body oils are lurking inside.
  • Never pack closets and areas where clothes are stored so much that there is no air circulation. For instance, packing shoe boxes and other items flush against walls. If you pack the closet with so much stuff, there will be no air circulation. Lack of air circulation can also contribute to mold growth.

These steps will help keep your clothes free from mildew smells and looking their best!

How do you get rid of moldy smell on towels?

Most washing machines have a “sanitize” cycle that heats hot water enough to kill most germs without reducing fabric softness. Make sure you’re using this feature every time you wash towels.

If you don’t have a “sanitize” cycle on your machine, you can simply run the towels through a rinse-only cycle and add one cup of color safe bleach to help sanitize them before they are placed in the dryer.

How to keep your washer clean from mold

As you probably already know, a clean washer is key to getting rid of mold smells on your clothes.

Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your washer clean and smelling great with these simple tips:

1. Add a half cup of bleach to the empty washer and run it through a regular cycle without any clothes inside. Do this before you use your machine the next time around.

2. If possible, try running an empty small load every week or so using hot water instead of cold water for the final rinse. This will help prevent mold and mildew smell on towels as well as in laundry!

3. To keep your washing machine clean and free from any mold or buildup, follow the manufacturer cleaning and maintenance recommendations.

No one likes to wear musty smelling clothes. So, take a few simple steps to prevent mold from ruining your clothes.



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