Ways & How

How to Remove Mildew from Fabric

How to Remove Mildew from Fabric

Mold and mildew thrive on moist organic materials. Fabric, such as cotton and linen, is their favorite place to grow. It can be that the clothes got wet from sweat, water, or other liquids, or they were dumped in the hamper and not allowed to air dry. A humid home can also encourage mildew to grow on fabric. When you discover mildew on your clothes by smell or sight, you need to get rid of it immediately because it can eat holes into your clothes. Here are several ways on how to remove mildew from fabric.

  1. Apply heat

    Hot water is very effective in killing mildew and its spores. It’s important to eliminate spores as well so that the mildew cannot spread and grow on other items in the house. Use the hot water cycle and wash the mildewed clothes twice. Make sure that the water is not too hot that it will damage your clothes or cause the dye to bleed. After washing, let the clothes air dry in the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet light will kill any remaining mildew on the clothes and helps lighten any mildew stains.



    f you are still worried that there is still mildew on the fabric, you can apply a third level of heat by ironing it.

  2. Use mildew-killing agents

    There are several items in the house than can kill mildew: bleach, borax, vinegar, baking soda, and detergent medicated to kill mildew. There are several ways to use bleach, provided that the garment’s label allows bleaching. You can soak the clothes in a solution of one-half cup of bleach in a gallon of water for several hours before washing as usual. You can also use bleaching detergent to wash the affected clothes. Bleach is an effective mildew-killer and will also help fade stains left by mold. At any point during the washing process, take the clothes out of the bleach solution and rinse if you notice that the colors are fading.

    If you don’t like using bleach because of the fumes, you can use borax, which is as effective as bleach. You have the option to use detergent that contains borax, or simply add borax powder to the washing cycle. Note that you have to dissolve the borax in very hot water before pouring it into the clothes and washing as normal. The usual mixture is two cups of borax in two liters of water.

    White vinegar is a handy and affordable pantry staple, disinfectant, and organic cleanser. It can also kill mildew and remove the smell of it from fabric. Do not worry about vinegar replacing the moldy smell. The vinegar smell will disappear when the clothes have been properly washed. You can also pre-soak the clothes for an hour in a bucket of water with a cup of vinegar dissolved in it. Launder the clothes as normal. Alternatively, you can add a cup or two of white vinegar to the clothes as you launder them normally.

    If you’d like to spot clean mildew on fabric, such as upholstery, you can combine lemon juice and salt into a paste. Rub the paste on the mildewed area, let it sit for several minutes, and brush it off with an old toothbrush. If possible, bring the fabric into the sunlight for additional mildew removal.

Discovering mildew on fabric is not a disposal sentence for the cloth. You can still save it with these techniques on how to remove mildew from fabric.

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