Removing White Fuzzy Mold From Dark Clothing

Mildew doesn't spell the end for your clothes.
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It's common for mildew and mold to grow on the shower wall, but that's not the only place these spores like to live. Mold can pop up on damp clothes too. It looks and smells funky, so your first instinct might be to toss the unfortunate clothing into the trash. If a garment isn't totally infested with spores, though, you have a good chance of saving it. Bleach wipes out mold and mildew, but chlorine bleach isn't safe for dark-colored clothing. Instead, opt for an oxygen bleach that won't fade clothes or turn the colors white.

Take the soiled garment outside. Brush off as much mold as possible with a cloth or paper towel.

Combine 1 pint of hot water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sodium-perborate or oxygen bleach in a bowl.

Dip a sponge into the mixture, then dab the mold stain with the bleach. Let the bleach set for at least 30 minutes. For severe or old mildew stains, allow the bleach to soak in for several hours or overnight.

Rinse the bleach solution off with clean water, then put the garment into the washing machine. Add a capful of your regular laundry detergent. Launder the garment in the hottest water possible according to the care tag.

Allow the item to dry outdoors in the sunlight, if possible. If you can't do this, use the clothes dryer as normal.

  • Do not store or hang clothes up in the closet when they're still wet. Moisture will cause mildew to develop on the fabric.
  • If you live in a humid area, consider treating clothing with a water-repellant spray or fungicide.
  • To get rid of mold on hard surfaces, wipe the stain with a cloth dipped in white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
  • To remove mildew on white or light-colored clothes, launder them with 1/2 cup chlorine bleach.

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.