Fabric is among the many materials that mold and mildew happily make their own. If you recently discovered moldy, mildewed clothes in your home, such as those that have been in boxes in a damp basement or attic, don’t throw them out just yet. Use these tips recommended by your Orange County mold inspectors to make the clothes like new again.
For Delicate Fabrics
Silk, satin, and lace are among the delicate fabrics mold and mildew attach to. Protect these delicate items during mold removal processes by avoiding harsh cleansers such as oxygen or chlorine bleach. Both have the power to degrade the fabric and cause even more problems. Instead, use a gentle stain remover free of strong chemical smells. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for specific materials.
As a general rule, add three scoops of the product to a gallon of warm water and soak the item for up to 20 minutes. Remove the garment and do not squeeze or wring it out to avoid fabric damage. Instead, press it gently to get rid of water before re-soaking it. Use another three scoops in a second gallon of warm water to soak the material for up to eight hours. Rinse it thoroughly and allow it to dry.
For Durable Fabrics
If you’re working with durable white fabrics, use bleach to kill the mold and remove the stains. Add two tablespoons of bleach to 1/4 cup water to eliminate mold and mildew. For light-colored, sturdy fabrics, test the solution on an inconspicuous area first. You can also combine one to two cups of white vinegar with a teaspoon of baking soda and add it to your washing machine to remove mold and neutralize odors. Soaking the fabric in white vinegar for an hour also works, as vinegar provides an effective, non-toxic mold killer.
Oxygen bleach also works on colored clothing because it is fabric safe; however, do not use it on wool to avoid lasting damage. Borax provides another mold-killing option for clothes of all colors. Simply add half a cup of the product to a cup or two of hot water and allow it to dissolve before pouring the mixture into your washing machine.