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How to Treat and Prevent Mould on Your Clothes and In Your Wardrobe

How to Treat & Prevent Mould on Your Clothes & In Your Wardrobe

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 7 min reading time

We've all experienced that sinking feeling when we pull out a favourite sweater or pair of jeans from our wardrobe, only to discover a patch of mould or mildew clinging to it. The sight of those fuzzy patches can send shivers down our spines, and rightly so – the thought of mould on our skin is enough to make anyone cringe. But how does this even happen? After all, your wardrobe seemed perfectly fine just yesterday.

The truth is, mould thrives in seemingly innocuous environments, and your unsuspecting wardrobe can be the perfect breeding ground. We’ll explore the factors that contribute to mould growth in wardrobes and identify key prevention strategies. Plus we’ll offer some tips on removing mould from fabrics.

Why is mould growing on your clothes?

This unwanted organism thrives in damp, dark environments, and guess what? Your clothes are often made of organic materials like cotton or wool, which provide the perfect feast for mould spores.

There are a few key culprits to consider:

1. Moisture

Moisture is the primary factor contributing to mould growth on fabric. Humidity in the air or dampness on clothes that haven't dried fully provides an ideal environment for mould spores to thrive. When clothes are stored in a damp environment or become wet and aren't dried promptly, they become susceptible to mould infestation.

2. Poor ventilation

Inadequate air circulation in closets and wardrobes exacerbates mould growth. When clothes are tightly packed or stored in confined spaces without proper airflow, moisture becomes trapped, creating a conducive environment for mould. 

3. Organic materials

Organic materials such as cotton, wool, and even synthetic blends provide nutrients for mould spores to thrive. Soiled or damp clothing made of these materials becomes particularly vulnerable to mould infestation.

With all these factors combined, you've got the perfect recipe for mould to grow on your clothes.

Can mould be washed out of clothes?

In many cases, mould can be effectively removed from clothes through washing, but the success of this method depends on several factors:

Fabric type and dye colour

Different fabric types and dye colours may react differently to washing and cleaning agents. Some fabrics may be more prone to fading or discolouration when exposed to certain cleaning methods or products, especially if they are brightly coloured or dyed with sensitive dyes. For more delicate fabrics, they may require gentler treatment to avoid damage.

Severity of mould infestation

If the mould growth is extensive or deeply embedded in the fabric, it may be more challenging to completely remove through washing alone.

Water temperature

Hot water is generally more effective at killing mould spores and removing mould stains, however, it's essential to check the care label of the clothing item to ensure that hot water is safe to use without causing damage.

How to get mould out of clothes?

1. Wear protective gear

Before beginning the cleaning process, it's essential to prioritise your safety. Wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling mould spores and other potential allergens or irritants released during the cleaning process. Additionally, wearing gloves can help prevent direct contact with mould and cleaning agents.

2. Assess the severity

Before proceeding with any cleaning method, assess the extent of mould growth on the clothes. If the mould covers a large area or has deeply penetrated the fabric, it may be challenging to completely remove, and professional cleaning may be necessary.

3. Isolate the affected items

Separate the mould-infested clothes from the rest of your wardrobe to prevent cross-contamination. Place them in a well-ventilated area, ideally outdoors if weather permits, to minimise the spread of mould spores indoors.

4. Brush off excess mould

Use a soft-bristled brush or a dry cloth to gently brush off any visible mould spores from the surface of the clothes. Take care not to spread the mould further during this process.

5. Pre-treat stains

For stubborn mould stains, pre-treat the affected areas with a stain remover or a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Apply the pre-treatment solution directly to the stains and allow it to soak in for 15-30 minutes before laundering.

6. Wash with hot water

Wash the clothes using the hottest water temperature recommended for the fabric type. Add detergent to the wash cycle, along with additional cleaning agents such as oxygen bleach or baking soda, if necessary, to help remove mould stains and odours.

7. Sunlight and air dry

After washing, hang the clothes to dry in direct sunlight, if possible. Sunlight has natural disinfectant properties and can help kill any remaining mould spores on the fabric. Ensure that the clothes are completely dry before storing them to prevent further mould growth.

8. Repeat if necessary

In some cases, particularly severe mould infestations may require multiple cleaning cycles to fully remove the mould from the clothes. If the mould stains persist after the first wash, repeat the cleaning process until the desired results are achieved.

9. Professional cleaning

If the mould stains are resistant to home cleaning methods or if the fabric is delicate or heavily soiled, consider seeking professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have specialised equipment and expertise to safely remove mould from clothes without causing damage.

How to treat and prevent mould growth in your wardrobe?

To treat and prevent mould growth in your wardrobe, you can rely on SAN-AIR™ Mould Remover products for more effective results. 

Treatment with SAN-AIR™ Surface Mould Remover Spray:

  • Allow the spray to sit for 15 minutes. After the waiting period, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off the solution, ensuring thorough cleaning.
  • Give the cleaned surface a final spray with a fine mist of the mould spray. Do not close the doors of your wardrobe or put in your clothes at this point. Allow the insides of the wardrobe to air dry naturally before proceeding with any further steps. 

Preventing future mould growth with SAN-AIR™ Mould Gone:

To prevent mould from recolonising your wardrobe, consider using SAN-AIR™ Mould Gone Reactive Gel. This innovative product utilises a unique formula that evaporates into the air, where upon contact with airborne microbes or surfaces, the gel inhibits bacterial reproduction and eliminates the oxygen essential for mould growth. Plus, you don’t have to worry about unpleasant chemical smell permeating into your garments as SAN-AIRMould Gone is odourless.

Unlike harsh chemical alternatives, SAN-AIR products leverage the power of natural ingredients to effectively combat mould. Their scientifically formulated solutions target the root cause of the problem, eliminating existing mould and preventing future growth. By combining these cleaning and preventative steps, you can create a healthy and mould-free environment for your cherished wardrobe.


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