How to get rid of mould in clothes


Have you found mould cropping up around your home in the past few weeks? You’re far from alone. Wtih the non-stop rain and floods on the East Coast, the extra humidity in the air has created a breeding ground. Don’t worry, all is not lost! Here are some tips on how to get rid of mould in clothes, so those wardrobe favourites live to see another day.

Over the past few months, the east coast of Australia has been soaked. With all this moisture and humidity in the air, it creates the perfect conditions for our clothes and shoes to start growing mould on their surfaces. Mould can lead to mildew odours and even health implications, such as skin reactions and respiratory issues if not properly removed. But don’t worry you don’t need to throw your clothes out at the first sign of mould spots. Here a few easy tricks and tips to get them looking fresh again.

Firstly it is important to identify the spots of brown, grey, green or black mould and then check the care instructions on the garments label to determine the best course of action. Here’s what has worked for me in removing mould from clothes and shoes.

How to remove mould on clothes


Before machine or hand washing your garments to remove mould, soaking them in hot water with a laundry detergent for 30 minutes to one hour will assist in lifting the spots out of the fabric before starting your wash. An old toothbrush can also be used to brush mould off the surface – just remember to be gentle with the fabric.

Hot Machine Wash

If the care label says a hot wash is suitable this is one of the simplest ways to remove mould. Washing the garment on your machine’s hot cycle with a water temperature of around 60 degrees will kill the mould spores. If the mould stain is still in place there are some natural mould treatments that can be applied.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

The combination of vinegar’s anti-fungal properties with baking soda can help to absorb the moisture of the mould and remove the odour from within the fabric. Create a solution of 1-part white vinegar to 2-parts baking soda and add this to the hot water soak or to your machine load once it has filled with water.


Borax – which is also called sodium borate – is a common laundry detergent with whitening properties. As a synthetic, chemical-free solution, adding borax to your hot wash will kill and remove mould. Borax can also be mixed with vinegar to remove more stubborn moulds and stains.


For the mould spots and stains that don’t want to move, using a chemical remover such as bleach can kill the mould and fade the stains. Firstly, check the garments don’t have any “do not bleach” warnings on the care labels. A spot test on a small hidden area is also a good idea as bleach should only be used on whites or colourfast clothes. To remove the mould the garment can be soaked or machine washed in bleach, just make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area to avoid the strong bleach fumes.

Do not mix bleach with vinegar as this can cause toxic fumes.

Dry Cleaning

For the items that cannot be hand or machine washed, take them to your local dry cleaner and identify the problem, then leave it to the professionals.


Depending on the shoes, if they are a canvas sneaker or leather, there are different approaches to removing the mould. Removing the mould from canvas can be done in a similar way to clothing, by soaking or washing at a high temperature. For leather, start by lightly brushing off the mould with a toothbrush. Using a cloth wipe the leather with hot water and vinegar solution until the mould is removed, placing to air dry in the sun. Once the leather shoes are completely dry I would suggest applying a leather conditioner.

Shop shoe care products here from the Australian label Bared.

How to prevent mould reappearing on your clothes

  1. Keep your wardrobe well ventilated.
  2. Give your clothes some natural UV sunlight if possible will help prevent mould.
  3. Invest in a dehumidifier to minimise condensation in your wardrobe.
  4. Decluttering your wardrobe of clothes you no longer love or wear as this will give your other clothes more room to breathe and allow ventilation. Find my free wardrobe checklist here to help guide you.
  5. When you do a load of laundry, hang it out in the sun as soon as possible to air dry or alternatively in the dryer. The UV of the sun is one of the best ways to kill mould spores. Ensure your clothes are fully dry before taking off the line and never hang damp clothes in your wardrobe.
  6. Line your shelves with paper to control humidity. You can also use plastic liners which are easy to wash and reuse.
  7. If you think that you have mould in your home and it’s impacting you or your family’s health and you constantly find it on your clothes, reach out to a Certified Mould Testing Technician.

Want more tips and tricks like this? Join Shannon’s private Facebook group and find new tips and tricks every Tuesday! Click Here To Join Today!

More helpful tips…


You may also like ...

Leave a Reply

What are you searching for?
Generic filters