Greenish-grey and a little dust-like, mildew is a common form of household fungus that sneaks into warm, damp places in your home. Leave a wet laundry load in the machine for too long, or forget to unpack your sweaty gym clothes, and you’re creating the perfect home for mildew. Just found a patch on your favourite shirt? Don’t worry: with our mildew stain removal tips, your clothes will be fungus-free in no time.
How to get rid of mildew stains on clothes
Just found those infamous grey mildew spots on your laundry? Not to worry – here’s how to remove mildew from clothes fast:
- Apply a pre-treatment. Start out by pre-treating the garment with any of the following products:
White vinegar: This pantry essential is a mild but effective way to remove mildew stains on clothes. Dilute the vinegar with plenty of water, then either dab this solution onto the stain using a clean cloth, or leave your garment to soak in it. Wait about 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Bleach: As with vinegar, you can either apply diluted bleach directly onto the stain with a clean cloth, or use it to make a soak. Bleach is much stronger than vinegar, so it’s important to wear gloves and carefully follow the safety and usage instructions on the packaging. Consult your garment’s care label to make sure it’s bleach-safe before you start.
Borax: Available in powder and liquid form, borax is great at removing mildew stains on clothes: just check the label for dilution advice and then let the garment soak in the solution. As with bleach, make sure you follow the safety guidelines on the label.
Top tip: Test your mildew stain removal treatment on a small, hidden area of the garment (like the inside hem) before using it to treat the whole stain.
- Wash at the highest temperature possible. Your garment’s care label can tell you the maximum wash temperature – the hotter the better, since heat can kill mildew. Use a high quality detergent that’s specially designed for stain removal, like Surf excel.
- Dry naturally, ideally outside. Direct sunlight will help kill off any remaining mildew spores, so hang your garment up outside if possible.
How to prevent mildew stains on clothes
Now you that know how to get mildew stains out of clothes, you’d probably like to know how to make sure they don’t get there in the first place. Just remember these three things:
- Take clothes out of the washing machine as soon as the washing cycle has finished.
- Hang your wet, freshly-washed clothes out to dry (or tumble-dry them) as soon as possible.
- Try not to put any damp or wet garments in your laundry basket. It’s a good idea to hang recently-used towels, gym clothing and swimwear up to dry before putting them away, even if you intend on washing them later.
That’s all you need to know about tackling mildew – how to get rid of mildew stains on clothes, and how to prevent them too. Enjoy your fungus-free home!