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How to Remove Mildew From Fabric


If mildew is beginning to seep into your fabric, now is the time for action. While eliminating mold may take effort and persistence, you can succeed with minimal effort.

Mildew is a fungus that thrives in damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. It’s also often found on clothing, furniture, and carpets.


Borax is a cost-effective cleaning additive and laundry booster that you can purchase. However, it should only be used under strict supervision if you take the correct precautions.

Keep borax away from children, avoid contact with eyes and nose, wear gloves if handling it, and use in a well-ventilated area. This is an effective way to eliminate mildew in the laundry without using harsh chemicals.

Borax is often in sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Na2B4O5(OH)4*8H2O). This alkaline mineral salt has a powdery white appearance.

It can be used for various surfaces, including stainless steel, porcelain sinks, and outdoor furniture. When combined with lemon juice and vinegar, it removes stubborn stains from grout in bathrooms, kitchens, and floors; plus, it raises pH levels, creating an environment that’s inhospitable to mold growth.


Mildew is an unpleasant fungus that causes severe damage to clothing and fabrics and has an unpleasant odor. Removing mildew at its first sign – even if it appears minor – is essential since this can result in permanent stains and color fade.

Vinegar is an effective mildew killer that can be applied to virtually any surface. With 5-8 percent acetic acid content, vinegar contains a moderately strong acid that disrupts the growth of many types of mold and other microorganisms.

Vinegar also contains trace vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polyphenols – making it a cost-effective yet practical alternative to more invasive cleaning solutions.

Lemon & Salt

If your clothes have mildewed, cleaning them as soon as possible is essential. Mildew is a fungus that loves moisture and warm temperatures, so act quickly to combat this issue!

Thankfully, several DIY solutions remove mildew from clothing without damaging it. One of the most reliable and oldest cleaning methods involves mixing lemon juice with salt.

This mixture is an all-natural bleach that eliminates mildew and mold stains from clothing. Additionally, applying rubbing alcohol directly onto the garment can kill any mold present and deodorize it too.

Another way to clean mildew off clothing is with borax and vinegar. This solution can be applied on various fabrics and will eliminate mildew, mold, and the smell it leaves behind.


Detergents are a class of surfactants (surfactant refers to compounds that help dissolve and suspend water-soluble substances). By decreasing surface tension in water, detergents can bind with hydrophobic and hydrophilic materials.

Foaming agents can also be more effective at removing stains and odors than plain soap or detergent alone. They come in various forms, such as powders, liquids, pods, and sheets.

Fabrics with mildew-stained areas can usually be cleaned by lightly powdering some powdered detergent and then laundering at the highest temperature allowed by the garment care label. Alternatively, you may use a bleach solution such as chlorine and water or sodium perborate bleach to eliminate mildew from fabrics.

If your laundry detergent doesn’t do a great job on mildew, try mixing some vinegar with hot water and soaking your clothing for an hour before washing them. Vinegar is an effective mildew-killer, plus it will eliminate any unpleasant odors as well.