Products to Remove Mold & Mildew From Fabrics

Mold and mildew can be tricky to remove from fabric. However, with a little bit of elbow grease and the right products, your fabrics can get back to looking fresh and clean. Best yet, some of the best products to use to remove the toughest mold and mildew stains may already be in your household cabinet.

Lemon Salt Mixture

Mildew stains on shirts, pants, sheets and other fabrics can be removed with a mixture of lemon juice and ordinary table salt. To treat, be sure to act as soon as you notice the mildew stains. Allowing them to sit will only make the stains more difficult to remove. Wash the stained fabric with laundry detergent in the hottest water that is safe for the fabric, as recommended by the garment's care tag label. Once you have washed and dried the fabric, mix full-strength lemon juice with an equal amount of table salt. Carefully spread the mixture over the mildew stains and place the fabric in direct sunlight. Allow the fabric to sit until it is completely dry and the stains have disappeared. After treatment, rewash the fabrics as normal, again using the hottest water safe for the fabric.

Alcohol and Water

Some mildew stains on fabric's like leather respond well to a mixture of ordinary tap water and rubbing alcohol. Although the rubbing alcohol is diluted, it is important to perform this treatment in a well-ventilated area due to the strong smell. To treat, mix 1 cup of regular, luke-warm tap water with an equal amount of rubbing alcohol. Dampen a clean, soft sponge or cloth with the alcohol mixture and wipe the fabric down, making sure to not over-saturate the fabric. Allow the fabric to air-dry naturally. If the mildew stains remain, saturate the fabric with thick suds from a mixture of water and a mild detergent or soap that contains a containing a germicide or fungicide. Afterward, wipe the fabric down with a clean cloth dampened with water and allow the fabric to dry naturally.


Vinegar does wonders in the removal of mold and the nasty smell it leaves behind on fabrics. To treat, add 3/4 cup of ordinary table vinegar to a wash load of the affected fabric. Do not include laundry detergent, as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the vinegar, and be sure to use the hottest water that is considered safe for the fabric according to the garment care label. Wash as normal. Repeat the process until there is no longer any trace of mold or its smell on the fabrics. Afterward, rewash the fabric, this time using your normal detergent to clean the clothes as you normally would.

About the Author

Rebekah Worsham began writing professionally in 2007 and has been published on eHow. She has expertise in the fields of law, parapsychology and the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. She holds a degrees in law from Beckfield College.