1. Hot water
One of the simplest ways to remove mildew from fabric is to wash them in hot water. Before washing anything, check the care labels first to see if a hot wash is suitable. Then set the water temperature on your washing machine as high as you can, roughly around 60°c for at least 10 to 30 minutes.
Although a hot wash will kill the mould and mildew, it won't remove the stains or prevent the mould returning. Its best practice to remove the stains before you dry the clothes as once dried the stains are harder to move.
2. Vinegar and baking soda
A mixture of vinegar and baking soda is quite effective at killing mould and works as a great stain remover too. Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part of white vinegar and add this to a bucket of hot water and soak the clothes in it before washing them. However, do not mix vinegar and bleach as this combination can release a dangerous gas. Also to prevent damaging any clothing, ideally you should do a spot test in an inconspicuous place first in case the mixture causes any discolouration.
Borax not only kill mould, but is water soluble, making it an easy addition to a load of washing. Check your garments' care labels, especially on any delicate clothing items to make sure they won't be damaged. Also, best to do a small spot test first before adding to the whole wash.
Bleach is known as an effective mould killer and stain remover. But as bleach tends to cause clothes to fade quickly, a spot test is recommended. It always pays to check the care label too.
Pre-soak the clothes in bleach for 30 minutes to an hour before adding them to a regular hot wash. It should be noted that bleach may be effective at killing mould spores hidden deep in the fabric, but it does weaken the cloth fibres and will shorten the lifespan of your clothing.
Also, bleach should only be used in well-ventilated areas and never mix bleach with other chemicals or vinegar.
Tips to prevent your clothes from getting mouldy
- Don't leave damp clothes and laundry at the bottom of washing machines or the laundry basket.
- When you do a load of laundry hang it out as soon as possible to dry in the sun.
How to remove mould from shoes
As leather typically is not a breathable fabric, it is common for people’s feet to sweat in these shoes. The combination of moisture, heat from their feet and darkness are the ideal conditions for mould growth.
Use a nylon brush to lightly brush off any mould from the shoe. If your shoes are made of suede or nubuck, you need to stop here as any other efforts may damage the shoes.
Create a mix that is one part water and one part alcohol. Wipe this mixture onto the shoes with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Ensure that shoes are thoroughly dry after wearing outside to prevent future growth from developing. You may even consider purchasing a few silica gel packets to place in the shoes when you are not wearing them.
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