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Removing Mold from Clothes

Advice from Dr. Laundry
Q.

I have some clothes that were wet when I put them into the hamper. I expected to wash them right away, but didn’t get around to it. Now they are moldy. How much Clorox do I have to add to the wash load to kill the mold?

A.

Moldy cloths need to be treated right away to help keep the problem from getting worse. I assume all the items are bleachable. If you’re not sure, I recommend consumers do the quick Bleachability Test (2 tsp Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach in 1/4 cup water; apply a drop on a hidden colored area like inside seam, hemline or cuff; wait 1 minute and then blot with towel). No color change means it is safe to use bleach on the item. Any color change could also show you the amount of change in color that likely will occur if you proceed with the liquid bleach usage.

Here are a couple of approaches that should work:

  • At a minimum I would wash immediately in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.
  • If the problem is bad, consider doing a Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach soak (1/4 cup liquid bleach/gallon of cool water; soak 5–10 minutes), then wash in hot water with detergent and liquid bleach.

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