Skip to main navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Colored Clothes

There are color safe options to remove mold from clothes if you can't use bleach. Learn how to get mold and mildew stains out of colored clothes and fabric.

More from Clorox experts


What is the best way to get rid of mold on colored clothes?


This is usually a tough one since the best mold/mildew killers are products with sodium hypochlorite, the active in our Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach and Tilex® Instant Mold & Mildew Remover. This is OK for whites and bleach-safe colors. If you’re not sure if the colors are safe to bleach, I recommend consumers do the quick Bleachability Test (2 teaspoons 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 to wash the item and this should take care of the mold. 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.

When colors aren’t bleach-safe, less effective treatments have to be used. Here are a couple of ideas:

    • You didn’t say how the problem originated. A common cause is letting damp clothes sit in a washer or basket before drying. As a preventive measure, I would do your next load of whites using hot water and detergent with ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to rid the washer of any residual problems and prevent transfer to other loads.
    • If you can’t use liquid bleach, then carefully brush off any obvious spores; wash in the warmest water recommended on the care label with detergent and an oxygen bleach like our Clorox 2® For Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive. Let the clothing air dry in the sun and check your progress. You can repeat the treatment if needed.