How Do You Get Mildew Out of Clothes?

Updated on October 20, 2008
S.H. asks from Alto, TX
16 answers

Does anyone know of a detergent that will get mildew out of clothes? A few of my daughter's clothes have mildew from her formula that didn't get rinsed out before I put them in her hamper. I was thinking that Oxyclean might get it out? Any suggestions?

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R.V.

answers from Dallas on

I have had this same problem! What happens if you have already treated the stains, but there are still slight stains left behind after treating? How do you treat that?

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D.W.

answers from Tyler on

S.,

You might try soaking her clothing in an oxygen and detergent solution. Perhaps you can try a lysol product. But I usually had to use bleach (which can damage colors).

Hope you find a solution that works, if so post it so that others may benefit.

D.

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K.J.

answers from Dallas on

I have never had any luck with oxiclean and I started using Clorox 2. Let her clothes soak for a good time in it. I usually use the kitchen sink. I pour about 2 cap fulls in with water and let her clothes soak for about a day and if the stain is still there I will soak it for a little longer until it is gone. Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Tyler on

We use totally todler for everything! Once, my husband, bless his heart, took our 8 month old daughter around town with him running erands. He, being a man, changed her onesie when she threw up on it, and threw it in the back of the car.... Waaaaayyyy in the back. Two weeks later, i found it while investigating the smell. Needless to say, there was mildew among other things. I sprayed totally toddler on the mess, let it sit for a couple of hours, then washed as per the usual, but in hot water. Clean as a whistle! No signs of mildew. We purchase our totally toddler at walmart in the baby section, where the pacifiers and bottles are. It retails at around 3.50 for a small bottle or you can get a large one for 6.00 and refill the smaller bottles as you go. It has a pleasant scent too.

D.M.

answers from Dallas on

My all-time favorite that I learned when I ran a drycleaners. Peroxide and ammonia (plain or sudsy). I just pour a bit of each onto the stain, roll it up and let it sit for a short time. I have never yet seen it pull color but might add that it could on certain fabrics.

One key thing that several have mentioned and I will reiterate... DON'T DRY IN DRYER UNTIL YOU ARE STATISFIED THE STAIN IS AS GONE AS IT WILL GET!! The dryer heat will set a stain. Just air dry to check your progress. One other thing to try... Salt and lemon juice, you then set it out in the sun to dry and sometimes that will pull mildew and grey stains. Wet with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, rub it together til the salt disolves.

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S.B.

answers from Lubbock on

I am not technically "sure" that soaking these clothes will get the mildew out...but I have used Fabuloso with some of my laundry booboo's and it has cleaned the clothes and stains very well. You may have to rinse the clothes in water with a little bleach this usually helps. IF the mildew smell doesn't go away, I would not keep the clothes, it may increase the mildew on your other clothes. Not sure this helps...bummer that stuff like this happens sometimes.

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R.V.

answers from Dallas on

I have had this same problem! What happens if you have already treated the stains, but there are still slight stains left behind after treating? How do you treat that?

A.W.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

Have you tried the OxyClean for babies? My daughter is 16 mo now, but when she was an infant, I lived by that stuff! I still use it, but not as much. It got everything out - even days old stains I didn't catch. It also gets stains out even after they have gone through the dryer.

When my daughter was Chloe's age, I had a bucket of the baby Oxyclean & water in the laundry room. Since she stained stuff almost daily, I would just throw her clothes in there througout the week. Then, when I did laundry for the week, I would just throw it all in the washer - water and all. I haven't come across a stain yet that it can't remove.

Good luck!

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K.W.

answers from Abilene on

I just found that there is Baby OxyClean. I've used it on every load I've done since my 2 week old was born, and have had GREAT success!! It comes in a powder that you can add to each load of wash. I LOVE IT!! Good luck!!

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D.L.

answers from Dallas on

http://smellywasher.com/ This stuff works. Just used it to get mildew smell out of our bath towels and the smell is gone. $20 for a year's supply. And it doesn't have a fragrance to it either.

G.A.

answers from Dallas on

I have never gotten it out. I went camping once and left my sheets in the dyer and had to throw then away.G. W

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T.W.

answers from McAllen on

Vinegar kills mildew.

P.W.

answers from Dallas on

Try 2 tablespoons each of each Shaklee's Nature Bright and Fresh Laundry Powder
Pour into a basin/bucket of hot water.
Put washable stained clothing (check for colorfast) into basin.
If required, let water cool.
Let soak 3-7 days-you'll be amazed at what you can save!
Nature Bright is not a bleach, so it's safe for colors.
Get Clean laundry products are non-toxic and environmentally friendly so they are safe you, your home and the earth
http://www.shaklee.net/healinghappens/getclean/index

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

Murphy's Oil Soap. It is a staple in my laundry room and will get almost ANYTHING out. prescrub it into the clothes and DON'T dry till it's out. Good luck.

A.C.

answers from Amarillo on

S.:
Honestly, whatever detergenet you decide to use it should not have to be a week long task to get the mildew out. You should be able to pretreat it and throw it into the wash ONCE and be done with it. The WORLDS best detergent is MelaPower manufactured and sold by Melalueca will do just that. I have been using their laundry items as well as many others of the over 350+ products they manufacture. The best part is their products are Better,Safer and kinder to your pocket book. Melaluecas' MelaPower has a PH of 7 which is right there with the consistency of Water. so, that tells you right there it is good for your baby and you. Interested? Contact me at:

____@____.com
safenhappyhome.com

A. C

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi there, I had the exact same issue with some of my baby's bibs. We only wash once a week so they were sitting there with food or throwup (washed out of course - but some was still on there). My Mom used 409 and saturated them and let them sit over night in it and then put it in the wash and poof! it was gone. A couple of times we had to do it twice, but it always worked and came out clean and not smelling either. Hope this piece of advice works and I'm sure you will get plenty more pieces of good advice!

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

HI! Are you talking about mildew smell, or mildew stains? If you have a mildew smell, white vinegar put in during the rinse cycle will get it out. Personally, I use some stuff from Sam's call Odoban. It works great but it's $10/jug (a gallon I think) and vinegar is a lot cheaper, but I use it for pee smells.

If you are talking about little black spots, from mold (I have gotten these the same way you did - a wet clothing item in the bottom of the hamper for a few days) then I have tried everything, Oxyclean, Felz Naptha soap, shout, etc. The only think that eventually worked was just plain old bleach. I used the Clorox bleach pen for that. Luckily this item was mostly white, and the stains were on an unnoticable area, so I could use bleach without worry of fading colors.

When using bleach, remember that if you use it on printed items, it will not remove the color. However, if the actual clothing or threads are any color except white, it will remove the color. For example: a white shirt with a screen printed design can be safely bleached, but a blue shirt cannot.

hope that helps!

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