The Best Way to Remove Mold From Cotton Fabric

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrub brush

  • Laundry detergent

  • 1 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup table salt

  • Bowl

  • Paint brush

Mold destroys cotton fabric when left unattended.

Mold forms and spreads on cotton fabric when it sits in a warm, moist location for a long period of time. Mold on cotton fabric requires immediate removal. When left to continue spreading, mold weakens the cotton fabric, destroying clothing and other textiles. While commercial and chemical products are effective for removing mold from cotton fabric, supplies found at home are equally effective without the chemical exposure.

Step 1

Take cotton fabric outside to brush visible mold spores off. Use a stiff-bristled brush and brush away from you so mold spores don't land on your clothing.

Step 2

Start the mold-removal process in the wash machine.

Launder cotton fabric in the hottest water possible, with laundry detergent and 1 cup white vinegar. Add the white vinegar to the wash cycle to kill mold spores.

Step 3

Lemon is a natural mold killer.

Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup salt to make a mold-killing paste. Apply the lemon and salt paste to cotton fabric at the site of any remaining mold stains with an unused paint brush. Place the cotton fabric outside in direct sunlight until dried.

Step 4

Flush the cotton fabric with warm water to remove the lemon and salt paste. Wash the cotton fabric according to the directions on the care label and dry in the sun.


Sunlight is a natural mold killer and bleaches mold stains.

Soak moldy cotton fabric in a bucket with 1 gallon warm water and 2 cups white vinegar.


Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.