Unfortunately, mildew, mould or fungus can be an issue for our clothes if they haven’t been kept or stored in the correct conditions.
One of the main causes for this problem is not drying your clothes properly before storing them away, whether it be in a wardrobe, set of drawers or suitcase.
Mildew, mould or fungus is easy to spot, it looks like a white powdery thing with black spots, it just loves a damp and moist area to grow in.
Another reason for this issue happening – even if your clothes are dry before putting away, is if your cupboard is damp. This can also work its way on to your clothes.
Mildew, mould or fungus are a particular fan of cotton, so take a minute to check the walls and corners of your cupboard making sure there is no damp patches showing. You would also notice a musty smell permeating from the room on your clothing, which can be quite difficult to remove once the mildew, mould and fungus had established itself onto your clothing. So, treating the garments as soon as you are aware of the problem will help immensely in recovering the items from the smell.
One of our customer came to our shop in Trumpington recently and had a silk kimono full of mould spots. We could dry clean the kimono and stop the spread of the mould but the dry cleaning could not remove all the marks.
I do have a few helpful tips to help you prevent or treat the problem should it happen to you.
Light-bulb – Just by placing a light bulb into your cupboard it generates a mild heat, which can help keep the bacteria and moisture at a minimum.
Neen sticks – Pop some Neem sticks - with the leaves still attached - with your clothing as fungus cannot stand Neem, giving you an environmentally friendly option.
Hot water – This is the best way to kill mould spores, you may even have a “Sanitize/Germ kill“ setting on your washing machine. If you do , defiantly use it!
Silica Gel – Popping a silica gel pack in between your clothing or in your drawer, can soak up the moisture in the air, preventing the mould, mildew or fungus growing onto your garments.
Sunlight – Wherever possible, try to let the natural sunlight into your home, open your windows to let the warm air circulate throughout your house opening cupboards or drawers. This acts a natural disinfectant, helping to remove any musty smells from your house.
Lemon and salt – Mix lemon and salt together to form a thick paste. Rub the paste onto the effected areas, then wash in the normal way. Also, another environmentally friendly option!
Borax – Borax is a water-soluble mineral that natural and kills mould. You can buy in powder or liquid and is widely available.
Vinegar – By adding 3 to 4 cups of white vinegar to your normal detergent, then leave your items to soak for a couple of hours in the mixture, then washing in the normal way. The vinegar will remove the mould AND the musty smell. Also be kind to the environment.
Dehumidifier – These are a great way of keeping the moisture at bay in your home.
Charcoal – Hanging small bags of charcoal onto your hangers can drastically reduce the damp as the charcoal absorbs the moisture.
Lastly, if you do have overexposure to mildew, mould or fungus, it could have terrible consequences to your health, especially if the mould is in your clothing.
Touching or inhaling the spores whether your allergic or a non-allergic person, this can still cause major health problems including throat irritations, nasal problems such as sneezing, congestion or a bloody nose. Your eyes may also turn red and water. Lastly, your skin can break into a rash or show hives that can be extremely itchy.
So it is very important to check regularly to keep your clothes in tip-top condition and staying as healthy as possible. Do not wait too long before having them cleaned! The earlier the better and if you need help with your garments, please come and see us at 143 Milton Road in Cambridge or 1 Anstey Way in Trumpington. We will be happy to help.