What Causes Mold on Clothes and How to Prevent It

Mold is a common problem for many people, especially when it comes to their clothes. Whether stored improperly or not cared for properly, clothes are susceptible to various types of mold, including black, white or green stains. While mold may not be harmful at first, it can eventually cause serious health problems like respiratory problems, allergies, or compromised immune systems.

If you’ve ever had problems with mold on your clothes, you know how frustrating it can be. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of mold on clothes, as well as tips and tricks to prevent it from happening again.

What is Mold?

Before discussing the reasons behind mold growth, it’s essential to understand what mold is. Mold is a type of fungus that grows in areas with moisture and can spread quickly. It reproduces through spores released into the air, which settle on surfaces like clothes and begin to grow. Mold can be beneficial in some ways, but it also has health risks under certain circumstances.

What Causes Mold to Grow on Clothes?

Poor Air Circulation

Poor air circulation is one of the most common reasons behind mold growth on clothes. When clothes are stored in a cool, damp environment without well-ventilated air, they become susceptible to mold growth.

The lack of air circulation prevents the moisture from evaporating, and moist clothes provide an excellent breeding ground for mold spores. The solution is simple: store your clothes in a well-ventilated area or use a dehumidifier to reduce the overall humidity levels. This will ensure that there is enough air circulating around your clothes for them to dry out properly and help prevent mold growth.

Dampness and Humidity

Dampness and humidity are also prime conditions that promote mold growth on clothes. Clothes that are left in a damp or humid area, such as a basement or laundry room, are likely to become moldy. Mold can also grow on clothes that have been left outside to dry and not dried completely.

To prevent mold growth caused by dampness, you must ensure that your clothes are completely dry before storing them. Alternatively, you can hang your clothes outside in direct sunlight, as sunlight helps to kill any spores present on them.

Poor Cleaning Habits

If you don’t wash your clothes thoroughly and regularly, you may be adding to the problem of mold growth. Clothes that are not washed frequently, especially those that have been worn, can harbor spores that can lead to mold growth.

The solution is to wash your clothes regularly and don’t let them sit in damp conditions after washing. Additionally, using a detergent that contains bleach can help kill any mold spores that are present on your clothes.

Inadequate Storage

If you store your clothes in cardboard boxes, you may be exposing them to mold growth, especially if the box is damp or in a humid area. Instead, store your clothes in cloth bags or plastic bins with airtight lids. It would help if you also made sure to store clothes in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Moldy Environments

If your clothes are stored in an area where other items like books, paper products, or old furniture have already gotten moldy, it will only be a matter of time before the mold spores spread to your clothes. It would be best if you get rid of any moldy materials and even clean the surrounding area with a mold-killing solution.

Wet Clothes Piled Together

Wet clothes that are piled up together and left for an extended period may promote mold growth. It’s essential to hang up each piece of clothing independently and let them dry out before you fold them and put them away.

How to Prevent Mold Growing On Clothes

Wash Clothes Frequently

One of the best ways to prevent mold growth on clothes is to wash them often. Frequent washing not only helps to keep your clothes clean but also helps to remove any spores that may have settled on them. Additionally, using hot water and a strong detergent can help kill any spores that may be present on clothes and prevent future mold growth.

Avoidly Dampness

Preventing dampness is another way to prevent mold growth on clothes. Make sure you dry your clothes entirely before storing them. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce overall humidity levels and ensure your clothes are stored in a well-ventilated area.

Store Clothes Properly

Proper storage can also help to prevent mold growth on clothes. You can use plastic bins with airtight lids or hang clothes in a well-ventilated closet. Avoid cardboard boxes or areas that are damp or humid.

Remove Any Moldy Clothes Immediately

If you notice mold on any of your clothes, immediately remove the moldy garment from your closet and wash it with hot water and detergent. Treating the garment quickly will help prevent the mold from spreading to other clothes in your closet.

Avoid Over-Stuffing Your Closet

Finally, overcrowding your closet with too many clothes can also contribute to mold growth. Leaving a bit of space between clothing items will help air circulate more efficiently and reduce the risk of mold growth.


In conclusion, mold growth on clothes can be a frustrating issue to deal with. The key to preventing mold growth on clothes is to ensure they are stored in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. You should wash clothes regularly and remove any moldy items from your closet promptly. By following these tips, you can help prevent mold growth on clothes and keep them looking and smelling fresh.


  • Q. Can mold on clothes make you sick?
    A. Yes, mold on clothes can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, or compromised immune systems.
  • Q. Can mold on clothes be removed?
    A. Yes, mold on clothes can be removed by washing them in hot water with detergent and drying them completely.
  • Q. How do I prevent mold on clothes?
    A. To prevent mold growth on clothes, store them in a cool, dry place with good air circulation, and wash them regularly.
  • Q. How can I get rid of moldy smell on clothes?
    A. To get rid of the moldy smell on clothes, wash them with hot water and add vinegar or baking soda to the detergent. Additionally, you can leave your clothes outside in direct sunlight for a few hours.


  • https://www.webmd.com/allergies/qa/how-can-i-avoid-mold-on-clothing
  • https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-prevent-mold-on-clothes-2146669
  • https://www.cleanipedia.com/gb/laundry/how-to-prevent-mould-on-clothes.html

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