Laundry Detergent: Removing Mold, Stains, and Odors

Laundry Detergent For Mold Removal

Mold spores often linger on fabrics and can cause debilitating symptoms for people who are sensitive to them. Adding one or two cups of white vinegar or borax to the wash cycle helps kill mold, along with the normal laundry detergent.

Bleach is another effective mold killer, but it can fade colors, so check the care label first. Baking soda also helps deodorize clothing.


When mold spores make their way into clothing, they can leave visible stains and musty odors behind. They also have the potential to affect the respiratory system of anyone who wears them. The good news is that most of the time, washing moldy clothes is all it takes to remove them.

However, there are a few laundry detergents and additives that can actually kill and remove mold from fabrics. These are usually made with a combination of antimicrobial activity, laundry soap or surfactant and special ingredients that capitalize on the mechanics of a washing machine.

One of the most popular choices is OxiClean, a brand of laundry bleach that uses oxygen to remove mold stains. This is a safe, effective option for most clothing and bedding, though it may take several soakings to fully remove the mold stains. Another option is EC3 Laundry Additive, which can be added directly to the washing machine rinse cycle and helps to wash away lingering bacteria, mold spores and foul/musty odors in clothing and other fabrics that normal washing does not eliminate.

Stain Remover

Whether you’re dealing with oil, blood, food or wine, stain removers help lift stubborn spots without damaging fabrics and fading colors. These products can be sprayed on stained clothing and linens, then washed according to package instructions. Some can also be used as a pre-treating agent before laundering.

Some of the best mold removal laundry detergents for stains use sodium hypochlorite, which is similar to bleach. However, unlike household bleach, these cleaners do not claim to sanitize or disinfect and do not contain any chlorine gas. Moreover, they contain surfactants to penetrate building materials and reach the embedded hyphae of molds.

The MMR mold stain remover from Bad Axe Restoration Products is an example of a sodium hypochlorite product that meets these qualifications. It’s safe to use on most structural wood components, cinder block, concrete and cedar shake roofs. The product is part of many remediation protocols and has been tested and successful in numerous PRV jobs.

Odor Eliminator

Lingering odors can leave a home or office feeling less than clean even when floors and counters have been swept, surfaces scrubbed and clothes washed. An odor eliminator is designed to quickly and safely remove foul smells from fabrics, carpets, furniture, air and car interiors. It’s best to select an item specifically formulated for the odor source. For example, the Nuvera odor eliminator is formulated to quickly remove mildew, smoke, musty and pet odors. It’s ideal for use on fabrics, autos and other household items like clothing, shoes, gym bags and luggage. Theresa Holland is a freelance copywriter who specializes in home design and wellness products.

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