Mildew, like mold, is a fungus that tends to grow in dark, moist places, especially those that aren't accessed too often. Storing seasonal clothing away for next year makes them a prime target for mildew [source: How Mildew Gets on Clothes].
Before you consider tossing everything away and spending you're hard-earned money on a new wardrobe, try removing the mildew. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to get mildew out of clothes:
Lemon juice and salt:
- Make a paste from lemon juice and salt.
- Rub the paste onto the mildewed areas.
- Let the garments dry in the sun.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until no mildew remains [source: Get Mildew out of Clothes with Lemon Juice].
White vinegar and water:
- For heavy mildew buildups, pour some full-strength vinegar on the mildew.
- For light stains, mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Pour this solution on the mildew [source: Get Mildew out of Clothes with White Vinegar].
Borax and water:
- Make a solution of 2 cups (0.47 liter) borax and 2 quarts (1.9 liters) water.
- Soak the garments in the solution for up to several hours, or until the mildew is gone [source: Get Mildew out of Clothes with Borax].
Bleach and hot water:
Please note, this method is only suitable for garments that can be washed in bleach and hot water.
- Wet the areas that have mildew.
- Rub in a little powdered detergent.
- Set the washer at the highest temperature allowed by the garment's manufacturer.
- Add ½ cup (118 milliliters) of chorine bleach and wash the garment [source: Get Mildew out of Clothes with Bleach and Hot Water].
Bleach and warm water:
Please note, this method is only suitable for garments that can be washed in warm water.
- Make a solution of ¼ cup (59 milliliters) of oxygen bleach and 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of warm water.
- Soak the garments in the solution for 30 minutes and then wash as usual [source: Get Mildew out of Clothes with Bleach and Warm Water].