Mildewed misery

Dear Home-ec 101,
In the course of my Grand Poobah of the Home duties, I forgot about a load of wash in the washing machine. Of course, it’s almost the entire wardrobe for both my children and the entire load *reeks* of mildew. I’ve rewashed the load at least three times now using a total of two gallons of white vinegar but the offensive odor remains. Yipe!
~What’s a Poobah to do?!

how to deal with mildew in the laundry

Heather says:

My next step would be to soak the clothing in a Borax solution of 1 cup Borax to 1 quart water.  Be sure to test the fabric for color fastness before soaking.  Rinse the clothing thoroughly and allow the garments to line dry in direct sunlight.

guide to the laundry room

Click the picture for more tips!

Unfortunately, the second tier methods for removing the mildew are a little harsh and may cause some premature wear on the fabric.  However, it is better than relegating the items to the trash.

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



8 Comments

  1. smith on November 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    how do i get meldew off of the rubber around my washer door

    • HeatherSolos on November 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      Hi, are you referring to a clothes washer or dish washer? If it's a front loading clothes washer, this post should be helpful: http://www.home-ec101.com/131/

      • smith on November 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

        i am refering to a front loader washer

  2. Home Ec 101 » Blog Archive » Menu Monday 8/13 on August 13, 2007 at 8:48 am

    […] – raspbery pork chops, rice, steamed […]

  3. […] Now as far as solving a mildew problem, personally I would work to rid the garment of the source of the odor. […]

  4. JRae on August 6, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve heard from a friend that the way Febreze works is by “gluing” the molecules causing the smell to the fabric. So you may not smell it anymore, but it is most definitely still there… doesn’t normally bother me, but it seems to bother some people heh. 🙂 Assuming that what my friend told me is true, of course. 🙂

    My only concern would be if the mildew stays on the clothing could it cause mildew to form more quickly next time the clothes are left damp? Probably not, but I don’t know…

  5. themomhalf on August 6, 2007 at 7:04 am

    i’ve found fabreze in the rinse wash works great, my washing machine has a center reserve to put final rinse stuff in — i put 1 tbs of fabreze and fill it with water

    also line drying (the sun really helps kill the mildew)

    My children are learning how to do laundry so on occasion i find a load that they have forgotten 🙂

  6. Gwen on August 5, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I’ve had success rewashing the load with the usual amount of detergent and a cup of ammonia.

    Also, you can visit one of those big box pet stores and get a jug of liquid enzyme “odor and stain remover”. It gets rid of other smells besides cat pee.

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