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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500039
06/24/03


Preventing Mildew In Fabrics



Keep fabrics dry.
Never let clothing or other fabric articles lie around damp. Dry soiled clothes before putting them into the hamper. Wash out dishcloths and hang them to dry. Spread out washcloths and damp towels. Stretch out wet shower curtains. It is the wet curtain left bunched together or sticking to the wall or tub that is most likely to mildew.

Sprinkle only as many articles as can be ironed in a day. Shake out and dry those not ironed.

Dry washed garments and fabrics thoroughly and quickly. Fabrics dried slowly may get sour and musty smelling--a sign of mold growth.

Wash or dry-clean before storing, as soiled articles are more likely to mildew than clean ones. Unless you know that your laundry starch contains a mildew inhibitor, do not leave starch in fabrics you are going to store; molds feed on starch.

From time to time on warm, dry days, sun and air the articles stored in closets. It pays to occasionally inspect cotton, rayon, leather, and woolen clothing stored in garment bags. A closed bag, dampness, and hot summer weather make ideal growing conditions for molds.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the USDA bulletin, Mildew.

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