Mildew is a mold-like fungus that grows on anything damp and moist. It can form on clothes, for example, that are not allowed to fully dry; it's black in color, and it may look like stain on the fabric. When this happens, it's important to find the right chemical solution that works to save your fabric from being thrown away. Fortunately, you can remove mildew from fabric by using common household ingredients such as liquid detergent and salt and the instructions below.
Step 1 - Soak Fabric in a Solution and Wash
Combine one cup of buttermilk and a gallon of cold water to form a fabric solution. The contaminated piece should be soaked in this solution overnight. After a day, transfer the fabric from the solution container to the washing machine. Use cold water and liquid detergent in the in the machine and have it wash until the mildew is removed
Step 2 - Remove Stains
When laundry contaminated with mildew is not immediately washed and dried, you will see stain spots on your fabric. To take these out, mix a quarter cup of salt with a quarter cup of lemon juice and a pint of warm water. A paste will form which should be applied to the stains. Lightly rub it into the fibers and let it stay there for about 30 minutes. Then, load the laundry back into your washing machine and wash using regular detergent.
Step 3 - Try a Homemade Mildew Solution
Another way to take mildew stains out of fabric is with a homemade solution of half a cup of rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of liquid detergent mixed in three cups of water. This solution should be mixed well in a spray bottle. You should use it as a pre-wash spray for clothing, as well as a cleaner for mildew forming shower curtains.
Step 4 - Wash White Materials
For fabric materials that are white in color, it is necessary to use bleach. Mix a solution comprising of 1 1/2 cups of bleach and two gallons of water. The white fabric must be soaked in this solution for about 10 minutes. Use cold water to rinse it, and then place the materials into the washing machine with cold water and regular laundry detergent to finish.
The key to removing mildew from fabric is to wash and dry the fabric as soon as you detect the mildew problem. When mildew is left too long on your fabric it can be almost impossible to get off.