How To Remove Mildew Stain

With very fresh mildew, brush off the surface with a fine paintbrush, whisking the spores up and away from the fabric.  You can also vacuum the spores away, but be sure to keep the vacuum head away from the surface (so there's no pressure against the fabric).  You may want to use protection for your face, as mildew/molds can be irritating to breathe.

For both washables and nonwashables:
  • Place a folded paper towel or disposable muslin over the spot, and turn garment stain side down.
  • Using an eyedropper, drip dry cleaning fluid into the stain from its underside.  Continue just until the paper towel/muslin is soaked.
  • Take another piece of muslin, dampen it with dry cleaning fluid and gently blot the stain, repeating as the fluid evaporates.
  • Note that dry cleaning fluid kills mildew on contact, so after its application the mildew spores themselves are no longer an issue and you can be concerned only with the stain's physical appearance at this point.
  • If stain remains, repeat the eyedropper process but create a solution of mineral oil and dry cleaning fluid (1:8). Then flush with dry cleaning fluid alone and allow to dry.
  • If the garment can handle sunlight, which is a natural bleach, allow it to dry in the sun.  Sunlight also kills mildew.

After this, for washables:

  • Place a clean paper towel or disposable muslin on the stain and turn over to expose the back of the fabric. Blot with water, and drip a small amount of liquid detergent and then ammonia from the back of the fabric. Replace the pad with a fresh one as stain is absorbed.
  • Rinse well.
  • If stain remains, use an enzyme soak (like Shout) for 30 minutes at most, and rinse well.  
  • If needed, you can repeat the same 30 minute soak with rubbing alcohol instead.
After this, for nonwashables:
  • Mix 1/2 tsp enzyme soak (like Shout) with 1/2 cup water, and drip this onto stain enough to make damp.
  • Cover the stain with a clean pad that has also been dampened with the enzyme soak/water mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes, adding drops to keep moist but not wet, dabbing if necessary.
  • Flush with drops of water using eyedropper. Repeat if necessary.
  • In addition to these steps, you can also repeat the soak process with rubbing alcohol.

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