Mildew grows on many surfaces, including clothing, plastic, cement, wood and brick. It is a thin black or white growth produced by mold -- plants classified as fungi. Clothing kept in moist, poorly lit, closed areas such as closets, basements and crawl spaces are susceptible to mildew, especially during humid weather. Although synthetics resist mildew, baby clothes made from cotton, silk, linen and wool provide the source of food the mold needs to thrive and spread. Left untreated, mildew causes the colors of the fabric to fade and give out a musty odor. Use home remedies for removing mildew from baby clothes.
Take the baby clothes outside and spread them on sheets of newspapers. Brush off as much mildew as possible using a scrub brush. Discard the newspapers with the collected mildew when you finish.
Wash the clothes in the washing machine immediately, setting it on a gentle cycle. Use warm water and a heavy-duty detergent. Alternatively, scrub the clothes by hand using water and laundry soap.
Spread the clothes on the clothesline to dry naturally in the sun. The rays of the sun fade mildew stains on the clothing. Inspect the stain when dry. Do not place the clothes in the dryer because the heat it emits makes the stains harder to remove.
Mix 2 qt. of warm water and 2 cups borax in a plastic tub if the stains persist. Immerse the clothing in the bucket and leave for two to three hours. Wring the clothes after removing them from the bucket and spread on a clean surface.
Bleach the spots caused by mildew. Apply a mixture of salt and lemon juice or non-chlorine bleach on spots over colored clothes, or add 1/4 cup chlorine bleach over spots on white clothing.
Spread the clothes on the line and leave to dry naturally.
Apply white vinegar to mildew stains on baby clothing as an alternative to scrubbing and applying a pre-soak solution over them. Use full strength of the safe product for large, stubborn stains, or dilute the vinegar in water and spray over stains that are small. Leave the clothing for a while so the enzymes in the vinegar penetrate the stains and remove them. Launder the clothes as usual, using a full-strength detergent and warm water. Allow the clothes to dry in the sun.