Some dry clean only clothes are safe to wash at home.

How to Get Mold & Mildew Stains Out of Dry Clean Only Clothing

by Lindsey Landis

Save money on your dry cleaning bill by treating mold and mildew stains at home. Depending on the fabric, some dry clean only clothes can be treated for stains with a very mild cleaner, such as lemon juice. Unembellished, unlined articles of clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, or simple polyesters are the best candidates. If your garment is brightly colored or silk, wool, rayon, leather or suede, take it to a professional dry cleaner.

Saturate the stained area of the garment with lemon juice. This powerful citrus fruit can produce the same disinfecting effects as bleach, without the harsh discoloration.

Allow the garment to sit outside in the sun until the lemon juice has dried.

Rinse the garment in cold water by hand and air dry.

If the stain persists, take the garment to a professional dry cleaner.

Items you will need

  • Lemon juice
  • Cold water


  • Always test a small hidden section of your garment with lemon juice before applying it over the entire stain.
  • For sturdier fabrics, use a paste of lemon juice and salt to gently scrub the stain.


  • Do not use bleach, ammonia or other strong chemical stain removers on dry clean only clothing.

About the Author

Lindsey Landis has more than seven years of combined writing, editing and marketing experience in the book publishing and media industries. She holds a journalism bachelor's degree from Indiana University and studied art history at the Universita di Bologna in Italy. Landis currently works at the Chicago Reader and manages her own author development services company.

Photo Credits

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