5 Steps to Remove Mold from Wooden Clothespins


Line-dried laundry is one of life’s simple pleasures.  Clothes smell fresh without artificial fragrance. Gravity pulls out most wrinkles without the need of an iron.  And one of my favorite reasons… enjoying the sounds of nature while sheets dry on the line… no hmm of a dryer interrupting song birds.  But one other item goes hand in hand with a clothes line.  It is the humble clothespin.  Its purpose in life is to securely attach your laundry.

laundry on clothes line

laundry on clothes line

If you use your line frequently, you have encountered a problem when using wooden clothespins.  Mold.  Even though we may glance to the skies or follow the weather forecast, laundry and clothes pins get rained on (and in some instances snow makes an unexpected appearance).  All of that weather can have an impact on those clothespin… even in arid climates.  With prolonged exposure, it may just be a matter of time before the tell-tale black spots make their appearance.  But clean sheets and moldy clothespins aren’t a good combination.  Just what is a person to do besides run out and buy replacements?  Bleach them!

moldy wooden clothes pins

moldy wooden clothespins

Don’t toss out those pins just because of mold.  They can be cleaned quite easily.  All it takes is a little time, a large bucket or bin, water, bleach, and some time.

10:1 water to bleach ratio

10:1 water to bleach ratio

Steps to Removing Mold from Wooden Clothespins

  1. Combine ten parts water to one part bleach.  (Use cold or warm water and do this in a well-ventilated area.)
  2. Add your clothespins carefully so as not to splash the water/bleach mixture on your clothing.
  3. Allow the clothes pins to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.  If the pins still have black spots, let them soak for a few more hours.  (We generally soak overnight for best results.)
  4. Drain the water/bleach mixture.
  5. Place clothes pins on a screen and air-dry.

Once the clothespins are completely dry (turn them over just to be sure), they are ready to use.  Now get out there and hang your laundry.  If the pins get moldy, you are now armed with 5 easy steps to clean them.

bleached and dried clothespins

bleached and dried clothespins


15 responses »

  1. I use an old plastic bottle to keep my clothespins in, one with a screw on cap and a medium to large size opening (like an old liquid laundry soap bottle). My clothes pins stay clean and bug free. But occasionally the clothes get left out in the rain and after awhile, the pins start to spot. This is a great solution!

    • Clever idea. I have an old-fashioned cloth holder for my clothespins. Our climate is pretty arid, so I was surprised when the mold spots appeared… but so glad they cleaned up nicely.

    • It is just one of those things that can happen when you hang laundry rather than use a clothes dryer. Glad you enjoyed the tip. It was amazing to see how well the bleach/water mixture worked.

  2. I have hung out clothes for 40 some years and never had mold on my clothes pins. I always bring them in, never leave them out side. Thanks for the tip, will file it, and hope i don’t need to use it.

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