How to get mildew smell out of clothes
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Learn how to get mildew smell out of clothes here.

How come your unused clothes in the closet smell musty? Some people might be puzzled, especially if they first experienced it. The musty odor likely came from molds and pests when they eat away at your clothes.

It would be best if you didn’t also let your laundry sit for long. A heap of dirty and damp clothes will create mildew smells, and your clothes and towels’ damp and dirty condition attracts odor-causing bacteria to thrive. It may be hard to remove the smell using ordinary methods.

Too much detergent may cause more harm than good.

Opting for a better solution or product that you can use without damaging your precious clothes is better. 

What causes mildew smell in clothes?

The musty odors in your clothes come from mold and mildew infestation. The following are the common causes of mildew smell in clothes.

  • Storage and closet space where it is dark and humid.
  • The dryer or washing machine contains mold and mildew.
  • Piles of wet and dirty laundry unattended for a long time

Cleaning your washing machines, dryers, closets, and storage is an excellent step in preventing musty smells.


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How to get mildew smell out of clothes 1

How to get mildew smell out of clothes and towels – Simple ways 

A laundry detergent, fabric softener, and washing machine may not be the solution you need to remove the mildew smell. Using too much detergent will probably do more harm.

Luckily, there are ways to properly remove the musty smell from clothes and bath towels. We will teach you how to make your clothes fresh without harsh chemicals.

Freeze clothes

Freezing can save even your highly worn-out and sweaty clothes from unpleasant odors. Secure your clothes in a ziplock or a plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

Tossing your clothes in the freezer will kill and inhibit bacteria and mildew. After refrigerating your clothes, you can now proceed to throw them in the washing machine.

Refrigeration is also the best way to preserve your clothes. While at a freezing temperature, mold and mildews will not grow on your clothes.

Let clothes air dry

Air drying your laundry will eliminate the lingering odors, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays can disinfect your clothes from bacteria and smell.

The breeze of the fresh air will naturally dry your laundry. Direct sunlight exposure is much better than using a dryer. No need to buy laundry boosters, and you will also save electricity. The only downside of sunlight drying is its bleaching effect.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is safe to use for clothes or fabrics, and this common household item is capable of cleaning and deodorizing.

It works by reacting with odor molecules, thus absorbing any smell it emits. Make sure to spread out the laundry around the inside of your washing machine. Sprinkle at least 1 cup of baking soda. Set the device on the hottest cycle setting.

Oxygen Bleach

Unlike traditional chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is a much gentler solution, and this bleach will boost the potency of a regular detergent. You can use it at any water temperature, but it is best to use it with hot water.

OxiClean is an example of an oxygen bleach making laundry detergents stronger. The stains and mildew smell from clothes will break down quickly with a laundry enhancer.

Lemon juice

Lemon extract is a natural cleaning agent used as an odor remover. Soak your smelly clothes in a mixture of lemon juice and salt.

You can rub the stains caused by foods, dirt, and mildew using lemon juice and salt solution. The acid in the extract will kill off microorganisms and remove the stains. The extract will also absorb smells as it breaks down odor molecules over time.

Vinegar

Vinegar is a classic odor remover that will easily do its job. It contains acetic acid, which will kill the bacteria and mildew smell.

You can give your clothes a vinegar bath if they smell musty. Wash your laundry in the solution of white vinegar with warm water. You can throw it in the washing machine after soaking.

If you want to use the vinegar in a washer, use the right amount of detergent per load. We recommend replacing the fabric softeners with white vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Add 1/2 cup per load for front-loading the washing machine and 1 cup for top-loading washers. Then, set the wash cycle at its hottest setting.

Borax

Borax is another household item on par with vinegar and baking soda in stain and odor removal. For the toughest odor, you must treat the garments in hot water mixed with 1/2 cup of borax.

Wait for an hour before putting the clothes in a washing machine. The power of borax, when mixed with a regular detergent, will completely remove any smell.

Enzyme odor remover

Our body sweats and dirt can create unpleasant odors. Sweaty and stained workout clothes can bring a musty smell to your laundry.

Enzyme cleaners can break down sweat, stains, and dirt, removing the smell from clothes. Most enzyme odor removers are scented. However, BioKleen is an excellent alternative if you want an odor-free product.

Fabric Air Freshener

Body odor can stick on to your clothes, causing a musty smell. Doing something about your gym clothes before throwing them in the laundry is essential. Lumping wet or sweaty clothes with dry dirty clothes is a disaster and will likely result in a mildew smell after a day.


Home Air Freshener - Indian Verbena - Best Natural Essential Oils

indian verbena

Home Air Freshener - Indian Verbena - Best Natural Essential Oils

indian verbena
Vanilla – 1939 Servings IN STOCK ready to ship
      4.4 of 5 813 REVIEWS
  • ✔️ AIR FRESHENER FOR HOME: All natural, plant-based air freshener for home.
  • ✔️ NATURAL HOME AIR FRESHENER: Made with essential oils. Safe around children and pets.
  • ✔️ NON-AEROSOL SPRAY: No aerosols, alcohol or gases. Clean, refreshing scent.

$9.99

30-Day
Money Back Guarantee

Free ground shipping View Label / Ingredients

How to get mildew smell out of clothes 1

When clothes smell musty, a fabric air freshener will save the day. The Crown Choice Air Freshener is a non-toxic and hypoallergenic spray with a natural odor removal power.

It will refresh even the smelliest shirt or musty laundry basket towels. Natural air fresheners are advantageous because it uses essential oils to destroy bacteria and odor molecules. Mist the air freshener in the pile of laundry to prevent smells.

FAQ

What takes mildew smell out of clothes?

Washing away all the dirt, bacteria, and mildew using soapy water is usually enough to freshen the clothes. Tough odors may need a deep cleaning to smell clean. Using warm water with fabric air freshener or enzyme cleaner to knock the mildew smell out of clothes is effective.

Is it fine to wear clothes that smell like mildew?

There is probably something wrong with your clothes if it smells terrible. Mildews and molds play a role in a musty clothes smell.
Not taking action on your smelly clothes will cause them to wear faster, and wearing dirty clothes can make your body odors worse. So if you want to keep yourself fresh, wear newly washed clothes.

Keep clothes smelling fresh and free of mildew odors

Proper storage of clean and dirty clothes will prevent mildew odors. Before you store your clothes:

  1. Make sure that it is completely dry.
  2. Don’t leave the closet doors open to prevent mold spores from getting in.
  3. Never allow mountain piles of clothes before doing the laundry.

Home Air Freshener - Indian Verbena - Best Natural Essential Oils

indian verbena

Home Air Freshener - Indian Verbena - Best Natural Essential Oils

indian verbena
Vanilla – 1939 Servings IN STOCK ready to ship
      4.4 of 5 813 REVIEWS
  • ✔️ AIR FRESHENER FOR HOME: All natural, plant-based air freshener for home.
  • ✔️ NATURAL HOME AIR FRESHENER: Made with essential oils. Safe around children and pets.
  • ✔️ NON-AEROSOL SPRAY: No aerosols, alcohol or gases. Clean, refreshing scent.

$9.99

30-Day
Money Back Guarantee

Free ground shipping View Label / Ingredients

How to get mildew smell out of clothes 1

Put dirty, sweaty, and wet clothes in the washer immediately. For used clothes, it is okay for them to sit a little longer in the laundry basket. You can use an air freshener to ensure that the towels, clothes, and linens smell fresh.

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