How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in Clothes

31 Jan, 2021 / Comments: Comments Off on How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in Clothes / By


One of the most frustrating (and embarrassing) laundry issues is when you have clothes that smell like mildew. Now, there are several reasons that this may be happening to you. Perhaps they are gym clothes that got left in a gym bag or clothes hamper for too long. Maybe they are clothes that got put away without being properly dried. Sometimes it might be the closet or dresser itself. Regardless of the reasons for the unfortunate odor, the fact is that you need to get rid of it, especially if it is in one of your favorite outfits or pieces of gear.




The best way to get rid of the mildew smell in clothing is to make sure that it never gets there in the first place. As mentioned earlier, the ways that clothes get smelly, such as staying in the hamper too long or not being dried thoroughly, are good things to avoid. You don’t want to keep clothes stored in humid or moist areas or use too much detergent on them. This creates a slick, sticky film that bacteria and odors cling to. Also, washing clothes regularly, in moderate-sized loads, is the best way to make sure all of your clothes get washed each time thoroughly.


Vinegar, Baking Soda, Sunshine Method


The first and perhaps most common method of treating persistent odor clothes involves two main ingredients and an optional third one. Washing your clothes in one cycle of vinegar, followed by one cycle with baking soda, has done the trick for years and years. Remember that the water temperature setting must be on the maximum for both loads. Finally, hang the clothes outside to dry in the sun, if possible. Although drying them in a machine won’t harm the process, ultraviolet rays have additional disinfecting properties that kill bacteria.


Cleaning Out Your Dryer


Many people underestimate the impact that a dryer can have on the odor of clothes. While many of them may be aware that the right kind of dryer sheets or other accessories can make clothes smell wonderful, they are often surprised to learn that they could contribute to mildew or other similar odors. Getting a proper and thorough dryer vent cleaning can lead to a much more efficient drying process, as well as a better smelling one.


Sometimes the problem may have nothing to do with the dryer or how long you leave clothes in the hamper. Sometimes it is where you keep them stored. If the area is damp or moist in any way, your clothes may start to smell as they are growing mildew after a while. If you have a closed-off closet with a little humidity, here are three things you can do to try and fix the problem:


Open the Closet Doors Up


Sometimes the reason that your closet smells funky isn’t because of your clothes. Sometimes your clothes smell funky because of the closet! Lack of airflow and ventilation can give a stale odor to any area. When it is a closet that is always closed off and moisture inside or nearby, it can pass that smell onto your clothes.


Clean Out Your Closet


Sometimes merely opening up the door and getting fresh air isn’t enough. How long has it been since your closet had a good cleaning? If it has been a while, it might be time to give it a good once-over. Throw out anything old, and you do not use it anymore. Of course, make sure that you aren’t getting rid of anything of value. But things that are just taking up space can undoubtedly go.


Place a Small Fan at the Floor Level


In some cases, just getting some airflow going, especially towards the floor, can help tremendously with foul odors in closets and other small rooms. After a few days of this, smells that are trapped in the carpet may begin to dissipate.

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