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How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Clothes: 7 Easy Tips


how to get mildew smell out of clothes

Tips on How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Clothes

When your damp clothes remain in the laundry basket or washing machine for a long time, mold and mildew are growing on them. They can grow not only in the washing machine, your dryer, and closets, too. And this can lead to a mildew smell on your clothes. While mildew smell from clothing and towels can be discouraging, it does not have to be permanent. How to get mildew smell out of clothes is another common issue that we encounter when doing the laundry. This article will tackle several ways to help you get rid of the mildew smell from your clothes.

Mildew smells in clothes… What causes them?

It is important to know and understand what causes the musty odors on your clothes so you’ll know how to get rid of them. You have to treat the root cause because mold and mildew smells are symptoms of fungal growth. If not addressed immediately, the musty smell will linger and spread in your home.

 Mildew is a fungus that grows in damp areas where moisture is trapped. Given the right conditions for fungal growth, organic fibers like clothing and towels can be breeding grounds. 

Before You Start…

  • You can still save your clothes and towels so never worry.
  • Avoid using heavily perfumed detergents when washing your clothes to remove and treat mildew. Furthermore, covering up the smell won’t solve that mildew issue.
  • Using fabric softener when washing mildewed laundry can make the problem more serious. Since the residue from fabric softener builds up over time.
  • Before putting clothes in the washing machine, inspect them first. Then clean your washing machine because the source of the mildew could sometimes come from the seal.

 How Can You Get Mildew Smell Out of Clothes?

Check out the following tips on how to get mildew smell out of clothes and keep them fresh and clean. 

  1. Turn your clothes inside out before washing them since the inside of the clothes touches the skin where sweat and odors are concentrated.
  2. Make sure that you use the right amount and type of laundry detergent when washing clothes or towels. Residue from too much detergent can trap moisture which will make your clothes and towel smell like mildew.
  3. One effective household ingredient that can be used to remove stains and odor is —- white vinegar. This is also useful in cleaning detergent and hard water build-up on fabrics. 

 You can use white vinegar instead of fabric softener in the rinse cycle to get the musty smell out of your clothes and towels. For top-load washers, add a cup per load. Moreover, for front loaders, add ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar.

  1. Another useful odor remover is baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda both kill mold and mildew but attack strains of odor-causing bacteria differently. If your clothes still smell musty after trying vinegar, add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle with hot water.
  2. For pre-treatment of heavily soiled, musty clothing or towels, soak the affected clothing in a tub of hot water and ½ cup of borax for an hour. Then wash as normal.
  3. Try using enzymatic cleaners. These products use enzymes in their formulas to help break down stains and odor. Sweat and body odor can contribute to musty-smelling clothes.
  4. If the weather is fine, you can line-dry your laundry under direct sunlight. UV rays from the sun will kill that musty, odor-causing bacteria. Furthermore, drying your clothes in the air can improve the airflow to your clothing.

However, the downside of sun exposure includes lightening your colored clothes which would make them look old. Repeated exposure may damage some fabrics. The sun’s odor-removal power works best on natural fibers such as cotton.

Mold Removal Experts Know How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Clothes

Mold and mildew that grow on your laundry can be one of the causes of musty smells and can spread on your property.  Mold spores are airborne and can grow rapidly in mattresses, carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture. Furthermore, mold growth can affect the home’s indoor air quality.

Allow professionals to do the work as they are well-equipped and skilled in removing and remediating mold and mildew. At Superior Restoration, we offer professional mold removal services as well as water and fire damage restoration services. Contact our 24/7 local office today, Water Damage Corona.