How to Freshen Clothes That Have Been in Storage

Have you ever pulled out clothes for the season only to find they’ve been ruined by heat and humidity? This can be a frustrating experience. Especially if those clothes were expensive.

But there is hope! With a little time, effort, and patience, you can freshen your favorite clothes. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of that musty smell once and for all and make your clothes smell as good as new again.

Why Do Clothes Smell After Being Stored

Warm Environment

Clothes smell after being stored because they have been storing in a warm environment for an extended period of time. This does not mean that they are dirty – only that the warmth has activated the smells.

Stored With Smell Items

One of the reasons why clothes smell after being stored is because they have been stored with products that have a strong scent. When you put clothes on heavy with a fragrance, it can leave a strong scent on your clothing even after washing.

Damp Environment

Clothes also smell after being stored in a damp environment. So if you store them in the basement or bathroom, they may develop musty smells too.

This also explains why clothes smell if they are stored in the trunk of your car for any length of time. Although you may not think of this as a damp environment, without fresh air circulation, humidity is created inside the trunk over time.

Cold Climates

The temperature and humidity of your home can cause clothes to smell when they are brought back into the house. Colder temperatures slow down the growth of microbes that cause odors.

How to Freshen Clothes That Have Been in Storage Without Washing

One of the problems with storing clothes is that they can get a musty smell from being in storage for too long. Here are a few ways to freshen your clothes without having to wash them each time you want to wear them. You can also use a spray to clean clothes without washing

Hang them outside

If you’re not in a place that’s too cold, hang your clothes outside for a few hours or days. You can also have your clothes stand in front of an open window with a fan blowing on them from behind.

All this fresh air should help remove some of that musty smell from being in storage so long.

Renuzit Snuggle Fabric Refresher With Odor Eliminating Technology

Renuzit Snuggle fabric refresher is an excellent product for removing odors from your clothing — it also has odor-eliminating technology to make sure the scent stays on your clothes after you are done.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a very effective odor eliminator. Just sprinkle some on the fabric and wait a minute or two for the baking soda to start absorbing the odors.

Essential Oil

This will not only freshen your clothes but it will also calm you down and give you a sense of peace. Lavender oil is an essential oil that you can dilute with coconut oil if desired.

The best way to use them is during the wash, add a few drops

Fresh Wave Odor Removing Laundry Booster

Also, with the help of this laundry booster, you can now remove odors from clothes without washing them.

Fresh Wave Odor Removing Laundry Booster is a laundry booster with odor-eliminating power! It is specifically designed to eliminate unpleasant smells from unwashed fabrics so that they can smell fresh again.

If the clothes are clean, use the Fresh Wave Laundry Booster. Just spray on your favorite fabrics and let them dry. This product has no harsh chemicals or odors; it maintains the natural look and feel of clothing.

Fabric Refresher & Odor Eliminator

Sun & Earth Fabric Refresher and Odor Eliminator is designed to freshen up clothes that have been stored in warm, damp, or cold environments.

It’s an easy-to-use, environmentally friendly product that is powerful enough to eliminate musty odors from all types of fabric.

This product has no harsh chemicals or odors. It maintains the natural look and feel of clothing.

Sun & Earth Fabric Refresher and Odor Eliminator can be used on any type of fabric, in any type of living environment – whether in your home or in your car.

The formula in this product is made with only the highest quality plant-based ingredients that are safe for your family and pets.

You can feel good knowing that you are using an effective product without having to worry about your loved ones.


  • Natural ingredients that are safer
  • GREAT spray bottle that delivers a fine mist

Let it air dry

Freshen wet clothes by tossing them in the dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls.

Freshen clothes by using dryer sheets

Use up to two dryer sheets inside your clothes dryer to remove foul smells from clothes that have been in storage. Just toss the used dryer sheet into the trash afterward.


Vodka is a pure plant-derived vodka product. Vodka is made with only the highest quality ingredients and is safe for your family and pets.

Sprinkle a mixture of equal amounts of vodka and water on your clothing.

How to keep clothes smelling fresh in storage

If you’re storing clothes for a long while, it’s important to keep them smelling fresh.

You Fabric Softener

You can do this by taking some fabric softener and putting a few drops on the clothes before you put them in storage.

Clean your Dresser

You can also clean out your dresser often so that the smell is not trapped in the drawers.

Use Air Fresheners

Air out all of your clothes before you store them or put any scent boosters on them so they don’t smell so strong when they come out of storage.

How to freshen clothes that have been in storage

How can I freshen my laundry?

Two of the most common household products are vinegar and baking soda. You can use them separately or together to make your laundry fresh and clean.

1) Pour a quarter cup of vinegar right after filling your washer with water and let it soak for about 30 minutes before you start washing your clothes.

2) Add a small box (or two depending on the size of the load) of baking soda to your laundry detergent and then wash as usual.

3) If you want you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil, lemon juice, or rosemary essential oil which will leave clothes smelling great.

Will vinegar alone clean clothes?

Absolutely. The heat from the water and acidity from the vinegar does an excellent job at breaking up dirt and grime that can be difficult to get rid of alone.

Vinegar also helps neutralize odors, which is especially helpful when you’re dealing with really smelly clothes like wool or sweat-soaked clothing.

The longer you soak your clothes in vinegar, the more dirt it will strip away.

How do you get smell out of clothes with vinegar?

Put a cup of vinegar in the washer and wash then dry as normal.

You can also add baking soda to make it smell better. Use about one teaspoon per load, and be sure to add it BEFORE your detergent because when mixed with soap, baking soda produces bubbles that could clog up your machine!

After adding the baking soda, you should wash your clothes like normal.

Does baking soda remove odors from clothes?

Yes, baking soda is one of the most common household items that remove odors from clothes. The odor removal properties of baking soda are very strong.

All you have to do is put a small amount of baking soda in your washer before you do a load of laundry, and the smell will be removed.

Can baking soda damage clothes?

No, baking soda does not typically damage clothes.

Read: How to Get Epoxy Out of Clothes

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