How To Get Rid Of Musty Smell In Clothes? 5 Easy Ways!

Last Updated on 10 months by Susan Mayrich

how to get rid of musty smell in clothes

Are you wondering how to get rid of musty smell in clothes? Mold, mildew, and musty smells are not only unpleasant to smell but can also be damaging to your health.

That’s because this type of odor is caused by mold and mildew growing on fabric. These spores release mycotoxins which can cause respiratory problems, allergies, asthma symptoms, headaches, sinusitis, and other issues!

Luckily there are things you can do to eliminate the mustiness from your clothing.


What Causes Musty Smell In Clothes

Mold or mildew can cause musty smells in clothes. High humidity also plays a big role in the mustiness of clothing. After some time and with enough moisture, the clothes will succumb to the growth of mold or mildew on them.

When this happens, they will start to smell musty. Clothing that is improperly cared for can also have a musty odor. Clothing should be dried thoroughly before putting it away to keep bacteria from growing on them while they are stored.


How To Get Rid Of A Musty Smell In Clothes

Now that you know how it happens, here are some ways on how to get rid of musty smell in clothes:


#1. Hang in sunlight

Sunlight is vital if you want to eliminate musty smells on clothes. Hang them outside for at least two hours every day. This will definitely help get rid of the smell and prevent future mustiness.


#2. Baking soda

You can also add baking soda to your wash cycle or use it as a natural fabric softener. Baking soda is an excellent odor absorber and can help remove musty odors from clothes, shoes, closets, and other fabrics. It is also chemical-free so it is safe for your clothes. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load.


#3. White vinegar

White vinegar can also get rid of musty smells on clothes. Just add half-white vinegar in the washer with your clothing during the wash cycle. Vinegar can also make an excellent fabric softener for clothes that smell musty. Just mix it with an equal amount of water and put it into your fabric softener.


#4. Enzyme odor removers

Enzyme odor removers are also suitable for removing musty smells on clothes. They are found in laundry detergents that can remove odors without the use of synthetic fragrances or chemicals. Just remember to look for them on the ingredients list to ensure they’re natural.


#5. Essential oils

To remove musty smells from clothes you can also use essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, peppermint, lemongrass, pine needle oil, spearmint leaves, or thyme. To use this method you will need to add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice for every one cup of water.


How To Take Smell Out Of Clothes Without Washing?

Use baking soda, lemon, or vinegar. Sprinkle the solution on your clothes to help absorb the odor. Add natural products to your laundries, such as baking soda or vinegar, to help remove odors without washing.

Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a water bowl and place it on top of your clothes or in a linen closet. This will help remove some odors, but if you have a fresh fruit drawer, it might be even more effective.


How To Prevent Musty Smell?

It is essential to use mold-preventing agents in an area where clothes are stored. Preventing the growth of mold will help to reduce the odor that comes out of stored clothes. It also helps to take your clothes outside after wearing them or hang them up instead of just throwing them in a pile somewhere. The air flow that happens when clothes are hung up helps to keep the clothes dryer and less musty.


How To Stop Clothes Smelling Musty In Wardrobe?

If clothes smell musty or moldy, check the inside of the wardrobe. That damp area is probably the problem. Clean it out and leave some candles, sticks of incense, or things that produce heat to help dry it out. Close the door to keep moisture out. Alternatively, you could also try putting some fabric softener sheets on hangers near your clothes. This will help keep them smelling fresh.

If you find that your clothes smell smoke, try hanging them outside on a clothesline for some fresh air. You can also hang some fabric softener sheets near your clothes to help get rid of the smell. If clothing smells like mothballs, place them in plastic bags with an apple overnight. The next day, take them out, and the smell should be gone.

If something smells moldy, try washing it in some bleach before you wear it again. If that doesn’t work, wash it with an enzyme-based detergent to help get rid of the stench. You could also use special sticks called sachets or potpourri to make your clothes smell nice.

If something smells musty, wash it with detergent and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. This will help get rid of the smell. You could also hang some bars of soap around your room or put some sandalwood there to combat the problem.


How Do You Make Homemade Odor Eliminator Spray?

This homemade odor eliminator spray is a good option if you’re looking for a non-toxic odor solution. It’s also cheap and easy to make, making it a great option for those on a budget or those who want to avoid the purchase of store-bought products that contain toxic chemicals.



#1. A spray bottle that can hold at least 16 ounces

#2. Water

#3. White vinegar (16 oz)

#4. Essential oil (optional) – peppermint is good, but any type will work as long as it smells nice and doesn’t contain coconut or citrus oils which can cause greasy stains on clothing



Mix water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Add essential oil. Shake well to distribute the oils through the mixture. Your homemade odor eliminator is ready for use! This solution should be used immediately so it can work before the smell has time to get worse again. I keep mine sealed in an opaque plastic container so sunlight doesn’t break down the essential oil.

#1. Spray clothing, carpets, furniture, or anything with an odor

#2. Let dry, then spray again if you want to leave a more potent smell behind

#3. Wipe any spills that might happen for more longevity of the solution

#4. Open windows or use fans to help air out any smells- especially before you go to bed

It’s important to remember that this spray is not a replacement for washing your clothes. You must still wash any clothes that smell bad, even if the solution has helped remove the smell from the clothing temporarily. Oils can discolor lighter fabrics and create stains on darker fabrics.


What Do You Spray Smelly Clothes With?

It depends. If the smell is from smoke, hang it outside on a clothesline or hang some fabric softener sheets to get rid of it. If you find that your clothes smell of mothballs, try placing them in plastic bags with an apple overnight. The next day, take them out, and the smell should be gone.

If something smells moldy, try washing it in some bleach before you wear it again. If something smells musty, wash it with detergent and 1/4 cup of white vinegar for best results.

You could also use special sticks called sachets or potpourri to make your clothes smell nice by putting them in drawers or closets where they’re stored away when they’re not in use. You may also be interested to know why are clothes are so hard to recycle.


How Do You Get Rid Of The Smell On Clothes That Smells Like Sweat?

Some ideas include:

#1. Try soaking them in vinegar for a few minutes before washing them; this will help to remove sweat and body odors as well as a deodorant.

#2.  If you want to make your own deodorant, try using baking soda or cornstarch instead of aluminum-based antiperspirants.

#3. Simply hang the clothes outside to air dry before you wear them again. The sun can also help with removing odors from clothing.


It’s A Wrap!

Now, you’ve known how to get rid of musty smell in clothes! You may also want to read about how to get lotion stains out of clothes and how to get melted marshmallow out of clothes.

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