Getting rid of mildew smell from clothes can be a difficult task, but there are plenty of ways for consumers to ensure laundry smells fresh and looks great. High humidity in the home can lead to mildew, and clothes make the perfect harbor for musty smells and toxic mold spores.
Wet laundry can easily gain a mildew odor, and it is essential to thoroughly dry items before storing them. Clothing left in a washing machine for a short time takes on a mildew smell too.
Leaving wet clothes lying around facilitates the growth of mold, and there are several things to keep in mind before your hamper is overcome with toxic spores.
Home Remedies for Overnight Soaking
A number of home solutions can be applied when washing laundry, and here are a few easy to use solutions that are perfect for soaking clothes overnight. The following solutions are ideal for clothes that are completely soiled and other approaches have been unsuccessful. Each of the solutions should be used to soak moldy clothing for a minimum of 12 hours.
The following solutions will provide the best results for moldy clothing.
- Mix one cup of ammonia to one gallon of warm water.
- Mix one cup of white vinegar per one gallon of warm water.
- Mix one cup of baking soda per gallon of warm water.
Laundering Remedies for Clothing with Mildew Smells
After soaking clothes overnight, they should be thoroughly laundered. There are several different home remedies that can easily be mixed in during the washing cycle.
Vinegar is one of the most effective home solutions and can be used in conjunction with laundry detergent for the best results. Simply mixing one cup of white vinegar in with a load of laundry is one way to cut down on any mildew smell.
5 Steps to Remove Mildew Smell from Clothes
- Fill the washing machine as normal with clothing and laundry detergent.
- Add a cup of baking soda or white vinegar to the water as the machine fills.
- After the wash cycle has commenced, the laundry should be given at least an hour to soak. If you have already s oaked clothing overnight, this step can be omitted.
- Finish the cycle and allow the machine to rinse and spin the clothing.
- This should take care of the mildew smell, but it is essential to dry any clothing thoroughly before putting it away for storage.
Old-Fashioned Hints and Tips
1. For clothes that are especially bad smelling, they should be taken outside. Mold can be toxic, and taking clothing outside to brush off any mold is the best way to keep contamination at bay. Remember to wear breathing protection and gloves to reduce any health hazards.
2. After the clothes have been brushed, they should be left in the sun to dry. Mold thrives in moist, dark conditions, and sunlight kills the organisms. Clothing can easily be hung outside on a line to dry for a few hours. This is usually enough time to kill any mold smell that lingers on clothes.
3. Presoaking clothes with bad mildew stains is essential. The clothes should first be soaked in a mixture of cold water and vinegar or baking soda. This can be followed with a warm soak that makes use of one of the above recipes. After the clothes have been laundered, they should be allowed to air dry in the sun.
4. Persistent stains can be treated with a solution of bleach and water. It is essential to color test the fabric to ensure the bleach does not damage the item. Lemon juice and salt make an ideal alternative to bleach for colored clothing. The fabric should be allowed to soak for about 10 minutes before rinsing.
5. The last step is to launder the items as normal. Keep in mind that mold thrives in dark conditions, and drying the clothing in the sun is a great way to kill any lingering mold spores.
Mildicides are one type of product that is designed for mold and mildew contamination. These products are ideal for smell removal on clothing, and the chemicals can be found in most big box home stores. Sometimes, mold can overtake a closet, and mildicides can be used to bomb the area. This is a great way to clean the closet before storing clothes.
Carpet and other building materials foster the growth of mold, and this is especially true in moist or humid geographical areas. Any clothes that are stored in a moldy closet will quickly take on the odor.
Moldy clothing is a common occurrence, but there are several ways for homeowners to get rid of offensive odors. Most experts recommend that clothing is soaked overnight in a solution of water and vinegar or water and baking soda. After the clothes have been soaked, they should be thoroughly washed and rinsed.
Drying clothing outside is a great way to ensure no mold smell persists. Sunlight kills the toxic mold spores, and outdoor drying usually provides a fresh scent to clothing. Some homeowners may notice that there is a moldy smell in a favorite closet. Mildicides can be used for this problem, and there are several bombs that can treat the closet before clothing is returned.