If your clothes smell musty, chances are they are infested with spores of a mould. This can happen if you leave them too long in the storage or let them sit for a few days in the washing machine. It can also happen in monsoon due to high humidity and because clothes don’t dry quickly and remain damp for longer facilitating mould growth and musty smell.
Towels are more susceptible to this since they are thicker and hold more moisture than other items do. The quickest solution is to wash them again, but if the smell doesn’t seem to go off, try these simple remedies and solutions:
* Wash again but this time add 1 cup of vinegar to the load (along with the laundry detergent). Use bleach instead of vinegar if doing a load of whites.
* You may try pre-soaking. Fill sink or large tub with the smelly towels/garments, cover with water and add about 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water used. Soak for a few hours before washing as usual. Bleach can be used instead of vinegar if working with whites (use 1/2 cup per gallon water).
* Wash the load again and let hang outdoors on the line, the sun will take care of the mould spores (works only on hot sunny days).
* For specific detergents designed to remove odours, check the hunting department at your local store. There are special detergents designed to remove all odours from the laundry so that animals are not aware of the hunter’s presence. These same soaps can be used to remove unwanted smells from laundry.
* Put the musty clothes in your washing machine with the amount of detergent you normally use. Let the washer fill with water as the cycle begins. Allow it to completely fill before continuing. Once the washer has filled with water, pour in a cup of vinegar, borax or baking soda. Pour it straight into the water so it will get evenly dispersed. Finish running the wash cycle as usual.
* If you need to get the smell out of a coat or another clothing item that’s dry clean only, submerging it in water isn’t an option. No rinse cleaner effectively rinses the surface of an item without completely saturating the layers of fabric, so there’s less chance of warping. In most cases you’ll mix a capful of the no-rinse wash with several litres of water. Pour it into a spray bottle. Spray your musty garment so that all parts of it are slightly damp and hang it on the hanger outside in the sun and wind.
* Instead of washing your clothes with baking soda, you can use dry baking soda on your dry clean only garments. Baking soda will absorb the musty smell. You may have to repeat the process more than once for best results.
Use these simple and effective remedies for removing the musty smell from the clothes.