How to Wash a Musty Smell Out of Fabric

Any fabric that you wash can fall prey to musty smells. This bad scent is a result of clothes being stored in a wrong way or forgotten in the washer for a long time. It is because that moisture stays in the cloth for a long time and it doesn’t dry out fully. Some cupboards do not have proper ventilation and this causes a high level of humidity, resulting in musty smells. When a new house is rented out, usually people complain of musty smells in closets, crawlspace etc. It is because they have remained close for so long and there has been no proper ventilation.


  • 1

    White Vinegar

    Fabrics that have musty smells cannot be countered by colognes, softeners or some other sort of scented product. If you try to make them smell nice by adding some floral scent, it will end up smelling like dying flowers instead. So you need to start the process by using white vinegar. Soak the clothes in water, preferably warm water. Add around one to two cups of white vinegar in it. The machine should be filled to a level which is a little above the fabric. Let the clothes remain in water for around half an hour. This is enough time to let the smell leave the fabric.

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  • 2

    The Usual Wash

    After the fabric has been soaked, fill the washer with water completely. Put in the required amount of detergent in it. Wash the fabric on for the longest time in the machine and then quickly dry it. As the fabric has a musty smell, it is much better to dry it outside in the sun instead of inside the machine. The fresh air and sunlight will help the smell to disappear. The fabric will also come out softer.

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  • 3

    Dry Location storage

    If you want your clothes to avoid getting musty, it is important to look into the storage. The location should be dry with no previous bad smell. For good results, place them somewhere with low humidity level. For example, bathrooms are not the ideal location to store blankets or towels as there is a lot of moisture present. The textiles should be placed in hallway cupboards or bedroom closets. They will end up smelling just as they used to.

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