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Aug 4, 2022
The smell of clean laundry is a wonderful thing. From the sweet, fresh scent of clean towels and washcloths to the crisp aroma of freshly-pressed shirts and pants - there's nothing like it!
But what do you get when clothes or towels get smelly? Unpleasant lingering odors that get in your nose make you feel dirty. Luckily for us all, though, we can get rid of those nasty odors in no time flat with some simple tricks.
Why do my clothes smell?
Any number of things could be causing clothes to get smelly, but the most common causes are bacteria and mildew. Bacteria is a living organism that thrives in moist environments to feed on your skin cells and hair follicles. When trapped inside clothing or towels, they will eat away at them until there's nothing left!
Mildew is another culprit, which can get pretty much anywhere - but thrives in moist environments similar to bacteria. This fungus-like organism feeds on your clothing using enzymes to break its fibers down into smaller pieces that it absorbs and uses as food!
Both culprits are the main reasons for that musty odor and mildew smell in laundry.
The other most common reasons for clothes smelling bad are sweat, dirt trapped inside or outside your clothes (like in shoes), and pets.
Now that you know why your laundry has that lingering stinky smell, let’s dive into a few simple ways to eliminate it!
A cup of baking soda is a great way to get rid of odors - in fact, it's one of the best. It absorbs smells by using its porous structure and neutralizing them.
Distilled white vinegar is also an excellent substance when it comes to getting rid of nasty smells! Acetic acid from vinegar helps get rid of many different types - including mildew smells.
The best way to get rid of smells with these two substances is to add them to the rinse cycle.
Another method you can use for getting rid of odors using baking soda is simply sprinkling it on the problem areas of your clothes.
The same goes for white vinegar - just spray it onto any spots with an odor and leave until they dry, then toss it into the washing machine!
It may sound strange, but air-drying clothes can help get rid of odors!
Natural UV rays can get rid of many smells, especially from sweaty clothes with odor-causing bacteria. If you don't have an option for getting them out into fresh air, just leave them on top of a window ledge or hang them inside near a fan.
If you've been having problems with clothes that have a musty smell, your washing machine may have a buildup of mildew.
Mildew can get into the rubber gasket or small holes in the door and grow - releasing its spores when using hot water! Cleaning this area regularly can help get rid of any smells from trapped moisture.
Adding too much laundry detergent to the washing machine is another reason for clothes smelling bad.
This causes the residue to get into your clothes, leading to odor - especially when combined with water and moisture.
If you’re using liquid detergent, instead of adding an entire capful, only fill it halfway! This will get rid of any excess suds in your washer while still getting rid of creases and odors on your clothing.
Adding half a cup or so of white distilled vinegar (while running through a regular wash cycle) can make all the difference by eliminating smells like body odor from laundry detergent buildup. It also leaves behind no scent as standard fabric softeners do! Make sure you don't pour directly onto clothing since it could damage some fabrics over time.
Clothes get smelly if mixed up with other types of laundry - especially wet clothing such as gym clothes and bath towels. When you have a load containing dry and damp clothes, the dampness attracts bacteria that live off of sweat and dirt. This can lead to all sorts of smells coming from your clothing!
Keep them separate as much as possible for the best results in getting rid of foul odors.
Many people leave their dirty laundry sitting out until they have time later, which allows bacteria to build up into unpleasant scents!
Always wash sweaty clothing such as workout clothes as soon as possible after working out. Remember, don't let wet clothes just sit around, or else you'll have smelly clothing down the road!
Many mainstream laundry detergent brands contain harsh chemicals that get into and stay on your clothes - causing them to get smelly over time.
Switching to an eco-friendly laundry soap can help eliminate smells without compromising effectiveness! Our Laundry Soap is made from a simple mixture of coconut soap flakes, salts, and natural and essential oils, leaving no nasty chemicals sticking to your clothes.
One of the most common mistakes in washing clothes is overfilling the washer.
Large loads can limit movement in the washing machine, causing odors from sweat and dirt to get trapped, especially if you have several sweaty gym shirts within one wash cycle!
Instead, try breaking up your loads into smaller batches so that they get appropriately cleaned without mixing with other garments or smells. This way, you can ensure that each load has been washed well before moving on to the next step. Front-load washers can also help with movement in the machine since they use rotation and gravity to force more movement than top-load washers.
Finally, drying your clothes or towels on high can be a fast way to get rid of odors - but it's not the best approach in the long run due to its damage effects on fabrics.
Using low or medium temperatures will help keep colors bright while getting rid of odors.