Removing Odors from Clothing

Fabric tends to pick up smells and often they are not pleasant. This guide is about removing odors from clothing.

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Question: Removing BO Odors from Clothing

By Kelly Stewart 1

My 14 year old daughter has terrible BO. I just found a bunch of t-shirts that have been sitting in a pile for a long time. Most of them are black. I washed them with regular Tide detergent and they still stink terribly. Does anyone have any laundering advice? Will the vinegar take the black color out of these clothes? I need help. I have never had a BO problem, so I am at a loss. Thank you.

Kelly from Victoria, BC

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Most Recent Answer

By Carol Swanson 36 226 Flag

March 23, 2009

I normally only use cold water to wash my clothes, but I have found hot water is sometimes needed to remove odors caused by the bacteria you are describing. Teens have extra oily skin and its more of a problem for them than for adults, imho. I'm sorry I didn't know about hot water to remove odors and grease when my kids were that age. It would have helped with their bedding. Good luck.

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Question: Removing Odors from Laundry

By Connie W. 1

I forgot I had washed a load of laundry and left it for a couple of days. Now it smells. What can I do?

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Pixiedust7 7 897 Flag

    December 6, 2015

    You could also re-wash them, and pour a cup or so of regular amber mouthwash in at the start of the rinse cycle.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


    Question: Sour Smelling Clothing

    By Bonnie Wheeler 1

    I am looking for help with stinky sour clothing.

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By whozis333 1 Flag

    December 26, 2010

    The sour smell is butyric acid; it's water soluble, but some fabrics take a long time to diffuse out the stuff. One wash cycle isn't always enough. Soak the garment (overnight in a bucket of water) and maybe change the water and give it a second day. One pound of clothes, ten pounds of water, means you diminish the odor maybe 90 percent with every change of fluid.

    The problem eventually will go away with just regular washing, too (but each wash is fifteen minutes of water contact, versus fifteen hours of contact if you leave it in a bucket overnight).

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


    Tip: Removing Musty Odor From Clothes

    By Diane =^..^= 1

    Here's the "Solution"

    I had a brand new bedspread, that picked up a musty smell from an RV we had used. I tried EVERYTHING, to get the odor out. Of course I could not use bleach on this fabric. A Musty odor is almost impossible to get rid of, once an item has been exposed, no matter how clean you get it! Ahhh, at last, I remembered that I still had some "Simple Solution Stain and Odor Remover" on hand. You can buy it at most pet stores. It's the best thing I have ever found, for removing the smell left in the carpet from our aging, incontinent kitty. It has never damaged my carpets, so I thought, why not?! So I put two cups of "Simple Solution" into a washing machine full of water with the bedspread. I let it soak for four hours and then ran it through the normal cycle. The musty odor is now gone! And the bedspread has a very light pleasant scent. I am so happy that a brand new, very expensive item was saved! I would have no hesitation to use this product on any type of furniture that may have picked up a musty smell. Musty Odor? This nasty problem will not be a problem for me ever again!

    By Diane =^..^= from New Braunfels, TX

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    Question: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

    By Tara 1

    My husband works outside a lot and sweats. I wash his jeans and they still have a faint smell of sweat. I have a front load washing machine, so I can't just add something to the rinse cycle. Anyone have any suggestions to get his jeans smelling fresh in a front load washer?

    By Tara from NC

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Jeff 1 Flag

    December 28, 2010

    Soak in a heavy duty de-greaser like simple green or TSP (trisodium phosphate) for several hours then wash as usual. Ammonia may work too, have not used it enough to be sure. The other two will work for sure. This works even when bleach/vinegar won't. It might fade colors though.

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    Question: Removing Ethanol Odors from Clothing

    By Racheal m 1

    How can I get the smell of ethanol out of my husband's work clothes and then out of my washer?

    By Racheal from Ashland, KY

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Debbi T. 1 Flag

    January 7, 2014

    Do not use Fabreze. It is made with ethanol. I would wash with baking soda disolved in hot water, but cold water for the wash. Let it sit. I put mine in the wash, let it fill up, agitate for about 10 minutes, than shut it off. My washer is in the bathroom so I run it everytime I go in there for the next couple of hours. Before it rinses, I add a cup of vinegar, run it, let it sit. Than rinse it.

    Good luck with it.

    Ethanol is a neurotoxin. It causes brain damage for me. It makes my motor-controls not work correctly.

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    Question: Septic System Backed Up Into Washer

    By abbyg17 1

    With all the rain lately my septic tank overflowed and when it did it went into my washer when my laundry was washing. I had to rewash it three times and my brother said they smelled fine so I wore an outfit from it. Now I'm out in public and I smell like when the septic tank overflowed. I sprayed perfume to hide it; also I won't be able to wash clothes cause I'm leaving to go out of town in few hours. I need advice on what to do.

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      Most Recent Answer

      By joan 7 141 Flag

      December 15, 2015

      I think what happened was the washer had no where to pump the water so it mixed with sewar water but didn't really leave the machine. If you live well away from the nearest neighbor, run a separate line out into the yard for your washer water just on top of the ground. It's grey water. Just move the end periodically where the water comes out with force.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Removing Sweat Smell from Clothing

      I have read all of your suggestions and also some of your questions. But none of you said if the clothes you have the odor problem with were white or colored.

      My son loads and unloads planes for a living. Like most young men in their 20s (that live on their own) he comes home from work and throws stinky sweaty shirts in the laundry. By the time he goes to wash them the odor is impossible to remove!

      Then he comes to me for an answer to remove the odor. I have suggested that he not put them in the laundry wet with sweat, but to hang them up to dry first. Even then the odor is still there, but not as bad even after washing. I thought it was the laundry soap he was using, but still I found that didn't really work to remove the odor. It just masked the odor making it so the next time he wore the t-shirt it smelled even worse once he started sweating.

      His work shirts are blue and I'm worried that anything I use will cause bleaching or fading. That would be my worst nightmare knowing he only gets 3 to 4 t-shirts a month. So what is the best thing anyone has found to take the odor out and not fade colored clothing?
      Thank you.

      By Wendy W. from FL

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Lizzyanny 9 1,251 Flag

      October 5, 2013

      Try Borateem (Borax) My target odor is cat pee, but it works wonders. I use 1/3 cup in the wash cycle for a front loader. I also use vinegar in the rinse cycle. It will not fade colored clothes.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Removing Odors From a Costume

      How do you remove underarm odor from an article of clothing that can't be washed or dry-cleaned (a costume)?

      Angel from Seattle, WA

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Liz B 1 Flag

      August 6, 2015

      I realize this answer is years later. Son is in charge of entertainment dept, dancers etc..their costumes get very sweaty and are very elaborate so they cannot be just washed. Dry cleaning bills are very pricey for garments like this and sometimes dry cleaning damages them. The dancers swear by vodka. Spraying and just letting item sit out in fresh air or even better the sun. I concentrate on the pits and blot with a white towel. High concentrate alcohol may also be used. The least water content the better, I found 91% alcohol at major dept store. But vodka is usually best. Cheap vodka is OK.

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      Question: Removing Body Odor from Laundry

      Some people do not change clothes and linens very often. Body oils and what not get into the fibers. Shampoo in the washer seems to work, but only if washed again all the time. Sheets, long sleeve shirts, and pillowcases stored awhile in rotation seem to retain the odor. Thanks for any help. Oh, I only use the clothesline outside for drying.

      By BL

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Abigail A. 15 1,032 Flag

      February 17, 2015

      Have you tried adding washing soda to the wash? Look for the Arm and Hammer brand at your local store. You can also try adding baking soda. If these don't work, try a powdered oxygen booster such as OxyClean.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Odors from Towels

      How can you remove the smell of oil from bowling towels?

      By Peggy S.

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Monica H. 1 Flag

      January 13, 2015

      Try using white vinegar in the rinse cycle. It works great for removing oil, grease, and odors from clothing. Baking soda works great for removing odors as well.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Cooking Odors from Clothing

      I am new to the harsh winters of Canada and am starting to get used to the idea of heavy outerwear like woolen jackets with inner linings, etc. I am also Indian, so our cooking stinks sky-high, unfortunately.

      I need a solution to remove the smell of cooking/food from my heavy, outerwear without washing them. These are almost new stuff, but I hate that they smell of food whenever I go out to work or shopping.

      Please help. I would like to have some solution where I can put some stuff in the dryer with these jackets and that takes out all the odor. No washing needed. Only deodorizing.

      Thanks.

      By Azmat

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      Most Recent Answer

      By drnesbitt-nepean 1 Flag

      November 13, 2013

      For starters, try airing them outside for a few hours. Choose a windy day if possible. Or .... if you have access to a dryer, use a home dry cleaner (ie: Dryel) that can be found in most grocery or department stores in their laundry detergent aisle.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Armpit Odour from Dress

      I own a dress that I really love, but unfortunately it really smells like armpit. I want to know how to get the smell out, but I'm afraid to use some of the suggestions I've read about because it's handwash only. I'm afraid it might be too delicate for some of the treatment methods. (Also quite a few methods that I've found require machine wash.) I was hoping someone may have a solution that will be effective without damaging my dress. The dress is one of my favourites so I would prefer solutions that probably won't damage it. Sorry if I sound really picky, I just really like that dress. Any suggestion?

      By Tonie

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      Most Recent Answer

      By KaelaB 1 Flag

      November 24, 2014

      White Vinegar! Soak that dress in a strong solution of white vinegar and COLD water for a few hours then either dry clean or hand wash. Vinegar will remove the smell. I have used white vinegar to soak out the smells from all my laundry issues, including my husbands suits! I soak them for about an hour then I spin them dry and take them to the laundromat. Vinegar will remove home odors, too. Simmer a solution of vinegar and water on the stove while cooking things with strong odors and it cleans the air.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Underarm Odor from Clothing

      By Ballroomdancer 1

      I see many suggestions for removing underarm odor from clothing, but these are all followed with laundering in the washing machine. What to do for clothes that cannot be washed in the washing machine, like rayon blends?

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Removing Awful Smell from New Dress

        I have a dress (material 45% polyester, 35% viscose, 15% cotton and 5% elastane) which has a lining (95% polyester, 5% elastane). As per instructions, I hand washed and dried in on the hanger (I live in apartment). Now the dress has a horrible damp smell. I repeated washing, but the smell remains. The instructions said not to soak for a long time in water. What should I do please? Thank you.

        By Elisabeth T

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Removing Sweat Odour from a Vintage Dress

        I have a beautiful dress from the 1960s that was actually made from antique fabric probably from the 1900s-1920s. I would like to sell it in my shop only it has really bad under arm odours that I cannot get rid of. I do not think it is suitable to be hand washed so I would like to know if there are any other options. Many thanks.

        By Sam from London

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        Question: Removing Xylene Odor from Clothes

        How do I remove xylene odors from jeans?

        By Brian

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Removing Fish Smell in Clothes

        I work in a seafood market and my clothes really smell like fish. Even after they are washed with vinegar or baking soda and run through an extra rinse, the odor still lingers. The clothes are all black, so bleach is out. Help!

        By Pam

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        Question: Removing Musty Smell from Clothes

        How do I get the musty smell out of clothes that are stored in a dresser for a long time?

        By Pat N.

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        Question: Removing Persistent Odor from Vintage Apron

        By Pat 1

        This a question for a scientist of some sort: Is it possible for a piece of material to retain a very distinctive, basement-type odor for almost 60 years? It did not smell while dry. The odor only appeared after 3 months of hanging in my house. This may sound crazy, but it's true.

        When my father passed away I found myself really missing him. Although my sisters thought I was weird, I decided to hang up one of my dad's old flannel shirts on the back of a closet door in my house. Then I decided to top it off with the fabric apron he got while he attended trade school to learn to be a machinist after WWII. It comforted me to have this hanging in my hallway, where I walked past it every day.

        I never saw this apron until after he died, but I remembered seeing it in an old photo. He wore it as he stood beside some sort of machine, while in trade school. I think he must have kept that apron at work for 33 years, as he worked as a turbo prop engine mechanic. I discovered both the flannel shirt and his work apron in his hot, dry garage in Arizona, when we were getting ready to sell my parent's house.

        Initially, I decided not to wash the items because they did not smell, and did not seem to be very dirty. (I also wanted to retain the slight dusty essence in the clothes that reminded me of my dad.)

        At some point, the apron fell off the hangar, onto the floor, and got a little wet. I picked up that apron and all of a sudden I was hit by a very familiar, odd type of smell that I remembered from my childhood. It smelled exactly like my grandmother's basement! I have never smelled that particular, kinda funky odor anywhere else, and I was amazed at how strong it was on that wet apron. (My grandma died and her house in Minnesota was sold in 1971.)

        My siblings did not believe my story, so I put off washing it for a few days so I could show it to them. Mistake! The odor started to grow and get stronger in my laundry room where I had hung it up to dry. With love and apologies to my grandma, I soaked it in detergent and vinegar for an hour and then washed it. The smell would not go away. I eventually ended up washing it several times, trying many things (Simple Green, OdoBan, vinegar, and baking soda), but they did not work. I hung it out on the clothes line for a few weeks during a dry, hot summer, then washed it repeatedly again. To be honest, this kinda freaked me out.

        Is it possible for some kind of mold or other spore to have stayed dormant in the fabric of that apron for almost 60 years, only to begin to grow when it got wet? If not, what could have caused this? I do not believe that this odor came from my grandma "visiting me" since it was so clearly coming from that apron.

        What gives?

        By Patty W. from Phoenix, AZ

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        Question: Removing Mink Odor from Clothing

        How do I remove the smell of mink in clothes?

        By e.g. from Canada

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        Question: Removing Smokey Odors from Clothing

        I need to remove a smokey odor from some clothes that I have. The fabrics range in materials, but a few items are either supposed to be hand washed or dry cleaned. Is there anything I can do to them besides spraying them with febreeze? I did hear of hanging them above a tub of hot water with vinegar in it, but I'm not sure if it'd cause them to develop a new odor. What would you suggest? Thanks.

        Dawn from Cincinnati, OH

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        Archive: Sour Smelling Clothing

        I have sour smelling t shirts. I have tried everything: laundry odor eliminator, color safe bleach, extra fabric softener, extra fabric sheets, and small loads, immediate placement into the dryer.

        Please help me!

        Rachel

        Answers:
        -- 10/18/2004
        Add some pinesol or any pine cleaner to your laundry. Any brand!

        It works wonder!

        By Bobbie
        -- 10/18/2004
        Try straight vinegar in the wash. Like a cup.
        By Lori
        -- 10/18/2004
        If its only these items and not the rest of your wash have you tried soaking them in Nappy soaker for 24-48 hours then washing in a hot wash. Drying in sunlight should also help.

        Regards

        Jo

        By Jo Bodey
        -- 10/18/2004
        Soak in baking soda solution.
        By William
        -- 10/18/2004
        Did not see where you have tried using white vinegar in the wash and rinse cycles to get rid of the sour smelling tees. It works every time for me and you don't have to use fabric softener in the dryer or rinse either. If they are really sour, load machine and put in vinegar, let soak for 15-30 and then turn machine on.
        By Plh549
        -- 10/19/2004
        I use distilled vinegar in my laundry. It takes sour odors out and is also suppose to be a natural fabric softener. One would think the laundry would smell like a salad dressing but it doesn't.
        By Green18Chick
        -- 10/19/2004
        When I bring stuff home that has soured, I first soak it in baking soda water, about a cup and a half in the washer, I let it soak overnight, then I wash the clothes in normal laundry soap, then for rinse I put a cup of vinegar with about 20 drops of essential oil in.
        Good Luck
        By Tracey
        -- 10/21/2004
        Try laying them on the grass in the sunshine.
        By Karen

        Archive: Sour Smelling Clothing

        I have clothes that have a sour smell. I work for a pet groomer, so they get wet, then dry, then wet and dry and by the time I get home they smell sour. It won't come out when washed. I have tried baking soda, Fabreeze, Pine Sol, vinegar, I just can't get the smell out. What can I use?

        Krys from Milton, Florida

        Answers:

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        Am wondering if there is anything you could use to pre-treat (wash, rinse) the clothing, so that it doesn't pick up the smell from work.

        Another thought is for you to use separate clothing for work and make sure it can stand up to the vinegar, hot water and long soakings. These treatments can fade the design and weaken fabric quickly. Possibly nurse's or medical technician's outfits might last. Or contact a uniform supply company. and see what they have to offer. You need a sturdy, tough, boilable fabric or your wardrobe bill will be out of sight. (06/09/2006)

        By Holly

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        I had this problem, I left clothes in washer and forgot for a week. They smelled yucky so I soaked them in laundry soap, 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup borax and then let them sit for a day then drained water and washed with laundry soap and vinegar borax mix and problem solved. Good luck. Also maybe a few drops of lemon dish soap or ammonia for laundry helps. (06/09/2006)

        By meoowmom

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        I use household or foaming ammonia. It's the same product and it will be on the shelf with other laundry boosters. Use about half cup in a wash load, with your regular non-bleach detergent, dry outside if possible. DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT WITH AMMONIA. This will remove dried-in sweat from farmer's clothes; underarm stains from teen's uniforms, and sweeten any garments that have been lying around wet. Like vinegar, it smells awful, but dries with no smell. And it will not damage your clothes. (06/10/2006)

        By mygaley

        Archive: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I have some clothing that was in storage and became damp. So far there isn't any mold just a musty smell. Is there a way to get this smell out?

        Debra from Wilmington, NC

        Answers:

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Easier than you could ever imagine. I had some sleeping bags that smelled very musty from storage. I tried all kinds of laundry supplies, then I told my brother what I was doing and he told me to add 1/2 cup baking soda to the wash water, and 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse water. It worked and it was cheap and already on hand. (02/14/2006)

        By brenda thompson

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        A method I have used with clothes that are not washable is to hang the clothes out of doors for days at a time. Recently this was successful with a sheepskin jacket which would have been very expensive to dry clean. (02/15/2006)

        By Julia

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I live in Indiana and don't have this problem. However, it seems to me that all those silicone packets (usually labelled don't eat) might be a help as they are good at protecting electronics, they might help keep moisture off clothes. (06/04/2006)

        By eresatay

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Put offensive clothes in plastic bag put cotton balls dipped in pure vanilla AROUND but not on clothing tie bag up and leave this way for several hours. This idea is best used after washing clothes in vinegar and 22 mule borax wash and vinegar rinse. (11/27/2006)

        By marisa

        Archive: Sour Smelling Clothing


        My daughter washed her clothes for the first time. Unfortunately, after she removed them from the washing machine she must have put them all on top of each other - expecting they would dry. She called me frantic - her clothes have a terrible odor. What should she do now?

        S Wilson from Palm Desert, CA

        Answers:

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        Regardless, if you want something that usually works, 1/4 C. bleach in a washer of hot water (if not a synthetic fabric) works. OR 1 capful of original Lysol works well, too, although hard to find. (10/21/2006)

        By Lynda

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        Part of the problem of sour smelling clothing is due in large part to soap or detergent residue left behind when washing in hard water. You cannot rinse out all of the soap or detergent in hard water therefore leaving it in the clothing. Detergents are high in pH and therefore part of the problem.

        Solution: Install a water softener and use pure soap products. Brighter, softer laundry with a clean fresh smell. Solve the problem and forget about fixing the symptom.
        (09/13/2007)

        By Kelly Johnson

        RE: Sour Smelling Clothing

        We tend to not want to do laundry and so we also tend to over load the machine to save time and money. By having an over sized load the clothes do not get clean well enough and they do not rinse the soils complete, try a smaller load and smell the difference. (07/09/2008)

        By Indiana Home Inspector

        Archive: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I have a very small closet space in my room, therefore I have to store my clothes in my basement in a closet during the off seasons. Recently, when it was time to switch at the changing of the seasons, I noticed that some of the clothing that had been in the basement closet smelled musty. I can't seem to get rid of it just by washing. Does anybody have any idea how to get the musty smell out of my clothes? Is there any hope at all? I appreciate any help that anyone can give me. Thanks!

        Robin from Washington, IA

        Answers:

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Well, first off, what is the material made from? If it is a polyester blend, cotton, spandex, etc. you can machine wash it. Add some vinegar to the wash cycle, about a 1/4 cup. If the material is rayon, silk, wool, cashmere, etc., then the outfit needs to be dry cleaned. Both methods of cleaning should bring the garments back to life! (01/31/2005)

        By Cavelady

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        When I have this problem (which is fairly frequent since I shop mostly second-hand shops), before I wash the clothes I let them soak in the machine with vinegar (1 cup per full load) for about an hour. I then drain the water, put in my detergent and wash normally. During the rinse cycle I add 1/2 - 1 cup of vinegar (if the smell has not totally dissipated). I prefer to hang them outside weather permitting, as the fresh air blowing through the cloth takes the rest of the smell (if there is any) away. Hope this helps. (02/01/2005)

        By Terry

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        If it is a washable fabric, try putting vinegar in the rinse water, even let it set in it for awhile. (02/01/2005)

        By Beverly in TN

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        A trick I've used to freshen the smell of anything like clothes, a room, the car, the entry way in the house, a drawer, etc is to use a dryer sheet. Put it near by, under a rug or chair, or in the item. It really smells good! (02/01/2005)

        By Buckets

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Try washing those things that can be washed, in a vinegar wash. I have added washing soda to the wash cycle as well. Rinse with normal fabric softener rinse. (12/02/2006)

        By ERP

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Odo-Ban from Sam's. Use as directed on label. Safe, effective and economical. (12/03/2006)

        By Camilla

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I wash all of my clothes using the recommended amount of detergent then I add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar to the wash.
        Not only does this remove all odors from your clothes, but it has better whitening results than bleach or non-chlorine bleach.
        Good Luck! (01/12/2007)

        By Cleo

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        For years I have struggled with washing and drying my clothes in the dryer and still feeling a light "dampness" to them. If not caught, the clothes smell musty. Then I became "hyper" sensitive to even the smallest amount of moisture on clothes, sometimes even drying them two or more times, but still getting the musty smell! I will try the white vinegar and baking soda and will adjust the humidity in the house. Pray this helps or I quit being a sane mom! (05/25/2007)

        By Nancy

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Thank you everyone.
        I moved in my new house 2 years ago. I have been having escalating problems with my clothes and towels smelling really moldy. It would even actually transfer to my skin. Sometimes a washcloth would smell fine then once it got wet, oh ish. It was driving me crazy. I even had to start allergy meds. I repeatedly tried vinegar. I wanted to pull apart my washer but my husband poo-pooed it because the washer seemed fairly new (came with the house).

        Based upon the postings here, I went ahead anyway and pulled my washing machine apart. What the heck, it if I damaged it, so what, I would need a new one anyway. I knew I was on the right track when I pulled off some parts and got a snoot full of air coming from the inside. Sure enough, lint, soap residue and mold all over in the space between the drum and thing that holds it and the upper ring. Cleaned it up and put it all back together.

        It is still the first day but I can already tell that worked. Next time I will try the smelly washer stuff. I have switched to powder deter.
        Thanks again (05/26/2007)

        By Julie

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I get a big plastic bucket, big enough to hold a load of laundry, fill it with water and pour in about 2 tablespoons of bleach mix it around then put the moldy smelling clothes in it for about an hour or so then wash as normal. Works like a charm. (07/03/2007)

        By Julie

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I have tried the whole baking soda and vinegar thing, but I did something different that I hope will work for you.

        I washed my canvas backpacks about 5+ times with the vinegar and baking soda and it didn't work. So I added the baking soda to the wash and quickly after, the vinegar. It still smelled musty, even when wet, so I added 2 capfuls of Downy Lavender and Vanilla fabric softener to the first rinse cycle, then another capful on the second rinse cycle (I did a power wash) and the smell is gone and the backpacks are nice and soft!

        Good luck! (07/06/2007)

        By Babyface

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        If the item is washable, put white vinegar in washer with the detergent, agitate a few minutes, then let soak for an hour or more. The musty smell will vanish. I suggest you use at least a cup of white vinegar depending on how large the load is. (10/03/2007)

        By Henrie Osborne

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        For musty clothing there is a product sold called Purewasher. All it takes is soaking all your clothing and towels with a tablespoon of the cleaner for a couple of hours and no more mildew or basement smell! It'll clean fungus from your washing machine too! (10/13/2007)

        By Joan

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Yes! OZONE MACHINES work & work VERY WELL, but you have to use care! We had a home fire & the pros brought in a BIG professional size Ozone generator & they said that it was important that no one was in the house while it was running (I think it may remove oxygen?). Ozone machines remove any & all traces of smoke & other smells, but don't run a large one while your at home & never run a smaller one when your in (or near) that room! (No matter WHAT the directions may say!)

        * The trick the pros taught us, was to add one can of (regular) coca cola (not sugar-free) per load in the washing machine to remove smells. It's TRULY AMAZING how just one can of coke removed any & all traces of smoke from our clothes! (Wonder what it does to our insides?) (02/07/2008)

        By Cyinda

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I use Lysol Concentrate in my washing. It deodorizes and disinfect the clothing. (04/28/2008)

        By Diane

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Hi there, We have a front loading washer and were having the same problems.The repair man told us to use automatic Dishwasher detergent and to start an empty load at the hottest setting. Then pause it for a awhile. Then run the empty load through. It helped, it cleans the hoses and washing machine of the soap build up. Sorry I got a front loader now:( (07/05/2008)

        By Mama-T

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I use borax and washing soda in the washer. They freshen and remove odors. Actually, I use them with half the laundry liquid called for, and have low-sudsing (and cheaper detergent) for my front-loader. (07/31/2008)

        By Nancy

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Use about 3/4 cup automatic dishwasher detergent in your washing machine. I have had to do this with musty smelling towels. (08/02/2008)

        By Lori

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Easy! Just get a drying rack and place outside if it is possible leave out for a number of hours. Or even better an outside line And the last resort place clothing on grass outside for a whole day You would be surprised at the results. Tricks from my Scottish mother. (08/24/2008)

        By donald.

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        I had towels I thought I would never rid mildew smell of - one word: OxyClean! The guy on the commercial is obnoxious, but I used 1/2 required liquid detergent and 2 to 4 TBLS of this stuff along with fabric softener (not dryer sheets). I wash every load of clothes this way all the time now and don't have to worry about that smell any more. (09/29/2008)

        By VChenz

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing and towels, etc... solutions

        Your local professional dry cleaner can take care of this issue. If you want to do it yourself, this is how I do it:

        Odors from towels. Causes: folding of towel after use and leaving within a dank environment is a breeding grounds for germs and molds. Use a towel bar and let dry without folding. How to remove odor. I use a top loader at home, Start by filling with water warm-hot temp, at largest capacity, once about half full add 1/4 cup of bleach, any type will work, then let it fill. Once it is about to go onto the next cycle, pause the unit, you can use detergent if you'd like, personally I use A&H baking soda, about a cup and a half, let the washer actuate a bit to mix then pause.

        Now before you handle any article of fabric change your gloves or wash hands 3 times over. You may want to wear something u care less for. Put the towels, into the washer and let them sit for about 30-60 minutes then let the washer cycle. This will also keep your machine smelling nice.

        Try to dry your clothes right after the laundry is done. If using a dryer make sure you over dry, but always read your garment label on drying care. It is better to hang your clothes after drying vs folding, something that may feel dry, still may have steam trapped which eventually materializes back to it's solid form, and leaves you with the dreaded funk smell. So over dry, especially socks, undies, boxers, towels. (10/04/2008)

        By Your local Dry Cleaners in CA

        Archive: Removing Body Odor From Clothing


        I have some great t-shirts that have over the years picked up sour arm pit smell. Washing the shirts doesn't seem to get rid of it. Well, it smells okay at first, but at the first body warmth from me, the sour smell is re-activated! Any advice?

        Beth from Harrisburg, PA

        Answers:

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        Try putting a cup of white vinegar in the last rinse. (08/26/2008)

        By patsand31

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        I'd wash them in vinegar (instead of the regular detergent) in hot water and rinse in hot and not use fabric softener. As you can see from this and previous posts, vinegar ranks high on our preferred odor removers. It worked for my towels that smelled good coming from the dryer but got funky smelling when damp from shower time. (08/26/2008)

        By Glenn'sMom

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        Are they part polyester? If so, I'd toss them and only buy
        100 percent cotton hereafter. If cotton, should be able to throw baking soda in wash. Then wash again with plain white vinegar and hot water, maybe a cup or two to load. Wash a 3rd time in a little borax or try borax and baking soda together. Borax is at Walmart for about 2.68 per box. Best price and borax is great in laundry. Polyester isn't meant for humans for many reasons I am convinced. Odor, stains, and holding in heat are 3 reasons. (08/26/2008)

        By PIKKA

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        Obviously white vinegar and bleach. But another option is to add a cup of lemon juice to hot water and soak before washing normally with detergent, bleach and fabric softener. Then place in dryer with dryer sheets. (08/26/2008)

        By jediwa72

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        I have the same problem but only with my hubby's shirts. After trying many of the other less expensive remedies I had to break down and just buy some bleach for colors and add a cupful to the wash with his shirts in it. This seems to work well. Good Luck! (08/26/2008)

        By Toolgirl

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        To prevent it from happening to future T-shirts, make sure to launder them well before drying them. Once any stain (including underarm stains) gets set in, it's hard to remove them.

        Please don't take offense, but perhaps your current deodorant doesn't work as well as another brand might. Different people's body chemistries work differently with various products (shampoo, deodorant, etc.). If regular products don't work for you, discuss the problem with your doctor. Sweating problems can be a symptom of some ailments.

        Good luck! (08/26/2008)

        By WildIrish

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        I read where a capful of ammonia in the wash helps. It breaks down proteins. I've tried it, and it seemed to work! (08/28/2008)

        By Karen

        RE: Removing Body Odor From Clothing

        I buy generic white vinegar in large amounts if on sale and also generic baking soda.

        I would suggest 1 cap of white vinegar and 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda.
        Then let the clothes agitate and stop the machine letting it soak, the longer the soak the better. I sometimes let soak all day or all night then
        run the machine again. (08/30/2008)

        By meoowmom

        Archive: Removing Smokey Odors from Clothing

        To remove smoky odors from your clothes, fill your bathtub with hot water and add 2 cups of vinegar. hang clothes on the curtain rod and the steam will remove the odors.

        By Laura

        Feedback:

        RE: Removing Smokey Odors from Clothing

        I just throw the smokey smelling clothes in the dryer with a scented fabric softener sheet and put the dryer on "air only" for about 10 - 15 minutes. (03/23/2006)

        By Maureen

        Archive: Musty Smell on Clothing

        My basement flooded and all of our son's clothes got soaked and started to smell musty within that day. We washed them but they still smelled. Before I had a chance to rewash them, my roommate put them into the dryer. The smell came out, but my question is: it safe for my son to still wear them? I was told that the musty smell was mold forming.

        Amanda from Illinois

        Feedback:

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        The quickest, easiest, and best is 1 cup of ammonia per load. (10/18/2008)

        By meoowmom

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Please use baking soda OR vinegar. Using them together neutralizes them, and so you are getting little or no effect. I suppose one cup of each would leave about half of the baking soda left over from the chemical reaction, and so you would get the use of that. For those of you who swear by the combination, I challenge you to use only baking soda, I expect you will get far superior results.


        Be careful with using ammonia. It is very good for removing musty smells, but it can discolor fabrics. I used to use it regularly on my lovely green towels, until I noticed that the emerald green had faded to olive. Baking soda is not as strong, and is recommended on the box as a laundry additive. (10/19/2008)

        By louel53

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Wash clothes in machine with 1 cup of white vinegar, then line dry in the sun. The combination will remove the smell, and the vinegar will not harm most fabrics. Also if your machine has a moldy smell, run it on large load with a cup of vinegar while the machine is empty. This will clean any soap residues and moldy smells from the machine. It is an effective cleaner for dish machines also, and safer than bleach. (01/17/2009)

        By DeeDee

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        After washing many times I still couldn't get the smell out so here's what finally worked for me; Get some liquid fabric softener and add at least a cup into the warm wash water with the regular amount of detergent (only the best brands of softener work for some reason). Turn off the machine after it has agitated well and let sit over night. Re-start the next day and wash it through. The laundry smells great!
        (01/17/2009)

        By Nancy K

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        For hats or clothing that have musty smells, wrap in newspaper and leave for a few days and the odor will soak into the paper. It really works! (02/01/2009)

        By connie

        Archive: Musty Smell on Clothing

        How do you get rid of musty smells in clothes?

        By Tynan55 from Hamilton, Canada

        Feedback:

        RE: Musty Smell on Clothing

        Wash them in the washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar. Hang them in the sun to dry, if possible. (04/19/2009)

        By Anonymous

        Archive: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        I need to find a cleaning product, or suggestions, on how to get body odor smells out of clothing.

        June from Granby, MA

        Feedback:

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        Besides vinegar for sweat, try Fabreze fabric spray it works very well on all sorts of fabrics. It is even good for those that are normally dry cleaned and it goes a long way. (11/25/2008)

        By pamphyila

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        To remove any nasty smells and odors from your wash, especially smoke from campfires or cigarettes add 1 can of regular Coca-Cola (not sugar free) to your load of was along with your laundry soap. I don't know if a less expensive knockoff brand of Coke will work, but I don't see why not.

        I've also found that you can add about a quarter of a cup of white vinegar to your wash or just spray Febreze on it when it's hanging up later on, but the most effective way to remove odors from clothes and laundry is to hang up your things in the sun. This not only freshens them, but you'll save money on power and the UV rays also kill germs too. (11/25/2008)

        By Cyinda

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        I helped with flag uniforms for our local high school marching band. We had a girl that had body odor really bad and we used peroxide in the laundry. The odor was gone. We used this after every show and there were no odor at all. Hope this helps. (11/26/2008)

        By Nancy

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        I swear by Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. I use 1 cup to a load along with the detergent. Let the
        washer agitate for several minutes, then turn off the machine. Allow your wash load to soak for at least an hour in the washer. Turn the washer back on and let it finish.

        I would also suggest (if at all possible) line dry
        the clothing. Fresh air and sunshine are wonderful
        natural deoderizers.

        (11/26/2008)

        By hedera

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        Don't use vinegar and baking soda together. They neutralize each other, and do nothing. Either one separately could work. (11/27/2008)

        By louel53

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        Buy some FRESH-WAVE. It comes in a liquid to add to laundry. It is a great odor remover for anything in it's other forms like crystals or spray. Some ACE hardware stores have it, but most pet stores have it. That is where I buy it. (11/28/2008)

        By WIsgal

        RE: Removing Body Odor from Clothing

        If you need to get body odor from under the arms use alcohol on the shirt, etc., no need to wash it. Let dry, if it still is there then you need to wash it as the others suggest. Good luck. (01/25/2009)

        By k w

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