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Removing Musty Smell from Clothing

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Basket of musty smelling clothing.

Allowing clothes to be damp for too long can result in a funky smell. This guide is about removing musty smell from clothing.



Here are questions related to Removing Musty Smell from Clothing.

Question: Removing Dusty Smell from a Crocheted Robe

There is a dusty smell in a recycled sweater-like robe I bought at the thrift store. I have washed it, but let it air dry. It is like a crocheted sweater type material that probably would not do well in the dryer.

It is white so it could be bleached. It just smells so dusty you cannot wear it. I do have allergies. Thank you so much.

By Dianne D.


Best Answer

By jean leiner [14]02/06/2014

Try soaking the robe in enough warm water to cover it with 2 cups of white vinegar mixed into it. Soak at least overnight, 2 days is even better. Then wash and air dry. I have had this work on smelly thrift store items. Hope it helps with yours.

Question: Musty Smell on Clothing

I've been hanging my clothes inside to dry. Lately they've been having a musky smell. How can I get rid of the odor?

By Kathy


Most Recent Answer

By beatlebabe08/04/2011

Well, the results are in! It worked! I think I might have to do it again with the worst of the lot, but the stale, musty odor is gone. Thank you all for your advice!

Question: Musty Smell on Clothing

I have some cotton shirts that were stored in the basement for 18 years. How do I get that smell out of them? I did soak them in borax and then in a lemon/water mix, but they still smell.


Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]09/09/2011

Do a wash load with a cup or even two of baking soda. If that doesn't work, try vinegar, a cup or two, in the rinse. If that isn't working, mix up a more concentrated solution of one or the other (don't mix them - if you do, you have salt water!) and try soaking them. Neither of these will affect the color.

If these items are white you can try bleach or ammonia. Again, not together. Both bleach and ammonia can fade out the color, so you want to use this as a last resort.

I also agree that hanging them out in the sun is a very good idea. Doesn't hurt them to get rained on either - sometimes freshens them up.

Question: Musty Smell on Stored Clothing

All of our clothes have been stored for a year. Last night I washed them in All detergent and baking soda. The musty, oily odor is still there. What else can I use?

By Diane from Iowa Park, TX

Most Recent Answer

By Cajun [55]06/03/2011

Just put them in the Washer; No soap and add 2-3 cups of the clear vinegar in the rinse cycle. Don't worry, the clothes will have a 5 minute scent of vinegar, but they will be void of any odors and feel better than new within the half-hour. Vinegar will retard the action of any soaps, excellent to add to your rinse every time.

Question: Removing Musty Smell from Stored Baby Clothes

I just opened a trunk of old baby clothes and I wanted to give some to my daughter for her baby shower, but even after washing they still smell funky. What do I try next?

By Marsha B

Question: Leather Jacket Has a Musty Smell

I have an expensive leather motorcycle jacket that has been stored for years and it smells very musty. Is there something I can do to get the smell out?

By MaryJane

Question: Removing Mold Odor from Stored Clothes

I recently came back from overseas to open stored away clothes in plastic boxes with soaps in b/w them. Some boxes were fine a wash was enough to get rid off any smells, but about half have a horrible deadly mold smell, but in perfect looking condition and are dear to me. So right now I'm on the quest to find the best solution to save them or else :( The load is mixed dark colors. Anyway, after washing twice I realized this wasn't the solution. I'm on to trying vinegar and I don't know, but I've tried carpet cleaner on few items and it seems to work well at reducing the smell considerably. Is it safe? I will later, as well, put all garments in a big hot tub with a large quantity of vinegar and lemon pieces and then next day put them all through wash. What do you think about this? Any other suggestions? I'll be open to any ideas. Thanks.

By Ash

Question: Musty Smell on Clothing

I can't seem to get a musty/mould/dust smell out of my clothes, it's horrid. It was affected my job and my confidence around my friends and it's making me feel like I've got a cold all the time. I've binned all my clothes, but tried to save a few favorites. However where I've washed them with my new clothes, they are affected. I've tried vinegar and bleach (not very good), but I'm scared to wear my newish clothes I've wash because the smell returned after wearing them a few hours (body heat must be causing it (bacteria).

I need some advice how to dry them. I normally dry them on the washing line in my house, but I read to put them outside in the sunlight. Well this is England and there's no sun and it's constantly raining. I will try freezing some of them, but do I wash them straight after?

Please help this is driving me mad and effecting everything - to the point where I smell everything because I'm so paranoid all the time. I've had to move out my place due to the smokers I lived with in a dusty flat which I think caused it.


By Gemz391

Question: Removing Musty Odor from an Oilskin Duster

I have a "duster" coat with oil in it and it cannot be dry cleaned or put in dryer. It has a musty smell to it after I washed in cold water and line dried. How can I get rid of this smell?

By Judy from Brookville, IN

Solutions: Removing Musty Smell from Clothing

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