Linens and BlanketsCleaning

Sheets Stored in Under Bed Container Smell Musty

We store our sheets in a plastic container under the bed. Lately we have noticed that the sheets have a musty smell to them. I don't think that this is a humidity issue since the container has a cover. Any suggestions?


By Bill from Atlanta

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October 6, 20100 found this helpful

Have you tried washing them with a ton of baking soda?

Or maybe using Dryel home dry cleaning kit?

Good luck. wish I had a fool proof solution for you!

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

They are fine after washing. It's only after they have been stored for a while.

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know what causes it, but whenever I store anything cloth in plastic containers, and sometimes other things too, I put in a fabric softener sheet, because it seems to me that sometimes when those containers are closed for a while when you open them they have a funny plastic smell. I also put fabric softener sheets in snowboots over the summer.

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

Bill, I wonder if this isn't a humidity and heat issue. You live in a hot and damp climate, compared to where I live anyway. I keep sweaters in a plastic box under the bed, and they don't smell any different than when I put them in, no matter how long they sit (and I am talking years). However, I live in a dry climate, and the room would never be warmer than 80 degrees, and only that for a day or two every summer.


I just have a few thought that you might consider.
Are the sheets perfectly dry when you put them away? Living in a humid climate, they might have some residual moisture. Try the dryer sheet or those packs of silica gel that come in manufactured products to absorb moisture.

I also would wonder if the sheets ARE not harboring that odor from the beginning. Try storing them someplace else for awhile to determine if it is the storeage in plastic, or the sheets themselves that produce the odor.

If they are white sheets, bleach them. See if that stops the cycle. If they are colored sheets, try products like Borax or baking soda in the wash.

Or, finally, do what I do. I wash and return sheets to the beds on the same day. I have virtually no sheets in storage --one spare set, if I have to make up the hideabed or sleep a guest on the couch. One set of sheets could be stored someplace else. Sell those extra sets, or donate to Goodwill.

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

Fabrics need to be stored in a way that air circulates around them. Also it is difficult to get all body oils etc. out of sheets in the wash.


Something that always worked for me was to throw in a cup of dishwasher soap in the wash with my sheets. Maybe punching holes in you underbed containers would help. Good luck.

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October 9, 20100 found this helpful

It may not be the sheets but the plastic container. Shut up tupperware (and other container brand) sitting and waiting for use have such a horid rancid odor that must be cleaned well before using. The break down of the plastic (you know the stuff about the plastic issue and BPA components. Cannot be used in food consuming products but nothing said about storage of other items.

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December 25, 20150 found this helpful

I tried storing them out in the open and now in plastic containers under the bed and the result is the same musty smell !

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