Wash with Borax. I use it instead of the detergent and the items come out smelling great!
We are asked this several times when doing a mold removal project. You need to clean in the hottest water that the materials will allow. Any real good detergent should do the trick. IF you cannot wash these items, then have them professionally cleaned.
Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
I add baking soda to my whites, towels, and sheets. It gets that musty smell out very well. Also, if you have a clothesline, hanging them outside to dry really helps to give them a fresh clean smell. Crawling into bed at night on fresh, outdoor dried sheets really feels good too!
It may take a couple washes for it to pull those nasty oils out but I have found that using ammonia in my wash about 1/2 cup with detergent works very well at getting rid of that smell and I do this once a month or so.., Do not use bleach with this..,no bleach, no bleach and again no bleach.., and no detergent with bleach in it either.
I use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser or in your final rinse. Works great and clothes come out softer as well.
Buy some Odo-Ban. You can get it by the gallon at Home Depot or on Amazon. I was my towels and washcloths in it and all of my cleaning cloths. Just add some right to the wash cycle. It is a disinfectant and mildewstat.
You can try Fabrize or Throw it in a dryer with 2 fabric sheet.
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I have found that hanging them out on a clothes line in Winter and leaving them there for a few days...really helps. There is something going on with the Sunshine and heavy frosts..that not only whitens & brightens.....it takes those smelly smells away! ((Mind you... your neighbours may not be impressed, looking at laundry on yer line for days on end....BUT they are not the ones with the mildewy items!)