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Hot water, detergent, and vinegar work wonders, and kill the mildew. I would just let them soak a bit in your washer or a bucket, then run the washer as usual. Putting them in the dryer, on in the sun on a clothesline afterwards, helps too.
Bleach is the best way to get rid of the musty smell.
My husband and son both have an 'unusual odor' in their clothes and the bed sheets (and pillow case especially). It is not bad--just not overly pleasant. I tried just about everything. Finally, I found a product at the local Dollar Tree store (everything a dollar). It is called 'Awesome'.
Boy--what a difference. My husband is a nurse and Awesome removes every stain (so far) from his uniforms (all white). Unbelieveable--BUT the best thing is that off smell. I run their clothes and bed clothes through a hot wash with Awesome, 1 cup lemon juice, and 1 c baking soda. Then I hang them out in the sunshine. What a difference. PLUS my sheets are cleaner. Then I threw a scoop of 'Oxyclean' in the hot water before adding the clothes and sheets--WOW--my sheets are like new-cleaner and brighter.
A little bit of work, but OH so worth it. God bless, Charlene
Thanks for the tip. I will try this.