Asked on Apr 10, 2013

How to get that musty smell out of clothes?

by Sharon
My husband got some clothes from someone and they smell musty. I washed them but still smell musty. Can i get rid of that smell?
  13 answers
  • The Whimsical Peacock The Whimsical Peacock on Apr 10, 2013
    two ideas... 1)borax 2)fresh lemon juice and i add a cap of 100% pure peppermint oil...sounds weird but works!

  • Dana Robinson Dana Robinson on Apr 10, 2013
    I sometimes use vinegar infused with orange or lemon peels.

  • Steph Mike Steph Mike on Apr 10, 2013
    Specifically Apple Cider Vinegar tends to work wonders (we use the regualr white stuff as a natural softener around here, but the Cider is a better odor remover for, example, our pets beds)...and then you can use the rest for salad dressings. ;) Good luck!

  • Miriam Illions Miriam Illions on Apr 10, 2013
    Here's a tip for the sour smell - maybe it works for the musty smell too? Interesting ideas from the others - good to know!

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 10, 2013
    How much vinegar in the wash and will the clothes smell like vinegar and also should i use laundry soap with it?

  • Whitney A Whitney A on Apr 11, 2013
    I had been using the homemade soap that is all over pinterest (Borax, Felsnapa & soda ash). I had started to notice the musty smell. I cleaned the washing maching using bleach and vinegar (another pinterest post). I then added the Purex laundry scent to the soap mix. A couple of months ago, I was in a hurry and picked up some Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. Ya know, I haven't caught a wiff of mustiness since.

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 11, 2013
    @Sharon I had this problem with clothes stored in the basement for years, but was time to get rid of them I couldn't do that with the musty smell :P I washed everything that was not wool in the washer with regular detergent (for me that is tide, I think deep clean or something like that) and some oxyclean liquid in with it as well as downey. Everything came out smelling fresh, this also works on the towels stored over the winter, You could also soak in either baking soda water or oxyclean prior to washing. Let us know what works for you.

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 11, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your answers, i really appreciated it. The first time i washed i just used my laundry soap, not gone yet, so the 2nd time i used my laundry soap and Apple Cider Vinegar, still can smell it a little bit, 3rd time i used my laundry soap, Apple Cider vinegar and distilled vinegar, the smell is gone. Thank goodness! Thanks again! :)

  • Myrna Myrna on Apr 12, 2013
    buy some cheap clay cat litter at the store...put clothes into the bag pour the new cat litter into the bag and let sit a few days and then wash clothes, good for books things you can't put in the wash with the vinegar, gets rid of the smoke smells as well as musty smells Also if you let your clothes sit in the washer on a busy day and you forgot them, yikes and they stink so you rewash. Used to forget a lot and rewash a lot. One day years ago when I forgot instead of rewashing I just threw them in the dryer, then a handful of baking soda and they came out without that smell, yippee! I have never rewashed clothes again.

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 12, 2013
    Thanks Myrna! Good idea!

  • Steph Mike Steph Mike on Apr 12, 2013
    Sorry for not getting back sooner with vinegar amounts - glad you found something to work! For future reference, I just always dump the vinegar at will...who knows how much I ever really add lol Atleast a half cup, I suppose (for pet beds).

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 12, 2013
    Thanks Steph!

  • Maria Wilson Maria Wilson on Feb 04, 2015
    I use ironing water to press the clothes with a steam iron