House Cleaning Tips > Clothing > Remove Mildew Smell from Clothes



Remove Mildew Smell from Clothes

Did you forget that you put a load of clothes in the washer yesterday?

We've all done it at one time or another.

The smell now coming off the clothes is a musty, mildew smell and it doesn't go away easily no matter how many dryer sheets you throw in with the load.

Mildew smells are stubborn and will stick to the fabric of clothes, towels, jeans, and other washable fabrics. Chances are they will still smell like mildew when you pull them out of the dryer.


For those that are looking for something less chemical and more natural, try vinegar. Vinegar and it's many uses is here to save the day again.

It can help with all kinds of house cleaning projects and can help with getting that mildew smell out of your clothes. To use, just add vinegar to the wash instead of detergent and run the washer as normal.

Add the vinegar as the washer is filling with water then add the laundry.

Another way to get light mildew smells out of fabric is to run them through the wash with your normal laundry detergent, then add a cup of vinegar in the final rinse.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Your clothes should come out smelling clean and fresh.

The amount of vinegar depends on the strength of the mildew smell, the worse the smell the more vinegar you are going to want to use. Start by using 1/4 cup for a normal load of clothes and increasing the amount to 1/2 cup for stronger smells.

Before putting the clothes in the dryer check to see if the smell is gone. If it is dry as usual with your favorite fabric softener sheet.

Baking Soda:

Here's another household item most of us already have in the kitchen.

If the mildew smell is still lingering on your clothes after washing with vinegar, wash your clothes again using 1 cup baking soda. This should cut through the smell and brighten your clothes at the same time.

Before putting them in the dryer, smell them for freshness and use a fabric softener.

Heavy Duty Detergent:

If by some chance you forgot about the laundry for a few days and the mildew smell is very strong, it's time to go beyond your normal everyday laundry detergent and find something stronger.

Make a visit to your local grocery store or retail outlet and look for a heavy duty detergent that is designed to clean up the clothes that are worn by construction workers and mechanics.

These types of detergents claim to clean up oil, grease and that it can get out the gasoline smell from clothing.

Follow the directions on the box or the bottle and run the clothes through the wash once again to get out that smell.

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Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Mrs Clean (Corina Wilson) is not only the owner of the company, but a very busy mother of 3 children.

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Mrs Clean realized long ago, that a clean home is a necessity, not a luxury when we are struggling to find the time in our day to cover the very basic levels of work and/or family obligations. The battle seems to never end... (but that's why we're here to help!)

When Mrs Clean is not busy managing her house cleaning company or running her kids back and forth to their events, she enjoys experimenting with natural and non-toxic cleaners and learning new techniques to remove stains.

She thoroughly enjoys sharing her valuable information with the readers of her blogs and various social media sites.

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