Do you sometimes find your clothes smell musty or dirty, even though they have just been washed? Want your clothes to smell fresher? There are many things you can do when washing, drying, and storing clothes to prevent unpleasant odors from being absorbed into the fibers of the clothes. If you need a quick solution to your bad-smelling clothes, don't worry! There are various ways to make your clothes smell fresher in no time.
Method 1 of 4: Washing Clothes
Step 1. Wash clothes frequently
The more often you wear it, the worse your clothes will smell. If you have worn clothes several times, do not store them with clean clothes as the dirty smell will spread to clean clothes. Separate dirty clothes from clean clothes. While some clothes need to be washed after wearing, some clothes can be worn several times before they start to smell. Try to wash clothes that are wet with sweat or very soiled as soon as possible after wearing them.
- Leggings, shirts, socks, swimwear, tights, camis, tight tops and underwear should be washed immediately after wearing.
- Dresses, jeans, trousers, pajamas, shorts, and skirts can be worn approximately three times before washing.
- Bras can be worn two to three times before you have to wash them. Consider buying multiple bras so you don't have to wear the same bra twice in a row.
- You can wear the coat three to five times before taking it to the dry cleaners for a dry wash. Suits worn in a clean environment, such as the office, can last longer before they need to be washed. Coats worn in smoky or misty environments should be washed more often.
Step 2. Use a scented detergent or essential oil
Many detergents have a fresh smell, but some have a stronger odor than others. Choose a brand that includes a certain scent on the label. Use detergent according to the recommended dosage. It may be tempting to use a little more detergent, but this will actually leave detergent residue on your clothes and cause bad odors. If you don't want to use a commercially available fragrance, try adding 10-20 drops of essential oil to your washing machine during the last rinse.
- Make sure you like the smell on offer before buying scented detergent as they tend to be a bit more expensive. When shopping at the supermarket, open the lid of the detergent bottle and smell it for a while.
- Experiment with essential oils to find your favorite scent. Don't be afraid to mix two different oils to create your own scent.
Step 3. Remove the clothes from the washing machine as soon as possible
After the washing process is complete, try to immediately remove the clothes from the washing machine. Hang the clothes to dry or transfer them to the dryer immediately. Leaving wet clothes in the washing machine for too long can lead to mold growth, which can cause musty and unpleasant odors in clothes. If you accidentally forget to take your clothes out of the washing machine and find mold growing, you can treat the bad smell with white vinegar.
- Pour a cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and wash the moldy clothes again.
- The vinegar will remove the bad smell, but if you want your clothes to smell good, you'll need to repeat the washing process using detergent.
Step 4. Clean the washing machine thoroughly with white vinegar every six months
Over time, the washing machine can emit an unpleasant odor caused by mildew, which then spreads to the clothes. Start by emptying the washer. Add two to four cups of white vinegar in the detergent dispenser. Run a complete wash process on the highest and hottest settings. Add one cup of baking soda and run the washing process one more time. Wipe the inside and top of the washer with a microfiber cloth.
- If you don't want to use vinegar, you can use bleach or a commercial washing machine cleaner.
- If you use bleach to clean your washing machine, wash white clothes first after that.
- Leave the washing machine lid open when not in use. Closing the lid of the washing machine will trap moisture, causing mold and odor-causing bacteria to develop.
Method 2 of 4: Drying Clothes
Step 1. Make sure the clothes are completely dry before you store them
If you fold and store clothes that are still damp, they will grow mold and give off an unpleasant odor. If you take your clothes out of the dryer and they are still damp, dry them again for 15 minutes or more. You can also hang clothes and let them dry completely.
Step 2. Use a dryer sheet or essential oil
The dryer sheet will keep your clothes smelling good while keeping them soft and static-free. Put the dryer sheet in the dryer with the freshly washed clothes and run the machine as usual. If you use a scented detergent, check to make sure the brand also sells dryer sheets with the same scent.
- You can also scent your clothes by pouring a few drops of essential oil on a piece of cloth and then placing it in the dryer with the washed clothes.
- Discard the dryer sheet after use.
Step 3. Take care of the dryer
Clean the bag for collecting lint dirt after the drying process. The lint that is left behind can trap odors and spread them to clothes. Remove the lint-picking bag and clean it at least once a year with a mild detergent and warm water. Soak a microfiber cloth in a 1:1 mixture of warm water and vinegar and wipe the drum inside the dryer at least once a month.
You can also soak some towels in vinegar and dry them in the dryer. The vinegar will kill the odor-causing bacteria
Step 4. Hang clothes to dry
Some people prefer not to use dryers and deodorizers, and they prefer to hang clothes on racks or clotheslines outside. Airing your clothes outside will make your clothes smell fresher and cleaner. If you dry clothes in direct sunlight, some types of fabric will fade. If you're drying clothes indoors, make sure the hanging area is well ventilated or place your clothes near an open window.
- If the clothes are white, dry them in direct sunlight. The sun's rays will brighten the clothes, and the open air will make them smell nice and fresh.
- Keep in mind that air-dried clothes will not be as soft as tumble-dried clothes.
Method 3 of 4: Storing Clothes
Step 1. Place the deodorizer bag and dryer sheet in the wardrobe
Use a bag containing your favorite dried herbs, flowers and herbs to freshen up wardrobe and dresser smells. You can buy fragrance bags at the store or make your own by filling a cloth bag with potpourri or herbs and tying it together with string. Put the bag in a closet drawer and hang it on a coat hanger in the closet.
You can use a dryer sheet in the same way to absorb odors and freshen clothes. Insert dryer sheets inside shoes and tuck them in drawers and shelves in closets
Step 2. Use essential oils or perfumes
Put two to five drops of your favorite essential oil/perfume on a cloth, paper towel or cotton ball. Put it in the wardrobe and dresser. You can also drip essential oils on the inside of the dresser. Let the oil dry before you put the clothes in the drawer. Or, you can try using scented candles and soap as a clothes freshener.
- Place an unlit candle or a bar of scented soap wrapped in a cloth in a dresser cupboard or drawer.
- You can even use a bath bomb (a solid soap that dissolves and becomes foamy when exposed to water) as an air freshener in the closet.
Step 3. Spray an air freshener or disinfectant in the cupboard
However, they only disguise bad odors, not eliminate them. The most effective deodorizers contain an odor-neutralizing formula that also smells good, like Stella. You can also make your own air freshener by mixing cup of white vinegar and cup of water in a spray bottle and adding 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Spray cabinets with this solution every few days.
- The vinegar smell will go away after a few minutes, and only the sweet smell will remain.
Step 4. Use strongly scented wood as a natural freshener
Cedar and sandalwood are popular choices. Place a piece or two of wood in the closet to spread the fragrance into your clothes. Cedar is known to repel insects and also absorbs moisture. Humidity is one of the main causes of musty odors in clothes.
Step 5. Use baking soda to absorb odors
Place an open container of baking soda at the bottom of a cupboard or in the corner of a dresser drawer. If you want, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda for extra fragrance. You can make a toner from baking soda yourself. Take a small container and fill it with baking soda (do not compact). Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and mix with a fork. Punch a hole in the lid of the container using a nail and hammer, then screw the lid on.
- You can leave the container open if you want. However, this method is not recommended if you have small children or pets who are always curious.
- Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes to absorb bad odors. Make sure you remove the baking soda from your shoes the next day!
Method 4 of 4: Freshens Clothes and Prevents Odors
Step 1. Soften the clothes in the dryer
If you're in a hurry and want a quick scent, just put it in the dryer for 15 minutes along with a few scented dryer sheets. This will not make your clothes clean, but they will feel fresh, smell good, and will reduce wrinkles.
Step 2. Spray the white vinegar solution on the clothes
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Turn the garment so that the inside is outside, then spray it with the vinegar solution. Hang the clothes and let them dry on their own for a few minutes. The vinegar smell will go away after a few minutes and won't smell when the clothes are dry.
Try spraying the vinegar solution on a small, hidden area of the garment before applying it all over the garment. If the color of the clothes doesn't fade and nothing changes, the vinegar solution is safe to use
Step 3. Spray perfume
We recommend spraying perfume directly on the body, then put on clothes. You can spray perfume directly on clothes if the clothes are made of natural fibers, such as cotton and linen. Do not spray perfume on clothes made of synthetic fibers, such as polyester. Be aware that certain types of perfume can stain light-colored clothing and damage silk.
Step 4. Keep the house clean
Clothes can absorb odors. So, if your house smells bad, your clothes will also absorb the smell. Clean the house from dust using a vacuum cleaner regularly, especially the room where you store/hang clothes. Use air freshener and don't smoke in the house.
Step 5. Air the clothes after wearing
When you come home from or school or work, take off your clothes and hang them near an open window. This will reduce odors and freshen clothes. This is especially useful if you're wearing a uniform and don't want to wash it every day.
Step 6. Separate dirty and clean clothes
Never put dirty clothes near or on clean clothes because the smell will spread. Put dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket, and it would be better if they were placed in a different room. Do not put wet or damp clothes in the dirty clothes basket. Placing damp clothes in the clothes basket will encourage the growth of mold and odor-causing bacteria.