We are talking about how to remove mildew smell from clothes. If you are like me and forget about the clothes in the washing machine – leaving them wet for days, you have come to the right place! Laundry mildew smell is the worse.
Guys, I am for real The LAUNDRY IS TRYING TO KILL ME. 4 kids and I am just done. I can’t keep up with the laundry, which inevitably means that a few times a week I leave wet laundry in the washing machine for too long.
Forgot About Clothes in the Washer
Tell me I am not alone. You surely have forgot about clothes in the washer and when you open the washing machine door you are rudely made aware of that fact by a stench, stink, mildew, musty aroma. Nobody wants musty clothes.
I admit to going to Target and buying clothes on many occasions in an effort to avert having to do laundry for a few days. Now that there are 4 kids, I just can’t do that. Well that, and the 2 older kids require school uniforms which means they have to have certain clothes clean and pressed (I hadn’t pulled out my iron in 5 years – and now I have to pull it out weekly – there is something wrong with this school uniform thing.)
3 day old stinky laundry in the washer. I wish I could say that this was the first time I had left wet clothes in the washer for 3 days, but no,
PLEASE tell me that this has happened to you and that I’m not the only one who deals with moldy smelling clothes.
Remove Mildew Smell from Clothes
Let’s talk about how to remove mildew smell from clothes that have been left in the washer. We are going to do this without doing what I use to do – which was re-washing the clothes 3x and adding in a ton of laundry detergent thinking this would help. WRONG.
Here is how to remove mildew smell from clothes by washing your clothes just once but make sure you follow these steps.
- Make sure that the water temperature setting on your washing machine is set to HOT.
- Dump 2 cups of white vinegar into the washer or into the laundry dispenser.
- Place moldy clothes or towels into the washer if they are not already in the washer.
- Use either NO laundry detergent or HALF of the amount you would typically use. (If you typically use 2 laundry pods, just use 1. If you use 1 pod, just use that – you don’t have to try to half the single laundry pod.)
- Set your washing machine to use the longest cycle available. Our washer offers an option for extra rinse and a pre-wash. I select both of those and on the longest wash option.
Vinegar Wash Trick
This magic Vinegar wash trick removes the smell from clothes. By setting your washer to wash the clothes for an extra amount of time – you are diluting the smell of the laundry so if you do have a slight stench of vinegar – it should be faint. But the best part there should be NO more stinky wet laundry!
I followed this up with the dryer and use dryer balls with essential oils to keep the fresh smell without chemicals.
How to Get Musty Smell Out of Clothes
I have bought clothes at estate sales have a musty smell that just has to go.
If you are trying to get musty smell of clothes, maybe they have been left in a suitcase or in an old dresser, laundry basket for too long or a closet – this tip for removing mildew smell works!
Just wash using the vinegar wash trick!
Laundry is just another thing that I didn’t see in the mom job description. I guess it’s here to stay. If my kids’ clothes or my clothes smell – just pass me the Febreeze and know that I am trying. It’s just that my trying – REALLY isn’t working.
(Read how vinegar works.)
I did read that hanging your clothes out in the sun is a great way to dry them. Here in the suburbs, I think our H.O.A. would have a cow. Maybe I should try it. (P.S. How 2020 am I? I’ve never hung laundry out to dry!)
This post, How to Get Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes – was originally posted in March 2013.
Mom to 4 kids, Molly Thornberg aka Digital Mom is the blogger-in-chief here at digitalmomblog.com. She likes to keep it real, overshares on her personal Insta-stories, tries her best to show grace and always appreciates a funny meme. Molly appreciates the unique things in life, and is a Ennegagram 7w8.