How To Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes

How To Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes

If you’ve ever left a load of wet laundry in your washer for too long, you probably know about that awful mildew smell that can develop. Mildew is the greenish-brown powdery substance that grows on damp fabric and causes it to smell. If your clothes start to get that mildew smell again after washing them a second time, it’s because the moisture has traveled through the fibers and will continue to do so unless you find and treat its source. To prevent this from happening again, read on to learn how to remove the mildew smell from clothes once and for all.

How To Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes?

Baking Soda

This one is a common trick that many people use to clean their clothes. Baking soda is a mild detergent that can remove odors and stains while leaving your clothes smelling fresh and clean. Make a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the baking soda paste to your clothes, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then wash your clothes as normal by adding your regular laundry detergent. While baking soda can be a great way to remove the mildew smell from clothes, it doesn’t work with every type of fabric. Baking soda can cause certain fabrics to deteriorate faster because of its high pH level. If you notice that your clothes are fading after using baking soda, try one of the other methods on this list.


Febreze is a staple for cleaning mildew smells because it’s designed to remove odors from fabrics. To remove the mildew smell from your clothes, spray the affected areas with Febreze regularly until the smell is gone. Just remember to rinse the clothes after using Febreze to prevent your fabrics from degrading. If you want to avoid putting chemicals on your clothes, you can also try baking soda, vinegar, or borax. All of these natural ingredients are safe for the fabric and will help remove the mildew smell.


If you want to get rid of the mildew smell, vinegar can be a great choice. Mix equal parts white vinegar, water, and baking soda to create a simple cleaning solution. Vinegar is a natural odor remover that can clean your clothes and get rid of the mildew smell. It’s important to make sure that you rinse your clothes after cleaning them with vinegar to prevent the fabric from deteriorating.


Borax is a natural laundry booster that can help clean your clothes and get rid of the mildew smell at the same time. The mineral in borax can absorb odors and clean your clothes at the same time. Borax is also safe for kids and pets so you don’t have to worry about your loved ones being exposed to harsh chemicals while you clean. Sprinkle borax on your clothes and let it sit there while you clean the rest of your laundry. Make sure to rinse the borax from your clothes before you put them in the drier to prevent buildup. Borax is one of the best natural ingredients for getting rid of mildew smells so it’s a great choice for any fabric type.

How To Remove Old Food Smells From Clothing? 

  • If you’ve left a load of laundry in the washer for too long and now it smells like old food, it’s because the mildew smell has been replaced by an old smell. 
  • You can use the same tips listed above to get rid of the mildew smell. 
  • You can also try soaking your dirty clothes in a solution of hot water and vinegar or putting them in a large plastic bag with a quarter cup of baking soda. 
  • If you’re dealing with a larger load of laundry, you can place a large bowl full of white vinegar in your washer as it fills up.

How To Treat Stinky Sports Equipment And Footwear?

  1. If you’re like most people, you’re a fan of exercising outside. But there’s one downside to exercising outside: your exercise gear and footwear can start to smell.
  2.  You can deal with this problem by treating your exercise gear with a bit of baking soda. 
  3. Simply sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside your sneakers, or inside your baseball or soccer gloves.
  4.  Sprinkle baking soda in your cleats or tennis shoes, or sprinkle it into your gym bag. You can also place a bowl of baking soda in your workout bag.

How To Get Rid Of Musty Smelling Towels And Bed Sheets?

  • If you’ve got musty-smelling towels or bed sheets, you’ve come to the right place! First, you’ll want to wash the items in a hot water cycle.
  •  That’s because mildew that grows in fabrics is a type of fungus, like mold. As with mold, you’ll kill mildew-related smells by using hot water. Second, you’ll want to add a cup of white vinegar to the washing cycle.
  •  That will help remove the musty smell from the items. Finally, be sure to dry the items in the dryer. That will help kill mildew spores and remove the musty smell. 
  • If you notice the smell is still there after doing these steps, it’s possible that your dryer isn’t getting hot enough to kill the mildew. In that case, you could try drying the items in the sun.

Tips For  Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes? 

Bleach Is Your Friend

There are a lot of natural ways to remove the mildew smell from clothes, but bleaching is the best way to get rid of the smell once and for all. Bleaching is a good choice for fabrics that are not colorfast because the chemicals will remove any stains and smells completely. However, bleach is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You should always read the directions before using them. You should also be careful when using bleach on colored clothing. If the clothing is colored with natural dyes, it’s possible that the bleach will damage the fabric. In order to get the best results from bleaching your clothes, you’ll want to make sure they are thoroughly clean before you start. You can wash them in the washing machine or hand wash them with a mild detergent. Once they’re clean, let them dry completely. Then, place them in a sealed plastic bag and add a few tablespoons of bleach. You can seal the bag and let the clothes sit like this overnight. The next day, remove the bag and wash the clothes again. This method will ensure that all of the mildew smell is gone.

Try Vinegar Next

Vinegar is a great cleaner that can be used to remove the mildew smell from clothes. It is a great alternative to bleach, plus it is much cheaper. To get the best results, you’ll want to mix half water and half vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on any affected parts of your clothing. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before you wash the clothing as usual. You can also put some vinegar in the machine along with your clothing. But you have to be careful not to put too much because it could damage the machine.

Dry Goods With Baking Soda

If your clothes don’t fit in the washing machine, don’t worry. You can still get rid of the mildew smell. You can put baking soda in a closed container with your clothes and let it sit for a few hours. Then, put the clothes in the dryer on low heat. Baking soda works by absorbing the moisture and odors and neutralizing them. It can also be used on carpeting and furniture that has a mildew smell.

Try Essential Oils

There are a lot of oils that can remove the mildew smell from clothes. To get the best results, you should mix the essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on your clothes. Let it sit for a little while and then wash your clothes as usual. You can try tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil. Make sure that you don’t put too much of the oils because they can damage fabrics.


Finally, you know everything there is to know about how to get rid of the mildew smell from clothes! Always remember to clean your washing machine when you notice any water inside. If you’re dealing with a mildew smell that has persisted for more than one cycle of cleaning, it’s time to call a professional cleaning company to help.