How To Get Rid Of Musty Clothes Smell?

One of the things that satisfies us quite a bit is being able to put on clean, fresh-smelling clothes. If we have some special items of clothing that we only wear on special occasions or want to keep just for the sentimental value, we may find that they have a musty smell after hanging in the closet for months (or years).

There’s no reason to avoid enjoying these special clothes just because we think they might embarrass us with that odor. If we have lost weight since putting a whole wardrobe away a few years ago, we might have pants, shirts, dresses etc. that we can bring out again. We just have to get rid of that musty smell.

Out in the Open
First of all, get the clothes out into the sunshine. If you have pants, shirts and dresses that have not been worn for “ages” put them outside so that the sun and wind can help you get rid of the musty odor. A few hours of heat from the sun and some spring or summer breeze will go a long way toward rejuvenating your former wardrobe.

musty clothesAfter letting the clothing flap in the breeze for awhile, bring them in a wash them according to label instructions. This should return the clothes to a “wearable” state. If you have shoes that haven’t been worn for quite some time, set them out in direct sunlight then wipe them down with a damp cloth. This simple step and a new coat of polish could add to your footwear collection!

If this doesn’t accomplish what you want, try a commercial product that is meant to remove and/or mask the musty smell of clothes that have been stored for too long. You may be able to get rid of the smell with air fresheners sold for giving your home a fresh, clean smell. These will work for awhile but you’ll find that the vanilla or flower scent will disappear shortly. Since air fresheners only mask smells the clothes will still have the musty odor. You’ll have more success with the sunshine-and-laundry solution.

Other Options
Some clothing that has been stored for a long time can be dry-cleaned. This will work for some items but should probably be avoided for those special items like wedding dresses and other fine garments. You may want to try such household items as baking soda or charcoal. Some people have had success with pouring white vinegar in an open container then setting the container on the closet floor, directly under the clothing that has a musty smell.

Baking soda or charcoal can also absorb odors when placed in closed spaces such as a closet or wardrobe. Many detergents will have a similar, odor-removing effect. Some of these products not only clean clothing very well but also provide a nice after-scent. You may be able to prevent future musty smells by taking clothing items out of storage occasionally. Give those special items a good “airing” and wear them with pride.

Category: Home & Garden

One Comment on “How To Get Rid Of Musty Clothes Smell?”


Diane wrote:

I would really like some help on how to get rid the musty smell that I have on cloths, linens, objects of decorating, & my house has acquired a smell now too. These things have been stored for quite a while in Totes and wooden boxes, belonging to my parents & grandparents. I did wash the linens and clothing but the smell did not completely disappear. I really would like to keep these family belongings. I want to THANK YOU for any information you can give me.

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