Clothing must be cleaned on a regular basis. While stains are evident and most people know how to remove them, there is something more you should frequently take care of in order to keep your clothing neat and fresh. Odours can become embedded in the fibres of your clothing and linger for a long time.
If you have finished washing your clothes and can still smell a strong perfume, sweat, or another lingering odour, you may need to take additional cleaning steps to restore the freshness of your clothing.
Most clothing odours can be removed with baking soda or vinegar, but certain obstinate odours may require additional washing with heavy-duty liquid detergent or household ammonia. To remove odours from laundry, use a professional odour remover or pantry goods, as described below.
To remove odours without washing your clothes
To effortlessly get rid of odours, use a 1:1 combination of water and vinegar with a few drops of essential oil. Fill a spray bottle with it and spray it on the stinky area. Allow the clothing to dry naturally. You can also hang your clothes outside to enable the sun’s UV rays to eliminate the bacteria and microorganisms that are producing the odours.
Check the fabric’s care label before performing any of the treatments described in this article. If your clothing can be machine-washed, follow the instructions below. If the label reads “dry cleaning only,” take it to a professional dry cleaner. They will be able to eliminate the odour. Do not attempt to clean such clothes because you will permanently ruin them.
How to get heavy perfume smell out of clothing
If you love using perfume on a daily basis, there may be lingering residue left on your garments (especially if you like heavy perfumes). This smell may be hard to remove but don’t worry, we got you. Follow the steps mentioned below:
- Mix a baking soda solution – Fill a large sink or tub with cool water. For every 4 cups of hot water, add 1 cup of baking soda. Make sure the soda is completely dissolved, then add the solution to the cold water.
- Submerge the whole garment in this mixture and allow it to soak in for at least 4 hours. You can also leave it overnight.
- Wash as usual – Launder your clothes using a regular cycle and a heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent (make sure it is unscented).
- Repeat – Repeat the steps above if needed.
- Allow the garment to completely dry. Hang it on a clothesline – the fresh air will help.
How to remove mildew smells from clothing
Clothing placed in a warm, moist location over the winter may develop the dreaded mildew odour. This mould not only stinks but also creates unattractive stains. Mildew, if left untreated, can degrade the fabric on which it grows.
- Load your washing machine – Place the mouldy garments in the laundry machine. Make sure you don’t overfill the appliance since not allowing the fabrics to move around freely may affect the mildew removal.
- Add laundry detergent and white vinegar – Add your usual heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent (follow the instructions on the packaging) and add 1 cup of vinegar.
- Pick the cycle and water temperature – Pick a regular cycle and the hottest water suitable for the clothing (check the care label of the fabric). The heat along with the acidic nature of the vinegar will remove mildew and kill the bacteria that cause it.
- Hang your clothes – Hang your clothes outside. The fresh air and sunlight will help get rid of the smell and will brighten the mildew stains.
- Repeat if needed – If stains or mildew odours remain, repeat the steps.
How to get rid of musty smells
Similar to mildew and mould odours, musty smells will occur if you store your garments in a damp place for a long time.
- Mix a cleaning solution – Fill a sink or a tub with water, add laundry detergent, and add 1 cup of baking soda.
- Wash – Place them in the washing machine and add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Hang to dry – Place your garments outside and allow them to air dry completely. Sunshine and fresh air will completely remove musty smells.
How to clean stinky socks
Cleaning your athletic shoes is important since sweating and bacteria will cause the unpleasant foot smell we all dread. The same goes for socks. If you regularly work out, it is possible that your socks develop an odour which may not be the easiest to get rid of.
- Mix a soaking solution – FIll a tub with 4 litres of water and add 2 cups of vinegar. Place your socks inside and let them soak for at least an hour. Longer is also fine.
- Wash the socks as usual – Place the soaked socks in the washing machine. Use your regular laundry detergent and a normal cycle.
- When the load is ready, place your socks in the dryer. Throw in scented dryer sheets and use a regular cycle.