How to eliminate the musty odor from clothing even without washing: home tricks

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Properly drying clothes is an effective way to remove the musty smell

If you forget your laundry in the washing machine or leave it in a damp room for an extended period, the fabrics can develop a musty smell. Most people typically rewash the clothes to get rid of it, but you can also use some quick life hacks.

OBOZREVATEL shares how to restore freshness to items with household remedies. It may take some time, but the results will be worth it.

Sun Drying

The musty smell is caused by the growth of certain bacteria in the fabric, and sunlight acts as a natural disinfectant. To freshen up your clothes, you can dry them in the sun. Spread out or hang the clothes in the sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will kill the bacteria responsible for the unpleasant odor, and the fresh air will help remove it. The key is to arrange the items so that air can circulate through them effectively.

White Vinegar

Despite its specific scent, vinegar is an effective odor neutralizer. To use its properties, add a quarter cup of white vinegar to a bowl of water and soak your clothes in this solution for 30 minutes, then air-dry them.

Baking Soda

A baking soda solution can also help eliminate musty odors. Dissolve half a cup of baking soda in a bowl of warm water and soak the items for 30 minutes, then allow them to air dry.

Room Ventilation

In less severe cases, simply hanging your clothes in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, can be effective. It may take some time to air them out, but the odor should eventually disappear.

Odor Neutralizing Sprays

There are sprays available on the market designed to neutralize clothing odors. They can be useful when you don't have time to try other methods, but it's important to understand that they mask the problem rather than eliminating it.


Vodka, especially strong vodka, can help neutralize odors. Mix the drink with water in equal proportions, pour it into a spray bottle, and spritz your clothes with the mixture. Then hang the clothes in a well-ventilated area to dry. The alcohol will help kill bacteria, and as it evaporates, it will remove the unpleasant odor.

Used Tea Bags

Tea bags, particularly green tea bags, are effective at absorbing odors. Ensure the bag is completely dry, place it where you want to eliminate the odor, and leave it overnight. The next day, the odor should be gone, and you can discard the tea bag.


If you have a tumble dryer, simply run the damp clothes through the drying cycle with fabric softener. This should remove the odor.


If the quick fixes don't work, you may need to wash your clothes again. This will effectively eliminate bacteria from the fabric and wash away the odor. Try not to forget to remove your laundry from the machine promptly to prevent the issue from recurring.

Previously, OBOZREVATEL provided information on what items should not be washed with oxygen powder to avoid damage.

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