When wet clothing has too much time to set in, a mold infestation can develop within the fabric fiber. Once this happens, you will need to treat the visible mildew as well as the the embedded stench within the clothing.
Although your first reaction may be to throw the clothes away, there are several household tips and tricks to remove the appearance of mildew and ensure that the clothing is smelling fresh.
Clothing Smell Removal Solutions
1 Shampoo Scrub
Before work at removing the stale smell from your clothing, you will want to work at removing the any visible signs of mold. Using shampoo, you will want to apply the cleaner to the clothing and intensely scrub the areas in where that mold is visible. This method will have to loosen and lift away any signs of mold, and ensure that you are only dealing with an issue of odor.
2 Soak in White Vinegar
This household acid works wonders at cutting though mold spore to kill any odor that my be a byproduct of the infestation. Begin by finding a large bucket and filling it with one part white vinegar to five parts water. Proceed to dunk the mold affected clothing within the mixture and allow it to soak for 3-4 hours. Once completed, the clothing can be removed and placed through a normal detergent wash. for an added deodorizing boost, a cup of baking soda and extra cup of white vinegar can be added to the wash cycle to ensure that the odor is completely removed.
3 Let Enzymes Eat It
This product solution works to literally eat through the mold spore within the clothing fiber. Mix a solution of enzymes and water in equal parts within a large bucket and proceed to submerge clothing within the mixture. Allow the clothing to sit for 2-3 hours before removing the clothing to place through a normal detergent clothing wash. Similarly, a cup of white vinegar or a half cup of baking soda can be added to the wash cycle to give it a beneficial deodorizing boost.
4 Bleach (whites only)
As a final deodorizing compound, bleach can also work to kill mold spore and neutralize difficult odors within the fabric fiber. Mix a solution of one part bleach with eight parts water within a tub and proceed to dunk the mold affected clothing within the mixture. Allow the clothing to sit for 1-2 hours before removing the clothing to place through a normal detergent wash. To add an additional boost, an extra cup of bleach can be added to your detergent wash. Finally, be sure to only use this on all white clothing to prevent unwanted whitening of clothing.
As a finalizing solution, be sure that you opt to hang the clothing outside within direct sun rather than drying the clothing within a clothes dryer. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will work to kill any remaining mold spore and ensure that the clothing is left smelling fresh. For best results, hang clothing within a location of the yard where it is sure to receive a minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight.
Photo credit: Andrés Moreira