how to get rid of musty smells in clothes
In the home

How to banish musty smells from your clothes and your home

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No-one likes the musty smell that comes from damp and mould in your home, and unfortunately it can be a pain to remove.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of musty smells in house fabrics, curtains and clothes, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for helpful tips and tricks on getting rid of musty smells in clothes.

How to get rid of musty smells in the house

The first step in removing musty smells from your home is identifying what is causing them. Your laundry, household cleaning, and poor ventilation can all be to blame so make sure you investigate thoroughly and take immediate action.

1. Laundry: Getting rid of musty smells in clothes

The most obvious answer to the question of how to remove smell from clothes is to wash them again. But how can you stop the same thing happening again? And how did your clothes get musty in the first place?

Often, clothes become musty when they are left in the washing machine or a laundry basket while wet. Follow these tips when doing your laundry and removing musty smells from clothes to put an end to nasty odours:

  • Pick a detergent you can trust. Try Surf detergents with essential oils to bring fresh fragrances into your home instead of musty odours.
  • Don’t overload your washing machine. A musty smell from washing machine cycles can indicate that clothes don’t have enough space to turn in the drum
  • Air dry your clothes. Ideally this will be done outdoors and you’ll need to give them room to dry fully. If the weather prevents you from using the washing line, then follow our tips on drying clothes indoors. If you use a tumble drier, hang your clothes to air for a little while before putting them in your wardrobe
  • Keep damp laundry away from curtains and soft furnishings. This can cause the smell to spread and leave you asking how to get rid of musty smells in the house!

2. Cleaning: How to get rid of musty smells in the house

If you’re looking at how to get rid of musty smells in the house and at home, a good first step is to keep it clean. Stick to a regular cleaning schedule and remember to take care of the basics – such as vacuuming and dusting – as often as you can.

Other cleaning tips you might find help are:

  • Look for trouble spots. Check the corners of rooms, cupboards, and other areas that might harbour musty smells
  • Use natural deodorisers. If you want to know how to get rid of musty smells in the house, try filling an open plastic container with baking soda, barbecue charcoal, or cat litter
  • Clean your washing machine. If you notice a musty smell from a washing machine cycle then run your normal wash programme with a little white vinegar and don’t forget to focus on the rubber seal of the door
  • Wash teatowels regularly. These furnishings can often get overlooked in the weekly wash and may be harbouring more than just damp smells. Wash and replace them often to reduce this risk.

 3. Ventilation: Removing musty smells

Finally, if you want to avoid musty smells from returning to your home, you’ll need to work out what is causing them. Often, poor ventilation is to blame and a few quick tips can soon put it right:

  • Open your windows. This is especially important when drying clothes. During colder weather, leave windows open a fraction to allow airflow while maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home
  • Check for condensation. This can often lead to musty smells, damp, and mould. If you notice condensation on your windows, wipe it away with a dry cloth and open your windows for 15 minutes to air the room
  • Take care when showering. To learn how to get rid of a musty smell in household rooms like the bathroom, simply leave the door open after showering to allow air to circulate and remember to open windows and use an extractor fan (if you have one)
  • Clean mould immediately. Whether it is on your walls, floors, or clothes, it is important to act fast. Read our articles on How to Prevent Mould and How to Remove Mould and Mildew from Clothes for more advice.

There you have it! With the right amount of planning and prevention, removing musty smells from clothes and in the home couldn’t be easier. Enjoy a fresher home!

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For a superior clean and lasting freshness, use Surf for cleaning your musty clothes, towels, and soft furnishings.