Do Your Clothes Smell Like Mildew?
So, your clothes smell like mildew? Don’t worry. No judging here. My house smells good, so I can’t smell you anyway. 😉
And besides my house smelling good, I was in your shoes a few years ago. All my clothes smelled like mildew but I finally found the answer. I finally got that mildew smell out of my clothes for good!!
But, it started with getting the mildew smell out of the washing machine, so if you haven’t read that post yet, go and read it first. It will tell you how to prevent this from happening again, then you can come back and we’ll get your clothes all sorted out, too.
Done? Alright. Proceed.
Here’s the deal. Last year, we had a house that was full of mold. I’m talking 1100 times the amount of mold that was outside. We were living in a petri dish. The heartbreaker here is that we spent 6 months and our life savings renovating this moldy house only to move in and get sick. And we stayed sick until we moved out. And then I started learning everything I could about mold. I’m no expert, but I could at least listen in fluent “mold” language. 😉
We had a mold expert come to our house. He was actually a chemist who had specialized in the mold industry. And he was our mold remediator. We paid him to come to our house and wipe down every. single. thing. we owned. It was intense. He used a proprietary blend of oils and natural stuff to kill the mold and then manually removed it by wiping.
Click here for a tour moldy house (after it wasn’t moldy anymore):
So, I asked about the soft stuff that couldn’t be wiped. What about my curtains? And clothes? And???
“Oh yeah. Just use baking soda on your clothes and linens.”
“Baking soda will take care of any mold in your clothes in the washing machine. Just plain ole’ baking soda.”
Okay, so I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s basically what he said. So, I did that.
Thankfully, my clothes didn’t stink from the type of mold that was in our house even before I washed them. I was careful to wash everything as I unpacked it (LOL, I carried everything to the washer like it was a full dirty diaper. :D)
But after all that mold remediating had long been over, I did something bad.
I forgot my clothes in the washer. For 2 days! If you have an HE or front-load washing machine, you know your clothes can start to smell like mildew literally within just hours (especially if you haven’t gotten the mildew smell out of your washing machine).
Omg. I about croaked when I remembered the clothes in that washing machine. And yes. They smelled like mildew. Bummer. A whole load of my favorite leggings (ever had mildewy leggings? Not good.) potentially ruined.
And then I remembered that baking soda trick.
Lo and behold, it worked on my mildewy clothes, too!!
After just one load of using baking soda, my leggings are back in business! I’ve even tried this on our stinky towels. It works with them, too!
To Remove Mildew Smell From Clothes
So, here’s what you do to get the mildew smell out of your clothes according to my chemist mold remediating buddy.
- Add detergent to the washer like normal (see this post for type of detergent).
- Add ½ a cup of baking soda to the drum of your washing machine. (I keep a bag like this in the laundry room for easy scooping.)
- Add your clothes.
- Wash like normal.
It’s too easy. Seriously. And if you’ve used my other totally easy trick to prevent that mildew smell in the first place, you’ll only need to use these steps for your first few rounds after cleaning your washing machine (to strip out all the mildew & chemicals) or when you forget a load in the washer for a few days (yikes. I hope it isn’t your favorite leggings!).
Or when your towels don’t quite dry out and start to stink.
These two posts are seriously the last two posts you’ll need to read about getting that mildew smell out of your clothes or washing machine.
Prevent it first. Then get your clothes clean. Then repeat as necessary.
So simple, right? I know.
We over-complicate things sometimes when life could be so simple.
Help a mama out and pin this to your cleaning board. You know there’s another mom out there somewhere searching for a way to get her clothes clean and keep them from smelling like mildew again. Your pin could be the one that saves her from stinky mildew leggings for life. And just like that, you could change a life.