Have you ever had mildew on your clothes? Washing it out is usually not the issue, washing the smell out is. You can pretty much shove your clothes in the washer, and it would get rid of it, but just the normal detergent never really gets rid of the smell.

First of all, lets take this a step back;

What is mildew?

Mildew is usually a thin layer of a black, grey, or white growth that appears on fabric, in books or sometimes walls. Mildew is a type of mold, which is a very small kind of fungi.

The most common kind of mildew you find is the grey-black powdery kind which sticks to clothes and other king of fabric or walls.

How to remove mildew smell from clothes

The common reason for having mildew is lack of ventilation, because that creates a humid environment which is very favorable for its growth. It grows and spread in any damp environment that is not properly ventilated. Sometimes the weather contributes to it, if it is cold enough outside and you have all your windows shut, trying to keep the warmth in, as time goes on that could generate mildew. Another very easy way to get mildew is to keep damp clothes in a closed space, but whatever the issue is, however you ended up with mildew on your clothes, you can definitely get rid of it.

If you have ever had mildew on your clothes and you washed it, you know that the smell is something that sticks to your fabric. But not to worry, here are a few ways to get rid of mildew smell.

The god thing about this is that all of these solutions are things you can find within your household, you don’t have to wait till you go to the store to pick it up, you have to have at least one of these items in your kitchen or laundry, just go do it now.

Things you need to get rid of mildew smell

How to get rid of mildew smell using hot water

 1. Hot water

Depending on how much the mildew is on your fabric, sometimes all you really need to get rid of the smell is to use hot water. Soak the item of clothing in a bucket, with some detergent and hot water, leave it until the water gets cold and then wash. You can use the washing machine as well, just set the temperature to the hottest.

How to remove mildew smell from clothes

 2. Vinegar

Vinegar is amazing for so many things, and one of those things is getting rid of mildew smell. It is preferred that you use white vinegar, but if you don’t happen to have that you can go in with apple cider vinegar or any kind that is available to you. Add in ¼ cup of white vinegar with your detergent, leave it to sit for 20 minutes and then wash. Vinegar definitely gets rid of all the smell. If you are using apple cider vinegar, or any other kind of vinegar other than white vinegar, then cut the quantity of vinegar in half to 1/8 a cup, because the smell would be too strong. You don’t want to walk out the house now smelling like vinegar. If you are using the washer, you can just put it straight into the soap tray and you can wash with hot water as well.

How to remove mildew smell from clothes with baking soda

 3. Baking soda

Add a tablespoon of baking soda into the water you are about to put the clothes in, add in some detergent and leave the clothes to soak for 2o minutes and wash. If you are using a washing machine, just put in the baking soda in the soap tray and wash, you can also wash with hot water.

How to remove mildew smell from clothes

 4. Bleach

Bleach is also very effective when it comes to washing out mildew from your clothes. Why it’s not always the best option is because not all your clothes can be bleached. So if you have clothes covered in mildew, that will not be destroyed by bleach, then it is also a good alternative to vinegar and baking soda.

How to prevent mildew

In as much as we are happy there’s a solution to get rid of mildew and the smell from clothes, how about if we could just prevent it. Here are some preventive measures you could take;

  • If you live in a humid area, always ventilate your room. Leave your windows open, you don’t have to leave the curtains opened if you don’t like people looking into your home. But just leave the windows open so there can be ventilation in your room
  • Open up your wardrobe to allow fresh air to get in there, so the heat wouldn’t cause dampness which would lead to generating mildew.
  • You can even take out all your clothes and air them, every once in 3 months. This is if you leave in a humid area, I know it seems like a lot, but it’s better than growing mildew in your clothes.
  • Don’t spill water in closed spaces and if you do by accident, make sure you clean up and air the area. If rain accidentally gets into your house, clean up and open up the minute the rain stops, try to get everything dry and clean.


Do you have any extra tips on how to get rid of the awful smell from clothes?

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