How to Remove Bad Smell from Clothes: Expert Tips

To remove bad smell from clothes, soak them in a mixture of white vinegar and water and then wash them with your regular detergent. Bad smells on clothes can be quite unpleasant and daunting to deal with, but it is important to know that there are various ways to tackle this issue.

Whether your clothes smell due to excessive sweating or exposure to strong odors, it is essential to know how to remove the smell effectively. One effective solution is to soak your clothes in a mixture of white vinegar and water, as vinegar is known for its odor eliminating properties.

Another option is to use baking soda or activated charcoal, which can help neutralize the smell. Additionally, washing your clothes with a high-quality detergent and properly drying them can also aid in removing bad smells.

How to Banish Bad Odors from Clothes: Expert Tips


Understanding The Causes Of Bad Odors In Clothes

Clothes that smell bad can be a turn-off to not only you but also to people around you. But before learning how to remove bad smell from clothes, you need to understand what causes it. Here are the key culprits of bad odor in clothes:

Sweat And Bacteria

Sweat is a natural process of the body that cools down the inner temperature. However, sweat mixed with bacteria can cause a strong odor in your clothes. Here are some of the key points to combat bad odor due to sweat and bacteria:

  • Wash your clothes immediately after wearing them, especially if you have been sweating profusely.
  • Use hot water to wash clothes, as it helps to remove bacteria.
  • Use lemon juice or white vinegar to remove sweat and bacteria buildup from clothes.

Mold And Mildew

Clothes that remain wet for an extended period may develop mold and mildew, causing them to smell musty. Below are some of the key points to consider when removing mold and mildew from clothes:

  • Wash your clothes immediately after getting wet, especially if you live in a humid or damp environment.
  • Use hot water to wash clothes with mold and mildew.
  • Use baking soda or borax to remove the odor from clothes.

Smoke And Cooking Smells

Smoke and cooking smells are tough to remove from clothes, and they can adhere to clothes for days after the event. Here are some useful tips to remove smoke and cooking smells from clothes:

  • Wash clothes immediately after exposure to smoke or cooking odors.
  • Use hot water and vinegar to remove both smoke and cooking odors from clothes.
  • Hang clothes outside in the open air for a few hours to remove the smell.

Chemicals And Perfumes

Wearing clothes with strong scents can be unbearable for some people. Below are some crucial points to consider when trying to remove strong scents from clothes:

  • Avoid using too much perfume or fabric softener when washing clothes.
  • Wash clothes with natural-based products instead of chemical ones.
  • Use white vinegar or baking soda to remove strong smells from clothes.

As you can see, bad odors in clothes can come from various sources. However, with the tips given above, you can effectively remove any odor from your clothes and keep them fresh and clean.

The Importance Of Proper Clothing Care

Have you ever experienced pulling out your favorite shirt from the washer or closet only to be hit by a bad stench? If so, it’s likely due to not taking proper care of your clothes. Proper clothing care not only ensures that your clothes last longer, but it also keeps them smelling fresh and clean.

Sorting And Washing Clothes Based On Fabric And Color

Sorting your clothes by fabric and color is crucial for maintaining their quality. Different fabrics require different washing techniques, and some colors can bleed onto others if not washed separately. Here are some tips for sorting and washing clothes:

  • Sort clothes by color: Whites, lights, and darks
  • Sort clothes by fabric: Cotton, wool, silk, polyester, and others
  • Use a gentle laundry detergent for delicate fabrics
  • Wash clothes in cold water to preserve colors and prevent shrinking
  • Avoid overloading the washer to ensure a thorough clean

Using The Right Detergent And Laundry Products

Choosing the right laundry products can make a significant difference in the smell and feel of your clothes. Here are some tips for selecting the right ones:

  • Use a detergent that is suitable for your clothes’ fabric type
  • Add fabric softener to reduce static and increase softness
  • Consider using laundry boosters such as baking soda or vinegar to remove tough stains and odors
  • Use bleach only when necessary and follow the instructions carefully

Choosing The Right Washing Machine Cycle And Temperature

Choosing the right washing machine cycle and temperature also plays a vital role in our clothes’ cleanliness and lifespan. Here are some tips for choosing the right washing machine cycle and temperature:

  • Delicate cycle for delicate, lightweight clothes
  • Normal cycle for everyday clothes
  • Use hot water for whites and heavily soiled clothes
  • Use a warm or cold cycle for colors and delicate fabrics

Drying And Storing Clothes Correctly

After washing clothes, it’s vital to dry and store them correctly to avoid creating bad smells. Here are some tips for drying and storing clothes correctly:

  • Use a dryer or clothesline to dry clothes
  • Avoid over-drying clothes, as it can cause shrinkage and damage
  • Store clothes in clean, dry spaces, such as a closet or dresser
  • Use proper hangers to prevent stretching and creasing

Proper clothing care is essential for keeping our clothes smelling fresh and clean. By following these tips on sorting and washing clothes, using the right products, choosing the right washing machine cycle and temperature, and drying and storing clothes correctly, we can ensure that our clothes last longer and look and feel great.

Natural And Diy Odor Removal Techniques

Natural and diy odor removal techniques:

Clothes retain all sorts of smells after each wear. Sweat, perfume, smoke, and food odors can all linger on fabrics even after washing. This can be particularly frustrating when you have clothes that you love but avoid wearing because they smell bad.

Luckily, there are a number of natural and diy odor removal techniques that can help you restore freshness to your clothes.

Using Vinegar And Baking Soda

White vinegar and baking soda are two common household items that can help remove unwanted odors from clothes.

  • Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water, and soak your smelly clothes in this mixture for at least 1 hour before washing.
  • For tough odor removal, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your regular detergent.
  • Rinse thoroughly to ensure no vinegar or baking soda residue remains.

Activated Charcoal And Coffee Grounds

Activated charcoal and coffee grounds are both effective odor absorbers and can be used to remove unwanted smells from clothes.

  • Place a few activated charcoal tablets or coffee grounds in a clean sock or pantyhose leg and tie it closed.
  • Place the sock or pantyhose leg in a bag with your smelly clothes and seal it tight.
  • Leave it for a few days or until the odors are gone. Make sure to remove the sock or pantyhose leg before washing.

Essential Oils And Herbs

Essential oils and herbs are natural and lovely-smelling odor absorbers that can help freshen up your clothes.

  • Add a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, lemon or peppermint to your washing machine during the rinse cycle.
  • Place a sachet of herbs such as lavender, rosemary or thyme in a bag with your smelly clothes and seal it tight for at least 24 hours.
  • Or add a teaspoon of dried herbs to your wash, directly in the drum.

Sunlight And Fresh Air

Sunlight and fresh air are effective and natural ways to remove odor from clothes.

  • Hang your smelly clothes outside on a clothesline in direct sunlight for a few hours.
  • Or place them outside on a sunny day for a few hours.
  • Alternatively, hang your clothes up in a bathroom with good ventilation so they can air out properly.

Removing odors from clothes may seem difficult, but with natural and diy odor removal techniques, it can be easy and effective. Try out some of these methods and say goodbye to your smelly clothes for good.

Professional Solutions For Stubborn Odors

When regular washing fails to eliminate tough odors from clothing, it is time to consider professional solutions. These can range from dry cleaning and professional laundry services to ozone and air-cleaning technologies, odor-neutralizing sprays, ultraviolet light, and steam cleaning.

Dry Cleaning And Professional Laundry Services

Dry cleaning is a professional process that cleans clothes with solvents instead of water. It is an excellent way to eliminate stubborn odors. Dry cleaning can remove a variety of tough stains and odors that regular washing cannot. Some key points to note about dry cleaning and professional laundry services include:

  • Clothes are carefully sorted and treated with chemicals to dissolve and remove stains, dirt, and odors.
  • Dry cleaning can remove oil-based stains, such as grease, which regular washing may not eliminate.
  • Professional laundry services often offer customized cleaning methods for particular clothes and fabrics.
  • Dry cleaning can be costly, so it is essential to consider the cost-effectiveness before opting for this process.

Ozone And Air-Cleaning Technologies

Ozone and air-cleaning technologies are used to eliminate odors by oxidizing the contaminants. These technologies are often used in industrial settings, but home versions are also available. Some key points to note about ozone and air-cleaning technologies include:

  • Ozone generators work by releasing ozone gas into the air to neutralize odors and kill bacteria.
  • Air-cleaning technologies like activated carbon filters can remove odor particles from the air, making them an excellent option to eliminate persistent smells in the home.
  • Ozone generators can be harmful if not used correctly, so it is essential to follow the instructions carefully.

Odor-Neutralizing Sprays And Products

Odor-neutralizing sprays and products contain enzymes that break down odor-causing bacteria and eliminate bad smells. These products are widely available in grocery stores. Some key points to note about odor-neutralizing sprays and products include:

  • Odor-neutralizing products work by breaking down the bacteria that produce bad smells.
  • These products can be used on clothes and fabrics but should be used sparingly to avoid any damage.
  • Odor-neutralizing sprays can be a temporary solution and may not work on persistent smells.

Ultraviolet Light And Steam Cleaning

Ultraviolet light and steam cleaning are processes that use high temperatures and radiation to kill bacteria and eliminate odors. These methods are effective in removing stubborn smells. Some key points to note about ultraviolet light and steam cleaning include:

  • Ultraviolet light kills bacteria and breaks down odors, making it an effective tool in eliminating persistent smells.
  • Steam cleaning uses high temperatures to kill bacteria and remove stains, eliminating odors in the process.
  • Both methods can be used on clothes and fabrics, but it is essential to follow the instructions carefully to avoid heat damage.

When regular washing fails to remove stubborn odors that cling to clothes, it is time to opt for professional solutions. Dry cleaning, ozone and air-cleaning technologies, odor-neutralizing sprays, ultraviolet light, and steam cleaning are all effective methods of eliminating smells.

It is essential to consider the cost-effectiveness and safety measures before choosing a particular solution.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Remove Bad Smell From Clothes

How Can I Get Rid Of Bad Smell From Clothes Without Washing Them?

There are several ways to get rid of bad smells from clothes without washing them. You can try using baking soda, white vinegar, fabric fresheners, or essential oils. Simply spritz a small amount onto the garment and air it out for some time to freshen it up.

Is It Safe To Use Bleach To Remove Bad Smells From Clothes?

While bleach can remove bad smells from clothes, it’s not always the safest option, especially if the clothes are made of delicate fabrics. Instead, try using natural remedies like lemon juice, baking soda, or vinegar to remove bad smells without damaging your clothes.

How Do I Remove Bad Smells From Clothes That Have Been Stored For A Long Time?

If clothes have been stored for a long time, they may have a musty smell. To get rid of the smell, try airing out the clothes in direct sunlight for a few hours, or placing them in a container with baking soda or charcoal for a couple of days.

Can Using Fabric Softeners Help Remove Bad Smells From Clothes?

Fabric softeners can help to mask bad smells temporarily, but they can also build up on clothing over time and cause them to become stiff. Instead, try using natural remedies like baking soda, vinegar, or essential oils.

How Often Should I Wash Clothes To Prevent Bad Smells?

How often you should wash your clothes depends on how often you wear them and how much you sweat. It’s recommended to wash clothes after every use to prevent bad smells from building up. For items that are not worn as often, wash them at least once every three months.


Removing bad smells from clothes is no easy feat, but it can be done. From using natural odor eliminators like vinegar and baking soda to commercial products specifically designed for removing odors, there are many options to choose from. It’s important to note that prevention is key – hang clothes to dry in a well-ventilated area, avoid using too much detergent and fabric softener, and promptly wash clothes that have come into contact with sweat or other strong odors.

Don’t forget to spot treat any areas that have particularly strong odors before washing. With these tips and tricks, you can say goodbye to unpleasant smells and hello to fresh, clean clothes. So give them a try and enjoy smelling fresh all day long!

Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews is a cleaning expert with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field. With his expertise in various cleaning techniques, he has become a trusted specialist in the industry. Daniel's mastery lies in the art of vacuum cleaning, where he excels in utilizing the latest advancements in technology to ensure impeccable results. Additionally, his skills in stain removal are unparalleled, as he possesses an in-depth understanding of different types of stains and the most effective methods to eliminate them. Daniel Methews is dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning solutions, leaving spaces spotless and customers satisfied.

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