The smell of damp on your clothing means that mould or mildew is growing on the material. This can happen if your clothes are left in a dark and humid environment for too long, or if your washing machine has mould or mildew growing in it. If you notice your clothing smelling damp, try these tips to remove the smell.
- Hot water
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
When washing damp smelling clothing, always use hot water. The hot water will not kill the mould or mildew, however the heat will help to evaporate it, thus removing it from your clothing. Before using hot water on your clothes, always check the care label.
The acid found in white vinegar makes it an excellent way to kill mould and mildew and remove damp smells from clothing. To use white vinegar as a pre-treatment for damp clothes, mix one cup with a bucket of warm water and leave your clothing to soak for at least an hour. Alternatively, add one or two cups of white vinegar directly to your washing machine for the same effect.
Baking soda is incredibly useful at absorbing smells and moisture from clothing, making it perfect for lifting damp smells. Simply add a quarter to half a cup of baking soda directly to your washing machine, and use the hottest temperature your clothing will allow. The baking soda will absorb the dampness in your clothing along with the horrendous smell, and leave your clothes smelling and feeling fresh.
Bleach is incredibly effective at removing damp from clothing, however should only be used on white clothing. Soak your damp smelling items in one part bleach and 3 parts hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes. The bleach will penetrate your clothing, killing any mould or mildew and lifting the smell of damp. Before using bleach, you may want to test it on an unseen bit of your garment, such as the hem, to make sure that it won’t permanently stain.
Now that you have removed the smell of damp from your clothing, here are 5 tips to help prevent mould and mildew from building up on your clothing again.
- Avoid damp clothing
Never hang or fold clothing whilst it is still damp, instead, wait until it has completely dried. Storing clothing whilst it’s still damp creates the perfect damp and humid environment for mould and mildew to grow, leading to clothing smelling damp.
- Vaccum seal
If you know that you won’t be wearing certain garments for a while, for example summer items during the winter, vacuum seal your clothing. This will help keep any mould or mildew out, and leave your clothing smelling fresh until you’re ready the wear them again.
- Have a clear out
An overflowing wardrobe is the perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow. If you notice that your wardrobe is becoming slightly too full, it may be time for a clear out. Get rid, or vacuum seal, the clothing you don’t wear anymore, and give your everyday items room to breathe. Your clothing will thank you for it.
- Clean your machine
Your clothing may be smelling damp because your washing machine needs to be cleaned. It is vital to clean your washing machine at least once a month to avoid your clothing smelling damp, and to keep your washing machine working properly.
- Reduce your detergent
Using too much detergent in your washing machine creates a thin layer on your clothing that prevents future washes from properly penetrating your items and removing bacteria. As such, make sure that you always use the recommended amount of detergent in your washing machine. More detergent does not mean cleaner clothes.
To guarantee that your clothing doesn’t smell damp, let Laundryheap wash them for you. We will pick up, launder, and redeliver your clothing to you, completely on your schedule. To book your order simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.