Want Great Smelling Laundry? (here’s everything you need to know)

Everybody loves wearing clean clothing that smells awesome.

Unfortunately, when we do our laundry, we are not always greeted with the smell of freshly cleaned clothing. At times, there is even that mildewy odour that may be lurking in its fabrics.

If you have also experienced washing your clothes only for it to smell damp or even foul, read on and we’ll share the top tips to make your laundry smell fresh.

11 Tips to Make Your Laundry Smell Great

For clothes that smell great even after they’re washed, follow these proven tips:

1. Have a regular laundry schedule

Do you not have a set day when you do your laundry? Do you just wait until you no longer have clean clothes to wear before you run that cycle up?

Believe us: we understand that washing clothes isn’t the most exciting thing to do. However, if you want your garments to smell nice, you have to commit to a regular laundry schedule.

But how often do you have to wash your clothes? This depends on a lot of factors.

person smelling shirt

For people with big families, washing clothes may have to be done more frequently, especially for those with children. Individuals can get away with doing laundry once every two weeks.

Assess your current setup. If you’re running out of clothes and your hamper is almost a tower, you should probably do your laundry more. On the other hand, if your hamper is not even halfway and you’re already putting them in the wash, it’s possible that you’re also wasting resources.

Doing your laundry too much causes unnecessary stress to your garments. When you’re not doing it enough, you’re allowing bacteria to grow on your fabrics that will cause a foul odour.

SEE ALSO: Do You Have To Wash Clothes After Wearing Once?

2. Separate overly smelly or dirty clothes

Do you include your exercise or work clothes with your regular ones in the wash? Do you just throw your muddy work clothes in the wash next to your pyjamas?

In these situations, it’s always better to have a separate load for your smelly and dirty garments. This is to allow your regular clothing to not be in contact with the soiled fabrics that may also eventually affect their odour.

If you don’t have a lot of dirty or smelly garments, it’s best to hand wash them first before tossing them in your washing machine. This way, you’ll have fresh clothes that are not contaminated with bacteria and dirt.

3. Treat stained clothes before putting them in the wash

Do you have a stained shirt from when you spilt spaghetti sauce on it? Did you spill wine on a dress and you’re now thinking of just tossing it in the wash as normal?

If you have stained garments, it’s best to pre-treat them before putting them in the washer. Spot-treating stains with a baking soda paste mixed with warm water can do the trick. If this doesn’t work or if the stain is too old or strong, make a solution of bleach and water to get it off.

A stain on a white shirt

Doing this allows you to get rid of the stain completely, keeps your clothes in good condition, and will also ensure that you will not be spreading the oils, dirt, and bacteria that came from the garment.

NOTE: Not all clothes can be bleached. Make sure to read your garment’s care labels to avoid ruining it.

4. Use fragrant laundry products

If you want to make your clothes smell fragrant, you’ll have to choose a nice-smelling detergent, fabric softener, and scent boosters.

Picking the brand and type of laundry product can be a trial and error for many. You have to make sure that it will truly clean your garments and get rid of stains. When it comes to the scent, there are a lot of options to choose from and you’ll need to try a few to decide the smell you like.

If you don’t like using too many chemicals, keep in mind that using softeners and laundry boosters is optional. You can even make your own or use natural alternatives such as white vinegar and baking soda. Just add 1/2 cup to your usual laundry and they will also help deodorise your garments.

NOTE: Use the correct amount of detergent for your laundry. Using too little will not clean your garments, while too much detergent can also make your clothing smell due to the excess residue.

5. Avoid overloading your machine

In every model of washing machine, there’s a set amount of laundry that it can wash in a load.

As an example, some washers are able to accommodate around 6 kilos of clothing. This is usually enough for small households.

The amount of weight companies put in a washer is set to optimise its efficiency.

Hence, overloading your machine will not produce good results, as this will mean that you’re putting it over its limit. As a result, your clothes will not be as clean and as fresh compared to if you followed the capacity of the washer.

6. Clean your washer and dryer often

Did you know that your appliances will still harbour bacteria, even if they’re meant to clean your stuff?

Just imagine all the hair, oil, sweat, and dirt that comes in contact with your washer when you use it. Over time, it is possible for your machine to grow bacteria due to the various substances that may be left on its surface.

To prevent this, it’s best to clean your washer and dryer regularly. This can be done by doing an empty cycle using hot water and a bit of soap. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe the insides and outsides of your appliances.

7. Avoid leaving damp clothes in the wash

If you often forget to take clothes out of the washer or dryer, chances are you may catch a whiff of a bad smell brewing on your fabrics.

The reason why this happens is due to bacterial and fungi growth. When bacteria and fungi such as mould and mildew grow in your clothing, with it comes the foul damp smell some of us may recognize. Unfortunately, these species love damp environments and are commonly found in places that are always wet and dark.

To prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria, dry your garments by hanging them or putting them in the dryer as soon as the timer on your washer goes off.

NOTE: Mould growth does not only make your clothes smell bad but can also cause various skin conditions[1]. Make it a habit to get your pieces of clothing from the washer as soon as the cycle is complete.

SEE ALSO: How Long Can You Leave Clothes In The Washer?

8. Dry your garments outdoors

Do you have access to an area where you can hang your garments out to dry? Do you live in a place where you can enjoy the sun’s rays?

If so, we highly recommend drying your clothes outdoors under the heat of the sun.

Clothes on a clothes line

Did you know that the sun’s UV rays contain properties that get rid of bacteria and fungi on your fabrics[2]? Since the two are the main reasons why clothes smell, the result of hanging your clothes out to dry in the sun is a cleaner and fresher batch of laundry.

SEE ALSO: What Are The Benefits Of Drying Clothes In The Sun?

9. Place laundered clothes in a well-ventilated area

Don’t have the time to fold your garments immediately? Will you need to store them on the sofa or laundry room before you put them away?

In situations like this, it’s necessary to assess whether the spot where you’ll temporarily store your clothes is well-ventilated. This is important as air helps keep your garments fresh and lessen the risk of growing mildew.

Whatever you do, don’t just leave them in your hamper as they will be too packed together for air to circulate. It’s much better to just hang them on a clothing rack until you can place them inside your wardrobe.

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10. Make sure that your clothes are dried completely

We’ll tell you now: one of the worst mistakes you’ll ever make (in terms of laundry) is putting your clothes away when they’re still damp.

Why? Because damp clothes will still be an active environment for fungi and bacterial growth.

When you put away garments when they’re still damp, they’ll have that foul, mildewy smell in a few days. That will mean that you’ll have to wear clothes that make you smell like you’ve just run a marathon under the blazing heat.

Who wants that when you’ve spent all that time and resources in making them smell amazing?

11. Put fragrant products in your wardrobe

You’re done washing, drying, and folding your clothes. Now it’s time to put them in your wardrobe.

Did you know that you can preserve the good smell of your garments by putting fragrant products in the spot where you store them?

The easiest way to keep the wonderful smell intact is by using baking soda.

baking soda in wardrobe

All you have to do is pour some into an open container (like a small bowl) and place it inside your wardrobe. Aside from keeping your clothing smelling fresh, baking soda can absorb the moisture that’s common for enclosed spaces. As a result: no moisture = no mildewy smell!

Aside from baking soda, you can also use a scented soap, cover it with a thin cloth, and place it inside your dresser. The scent from the soap will eventually spread in the area and make your clothes smell amazing.

For a much stronger scent, soaking a cotton ball with essential oil and putting them inside your wardrobe can do the trick.

Smelling good starts with wearing freshly laundered clothing!

There you have it – we hope that the tips above will help your laundry smell amazing!

Do you have more laundry tips to share to make your clothes sniff-worthy?

Feel free to share them below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my clothes not smell good after washing?

There are many reasons why your clothes may not smell great after washing. The most common are not using the right amount of detergent, using a dirty washer, and not allowing garments to dry completely.

What makes your laundry smell amazing?

Laundry will smell amazing if you wash them regularly, use scented detergents of your preference, and dry them completely under the sun.

How can I make my laundry room smell good?

You can make your laundry room smell nice by cleaning it regularly and leaving baking soda in an open container to neutralise the odour.  

How can I make my clothes smell good naturally?

To make your clothes smell good naturally, it’s best to hang them outdoors to dry.

Can I add essential oils to my laundry?

Yes, you can add essential oils to your laundry to make them smell nice. Just make sure that it will not contain ingredients that may ruin your clothing.

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