No More Stinky Laundry! Follow These Tips for Freshness That Lasts

Who doesn’t love slipping into a set of freshly laundered clothes that smell clean and fragrant? Unfortunately, many of us open the washing machine only to be met with less than pleasant odours: damp, musty, and anything but fresh. Yikes.

If you find yourself disappointed by the smell of mildew clinging to your freshly washed clothes, don’t worry. Here’s your go-to guide to banishing bad smells!

Stick To A Regular Laundry Routine

Let’s be honest, laundry isn’t the most thrilling of household chores. 

However, keeping on top of your washing with a regular routine is essential for keeping clothes smelling good. Whether you live alone or have a busy household, finding the right frequency is the key.

How often should you wash your clothes? For those with children or who have a sporty lifestyle, you might find yourself needing to wash more often to keep up with the pace. 

people sweating after an exercise

If you find that your wash bin is always underfilled, consider extending the interval between washes to conserve water and energy. 

Sort The Smelly From The Lightly Soiled

Mixing sweat-drenched gym clothes with your casual wear? Think again.

Do you only do one load for all your clothes, no matter how smelly they are? This should not be the case, as highly soiled or smelly garments can transfer unpleasant odours and dirt to other items in the wash. 

For lightly soiled items, consider a separate, gentle cycle or even a hand wash to prevent this cross-contamination and keep your clothes smelling fresh!

Pre-Treat Stubborn Stains And Smells

Tackle stains head-on by pre-treating them before they even hit the drum!

Encountered a stubborn stain or a particularly foul-smelling garment? Pre-treatment is your best friend. 

Gone are the days when you finish a wash, only for your clothes to still have some stains or the smell of sweat. 

brushing chocolate stain off

For a mild solution, apply a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water to small stains or go for a specialised stain remover for tougher spots. 

Pre-treating not only tackles the stain, but also addresses any unpleasant odours before they spread to your other clothes during the wash cycle!

Choose Your Laundry Weapons Wisely

Experiment with different scents to find one that appeals to you and suits your cleaning needs!

Choosing the right detergent and fabric softener can feel like a chemistry exam, but it’s totally worth the fuss. Don’t be afraid to try products, especially if you have a particular preference when it comes to fragrance. 

Of course, using shop-bought fabric softeners is not really a requirement. If you prefer a natural approach or have sensitive skin, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can help neutralise odours without the need for chemical additives!

Avoid Overloading Your Washing Machine

Think you’re saving time by stuffing your washer with clothes? Think again. 

It can be tempting to cram as much as possible into each load to save time and energy, but overloading your washing machine can have the opposite effect.

Not only does overloading strain the machine, but it also hampers the cleaning process, leaving your clothes less fresh. 

Tip - Don’t Overload The Washer’s Drum

Make sure to check your machine’s capacity and stick to it for the best results!

Don’t Let Damp Clothes Sit

As soon as the wash finishes, get those damp clothes into the dryer or hang them up ASAP!

Leaving damp clothes in the washer can lead to a buildup of bacteria and mould, which are often the culprits behind that musty smell. 

To avoid this, make it a routine to remove laundry immediately after the cycle ends. 

If you can’t dry them straight away, spread them out rather than leaving them in a damp pile to minimise odour formation. You don’t want to smell like wet socks, do you?

Keep Your Washer And Dryer Clean

It might seem ironic, but the appliance responsible for cleaning can also be a source of foul odours! 

Washing machines can harbour mould, mildew and residues that transfer funky smells to clothes. 

To prevent this, run an occasional hot wash with vinegar to sanitise the machine. Don’t forget to wipe down the drum and door gaskets regularly too. 

cleaning washing machine exterior

The same goes for the dryer – clean the lint trap and give the interior a periodic wipe-down to prevent musty odours!

Dry In The Sun When Possible

Sunlight has natural antibacterial properties, so drying clothes outdoors helps freshen and sanitise them. 

Whenever possible, dry your clothes outside. Not only does the sun help brighten whites and kill lingering bacteria, but the breeze also imparts a natural, fresh scent that indoor drying just can’t match. 

If outdoor drying isn’t an option, ensure your indoor drying area is well-ventilated to avoid a buildup of damp odours.

BONUS TIP: How You Store Clothes Matters!

Storing clothes that are even slightly damp is a recipe for mustiness. 

Always ensure your clothes are completely dry before putting them away. Doing so will protect them against mould and mildew growth, which not only smells bad, but can also damage the fabric.

Keep your wardrobe smelling sweet with a few clever hacks. Placing a container of bicarbonate of soda within your closet can absorb unpleasant odours, maintaining a fresher environment for your garments. 

For a hint of scent, consider adding a sachet of dried lavender or a lightly scented soap wrapped in fabric, which can gently perfume your clothes over time!

So, there you have it – no more excuses for smelly clothes! Follow these tips and don’t be surprised when the compliments come due to how lovely you smell. 

What are your tried-and-true laundry freshening hacks? Share your stories in the comments below – the more tips, the merrier! 

SEE ALSO: Tumble Dryer Smells? (how to keep it fresh)

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