Do you want to wash your favorite tracksuit or trying to get rid of the stale smell of old clothes? There are several easy and effective ways to help you deal with unwanted odors. Learn about the proper methods for storing, washing, and handling unpleasant odors, as well as some easy ways to neutralize odors so that your wardrobe will always smell clean and fresh.
Method 1 of 3: How to remove odors from washing
Step 1. Read the garment care information on the label on the inside
On it you will find rules for care, washing and drying methods. Read each tag carefully to prolong the life of your items and not damage them due to improper care.
If there is no label with instructions on your clothes, you should only wash such a thing in cold water, otherwise you can damage the fabric or it will simply "shrink". For vintage or expensive items, it is safer to use dry cleaning only
Step 2. Soak your clothes first
Pour warm water into a bucket or basin and dissolve 30 grams of washing powder in it, then immerse the clothes from which you want to remove the smell there. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Add juice from half a lemon to the water to remove sweat stains.
- Use only cold water if directed on the label.
Step 3. Rub areas with strong odors
Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub off odorless areas of clothing. On sportswear, this is the armpit area and collar.
This method works well if you wet your clothes first, but you don't have to. Wet the garment before cleaning if you want to skip the soak step
Step 4. Add 230 grams of baking soda to your laundry detergent
Baking soda is often used as a deodorant and helps eliminate unpleasant odors. If you are using dry powder detergent, add the baking soda along with it to the detergent dispenser drawer. If it is liquid, add baking soda when the powder intake begins (that is, the tray begins to fill with water).
Step 5. Use oxygenated bleach
Unlike chlorine bleach, it does not change the color of fabrics and effectively neutralizes odors. It is also environmentally friendly and not as aggressive as it does not destroy the fabric structure. Use it along with your regular laundry detergent.
Although oxygenated bleach is considered safe for colored fabrics, it should not be used if the care label says Do Not Bleach
Step 6. Try washing powder with borax
Borax has proven to be effective in removing odors, stubborn dirt and even softening water. Many manufacturers of branded household goods offer borax-containing laundry detergents for sale, which eliminates the problem of dosing and adding it separately to the powder. Substitute it with your regular laundry detergent and add oxygenated bleach or baking soda to strong-smelling clothes.
If you can't find a borax powder, just dissolve 110 grams of borax powder in hot water and add along with your regular laundry detergent. Wait for the tray to fill with water before adding the borax solution
Step 7. Add 240 milliliters of white vinegar while rinsing
Vinegar is an affordable natural remedy for eliminating unpleasant odors. The vinegar will not diminish the effectiveness of the detergent and will neutralize the odor during the rinse. Add 240 milliliters of vinegar if you are dealing with particularly strong odors.
For odors that are heavily eaten, add baking soda as well
Method 2 of 3: How to remove odors without washing clothes
Step 1. Try to ventilate your old clothes
If you've recently bought items from a thrift store or thrift store, or if your clothes have hung in your closet for a long time, hang them up in a well-ventilated area. Leave it on for the whole day, and if possible for a longer period.
Clothes will ventilate faster if you hang them in the fresh air. Check the weather forecast and do not leave things overnight, otherwise the clothes may get wet or moisture, which will not have the best effect on their condition
Step 2. Spray musty-smelling clothes with vodka
Fill a small spray bottle with undiluted vodka and spray thoroughly on stale clothing to neutralize odors, then leave to air for several hours. This method is especially effective for old clothes or items with decorative items that are difficult to wash.
Step 3. Use kitty litter to get rid of unpleasant odors
As weird as it sounds, it really helps. Cat litter contains activated carbon, which is designed to absorb unwanted odors. Place the garment in a bag or basin and fill only half of the filler. Leave on for 24 hours to 1 week. At the end of the procedure, you can shake off all the filler without much difficulty.
Step 4. Use vinegar spray
Hang the clothes up and sprinkle with undiluted white vinegar. The acid will remove unpleasant odors from your clothes without leaving the vinegar odor. Let the garments dry completely before putting them on.
This method is great as a quick wash when you need to freshen up your clothes between washes
Step 5. Freeze clothes to kill bacteria that cause odor
Place items in an airtight plastic bag and leave in the freezer for 2–3 hours to kill odor-causing organisms. Once the clothes are thawed, the smell will be fresh and clean. Step 6. Take your items to a professional dry cleaner.
This method requires a few large financial investments compared to home procedures, but it is worth it, as it allows you to definitely get rid of unpleasant odors, especially if the item is expensive or needs delicate care.
Step 7. Buy a dry cleaning kit at home
If you have items that are not designed to be machine washed, consider purchasing a home dry cleaning kit. If funds permit, you may consider purchasing a standalone home dry cleaner from Whirlpool.
Method 3 of 3: How to prevent odor build-up
Step 1. Store dirty laundry in a breathable bag or laundry basket
Leaving dirty clothes in a gym bag or basket with no air can lead to bacterial growth and odors that can be difficult to remove. Immediately place the dirty laundry in a breathable container such as a net.
Step 2. Turn the garment inside out before washing
Sebum and sweat builds up on the inside of items, so it's a good idea to turn them inside out before putting them in the washing machine. This is especially true in cases of work clothes or items in which you sweat profusely.
Step 3. Check the washing machine for odor from washing powder
Detergents on their own create an unpleasant odor when they accumulate and leave a sour or mildew smell on the laundry. Just smell an empty washing machine or run a wash cycle without powder and watch for suds forming (indicating a buildup of powder).
- Detergent build-up can be eliminated by running a high temperature wash cycle with 450 grams of bleach (no laundry).
- Leave the door of the washing machine open for ventilation between washes.
Step 4. Do not overload the washing machine
It is necessary to fill it no more than ¾ of the declared capacity. Otherwise, grease, bacteria and other substances that cause unwanted odors will not be washed off the clothes and will only accumulate over time.
Step 5. Use the recommended amount of detergent
Follow the directions on the detergent label and do not add more than indicated. Detergents increase the viscosity of the water, making it difficult for the water to penetrate the fabric and remove dirt and odors.
Step 6. Do not use liquid fabric softener
Otherwise, the smell will become persistent, and the sebum will dig even deeper into the tissue. If you cannot completely stop using fabric softener, do not use it on items that have a lot of heavy odors, such as sportswear. Use fragrances instead of liquid fabric softener. It is more likely that there will be no unpleasant smell after them.
Step 7. Check the smell of clothes before drying
If you put clothes with a smell in the dryer, then all the smells will mix together in the literal sense of the word. Check for odors before sending the garment to the dryer and, if still present, wash the garment again.