Sick Of Smelly Washing? 19 Ways To Banish That Musty Stench From Drying Clothes

These tips will *finally* rid your clothes of that lingering damp smell.
Your laundry will be smelling like professional dry cleaning every day.
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Your laundry will be smelling like professional dry cleaning every day.

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Can you not escape that damp smell on your laundry? Whether the odour hits you as you’re taking your clothes off the airer or as you’re just about to step out of the door, it can be an inconvenient hassle attempting to disguise that undeniably musty smell.

Tried everything you can think of? There are many reasons why your washing might have that funky lingering scent, from not cleaning your washing machine regularly to cooler wash cycles enhancing the odour.

But there’s no need to try and mask it with deodorant or perfume anymore because we’ve got some top tips that will have you saying bye-bye to smelly washing and hello to fresh laundry.

Struggling to beat the build-up of stubborn smells? Invest in an odour remover
This Dr Beckmann Odour Remover works to eliminate those lingering bad smells from your laundry with its triple action technology. It’s even suitable for low temperature washes and works with all detergents.
Store your dirty washing in a breathable laundry bag
Stop the build-up of bacteria by storing your dirty laundry in a breathable laundry bag, like this mesh drawstring option. Whether you’re using it to carry washing or to keep it neatly organised whilst in the machine, this lightweight bag is a great choice.
Only use the correct amount of detergent and fabric softener as any excess product won’t be absorbed
Make sure to follow the instructions on the back of your washing machine products and only put the correct amount into your washing machine’s drawer, as any extra won’t be absorbed and will leave a musty-smelling residue. This highly concentrated Lenor fabric softener will do the trick as it leaves laundry smelling fresh, as if it was dried it outside.
Soak your smelly washing in cold water and a cup of baking soda
Remove any musty smells by soaking your clothing in a bowl of cold water and baking soda, to help release trapped odours. This can be done as a prewash or as an addition to your washing machine cycle.
Get rid of already damp smelling clothes with white vinegar
Acting as a natural cleaning agent, white vinegar is not only a great fabric softener, but it also works as a disinfectant, neutralising and removing any bad odours. You can pre-soak your clothing for 30 minutes in a vinegar solution, add some into your wash cycle, or even pop it into a spritzing bottle for a quick fix.
Use a toothbrush to scrub away at smelly stains before washing
If you’re using white vinegar as a spot treatment for targeting smelly stains, use a toothbrush to scrub away any build-up of odours before soaking your clothes.
Use a scent booster in your wash for ultra-freshness and a perfumed fragrance
To achieve the ultimate fresh and fragrant laundry, use a scent booster, like the Lenor Unstoppables, directly in your washing machine’s drum. You can also adjust the intensity of the scent by choosing how many beads you want to use.
Use a heated airer to hang your clothes out to dry as soon as your washing cycle has finished
Avoid letting bacteria and stale smells develop by taking your washing out of the machine as soon as it’s finished its cycle. Allow your clothes to dry quicker by hanging on a low energy consuming heated airer, like this one which costs just 7p per hour to run. Holding up to 10kg of washing, its fold out wings even give you extra drying space.
Ensure a good airflow in your dryer with clever tumble dryer balls
These balls speed up the drying process by allowing faster airflow and in between your laundry, giving no time for damp smells to fester. Ensuring all fibres are gently fluffed and softened by effectively spreading the heat around, these balls can last for up to 1400 cycles.
Make sure your room is well-ventilated so the air can circulate when drying your clothes
If you haven’t got a good flow of air throughout your home, and you can’t bring yourself to leave your windows open in this weather, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier machine. This ultra-quiet and low energy consuming option removes water from the air and collects it in its water tank, making a perfect environment for drying clothes.
Or this compact device does the same trick at a smaller cost
Controlling the moisture in the air and neutralising bad odours, this non-electric dehumidifier offers up to 90 days of freshness with its absorbing crystal technology and wave-shape enhancing circulation design.
Give your clothes a quick spritz with a fabric freshening spray
This HG Odour Eliminator easily and quickly removes any unpleasant smells, without damaging your delicate fabrics. Working in just 20 minutes, this is a staple for a last minute fragrant refresh before you step out of the door.
Use a clothes steamer to release bad odours
Not only is the heated steam process great for getting the creases out of your clothing, but it also helps relax and loosen the fibres in the fabric, subsequently releasing the bacteria and germs causing bad odours.
Use scented wardrobe dehumidifiers to control damp
These handy handing dehumidifier bags are a great way to improve the air quality and remove damp from your wardrobe, with three scents of lavender, fresh linen, and rose. The crystals help capture moisture from the surroundings, making it perfect for small storage spaces with little air movement.
Throw a tumble dryer sheet into your drying drum for an infused scent
Keep your laundry fresh, even after the dryer, by popping a spring-infused scented dry sheet into your cycle. You can even keep a sheet within your clean clothes to keep them smelling fresh too.
Hang your clothes outside to dry with a clothes line (weather permitting of course)
Hanging your clothes outside can help speed up the drying process, whilst the UV light from the sun works to kill bacteria, making your washing smell fresh and cupboard dry. This four arm rotating clothes airer has 40 metres of drying space and can hold up to 30kg of washing, perfect for drying laundry naturally.
Make sure to regularly keep your washing machine pristine by running an empty wash with an effective cleaner
Protecting your washing machine against bacteria, bad odours, stubborn limescale, and hidden dirt, this cleaner provides two months of lasting freshness and helps improve the overall functioning of your machine. Just pop 250ml into your detergent drawer and run an empty wash at 60°C.
Effortlessly eliminate smelly washing with a washing machine cleaning powder
This 6-in-1 cleaning formula prevents blockages by removing bacteria and dissolving hair from your washing machine. Diminishing limescale build up, helping dirt and detergent to rinse away easily, this sachet will leave you with cleaner and fresher-smelling laundry with each wash.
Keep your dryer free of dust and lint with a vent cleaning kit
Clean your dryer’s lint trap regularly, before running a drying cycle, to prevent the build up from getting damp and causing bad smells. This cleaning extension hose easily attaches to your vacuum and removes lint that has accumulated over the years, making your dryer run more efficiently.