Method to banish damp clothing smells with vinegar

Lynsey Queen of Clean shares her laundry tip

When you’ve taken the time and effort to get clothes smelling fresh and feeling clean, the last thing you want is for them to smell musty. The damp smell is often caused because some moisture has remained after drying and they will continue to smell damp until they are washed again. However, even then they may still smell musty, so it is important to take steps as soon as possible to avoid the smell.

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The smell will be especially noticeable if they are placed into a wardrobe with doors, as it traps the scent.

According to Persil experts, getting rid of damp smells on clothes is “simple”. Firstly, wash the clothing with one or two detergent capsules or a scoop of powder.

It is ideal to purchase pods which state they help to target odours. Persil explained: “Along with the capsules, add one cup of white vinegar per load of laundry to your washing machine drum.

“Vinegar is a disinfectant that helps to remove smells.” Alternatively, you can add some fabric softener, but it must be an “intense” version to help target smells and add a beautiful fragrance to clothing.”

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If you’ve noticed signs of mould in the fabric, it is best to tackle this as soon as possible. To remove mould from clothes, Persil experts recommended washing clothes at a higher temperature to kill off the spores.

If it is a nice day, clothes should be dried outside to give them a much-needed airing. Although this is slightly trickier during the winter months, laundry will still dry if it is a nice day.

To prevent damp smells from occurring again, Persil said to always wash wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible. This is also a great way to prevent a build-up of sweat stains.

It is always important to hang the clean washing out to dry, or put it in the tumble dryer, as soon as the washing machine has finished.

Leaving damp clothes sitting in the machine can cause musty smells as it is an enclosed space.

Lastly, make sure clothing is completely dry before putting it in a drawer or wardrobe so the moisture doesn’t become trapped within the fabric.

Dehumidifying pouches can also be purchased and placed in drawers and wardrobes to help suck in any extra moisture.

The washing experts added: “If you’ve got a smelly washing machine, select a hot water wash and run it without any clothing to give it a much-needed refresh.

“It’s also a good idea to keep your washing machine door open or ajar when it is not in use to prevent dampness.”

Nicky Ellis, a cleaning expert at Clean House Fast, noted: “Drying them doesn’t completely get rid of the smell.

“The same applies if you leave wet clothes in the tumble dryer and you’ve not turned it on. The dampness and the enclosed space are a recipe for a mouldy smell.

“Whether you are using a clotheshorse or a heated airer, it is important that the room has good ventilation. If there is too much moisture in the air, it gives your clothes a musty smell.”

If the room isn’t ventilated, the moisture will become trapped and could turn into damp or mould, which may cause health issues for residents.

It is also a good idea to make sure the washing machine doesn’t smell as one reason clothes could smell musty is because the appliance needs a good clean.

To clean the machine, simply pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent drawer, and run the machine through the hottest cycle.

Once complete, add half a cup of baking soda directly to the drum and run the hottest cycle again. It is also essential to make sure the filter is cleaned as well as the seal around the drum, which is a hotspot for bacteria.

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