How to Banish Mildew Smells in Clothes

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You likely have lots of clothes in your house that are constantly cycling through your house cleaning to do list: wash, dry, fold. Unfortunately, the truth about fabric is that it gets wet easily and holds onto moisture.

For clothes that are frequently wet, like towels, mildew can be a problem. If you notice your towels are smelling musty or just not clean, there’s a quick way to target that smell and make your clothes more fresh.

Vinegar, Laundry Detergent, & Time

These three things will get your towels smelling fresh, clean, and mildew free without much effort. Here’s how:

  1. Wash towels on hot with a cup of vinegar. When you wash the towels, don’t use detergent or fabric softener—just the vinegar. This way, it can break down the mildew causing the smells without interference.
  2. Wash the towels on hot again, this time with laundry detergent. Do this just as your normally do, but without fabric softener as fabric softener can leave residue on the clothes, locking in mildew. Keep the water hot to kill germs and odors.
  3. Dry on the hottest setting. You’ll want to leave them in the dryer as long as it takes to get completely dry (or hang them outside). You don’t want any moisture left in the towels when you put them away.

This method works for other clothes, too—kids' t-shirts got too wet outside and smell musty? Clothes accidentally got left in the washing machine too long? This will do the trick every time—vinegar kills the mildew which eliminates the smell! 

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