The smell of fresh laundry is one of life’s simple joys. So it can be a real annoyance when musty smells latch onto clothing, towels, and other soft fabrics.
Mildew, a type of mold, is often the cause of musty smells on towels and clothing. Mold and mildew are living organisms (specifically, they are types of fungi), that can feed on fabrics and other organic materials in your home. Mildew is known for its gray or white appearance, powdery texture, and flat growth along surfaces.
But these microorganisms aren’t just smelly. Mold and mildew can damage fabrics over time. Even worse, breathing mold spores on musty clothing can be hazardous to your health.
A musty smell on fabrics is typically the result of stinky mildew byproducts, including spores and other microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOC). As mold grows on your fabrics, it releases these organic compounds into the air, resulting in the tangy, earthy aroma we recognize as musty smell.
Mold and mildew love damp, dark areas to grow. That makes moist clothing left in any dark area, like a clothes hamper or poorly ventilated closet, an ideal breeding ground for the microscopic invaders.
In this video, Dave shows how to use OdoBan for laundry. OdoBan is a mildewstat that helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
To get rid of stubborn musty smells on clothes, you’ll need to remove the mildew living on your fabric’s surface. Typically, washing your towels and clothing can remove lingering mold particles.
Before washing, check your washing machine for musty odors caused by mold. Thoroughly clean the exterior rubber gaskets with OdoBan. If washing machine odors persist, a full machine cleaning may be necessary.
Wash the musty clothes in your washing machine on an extended cycle with warm or hot water, depending on the color and type of fabric. Use your normal laundry detergent, but don’t overdo it. Adding too much detergent may contribute to excess residue on fabrics, trapping in odors. Avoid using fabric softeners. Add one cup of OdoBan concentrate to the fabric softener dispenser, or during the final rinse cycle.
Promptly transfer the washed load to the dryer and dry immediately. Alternatively, outdoor line-drying on a sunny day can also be beneficial. Either way, do not allow damp clothing to sit. After drying, the musty smell should be gone.
If you’ve taken preventative steps but musty odors persist over time, this may be due to a larger mold infestation in your home. Mold reproduces through microscopic spores, which float in the air before settling and colonizing new surfaces. Treating the mold in your home, particularly in notoriously mold-prone areas like bathrooms and closets, is essential to preventing a continuous musty smell.
If musty laundry odors persist, cleaning your washing machine may be necessary. In this video, Dave and Val share how to clean smelly deposits out of your washer.
Swimsuits can quickly sour and smell strongly of mildew. Here’s how to help prevent strong odors on swimsuits after spending the day at the pool, lake, or beach.
After changing out of your swim trunk or bathing suit, spray it inside and out with OdoBan Ready-to-Use Spray. Next, spray down your beach towels. Store them away, preferably in a cool, dry place.
This will help control the growth of mildew and prevent a stinky swimsuit when you arrive home. Later, launder the swimsuit with regular detergent and OdoBan concentrate in your washing machine to freshen and deodorize.
Never leave a wet swimsuit or damp towels in your vehicle overnight, as this environment can promote rapid mold and mildew growth.
Listen to this as a podcast: OdoShow Podcast
Looking for OdoBan? Click here for a full list of OdoBan retailers.
Want more helpful OdoBan tips? Join our official email list below for the latest OdoBan updates and helpful cleaning guides.