Exposure to certain elements, chemicals, and smoke make clothes smell musty or soiled even after being washed. Knowing how to remove odor from clothes without washing them becomes essential in these cases, as repeated washing may damage the threads in the shirt without eliminating the real source of the problem.
Whether you’re trying to get one more use out of your gym clothes or attempting to hide a phantom smell of unknown origins, having smelly clothes doesn’t always mean the clothes are dirty. There are many strategies available to deodorize clothes without washing them, along with both natural and store-bought ingredients to make the process easier.
While some tactics take longer than others, it’s critical to use a plan of attack that focuses on the underlying cause of the smell. However, some of the more tried and true methods of deodorizing, like baking soda and lemon juice, work for almost any circumstance. If you’re ready to discover the best resources for how to get smells out of clothes without washing, continue reading.
- Fantastic Tips to Make Clothes Smell Heavenly without Washing
- Let Clothes Air Out
- Deodorize Clothing using Baking Soda
- How to Get Smells Out of Clothes without Washing
- Spray Clothes with Vinegar to Remove Smells
- Remove Oil Odors with Soda
- Get Cigarette Smoke Out of Clothes
- Freshen Clothes using Coffee Grounds
- Use Charcoal to Eliminate Bad Smells
- How to Remove Odor from Clothes without Washing
- Absorb Smells with Newspaper
- Use Vodka to Clean Clothes without Washing
- Removing Chemical Odor from New Clothes
- Use Wool Balls to Freshen Clothes
- Make Homemade Dryer Sheets
- Deodorize Clothes without Washing
- Create Your Own Lavender Linen Spray
Fantastic Tips to Make Clothes Smell Heavenly without Washing
Whether you’re looking for a natural solution or whatever is easiest when washing clothes without washer or just eliminating unpleasant smells, there are plenty of ideas here to suit all your requirements.
It’s better to have a few different plans in mind in advance and to try them out until you find the one you like the most. Your clothes will be fresh again before you know it.
Let Clothes Air Out
One of the simplest ways to eliminate odors in clothes without using a washing machine is to let them air dry outside. Sunlight is one of the ideal ways to combat musty smell and other odors caused by mildew. Letting them blow in a light breeze also promotes the natural flow of air through the fabric.
One easy way to complete this step is to set the garment out on a clothesline on a bright, sunny day. Let the item sit outside in the fresh air for at least an hour, or more if time permits. Otherwise, draping the clothing over a railing outside in the sun is also a great way to let it receive enough sunlight to reduce the nasty smell.
Deodorize Clothing using Baking Soda
Sometimes, you’re in a hurry, and you have to make do with whatever clothing you have available. If your clothes just need a quick freshening up, one great way to deodorize them is by creating a baking soda paste.
To get diesel fuel smell out of clothes or to eliminate fryer grease odors on your favorite shirt, mix baking soda with water until it forms a thick paste. You may need to play with the amounts until you find a consistency that works for you.
Add the combination to the smelliest parts of the clothing, such as the armpits or underarm areas. Leave the paste on the clothing to dry, then flake away with a stiff brush to get rid of any remaining residue.
Alternatively, mix a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with water and put in a spray bottle. Spritz the clothing with the solution and let it sit for 15 minutes or more. Brush off residue or put the garment in the dryer with a damp cloth for a few minutes.
How to Get Smells Out of Clothes without Washing
We all know steam works wonders when it comes to removing wrinkles from clothing. You may not know that it also acts as an excellent odor remover. This technique is especially helpful in items that are labeled as “dry clean only” and cannot be thrown in the typical wash cycle.
There are two ways to execute this method besides dry cleaning the items. The first is by using a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment on the armpit areas of the clothing.
Otherwise, hang up your clothes in the bathroom and run the shower on the highest hot water setting. Let the bathtub fill about halfway, then leave the item inside with the door closed until the steam dissipates.
Spray Clothes with Vinegar to Remove Smells
Another popular cleaning agent for disinfecting items and reducing odors is white vinegar. This cleanser is especially helpful when it comes to freshening up slightly dirty clothes without using laundry detergent. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a small spray bottle, then coat the garment.
The clothing item smells like vinegar for a brief amount of time. However, as the vinegar smell dissipates, it also takes with it the other foul odors. When combined with other key ingredients like lemon juice and Borax, this mixture also creates a wonderful bleach with which to wash clothes.
Remove Oil Odors with Soda
Another surprising substance that causes musty smells on clothing is oil or grease. A small stain doesn’t mean the whole shirt needs to be tossed in the wash, even if it is responsible for its stale odor. Instead, one of the easiest ways to get oil smell out of clothes is to use Coca-Cola.
The acidity of the soda breaks down oil and grease particles and gently lifts away from the odors. Because this recipe calls for something you drink, it’s safe to use on skin and around pets. This tactic works exceptionally well for spot treatments.
Get Cigarette Smoke Out of Clothes
A substance that works just as hard as vinegar to disinfect and reduce bad smells is lemon juice. The plus side to using this ingredient over vinegar is that it also leaves behind a pleasant scent without waiting for the vinegary odor to dissipate.
Use this method in a similar way to the baking soda tactic. Blend the lemon juice and salt into a paste, then slather it over the musty areas.
Let the paste soak into the material for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft cloth or old toothbrush to really work down into the fibers. Once finished, rinse the area with a damp cloth, then dry.
Freshen Clothes using Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are another exceptional example of everyday household items that absorb and eliminate odors within hours. While not as cost-effective as baking soda, they certainly do the trick in a pinch.
For this technique, place unused, dry coffee grounds inside a bowl. Fold the shirt or clothing item and place it over top of the coffee. Ensure the fine grains of coffee are not touching the shirt as they may cause a stain. Leave them overnight to absorb the odors.
Use Charcoal to Eliminate Bad Smells
Charcoal is a standard product introduced as a deodorizer in homes, especially in larger areas like basements and cellars. Similar to the coffee ground method, charcoal absorbs foul odors without adding any sweet fragrances to the clothing item.
Place a few briquettes into a paper bag, then fold the laundry item over top of it. Leave it on top of the paper bag overnight, and enjoy its crisp, clean freshness in the morning.
How to Remove Odor from Clothes without Washing
One type of clothing that sees a ton of unnecessary washes is workout clothing. Our gym clothes grace our bodies for only a few short hours a day before being tossed immediately into a load of dirty laundry.
Many of us don’t even run the washer full when we clean our gym clothes, since letting the sweat accumulate for too long causes mildew. The best course of action for removing mildew odor from clothes is to place them in the freezer.
While this may sound odd, rolling them up tightly and placing them in a plastic bag freshens clothing without exposing them to unnecessary damage. Leaving these outfits in frigid temperatures overnight kills the bacteria left behind by sweat and allows you to wear them one more time before washing.
Absorb Smells with Newspaper
A strange but successful way to make clothes smell good again is to use newspapers. The material absorbs moisture trapped in the smelliest areas of the clothing, usually caused by sweat or oils.
Shoving balled up pieces of newspaper in these areas overnight soaks up the moisture along with the odors. If you can’t leave it to sit overnight, at least let it sit for several hours. This same method applies to wet shoes that require both drying and absorbing musty smells from excess moisture.
Use Vodka to Clean Clothes without Washing
If cleaning your clothes with traditional laundry products isn’t an option, then try spraying it with diluted alcohol. The alcohol eats away at odor-causing bacteria to remove the unwanted smells, leaving a fresh scent in its place.
Start by adding a little water to a spray bottle of vodka. Lightly spritz the surface of the shirt, inside and out, then let it air dry. The alcohol smell fades once dry, along with any musty smells lingering on the shirt.
Removing Chemical Odor from New Clothes
While there are plenty of DIY deodorant recipes out there, buying a store-bought product to assist with your fragrant journey is also an option. An air freshener like Febreeze makes products for fabrics of all kinds, including clothing.
Some consumers do have a skin sensitivity to the chemical components, however, so it is always essential to test it out ahead of time. Using this spray is a great way to reduce chemical odors since it absorbs all types of difficult smells. Spritz the garment in question, then let it dry before wearing it.
Use Wool Balls to Freshen Clothes
One method to freshen the scent of clothes is to use wool balls in the dryer. These are natural, reusable fabric softeners that work wonders at restoring the clean scent in clothing.
They last up to 1,000 loads, creating much less waste than regular dryer sheets. Using these does not require any washing at all. Simply toss them into your dryer with the clothing and run it on a non-heat setting for approximately ten minutes.
Adding a couple of drops of essential oils increases the fragrance, though wait 20 minutes for the oils to soak into the wool entirely before tossing in the dryer.
Make Homemade Dryer Sheets
If the idea of reusable dryer sheets appeals to you, another option is to make your own fabric softener out of old clothes. Using a homemade recipe for liquid fabric softener to soak the rags in, this is a simple way to upcycle used clothes while also saving money on dryer sheets.
Start by shaking the ingredients in a large glass jar until evenly blended. Cut the clothes into 5 x 8 rectangles and let them soak in the fabric softener formula.
Wring out any excess moisture, then toss the homemade sheet into the dryer with the article of clothing. Let it dry on low heat for approximately ten minutes.
Deodorize Clothes without Washing
If you don’t want to use a store-bought deodorizing spray like Febreze, making your own essential oil linen spray is also a possibility.
There are many different combinations to use, especially when it comes to mixing and matching some of your favorite essential oils. Feel free to trade out some of the suggestions below for your preferred scents.
Mix the items listed above in a small spray bottle. Spritz the surface of the garment needing attention, especially areas of the outfit where bad smells collect most. Toss the shirt into the dryer and let it run on low heat for approximately ten minutes.
Create Your Own Lavender Linen Spray
For a variation on the linen spray above, this recipe also works as a powerful aerating formula. Instead of using ingredients like witch hazel or vodka, which you may not have around, add rubbing alcohol as a substitute.
Blend the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and spray the clothing as needed. If you aren’t entirely sure where the source of the stench is coming from on the garment, then spray all of it to be sure.
Let the clothing either air dry or toss it in the clothes dryer for a few minutes. This recipe also works on other linen in the house, such as upholstery on furniture, carpets, and more.
We hope these tips for how to deodorize clothes without washing them provided you with all the help you need to keep you and your garments smelling their best. The most significant thing to remember is it may take multiple tries and a little extra effort before the clothes smell fresh and clean again.
So, don’t give up after the first try. Choose a few of your favorite methods to test out until you uncover the one you like the best.
If these steps for eliminating foul smells from clothes proved useful, then please remember to share how to remove odor from clothes without washing with all your friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest.