How to Wash Smelly Clothes

Busy Mums frequently have to deal with smelly laundry – especially if they live in a hot country like we do, or if they have young children who wear cloth diapers. Even if you’re a laundry pro and you think you know how to remove a musty smell from clothes, you might be surprised to discover these extra helpful tips for getting clothes smelling fresh first time.

Wash smelly clothes as soon as possible

If your clothes smell nasty, it is likely bacteria have been at work. The longer you leave your clothes before you clean them, the more time bacteria have to breed and grow. Washing dirty clothes or linen as soon as possible will also reduce the likelihood of stains or unpleasant odours setting into the fibres of the fabric.  

Use the right detergent and the right dose

Using detergents like Surf excel Matic is a good way to wash smelly clothes, or clothes with tough stains like sweat, blood or poo. Follow the instructions on the label to make sure you add the right amount of detergent. Smelly clothes should be treated as if ‘heavily soiled’.  

Don’t overload the machine

If you want to get sweat smell out of clothes first time, you’ll need make sure your garments have enough space to move around in the wash. If you overload your machine, not only will removing sweat smell from clothes become more difficult, but you may risk damaging your garments and even your machine.  

Use a fabric softener

It’s a useful to have some fabric conditioner in your store cupboard just in case you’ve still got smelly clothes after washing them. Sometimes clothes need a freshness boost even if they come out of the washing machine looking clean. This is where fabric conditioner can be especially useful: wash the clothes again and the fabric conditioner will help to loosen up fibers that may trap nasty odour-producing bacteria inside. Your clothes will come out of the wash smelling fresher and will be softer against your skin.  

Clean your washing machine regularly

If you frequently launder smelly clothes, washing machine maintenance will become very important. Why? Because bacteria, dirt, grease, and other odour-producing matter trapped inside your machine will prevent it from working properly. One of our top tips for how to remove sweat smell from clothes is to run your fully automatic machine empty on its hottest cycle once a month to clean out any residue or build-up that it might otherwise transfer back to your clothes.  

Remove wet clothes from the machine as soon as the wash has finished.

Damp clothes that have sat in one place for a long time will have a musty unpleasant smell. This is because they’ve already begun to become a haven for mould and bacteria. It’s not hard to learn how to get a musty smell out of clothes – just wash them again, or hang them dry as soon as they come out of the machine!  

Tips for Washing Smelly Clothes

Here are some great tips for how to wash smelly clothes or remove a musty or sweaty smell from garments:

Tip: Soak them in fresh water for about half an hour before washing them in washing machine.

Tip: Do not leave water in drum after washing as it may attract bacteria and start smelling.

Tip: Always dry your machine after use to avoid growth of bacteria, which can make your machine as well as garments smelly.