How to Naturally Remove Bad Odors from Clothes

Do your clothes smell damp or musty? These easy homemade remedies can help! Besides getting rid of all kinds of bad smells and stains from your clothes, these natural solutions can also help soften them.
How to Naturally Remove Bad Odors from Clothes

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Whether it’s because of sweat or being left in storage for too long, clothes tend to acquire unpleasant smells that can be hard to get rid of just by washing them normally.

Mold in your closet, exposure to strong-smelling environments, and even just regular bodily odors make you (and others!) wrinkle your nose.

These factors also keep your clothes from looking their best.

As you may already know, the quickest way to remove bad odors from clothes is using scented sprays and other chemical products that penetrate the different layers.

However, these options can be harmful. And not just to the environment, but to your health.

Best Ways to Naturally Remove Bad Odors from Clothes

The good news is that there are different homemade methods made with natural ingredients that can help neutralize odors without harming the fabric.

Today, we’d like to take the opportunity to share six easy, environmentally-friendly tricks that will help you without compromising your health.

1. White Vinegar

Woman pouring vinegar into a cup

White vinegar has a multitude of uses when it comes to home care and is even a great option for laundry.

First of all, it has acidic compounds that help deodorize bad smells and eliminate dirt and food stains. Some people actually consider it a good alternative to fabric softeners, too, since it leaves fabrics feeling nice and soft.

How to Use It

  • Pour half a cup of white vinegar in the washing machine, just as you would do with fabric softener.
  • For very strong odors, add the vinegar to the wash water and let the clothes soak for 20 minutes.

2. Cold Air

Just like in the refrigerator, cold air is a good way to fight the moldy smell that can attack your clothes.

How to Use It

  • First, get an airtight bag and put the clothes inside. Then place the bag in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Finally, remove, rinse, and let air dry.

Believe it or not, they’ll come out without that musty smell!

3. Baking Soda

Jar of baking soda and tablespoon on a table

Baking soda is one of the most widely used natural ingredients for cleaning. Because it’s so absorbent, it helps eliminate the substances that are causing the unpleasant odors and stains.

When applied directly to clothes, it removes sweat stains and has a whitening effect, leaving clothes looking impeccable.

In addition, it brightens colored clothes and is good for use on delicate fabrics.

How to Use It

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the items of clothing that you want to clean, let sit for 20 minutes, and remove with a brush.
  • Optionally, put a bit of baking soda in your drawers or closet to absorb moldy smells.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is highly valued for its antibacterial and anti-fungal powers that, along with improving your health, help you clean all your house all over.

As for taking care of your clothes, tea tree oil is used as an odor neutralizer, since its light fragrance gets rid of smells caused by dampness.

How to Use It

  • First, put a little bit of tea tree oil in a spray bottle with some water and apply it to your clothes.
  • Wait an hour for the essential oil to do its job.
  • Finally, check whether the bad odor is gone. If not, let your clothes sit for a little longer.

5. Lemon Juice

How to Use Lemon Juice to Remove Bad Odors from Clothes

In addition, freshly-squeezed lemon juice is a natural ingredient that can work to eliminate sweat stains and odors.

Its citric acid easily penetrates fabric and removes the substances at the root of these bothersome smells.

How to Use It

  • First, dilute the lemon juice in two liters of water and soak your clothes for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Then, rinse them as usual and air dry.

6. Orange Peel

Orange peel gives off a citrus smell that can help neutralize unpleasant smells caused by sweat, mold, and spilled food.

It’s easy on your clothes, leaves them feeling soft and helps get rid of dirt and stains.

How to Use It

  • First, put a few orange peels in a pot with two liters of water.
  • Once it reaches a full boil, let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Then, put your clothes in the water to soak.
  • After two to three hours, rinse and let your clothes dry in the sun.

As you can see, there’s no need to waste money on chemical products to rid your clothes of bad smells. Pick one of these natural ingredients and say goodbye to bad odors!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.