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9 Quick Tips to get Mildew Smell out of Clothes

Clothes Hanging. Photo by Marco Secchi on Unsplash.

Got mildew smell on clothes?

Your clothes like your home can get full of fungi or bacteria when there’s humidity on them for too long. And then, they may get a funky smell. The worst part is that odors may remain even after washing your clothes. Have you noticed? Maybe it happens to your running shoes, or perhaps your yoga pants. The truth is you're not alone and we’re here to help you out.

If you exercise or practice sports, or love to hang out during hot summer days, you’re probably used to seeing lots of sweat around. In my case, I’ve been around dance studios throughout my life and sweat is just part of the whole routine. It shows up in the dancing room and can sometimes travel all the way back home.

Ballet dancer. Photo by Liel Anapolsky on Unsplash.

Running from one class to a rehearsal, to another class and then to your best friend’s birthday party (that began 3 hours before), sometimes doesn’t leave much time for cooling down, changing, or taking showers between activities.

Something similar may be true for you. You may need to rush to the grocery store after your workout, get together with some friends, pick up the kids somewhere, or cook dinner. So you keep your exercise clothes on for a while.

Or, you decide to take a shower and change your clothes after your workout, but leave your damp clothes inside your dark gym bag or locker. You may not know this, but that’s a cocktail that bacteria and fungi love: humidity + darkness. And it will create what we know as “musty smell” or “mildew smell”.

Locker Room Photo by Alanna Freeman on Unsplash

So we're going to need to make some changes if we want to get mildew smell out of clothes. And well, the bad smell isn’t all. Sweaty clothes can cause you some health issues too. 

Take care of your clothes, and they'll take care of you.   

Think of your exercise clothes as your friends. If you take care of them, they'll help you look better, smell better and feel better. It's time to give them some love.

Here are 9 quick tips to help them out: 

1. Don’t repeat. Your exercise clothes like being nice and clean. So, don’t "ask them out" if they’re sweaty. They’ll need to take a shower before going out. If they don't, smells will accumulate in their fibers and after a while you won't really stand them.
2. Use clothes designed for exercising. They’re not just any kind of clothes. They’re special and help sweat evaporate easily. So you’ll definitely feel more comfortable with them and they'll be helpful when it comes to preventing diseases. If you don’t have special ones, try to get some. But if it’s not easy right now, follow the rest of these quick tips.
Football player by Pixabay
3. Let them leave quickly. They like to be with you while exercising, but they’re like Cinderella. Before they leave, make sure to ask them for a slow dance (or, in other words, please make sure to cool down after exercise). And then, let them go. 
In an interaction with PopSugar, Dr. Mary Shau mentioned that, You really should change as soon as possible after sweating or else you are susceptible to irritant rashes, acne/folliculitis, and a bacterial or yeast infection."  
4. Take a shower. Your clothes will always thank you if you’re nice and clean. This will help you clean bacteria from your body and prevent certain infections or diseases. If you don’t have enough time for an immediate shower, wipe the sweat away with a damp towel and then dry it with another one.
5. Don’t leave them in the dark for too long. They’re are afraid of dark and damp spaces. If they’re inside your gym bag, don’t leave them there for too long. Help them out: they’ll be grateful. Another option is to put them inside a mesh bag. That will help them see some light and feel fresher.

Gym bag. Photo by Jens Mahnke from Pexels

6. Give them some air. When you arrive home, don’t throw them inside your dirty clothes’ bag when damp. Rinse them and set them out to dry first (if you don't have time for rinsing them at least allow them to dry). They love fresh air.
If you dry them outdoors your home will be grateful too. Remember that if you leave damp clothes inside, you’ll increase humidity levels in your home and this means more probabilities of mold and mildew growing in your space (there are various ways to reduce humidity in your home and this is one of them).
7. Not so many chemicals, please. Exercise clothes are more of the natural type when it comes to showering. They don’t like softener, so please don’t use it. And also don’t use soap in excess, as it tends to accumulate and will make the musty smell worse. You can for sure give them some vinegar baths. How?
Woman doing yoga. Photo by Pexels.
The Observer, gives us some tips on this:
  • Add 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a tub with water.
  • Put your exercise clothes in there for around 1 hour.
  • Wash them in the washing machine, adding 1 cup of white vinegar + 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
You can get more tips on how to clean mold in your home with vinegar and baking soda by clicking here
    8. Add some magic powder. Exercise shoes love a magic powder that you may have heard about: it's called baking soda. You can add some inside your running shoes during the night so that it absorbs any moisture left. It’s kind of magical.
    9. Help them perform better. Try to exercise in places with safe humidity levels (30% - 55%) so that sweat evaporates more easily. For this, it's very helpful to have a dehumidifier around. That’s a gift your clothes will love: you'll keep them happy and they’ll dry quicker. Man running outdoors Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
    These tips won't only help your clothes, but your health and your home too. So it's time to make some changes because we all deserve to live better. And a life well-lived it's what it's all about. 

    You may also want to read:

    10 Reasons why Humidity may be Affecting your Quality of Life

    9 Ways to Fight Humidity

    That Musty Smell: Love it or Hate it, Please Eliminate it

    How to Make the Most of your Summer Workout 

    How to Clean Mold with Vinegar and Baking Soda



    Testimonial Dehumidifier Removes Musty Smell

     Photo by: Amazon Customer

    TOSOT Dehumidifier

    "As new residents in a large metropolitan area with very high humidity all year round (especially summer), we have been looking for a solution to manage the humidity in our upstairs bedroom, and this dehumidifier pleasantly delivered! After using it for a few days, we have gotten into a daily habit of turning it on for a couple of hours in the evening to get the bedroom's humidity down to a more comfortable level to sleep in. Powerful yet relatively quiet, it collects about half bucket of water in about 2 hours in our house. If you decided to leave it on longer, it would shut itself down once the collection bucket is full. Overall, it is very easy to use and pretty much foolproof(...)" Amazon Customer

    "Works perfect. I was dumping water for 3 days. Took the moist smell our of the house in 48 hours. Super quiet." Gene

    "Just received this a few days ago but my basement is already dry & moldy smells almost gone. Love it so far." trishaearly


     Blog images by: Pexels and Unsplash


    Use information at your own risk:  The information presented is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical or home improvement advice. The information and suggestions should be discussed with a professional.  You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to rely upon or use it in any way. You use all information at your own risk. 

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