How to Make Your Clothes Smell Good
Do your clothes always smell musty and dirty, no matter how often you clean them? The problem could lie with how you wash or dry your clothes. This article will give you tips on how to wash and dry your clothes so that they don’t smell. It will also give you some tips on how you can store your clothes so that they smell nice and fresh.
- Wash your clothes often. The more you wear something, the more it smells. If you store smelly, dirty clothes, then you risk transferring that bad smell to your fresh clothes. While some items should only be worn once before getting tossed into the laundry, other items can be worn several times before they start to smell. Here is a guideline for how often you can wear something before washing it:
Items that should only be worn once before washing include: leggings, shirts, socks, swimsuits, tights, and underwear.
Items that can be worn three to four times before needing a wash include: dresses, jeans/pants, pajamas, shorts, and skirts.
You can wear a bra two to three times before it will need to be washed. Consider buying several bras, so that you never wear the same bra two times in a row.
You can wear a suit a few times before it will need to be dry cleaned. This depends on where you wear your suit. Suits worn to clean environments, such as offices, can last longer between cleaning. Suits worn to smelly environments, such as bars and areas where these is a lot of smoke, will need to be cleaned more often.
- Use the right amount of detergent. Don’t be tempted to use extra detergent to mask bad odors. Using too much detergent will result soap residue, which could lead to bad odors or skin allergies. Instead, read the directions on your laundry detergent. Most will tell you how much detergent you should use, based on the type of washing machine you have (normal or high-efficiency) and the size of your laundry load. Most laundry detergents will also include a measuring cup or have measuring lines inside the cap to help you determine how much detergent you should use.
- Consider using a scented laundry soap. Be sure to smell the laundry soap in the store first before you buy it to make sure that you like the smell. Most laundry detergent containers have a scratch-and-sniff patch on the label so that you don’t have to open the container.
- Add some essential oils and perfumes to the wash. You can make your laundry smell extra nice by adding 10-20 drops of essential oil or perfume into the washing machine during its final rinse cycle.
- Disinfect bad smells using ammonia, bleach, or vinegar. Use only one or the other. Do not use ammonia, bleach, or vinegar together, or you will create hazardous fumes. Bleach and ammonia kill any odor-causing bacteria. They won’t make your clothes smell like flowers, but they will take away bad smells. Here are some measurements:
If you are using ammonia, pour ½ cup (120 milliliters) to the laundry load.
If you are using bleach, pour ¼ cup (60 milliliters) into the wash water. Be sure that you are using diluted bleach. Never use full-strength bleach, or you will risk ruining the fabric.
If you are using vinegar, add ½ to 1 cup (120 to 240 milliliters) of white vinegar into the washing machine along with the detergent. Make sure that the detergent you are using does not contain bleach.
- Do not leave clothes in the washer too long. Take them out as soon as the cycle ends and either put them in the drier or hang them up to dry. Leaving wet clothes in the washer too long causes mildew to form; this is responsible for that musty odor.
- Maintain your washing machine. If you have a smelly washing machine, your clothes won’t smell nice, no matter how many times you wash them. Here are some ways you can keep your washing machine (and thus your laundry) smelling clean:
Disinfect your washing machine using bleach, a commercial washing machine cleaner, or vinegar. Start with an empty washing machine, and fill the detergent dispenser with some bleach, washing machine cleaner, or vinegar. Run a full cycle on the washing machine, but do not put any clothes in. If you used bleach, wash white clothes in the first laundry load.
Wipe down the inside of your washing machine. Mix 1 cup (240 milliliters) of bleach with 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water. Soak a washcloth in this mixture, and wipe down the inside of your dryer.
Leave the door open when you are not using it. Closing the door traps the moisture and allows mildew and odor-causing bacteria to grow.