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How do you get mildew smell out of clothing?

I usually line dry my jeans but lately they have been coming out of the wash smelling like mildew. How do I get rid of that smell? Or are the jeans ruined? I am using one of those high-efficiency washers which could be part of the problem.

Answer Question

Asked by meganpmom at 10:06 AM on Jun. 17, 2009 in Home & Garden

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Add one cup vinegar to your wash water. I use it all the time to remove urine or mildew smells. Sometimes I'll have to wash something twice if it's really bad, but the vinegar seems to work wonders. Doesn't matter if you use white or apple cider vinegar.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:32 AM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • HE washers are more likely to get mildewy inside, then they make everything smelly. To clean the washer, run an empty wash cycle on Hot with detergent and chlorine bleach. Also, keep the door and detergent basket open when the washer isn't in use.

    Oh, for the jeans, michiganmom116 is right--use a cup of vinegar--it loosens the bonds between the mildew and the clothing fibers.

    Answer by SWasson at 11:06 AM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Good advice from the two posters above......vinegar does work great!

    Answer by Mystik-Skye at 1:24 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Make sure you are using laundry soap for the HE washers or the clothes won't come clean. Run the washers through a cycle with no laundry and some bleach or vinegar.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 6:23 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Yep, the one cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle will take care of it.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 4:35 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • I tried the vinegar advice and was amazed at how well it worked. Thanks, everyone!

    Answer by meganpmom at 1:05 PM on Aug. 27, 2009

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