Neutralize the Musty Odor in your clothing
The idea for this article came as I was trying to remove the moldy smell from my basement after a water back-up. I had to remove some of the clothing in my laundry room and I did not really notice how musty it smelt until the clothes had been sitting in my bedroom for half the day. After I took care of the basement, I decided to tackle the musty clothing. I threw my clothes in the wash thinking that would get rid of the smell, but it did not get rid of all of the odor. Earlier in the day I had used white vinegar to kill the mold and remove the smells in my basement, so I figured it might work just as well with my clothing. The idea to neutralzie the odors in my clothing instead of washing them was born!
Get some White Vinegar, a spray bottle, and baking soda
Since I was already playing around with white vinegar to spray my entire basement down to kill any mold, I figured I would try this first. I had a spray bottle filled with undiluted white vinegar. I did not want to spray a 100% solution of white vinegar onto my clothing due to the acidity of the white vinegar, so I emptied out my spray bottle to mix in a diluted solution. I put about a cup of water into the spray bottle and then added 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. I shook this up to make sure that it was mixed really well.
Lightly Spray your clothing
Next, I took each piece of clothing and hung it up in the closet individually so that I could see all sides of the garmet. Taking the spray bottle, I lightly misted the entire garmet on all sides. I then pushed it over to the end of the closet, and did this for each piece of clothing that had the musty odor. Remember to only lightly mist the clothing, you do not want to get the garmets wet or saturated - only very lightly misted.
Let the clothes sit in a closed closet for a few days
Then I closed the closet door and let the clothes sit in there for about 2 days just to let the vinegar due its magic. I also threw my shoes in the closet for the heck of it to see if the vinegar could kill the obnoxious smell they had from getting wet in the basement.
Smell the fresh clothes!
After about two days, I opened up the closet and pulled out my garments. I opened the window in the room and turned on the fan to air out the white vinegar smell. It really was not that bad since I only lightly misted the clothes, but you could still smell it a little. However, the musty odor smell was gone from my clothes! Only one jacket I threw in the closet still had a little musty odor to it, and after letting it sit overnight in the same closet with a little more white vinegar - it did the trick! All of the clothes smelled a lot better, and I just hung them up and let them fully air dry in an odor neutral room. My shoes on the other hand - they still were bad, so I threw them out, but at least I did not have to throw out my clothes or re-wash all of them.
Give this a try to get rid of those pesky musty odors from your clothing and fabric.