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7 Ways to Keep Your Clothes Smelling Fresh!

by Ann Ferguson

Have you ever just washed a load of clothes, and put them on, only to realize they don’t smell as fresh as they should? Sometimes, it’s because they’ve been stored too long, but other times that fresh scent disappears. And you have to wash it all over again — ugh!

But you don’t have to go through endless cycles of wash, dry, repeat — there are ways to keep your clothes smelling fresher for longer! And we have the scoop!

1. Don’t Overfill the Washer

Washer machine with a decent-sized load of clothes

Did you know that overfilling your washer machine can actually keep musty odors on your clothes? When you pack too many clothes in the washer, there isn’t enough room for the clothes to swish through the water and loosen up all the bacteria. So, don’t just throw in all your dirty clothes — separate them!

Keep your clothes separate by type or color, like keeping whites and light-colored items together and washing your darks separately. For delicate items, wash them separately in a mesh bag. And for lingerie with metal hooks, you might want to consider hand-washing those with a gentle detergent.

2. Keep Your Machine Clean

Close up of gloved hand cleaning washer

You might not think it, but your washer might be why your clothes aren’t coming out clean. If you’ve never cleaned your machine or haven’t done it in a long while, there’s most likely detergent and fabric softener, which actually traps bacteria!

So, make sure to clean your washer machine at least once a month. Mix baking soda and vinegar in your detergent container (about 1/4th cup), add 2 cups of white vinegar to the tub, and then run the cycle on the hottest water setting. But if you have a newer machine with a self-clean cycle, use that instead!

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to wipe down the crevices around the door either!

3. Don’t Overdo Fabric Softener

When your clothes are smelly, it’s instinctual to want to cover them in nice-smelling fabric softener. But too much fabric softener will deteriorate your clothes faster and create a buildup in your washer. So, only use the amount you need per cycle!

But if you’re washing items you can’t use fabric softener on, like your gym clothes, use baking soda or vinegar to help neutralize any funky smells.

4. Don’t Procrastinate

Woman transferring clothes to dryer

Doing the laundry is a never-ending task, so you taking your time switching your clothes from the washer to the dryer is sorely tempting. But it’s actually really bad for your clothes! Damp clothing attracts mildew, so the longer they sit in the washer, the more they attract (ew!), and you’ll have to re-wash it anyway.

Instead, remove your clothes and put them in the dryer as soon as the washer finishes. And if you can’t dry them right away for some reason, don’t just leave them in the hamper. Lay them flat or hang them on a clothesline to dry!

Pro Tip: After every wash, make sure to leave the washer lid open for at least an hour after using it, so it dries out and prevents mildew buildup!

5. Pre-Soaking is Your Friend

Another way to keep your clothes smelling fresh is pre-soaking them before you wash them. This is especially helpful for extra-dirty clothes, as it gets to the source of the smell before your washer takes over.

You can try soaking them in diluted laundry detergent and water, use store-bought pre-soaking products, or soak them in a solution with a cup of vinegar in hot water.

Pro Tip: Always check the care label on your clothes first — some solutions might ruin the fabric or the dye!

6. Separate Super Smelly Clothes!

Man holding laundry basket with really dirty shirt on top

If you have disgustingly smelly clothes, don’t leave them in the hamper with the rest of your clothes — keep them separate! Leaving them in the hamper and washing them together will keep your other clothes from smelling as nice when the cycle is done, which is super disappointing.

Pro Tip: Use washable hamper liners to keep your hampers fresh, which are especially helpful if you have separate hampers!

7. Proper Drying Technique

As we mentioned before, damp clothes attract mildew. So, it’s essential to dry them properly! But before you pop them in the dryer, make sure your machine is in a well-ventilated area. If the laundry room is too humid, it can attract more bacteria and mildew.

And don’t forget to completely dry each item before putting them away — even a tiny damp spot is enough to keep your clothes from that super-fresh smell!

Pro Tip: For an extra scent boost, use dryer sheets whenever you dry a load!

Keepin’ It Fresh!

Woman smelling fresh, clean clothes

There you have it — the seven essential tips to keeping your clothes smelling fresher for longer! But if you still struggle to keep things fresh even with these tips, you probably need a new washer! And our wide selection of laundry appliances at Allstar Home Appliance Center has what you need!

Have questions? Give us a call!