How to Get the Odor Out of Moldy Clothes

You might notice a moldy odor on your clothes if you leave a wet load of laundry inside your washing machine for several hours or overnight. Simply washing the clothes using laundry detergent might not completely remove the moldy smell from the clothes, and the smell may linger unless you take extra action.

A common household product, vinegar, can help remove such odors from your laundry.

  1. Place the moldy clothes into your washing machine.

  2. Add 2-3 cups of white distilled vinegar into the machine.

  3. Run the washing machine on the “hot” cycle for normal garments. Run the washing machine on the “cold” cycle if you are washing delicate items.

  4. Add 1 cup of liquid laundry detergent into the washing machine as soon as the first cycle ends.

  5. Run the washing machine on a normal cycle.

  6. Dry your clothes as normal, either in the dryer or by letting them air-dry. Inspect the clothes after they've fully dried, and repeat the process if you still notice a mold odor.


If desired, add liquid fabric softener to the washing machine when you run the second wash cycle.