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Clothes don't smell fresh after washing? 6 ways to fix this

Clothes don't smell fresh after washing? 6 ways to fix this Why clothes smell bad after washing (illustrative photo: Freepik)

A pleasant scent of clothing after washing is a key indicator of cleanliness. However, if laundry comes out smelling musty or lacks any scent despite being clean, there are several ways to address the situation. Martha Stewart discusses why clothing might smell unpleasant after washing and how to remedy it.

Clean your washing machine

If your laundry doesn't smell as fresh as it used to, it may be time to clean your washing machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

It's generally recommended to clean your washing machine at least once a month or every 30 cycles to prevent the buildup of dirt and detergent residue.

Wash smaller loads of laundry

While there may be a temptation to fully load your washing machine to save energy, water, and time, it's best not to exceed the recommended weight of clothing.

Ensuring clean and pleasantly scented laundry depends on leaving space in the drum for better water and detergent circulation.

Don't leave wet laundry in the washing machine

If freshly washed laundry is left in the washing machine for too long, it can develop a musty smell if not promptly removed.

While this odor can develop within a few hours, it's recommended to promptly transfer freshly washed laundry to the dryer or hang it on a clothesline to prevent unpleasant smells.

Use fabric softener

Whether you add essential oils to your homemade conditioner or purchase a completely natural scented product, it's a great way to make your clothes smell good.

As experts note, the ingredients in conditioners settle on fabric fibers, helping to fight wrinkles, reduce static electricity, and give your laundry softness and a fresh scent.

Air dry your clothes

Instead of putting laundry in the dryer or hanging it in the bathroom, try drying clothes outdoors.

According to Mary Gagliardi, a cleaning expert at Clorox, drying laundry in clean outdoor air, preferably on a sunny day, keeps clothes fresh for longer.

Quickly remove stains

Quickly treating stains that leave persistent odors (such as sweat stains) can help your clothes smell better after washing.

Most importantly, treat the stain as soon as possible. While there are ways to remove old stains from clothing, the less time the stain remains, the easier it will be to remove.

Earlier, we talked about how to remove persistent sweat odor from clothes. Additionally, we wrote about which items always need to be washed separately.