How to get a damp smell out of clothes? 4 tips on how to deal with clothes that smell after washing

After washing the laundry, you want it to smell fresh of course. Unfortunately, sometimes clothes smell after washing and you might want to know how to remove a bad smell from clothes after washing them. Luckily the problem of smelly clothes is often quite easy to solve. However, it is important to work out why your laundry smells bad after washing. Otherwise, the next time the same thing will happen. We tell you the possible causes of smelly laundry. And what you can do to make sure it smells fresh again after washing.

Why does my washing smell


how to get a damp smell out of clothesWhen you have smelly laundry from the washing machine it is important to work out the reason. Smelly laundry after it has been washed can have a number of causes. We have listed them for you:

  • Leaving damp laundry in the laundry basked for too long
    Laundry may smell because you left damp laundry too long, in the laundry basket for example. Bacteria and mould spread quicker in damp laundry. That is generally difficult to remove with ordinary detergent, which means the laundry smells when it comes out the washing machine.
  • Leaving the laundry in the washing machine for too long
    Clothes can start to smell if you wait too long with getting the laundry out of the machine. You can also get smelly clothes after washing as moulds in the rubbers end up in the laundry.
  • Wrong dose of detergent
    Smelly laundry can also be caused by the wrong dose of detergent. That might sound logical if you don't use enough detergent, but too much detergent can also produce smelly clean laundry. Too much detergent means the soap is not rinsed from the clothes. That can produce smelly clothes after washing. You will also have grease blobs in the washing machine if you use too much detergent too often. Grease blobs are soap residues, fluff, skin oils, etc that remain in the washing machine.
  • A dirty washing machine
    This is the most common cause of laundry smelling when it comes out the washing machine. Unfortunately, this is also the most difficult cause to solve. A dirty washing machine can be caused by grease blobs or dirty components in the washing machine, such as rubbers, the detergent tray, or filters. It is important that you keep the washing machine itself clean too. Otherwise, you will continue to have smelly laundry.

HG has a solution for every cause of smelly laundry

clothes that smell after washingDoes your laundry smell when it comes out the washing machine? Don't worry! HG has a solution, whatever the cause.  

If your laundry smells when it comes out the washing machine because the washing machine itself is dirty, you can use HG smelly washing machine cleaner. It will remove dirt and detergent residues from the drains, filters and rubbers. Often the cause of laundry that still smells after washing. 

If the washing machine is really dirty, you can use HG service engineer for washing machines and dishwashers. This product cleans the washing machine thoroughly. It prevents smelly laundry, but also faults in the washing machine.

Alternative tips for how to remove a bad smell from clothes smell after washing

The HG products are the easiest solution for smelly laundry. Particularly, because you actually deal with the cause of ‘smelly clean laundry’. There are other solutions you can try too. We tell you about a few. You use them at your own risk.

  • Treat smelly laundry with soda
    Smelly laundry can be soaked in a bucket of water and soda. Be careful with coloured laundry. Soda can affect the colours. Don't leave the clothes to soak in the soda for too long. White clothes can be left for an hour or so. Never soak wool or silk in soda. Then wash the garment in the normal way.
  • Soak smelly clothes in vinegar
    Vinegar works for laundry that smells after washing if it has a sweaty smell. Leave the clothes to soak in water and vinegar for an hour. Then wash the garment in the normal way.
  • Smelly laundry because of a dirty washing machine
    A dirty washing machine is often the main reason for laundry still smelling when it comes out the washing machine. To solve this, we wrote a separate article with various tips. Read our tips here for cleaning the washing machine.

Prevent laundry from smelling when it comes out of the washing machine

The best is to prevent clothes from smelling after they come out the washing machine. We give you a few tips that help to prevent smelly laundry after washing:

  • Don't leave the laundry too long
    The easiest way to prevent smelly clothes is not to leave the laundry too long. Particularly clothes that got damp because of playing sports for example. 
  • Remove the laundry from the washing machine as quickly as possible
    That is another simple solution for smelly laundry from the washing machine. Don't leave the laundry too long when the cycle has finished.
  • Use washing powderhow to remove a bad smell from clothes after washing
    Liquid detergent is more likely to produce grease blobs than powder detergent. Grease blobs are one of the most common reasons for smelly clothes after washing.
  • Use the indicated dose of detergent
    Although it is tempting to use more detergent when the laundry is really dirty, this is not wise. It will produce grease blobs. And they produce smelly laundry after washing.
  • Maintain the washing machine
    A properly maintained washing machine lasts longer and makes sure the laundry comes fresh from the washing machine.

Smelly laundry from the washing machine should be a thing of the past with the above tips.

If you have a good tip for dealing with smelly laundry, please let us know!

Frequently Asked Questions about why clothes still smell after washing

How do you get smelly laundry?

If your laundry smells when it comes out the washing machine, this can have various causes:

  • Damp laundry stayed in the laundry basket too long.
  • The laundry stayed in the washing machine too long.
  • The wrong dose of detergent was used.
  • The washing machine itself is dirty

What can I do if clothes smell after washing?

Depending on the cause of smelly laundry from the washing machine, you can do the following:

  • Soak smelly laundry in soda (careful with coloured laundry) and wash it again.
  • Soak smelly laundry in vinegar and wash it again.

Clean the washing machine Read our tips for cleaning the washing machine.

How can I prevent laundry from smelling after it comes out of the washing machine?

You can prevent clothes from smelling after washing by: 

  • Not leaving damp laundry in the laundry basked for too long.
  • Not leaving laundry in the washing machine too long.
  • Using powder detergent.
  • Using the correct dose of detergent.

Maintaining your washing machine properly. Read our tips on how to maintain a washing machine.



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