Clothes Smell Funky? Defunkify Them With These 3 Surprising Tricks

Whether your gym clothes have grown funky with time or your favorite shirt somehow picked up the odor of dead rats, you know this: it's either time to toss these odorous outfits in the trash or find a deodorizing solution that actually works. Close your garbage pail for now; there's still hope for your foul-smelling clothes using one of these three surprising tricks.

End Stinky Gym Gear Now

Have you been working out or working at a slaughterhouse in your free time? Your clothes may smell just as bad either way. Cleaning expert Eduardo Herrera advises readers of Men's Fitness to add an entire lemon's worth of juice to your pre-treating cycle while using plain old white vinegar during the rinse cycle. The first helps break down acids that can cause odors, while the second kills bacteria. Finally, he advises using half the amount of washer soap you'd usually use: rely on your extra ingredients to provide a fresh, clean smell.

Rewashing Stale Washed Clothes

Ever forget a load of laundry in the washer? By the time you remember, you may be greeted by the not-so-pleasant smell of decaying dung. Your laundry machine is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew: its hot post-wash environment plus damp clothes can equal a true laundry disaster. In addition to running through another wash cycle with a generous helping of detergent and including a dash of vinegar, consider drying these clothes outside on an old-fashioned clothesline. The effect of natural sunlight on rewashed clothes can eliminate remaining odors, while the breeze infuses a pleasant, fresh smell.

Bad-Smelling Laundry For No Good Reason

Sometimes, clothes just stink. No reason. They just do. When that happens, you can turn to the lemon or vinegar tricks you learned above, or you can try any – or all – of these other add-ons.

  • Borax – this white powder is an alkaline, meaning that it can neutralize acid-caused odors.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – this common resident of your medicine cabinet can help oxygenate your laundry water, giving set-in odors the ability to dissipate.
  • Baking Soda – also an alkaline, baking soda can neutralize acids and is often a great stand-alone natural cleaner for your home.

Laundry mishaps happen, but these tips, tricks, additives and must-try fixes can mean the difference between clothes you can't bear to be around and outfits that graciously re-enter your every day wardrobe. Contact a service like City Laundry for professional help with laundry.