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    Keep your clothes fresh: How to get smells out of clothes

    You’ve washed your clothes, but somehow they still smell. Whether it’s a whiff of sweat or a damp odour on your clothes, it can make you feel uncomfortable (and no one wants to sit in the office or dine in a restaurant feeling self-conscious). Smelly clothes are frustrating, but they can usually be freshened up without too much hassle. Here’s some advice on how to get smells out of clothes including home remedies, drying hacks and tips on how to get smells out of clothes without washing them.

    How to get rid of sweat smells in clothes

    Sweat, mustiness, mildew, smoke, food: whatever smells are trapped in your clothes, you can opt for home remedies to get rid of them quickly.

    Bicarbonate of soda – this is great for getting rid of smells, and it’ll also brighten your clothes. If a load of laundry smells particularly bad, throw about 90g of bicarbonate in with your clothes, then add detergent as usual. Your clothes should come out smelling a lot fresher. If the smell is really stubborn, you can soak the clothes beforehand. 


    Vinegar – you can use vinegar in much the same way as bicarb. Put it in the washing machine with your detergent, or soak your smelly clothes overnight in a mixture of three parts water to one part vinegar before washing.


    Remember: never mix vinegar and bleach. They can react to create chlorine gas, which is toxic.

    How to make clothes smell good for longer

    You’ve got the smell out at last, but how do you keep your clothes fresh?


    Using fragranced detergent in the wash is one way to delay the onset of less welcome smells.


    When your clothes are drying, give them some space to breathe. Avoid putting an overcrowded clothes horse in a tiny room. The longer clothes take to dry, the more likely it is that you’ll end up wondering how to get damp smells out of clothes again. 


    Your clothes need to be completely dry before you put them away. If you have damp clothes in a drawer or closet, they won’t dry out, and that means mould is likely to set in.


    Try wearing an undershirt or a plain T-shirt under your clothes. It’ll take the brunt of your sweat, meaning that the clothes you’re wearing over it stay fresh.


    Always iron your clothes before putting them away. The heat and steam of the iron will kill bacteria and remove smell making your clothes fresher for longer.

    How to get smells out of clothes without washing them

    How to get smells out of clothes without washing them

    Sometimes your clothes smell a little off, but that’s the only thing wrong with them, and it can seem like a waste of water to give them a full wash. Here’s how to get musty smells out of clothes without using the washing machine.

    Hang your clothes outside for a few hours. Just being aired out can make them smell a lot better. Sunlight can kill bacteria, too, so this method’s particularly effective in the warmer months. If you’ve got coloured clothes, though, bear in mind that too much exposure to sunlight could fade them. White clothes will usually look better after some time in the sun.

    Put the clothes in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. The smell is caused by bacteria breaking down the sweat. The cold temperature in your freezer will kill the bacteria causing bad smells, making your clothes bearable to the nose for a little longer. 

    If especially in summer you wish your clothes could smell a little fresher you could invest in timesaving equipment. Philips StyleTouch Pure handheld garment steamer, for example, gives you a quick way to kill bacteria and get rid of odours from your clothes, while easily removing creases and wrinkles.

    Whether you’re looking for how to remove sweat smell from clothes as a one-off or wondering how to get rid of musty smells in clothes regularly, these tips should help you feel fresh and clean whatever the occasion.

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