How to Remove a Musty Smell From a Wool Coat

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Young woman wearing wool coat
Young woman wearing wool coat (Image: dashek/iStock/Getty Images)

Improperly stored wool clothing can develop a musty odor. Such odors are unpleasant and also a sign of mildew or mold. Take immediate steps to remove a musty odor from your wool coat to prevent mildew or mold from spreading. If the odor remains after you air the coat out, eliminate the musty odor by washing the coat or having it dry cleaned.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Gentle detergent
  • White vinegar

Step 1

Hang the wool coat in an open space with good air circulation, such as an outdoor clothesline, to allow it to air out.

Step 2

Check the care-instructions label on the coat. If the coat is "dry clean only," you will need to take it to a professional cleaner. Wool coats that can be hand or machine washed can be treated for smells at home.

Step 3

Wash the coat as directed, either by hand or in a washing machine. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the wash cycle.

Step 4

Allow the coat to dry fully on a flat surface. If the musty smell remains, wash it again with vinegar. Repeat until the smell is gone.

Step 5

Make sure the coat is completely dry before returning it to your closet, to prevent the smell from returning.

Step 6

Keep your wool coat smelling fresh by hanging it on a padded hanger and allowing 24 hours between each wearing.

Tip

  • To keep moths away and add a fresh smell, hang your wool clothing in a cedar closet if you have one, or hang cedar blocks in your closet.

Warning

  • Never use chlorine bleach on wool; it will damage the fabric fibers.

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