How to Remove a Musty Smell From Linen Clothing


Linen, one of the world's oldest natural fabrics, was used in ancient Egypt, according to Trim Fabric. Although durable, the fabric requires gentle washing and mild detergents, and some linen materials must be dry-cleaned only. When removing musty smells from linen clothing, you need to follow the basic cleaning rules for the fabric to ensure its quality. With the right procedures, you can remove musty smells from linen clothing without damaging the material.

Things You'll Need

  • Towels
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Place towels on a picnic or patio table. Make sure the sun shines directly on the table. Lay the linen clothing onto the towels and allow the sun to kill any remaining mildew on the fabric. Let the clothing remain in the sun for 2 to 3 hours.

  • Wash the clothes in warm water if allowed by the manufacturer. Place the linen clothing in the washer and add 1 tbsp. of mild liquid detergent. Set the washer to the delicate cycle. You may also hand wash the linen fabric in a large sink with warm water and the mild liquid detergent. Add vinegar to the rinse water in the sink after removing all the soap from the fabric.

  • Add 3/4 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle in the washer. Smell the clothing after removing from the wash. If the musty smell remains, repeat washing using the liquid detergent and the white vinegar in the rinse cycle.

  • Dry the linen clothing on the delicate cycle of the dryer or hang on a clothesline to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your linen clothing requires dry-cleaning only, take it to a dry-cleaning professional for help in ridding the garment of the musty smell.
  • Avoid wringing water from the linen fabric. Squeeze the fabric gently to remove excess water.

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  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images
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