I’m crazy about great-smelling sheets and clothes. For me, nothing beats climbing up on the bed with newly-laundered sheets or pulling fresh clean clothes from the closet every day.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re also probably wondering how to make your laundry smell amazing. I know many of us have tried all the fancy brands of detergents and fabric conditioners on the market. I am sure you have, and let’s admit it: while some of them do the job, others only give false promises.
Well, I like a more natural and frugal approach when it comes to making my laundry smell fresh and amazing. So today let me share my tried and tested hacks to avoid the stinky smell and make laundry smell AMAZING!
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Before we head over the solutions, let’s first try to address the root cause of the problem. There are many reasons why your laundry smells bad, and it’s important to get to the source of the problem before treating the most obvious symptoms. Here are some of the most common reasons for that offensive-smelling laundry:
Most washing machines look immaculate at a quick glance, but there might be mold and mildew lurking somewhere inside. Mold and mildew cause a musty smell, and that odor can transfer to your clothes. According to Consumer Reports, the spores of mold can transfer to your clothes, and cause a variety of health concerns, such as sneezing, itching, and allergic reactions.
So, if you haven’t cleaned your washing machine in a long time, it’s about time you do. You can create a solution containing one part hot water and one part vinegar or bleach (but never bleach and vinegar together). Dip a washcloth into the solution and wipe down the insides of your washing machine. Run the washer in the hottest setting to kill any mold you’ve missed. Once done, leave the machine open to prevent moisture from building up.
Moisture is the breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you have wet clothes, and waited another day or two (worse if more), before chucking them into the washing machine, chances are they’re already smelly before you’re doing the laundry.
The best way to prevent this problem is by washing wet clothes right away. If you can’t, then hang them on a towel rack to dry, and never mix them with your other dirty clothes.
It doesn’t matter if your washing machine has the biggest capacity. If you fill it with too many dirty clothes, then it won’t do its job properly. So, if you find yourself having two baskets full of laundry after a long holiday, split them up into manageable batches. That way, your detergent and water can wash them properly and strip them of the funky odor.
Commercial fabric softeners and scent boosters come at a price, that’s why sometimes I prefer making my own or just not using any softener. Creating homemade laundry scent boosters is cheap and easy, allows you to customize the scent to your liking, and performs just as great, or maybe even better than commercial counterparts.
Simply pour two cups of Epsom salt into a mason jar, sprinkle with 30 drops of essential oil (many people swear by orange, vanilla, and lavender), and mix with a spoon. Let the salt soak the oils overnight or at least 30 minutes before washing your clothes. When doing the laundry, sprinkle the washing machine with your homemade laundry booster, and wash as usual.
Your clothes will soak up the aroma from the essential oils, plus the salt will make your clothes softer. Clothes that smell good and are soft? That’s a win-win however you look at it!
White vinegar is truly a cleaning superhero. The acetic acid in distilled white vinegar helps to soften, brighten, and whiten clothes, strips them of detergent residue, and even kills bacteria that cause a bad odor. Add one cup of white vinegar to your laundry in the washing machine and do another wash cycle. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar, it will dissipate, and you won’t smell any trace of it.
Alternatively, you can create a vinegar spray solution, consisting of distilled white vinegar and water. Spray into clothes for a quick freshen-up.
Lavender essential oil is an excellent natural product to help combat mildew. As you know, mold and mildew thrive in moist places. If you have wet clothes lying around, they’re bound to get that musty smell. When you wash them, add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil along with your detergent, and your clothes will surely clean up nicely and smell fantastic!
If you aren’t keen on dropping essential oils into the washing machine, you could spray them onto clothes instead.
Make your own essential oil spray by mixing water and essential oil of choice in a spray bottle. Shake well until well-blended, and spray onto dirty clothes. You could also use the same spray for clothes kept in your wardrobe or to give your linens a wonderful scent boost.
Dryer balls are incredible inventions in the world of laundry. They prevent clothes from sticking together inside the dryer and encourage air circulation which helps to lessen drying time. Apart from that, dryer balls also soften the fabric and eliminate static.
When I use dryer balls, I also add in a few drops of essential oils. If you want to do the same, I suggest getting those wool dryer balls as they are eco-friendly and natural and can hold the scent of essential oils better.
Give each ball a few drops of essential oils, then let them bounce inside the dryer for a minute. Add in your clothes and dry as usual. Your clothes will surely smell amazing when they come out of the dryer.
UPDATE: Since moving to the Philippines to retire, I’ve stopped using dryer balls and use tip number 5 instead! It helps us save money on energy cost!
I know not everyone has the option to do this, but when you do, go ahead and take advantage. Not only are you saving power by cutting out drying time, but the sun will also thoroughly dry your clothes and kill any odor-causing bacteria.
Want your clothes to smell good all the time, even if it’s been weeks since you’ve washed them? You can slip scented sheets in between them to give them a continuous supply of wonderful aromas even in storage. But instead of buying dryer sheets, you can place a couple of drops of essential oils into a kitchen towel and then place it between folded clothes.
You can also concoct your own scent by combining dried flowers and herbs, adding a few drops of essential oils, and placing them inside a muslin bag. Hang the bag inside the closet to lend your clothes an irresistible scent.
There you have it, six amazing hacks to keep your laundry smelling amazing. I know doing the laundry isn’t the most fun chore for some people, but I love it. What I don’t love is spending so much money on detergent. That’s why I’ve come up with a homemade laundry detergent, and it’s been helping me save money since I started using it.
What about you? How do you keep your laundry smelling great? Care to share your hacks? Let’s connect in the comments.