A pile of colored garments

How to Remove Musty Smells from Clothes

No one likes bad smells. But sometimes, you pull out an old garment or a towel only to be greeted by that unwanted odor.

The good news is, you can get rid of musty smells and keep your favorites smelling fresh with some help from Tide.

Why do Clothes Smell Musty?

What causes that smell? When body oils, grime, and dirt build up, they causes fabrics to release odors when exposed to moisture. This is especially true when it comes to fabrics like towels. But, you can get rid of these smells altogether with some laundry know-how.

The Sport Odor Defense Collection™

Our Sport Odor Defense Collection™ bundle has been designed to help you tackle musty smells and other tough stains and odors.

  • Tide PODS® helps you fight tough, set-in odors and stains in one wash.

  • Eliminate odors at the fiber level with the help of Tide Rescue for a deep clean.

  • Neutralize and block odors for up to 24 hours with Downy.

Tips to Avoid That Musty Smell in Towels

Fortunately, odors in towels and clothes can be eliminated or avoided when you follow our tips above on how to get rid of musty smells. Downy is especially good for preventing and removing off-putting odors from towels, but you can also try some of the following tips for keeping towels nice and fresh.

Hang your towels up to dry after each use. Even if you only use your towel very lightly, it’s important to air dry your towel away from steam to avoid unpleasant smells.

Dry towels immediately after washing. If you leave your towels in the washer or sitting around damp, they're likely to grow mildew, and you don’t want that!

Only store your towels when they are completely dry. This avoids the unpleasantness of musty towels.