how to stop clothes smelling damp when drying indoors

Drying clothes indoors

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had to rush out to the garden to bring the washing in when it starts raining at least once in our lives. It’s not always possible to air dry your clothes outside in the fresh air on the line – especially during the winter months.

Sometimes we’re left with no option but to dry our clothes indoors. But this can cause mould spores which not only look unsightly but could be harmful to your health. Moisture also attracts pesky dust mites and other critters.


Clothes can smell damp for any number of reasons. It happens when there’s excess moisture caught in the material that isn’t able to escape, leaving your clothes smelling a bit musty. Here are just some of the reasons why your clothes may not smell so fresh:

  • Going for a jog or running for the bus – sweat can contribute towards smelly clothes
  • Leaving wet laundry in the washing machine means the fabric can’t ‘breathe’
  • Leaving wet or damp laundry in the tumble dryer will also cause clothing to smell
  • Storing clothing in enclosed spaces (drawers/wardrobes) while they are still damp
  • A smelly washing machine can also leave your clothes smelling less than fresh

The good news is that it’s easy to get damp smells out of clothes.


There’s nothing more annoying than a freshly-washed outfit smelling musty and feeling damp. Luckily, preventing damp smells in clothes is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Always wash wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible (this is also a great way to prevent a build-up of sweat stains). 
  2. It is important to always hang your clean washing out to dry, or pop it in the tumble dryer, as soon as the washer has finished – do not leave damp clothes sat in the machine. 
  3. Ensure clothing is completely dry before putting it away in a drawer or wardrobe so that moisture doesn’t become trapped within the fabric.

Top tip: If you’ve got a smelly washing machine, select a hot water wash and run it without any clothing to give it a much-needed refresh. It’s also a good idea to keep your washing machine door open or ajar when it is not in use to prevent damp.  


Now that you know the best ways to prevent damp smells on clothes, it’s time to focus on any clothing you may have that already smell a bit musty. Here’s your simple step-by-step guide on how to get musty smells out of clothes with the power of Persil.

  1. Wash your clothing with one or two Persil capsules (see pack for dosage tips) –  the Triple Action formula freshens and cares for clothes while removing stains, making these caps a great option for removing that damp smell. 
  2. Along with the capsules, add one cup of white vinegar per load of laundry to your washing machine drum. Vinegar is a disinfectant that helps to remove smells. Alternatively, you can add some Comfort Intense Fabric Conditioner to your washing machine drawer (following the dosing instructions on the label) – this will add a beautiful fragrance to your clothes.
  3. If you’ve noticed signs of mould in the fabric, it’s best to tackle this as soon as possible. To remove mould from clothes, wash at a higher temperature to kill off the spores.
  4. If it’s a nice day, dry your clothes outside to give them a much-needed airing. Take care with colours, however, as direct sunlight can sometimes bleach fabrics.

There’s no need to put up with smelly clothing! Just trust in the cleaning power of Persil Powercaps and follow these top tips to learn how to remove musty smells from clothes. Remember to always check the care labels of your clothing prior to washing to ensure best results.

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