Getting rid of sour-smelling laundry can be tricky, especially during the rainy season. When there are monsoon arrives, humidity in the air increases significantly leading to sour smell in washed clothes. At times this can be the result of not washing your clothes properly or not drying them completely. With household items that you have in the kitchen, you can easily combat the smell. If you had left them in the washing machine for long, even then such a smell can accumulate. Rather than washing them all over again, you could use some simple tricks too.

How to Get Sour Smell Out of Clothes without Rewashing?

So, as we were mentioning that leaving behind for long can accumulate the smell, and rewashing isn’t always necessary. This is where some household items from the kitchen will come to your rescue. A kitchen is a wonderful place with tons of ingredients, and one among them is a lemon or, lemon juice to be more specific.

  • If you have it, take one or two tablespoons of lemon juice and mix it well into two cups of water. If it is a big cup, it is fine.
  • Now, you can use a spray bottle or a mist bottle to spray this liquid mixture evenly onto your clothes. If they are damp after the wash, dried, or unwashed, you can still make use of this mixture.
  • Spray it gently all over the cloth by hanging it on a wire so that you can reach all sides evenly. You can even lay it on a table and spray or mist the shirt or the garment and ensure every area; especially the sweaty parts get the mixture.
  • Then, find a nice spot to hang your clothes till they get dried up. Once they are dry the clothes will smell fresh. They might have a sour smell if there is a lot of humidity, so in the final stage, you can press them too.

Make Sure Your Clothes are Completely Dry before Fold

  • If you fold them without ensuring they are completely dry, they might start to smell sour once again. In the monsoon and humid climate, it is best to keep them in the open with good air circulation so that they don’t start smelling sour.
  • If you don’t want to wash your clothes at all, there is another thing you can do. You can turn the clothes inside out, and spray vinegar mixed with water, in equal parts. Use the same spray or mist technique. This is good for dirty clothes too. However, if you have the habit of using perfume or deo, this might not work well.

How to Get Sour Smell Out of Clothes Front Load Washer?

A front load washer is not a big problem in the sense that it can do all that a top load washing machine can. The important part to remember is that you can use lime or lemon juice as add on to your regular detergent during the wash. Or, you can simply use it after the wash, add it and then give it a quick 5 min spin. The clothes will absorb the mixture and begin to smell fresh. Yet, you can either dry them inside the washing machine, for fully automated machines or dry them afterward.

  • The sour smell develops mainly due to damp clothes and not drying them evenly.
  • For the front load washing machine, you can add lime in the soap dispenser.
  • You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice here. Some people also make use of baking soda to combat the smell.
  • You can add baking soda, vinegar, etc through the soap dispenser for a front load washing machine.
  • Then, allow the washing cycles to proceed as normal. You can use hot water if you need it.

How to Remove Underarm Odor from Clothes?

Here is a great video that demonstrates the process of doing so. It is a short video where you can learn something new in under 2 minutes. In short, removing body odor or underarm odor is not a big issue. But, if you want to keep your clothes smelling fresh, make it a point to wash them regularly, without delay.

  • Sweat contains salt and an underarm odor comes from bacteria in the sweat. When you are untidy, it begins to smell, and the sweat deposits on the clothes. It not only turns it sour-smelling but also damages the fabric due to continuous salt deposits.
  • The best way to counter this issue is to wash your clothes in freshwater as soon as you find the underarm wet in sweat. For example, after your jogging or gym time, wash your clothes in freshwater quickly to remove the salt. Then, you can later wash them at your leisure in the washing machine.

Use White Vinegar

White vinegar is a powerful odor repellent and neutralizer that acts chemically with the smell. It works magic in the underarm areas of the fabric, and it is affordable. You can purchase products online or from your local grocery store.

  • First, fill your washing machine with water, and then add 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Now, turn the washing machine and let the garments soak for 20 minutes or so. Then add your detergent etc. and wash as you would do normally.
  • Some other household items you can use instead of white vinegar are regular vinegar, baking soda, lime juice. Any of them should be available at home and should work just fine. The quantity you need will depend on the number of garments, the quantity of water, and so on.

How to Get Sour Milk Smell Out of Clothes?

If the clothes smell sour due to spoiled milk, this can be a challenge for you. The odor of spoiled milk is traditionally very difficult to remove and the sooner you can clean the spot, the best it is. Especially, if it is your baby’s clothes, the sour smell of milk can be quite hard to remove. Since they have frequent access to milk, it is almost certain they spill the milk on their clothes. There are some very simple ways to remove it when the stain is fresh, but it can get very hard if you ignore it.

  • To remove fresh spilled milk stains, first you have to wash it with warm water. Warm soapy water is best. You can perhaps make use of some washing liquid as well and clean up the affected area properly. It will avoid building up any sour smell.
  • But, there are other steps to follow and the ordeal is not over yet. Once the mess is clear, then you have to prepare a mixture of vinegar and water, just like above in a bucket. And, then soak the garment in it for like 20 minutes. If you don’t want to soak the entire dress, use a paper towel and soak just the area.
  • Though the vinegar smell will remain for some days, even without washing, after that not a trace of vinegar or the sour milk smell will remain after that.

Use Air Fresheners

  • You could use air fresheners during those days to keep the air smelling fresh, especially if indoors. Just let it dry as long as possible, and soon the sour milk smell will disappear from the room.
  • When there is proper sunlight, and you can wash the baby’s clothes, it is best to wash them and dry them. But, since babies spill milk too often, you can follow the above method. Then, you don’t have to wash clothes all over again. This saves a lot of time and effort.


  • Using perfume or deo doesn’t take away or remove the smell; it only adds a layer of stronger smell to counter the odor.
  • Use of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice is some home remedies where their chemical composition reacts with bad odor and removes them.
  • Sweat develops salt deposits and milk accumulates a sour smell. In both cases, it is advised to wash the spot at least with freshwater, soapy water right away.

What causes sour smelling laundry?

Sour Smell

The most common causes for soursmelling clothes are leaving them in the washer too long before putting them in the dryer or overloading the machine. Rewash them in smaller loads with a cup of sudsy ammonia. Use the hottest setting that’s safe for the fabrics you’re washing.

Will vinegar get sour smell out of clothes?

If your clothes smell like the bottom of your gym bag, don’t worry. Add a cup of vinegar to your laundry and they will come out smelling fresh. You can also use up to 1 cup of baking soda or washing soda to beat the stink. Just don’t mix the vinegar and the baking soda/washing soda, as they will cancel each other out.

How do I get the sour smell out of my workout clothes?

White vinegar is a miracle ingredient when it comes to getting rid of icky odors. Before you wash your gym clothes, soak them in the sink or a clean tub with one cup of white vinegar and some cold water. Leave them there for about 15 to 30 minutes, then clean in the washing machine.

How do you get bad smells out of clothes?

Add a cup of vinegar or a cup of baking soda to the wash to combat odors. Consider using a clothesline to dry your clothes outside to get a fresh outdoors scent. Use half a cup of pine-scented cleaner in the washer (the pine smell will be eliminated after a cycle in the dryer). Put musty, dry clothing in the freezer.

Does baking soda remove odors from clothes?

Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle helps to remove odors from clothes (and shoes) and also softens them naturally. If your clothes smell like sweat or smoke, it’s best to let them soak in a baking soda solution overnight. Soaking gives the baking soda time to go to work as a deodorizer.

Why do clothes still smell after washing?

Sometimes the source of unwelcomed odors is your washer itself. Fabric softener and detergent can build up, block filters and harbor bacteria. So, as you wash again and again, your clothes are exposed to bacteria in the water.

How do I fix a smelly washing machine?

Pour two cups of white vinegar into the drum, then run a normal cycle at high heat—without any clothes, of course. The baking soda and vinegar should break up any residue stuck to your drum and kill any mold that might be present. They’ll also help remove any foul odors.

How do I get armpit odor out of clothing?

White vinegar is a powerful odor neutralizer and works wonders on underarm areas of fabrics. Fill your washing machine with water, then add 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Turn off the machine and let the garment soak for 20 minutes, then launder as usual. (This will also work to freshen your musty smelling towels).

What do you spray smelly clothes with?

Febreze Clothing Fabric Refresher Spray eliminates odors from your lightly worn clothing so you can wear and rewear without a trip to the dry cleaners. With the fresh, just-out-of-the-dryer scent of Downy April Fresh, you can enjoy the delightful aroma without doing a single load of laundry.

What does adding vinegar to your laundry do?

Vinegar seems to neutralize odors, leaving your clothing smelling clean. It can reduce odors from smoke, pets, and sweat. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar to your laundry to deodorize smelly clothes.

What absorbs bad smells in Room?

Last but certainly not least, use a natural odor absorber like baking soda to trap any lingering odors in your room. Since odor absorbers are soaking up the air particles that cause bad smells, you will need to replace them often.

Does Febreze actually eliminate odor?

As Febreze dries, more and more of the odor molecules bind to the cyclodextrin, lowering the concentration of the molecules in the air and eliminating the odor. If water is added once again, the odor molecules are released, allowing them to be washed away and truly removed.

Does vinegar get rid of smells?

Similarly, white vinegar can deodorize your entire house. Simply simmer the clear liquid for an hour, vaporizing the acetic acid it contains. Because acetic acid easily bonds with volatile molecules, a light mist of it will banish odor from your house.

Can a bowl of vinegar absorb odor?

Rather than trying to mask these smells with air fresheners, soak them up with vinegar! Place a bowl of white vinegar in each room of your house and let it sit overnight. The vinegar will absorb pretty much any odor – everything from cigarette smoke to pet odors.

How do you make homemade Odor Eliminator spray?

Combine a teaspoon of vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle then lightly mist the air (you can also stir in a few drops of essential oils). It smells a bit vinegary at first but dries odorless leaving no bad smells or vinegar scent.

How long does it take for baking soda to absorb odors?

Let it sit: Wait a few hours or ideally overnight for the baking soda to absorb the odors. Vacuum: Vacuum up the baking soda.