Why Do The Clothes In My Drawer Smell?

You’re probably wondering why your clothes smell in the drawer even though you wash them and use fabric conditioner to achieve freshness and prevent unwanted smells from developing. We gathered more useful information that will help you get rid of it and preventive measures to share with you in this post.

Possible reasons why clothes smell after being stored in a drawer:

  • Trapped Moisture
  • Moldy Washing Machine
  • Overloaded Washing Machine
  • Seldom Worn Clothing
  • Clothes Exposed to Smoke
  • Added Water to Washing Machine
  • Too Much Detergent

Often maintain your drawer to avoid unnecessary dampness and wash your clothes properly. Do it ahead so you can eliminate it right away. Please, keep reading as we list down the other factors that cause our clothes to smell in our drawers.

Unidentified neat housewife puts container with socks and pantyhose on wardrobe drawer during general cleaning by modern storage system. Concept of beautiful and comfo, Why Do The Clothes In My Drawers Smell?

Messy kids room with clothes in drawer

The woman folds t-shirts in the drawer. A woman is tidying up the closet. Vertical storage of clothing.

Women's hands fold yellow clothes into a closet drawer.

Why Clothes In My Drawer Smell

Drawers with clean clothes in dressing room, Why Do The Clothes In My Drawer Smell?

Moisture Trapped in the Clothes 

It is really hard for us to dry our laundry, especially during rainy or humid seasons. This causes our clothes to smell. Due to the extreme seasonal humidity, clothing begins to smell rapidly. Additionally, during rainy seasons, we frequently miss the chance to hang our garments out to dry, which causes moisture to build up in them. The end consequence is laundry that smells musty.

The musty smell comes from moisture due to the absence of sunlight and will get worse right after you put it in your drawer. Even if the mildew spores are not visible, their odor will alert us to their presence. Mildew grows in damp, dark places. A wet item of clothing, a spill, or even humidity can introduce moisture into drawers, causing musty odors.

Moldy Washing Machine 

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Moldy Washing Machine - Dirty moldy washing machine sealing rubber and drum close up,

Although we use the right amount of laundry detergent on our laundry, it is still smelly if your washing machine has mold inside. Most likely, your washing machine appears to be rather clean inside. But take a closer look.

You might discover concealed mold, nevertheless, particularly in the front loading door's gasket area. Consumer Reports claims that at least 17% of front-loader owners experience this issue, and some top-loading washers might also experience it.

Your drawers worsen your moldy clothes from the washing machine.

Overloaded Washing Machine 

Overloaded Washing Machine - Front loading washing machine full with colorful dirty clothes, close up view

You overload your washing machine to finish the job quickly, but your laundry will suffer. Your clothes tend to get washed improperly, even in a clean machine, since there’s no space for everything to move and get washed accordingly. 

To be able to get your job done ahead of time does not necessarily mean it will have a clean outcome.

Seldom Worn Clothing 

Your old clothes that are still in the drawers haven't been worn for a long time, affecting the smell of the other clothes. The unpleasant smell is trapped in the drawer where there is nowhere else to go and is absorbed by the other clothes.

Clothes Exposed to Smoke Odor

Clothes that are in the process of drying are vulnerable to absorbing smoke, most likely the smoke coming from burning wood, dried leaves, or even cigarettes. Smoke is maybe one of the worst things that the laundry can absorb. It literally wastes your detergent because it is difficult to clean.

Added Water to Washing Mchine

Adding more water won’t make your laundry any cleaner. The additional water dilutes the concentrated detergent. In addition, it lessens the mechanical action of the agitator or garments rubbing against one another inside the basin, aiding in the removal of stains and grime. 

Unclean clothes cause your clothes to smell in the drawer.

Too Much Detergent

Too Much Detergent - man pouring washing powder into the washing machine tank

Your clothes could even begin to smell unpleasant if you use too much detergent. Why? It allows the dirt and germs you’re trying to wash away to, instead, stick to the fabric. In actuality, the excess detergent will result in a foamy film on the fabric, preventing it from being washed completely away.

Since we have identified the causes of bad smell, We have listed down all the possible questions you have on your mind. Read on as we move on to some tips and tricks you can try at home.

How do you keep clothes fresh in storage?

How do you keep clothes fresh in storage - Big wardrobe with male clothes for dressing room

Whatever the cause, there are ways to stop your clothing from smelling musty. The following are some ideas for preserving stored clothing:

  • Baking Soda: Among its numerous advantages is odor absorbing ability. Just place a box of baking soda in a closet or other storage area. The baking soda will eventually absorb any odors and moisture that can harm your clothing.
  • Activated Charcoal: This method can quickly absorb odors like baking soda can. Put bags of bamboo charcoal in your closet to get rid of odors in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Dryer Sheets: These aren't just for the dryer; they are perfect for preserving the scent of your folded clothes. One dryer sheet among your stored clothes will give them a pleasant scent for several months, whether they are new or old.

How do you deodorize clothes quickly?

Although you already knew that a steamer could remove wrinkles and make your clothing seem fresh, it turns out that it can also make your clothes smell nice. Bacteria that cause odors are killed by the intense heat of the steaming water.

No steamer, don't worry, it's no issue! A common trick that can sometimes work is to hang wrinkled clothing in the bathroom while taking a hot shower, but you must recognize that this method rarely works as effectively as a steamer.

What does mold on clothes smell like?

What does mold on clothes smell like - Fungus on clothes with selective focus.

The smell of mold is typically described as musty, stale, and earthy, much like the scent of wet socks or rotting wood.

How can I make my drawer smell nice?

How can I make my drawer smell nice - Woman putting scented sachet into drawer with clothes, closeup

Fill a lunchbox-sized container with baking soda, freshly ground coffee, or cat litter. Place the container, without affixing a lid, into the draw or drawers. Close drawers for a couple of days, leaving the odor absorber of your choice inside. Then remove the container and allow the area to air out once more. By doing so, the stench will be neutralized and help to absorb it.

Final Thoughts

In many major aspects of a person's everyday life, including interpersonal interactions, social events, and the workplace, the clothes we wear frequently play a crucial role. They have a significant impact on how someone feels, command respect, and frequently also impact initial impressions.

We've got other great tips to keep your clothes fresh and organized, ready to wear -you can dress to impress! Check out our related posts:

How To Organize Clothes Without A Dresser [6 Great Ways]

5 Places To Store Hangers In Laundry Room

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