A person is putting away their clothing in under-the-bed storage containers. They have Fresh Wave Air Spray and Packs at the ready

How to Freshen Clothes that Have Been in Storage

With the changing seasons, there comes time to switch around your wardrobe. Hang up summer trends and reach for favorite sweaters. Stash away corduroys and break out skirts or shorts. Or maybe even a dust off a coat, depending on where you live.

Why Do Clothes Smell After Being Stored for a Season? 

One of the most common sources of stored clothes smell is mildew, not mold as sometimes believed. While both are a fungus, mildew grows in a flat pattern on the surface of organic material. Mold, on the other hand, is often fuzzy or slimy, growing beneath surfaces, and often affects the food in our fridges or the walls of our homes.

Like most fungi, mildew thrives in a dark, moist environment, making places like drawers, closets, under the sink, and around pipes all fair game. When we open a neglected closet or a storage bin in an attic, that musty smell is often due to mildew, and it can get particularly nasty in the hot, humid months. 

The lack of fresh air and ventilation in dark closets can make coats and stored clothes the perfect place for mildew to grow all year long. So, while it’s important to freshen clothes that have been in storage to eliminate any bad smells, allowing mildew to hang around for too long can cause health complications, too.

How to Freshen Clothes That Have Been in Storage

  1. Why Do Clothes Smell After Being Stored for a Season?
  2. Cleaning Your Clothing
  3. Cleaning and Prepping Your Storage Space

Cleaning Your Clothing

First, you need to scrub off the physical signs of mildew from your sweater or coat. Grab some gloves and a face mask, air out the piece of clothing, and let it sit in the sun for a while before throwing it in the wash. Remember: we’re trying to eliminate the moisture that has caused smells.

The sun is a huge help when trying to freshen up clothing or fabrics. In addition to getting the musty odors out of your clothes, sunlight also kills bacteria and naturally dries out fabric. If you notice any nasty residue or stains, wipe it off with a damp rag and use lemon juice as a spot treatment.

Once the clothes have sufficiently aired out, throw the clothing into your washer with the hottest water setting, regular detergent, and Fresh Wave Laundry Booster. The fast-acting ingredients in Fresh Wave’s plant-based formula is gentle on clothing while fighting stored clothes smell.

Cleaning and Prepping Your Storage Space

When mildew attacks your indoor spaces, you have to clean it thoroughly in order to protect your stuff and yourself. If you find mold, you may need professionals to clean it thoroughly. Remove everything from the musty-smelling closet. Use a tough sponge or rag to wipe down the surfaces with vinegar. Prop the door open and allow the space to dry out.

Follow up with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray to kill lingering odors by misting evenly throughout the closet. Further prepare the space for clothes by placing a Fresh Pod inside to absorb odors that clothes may bring inside. Let it sit for as long as needed to ward off the stored clothes smell. 

Now that you’ve prepared the space, bring the dry, freshly washed clothes back into the closet. For extra help to keep your clothing from smelling after being stored, air out the storage space throughout the year and place a Fresh Wave Odor Removing Pack into coat pockets and boots. Replace your products as needed to stay fresh year-round.