8 Ways to Keep Your Clothes Smelling Fresh Between Washes

Push off doing laundry for one more day by freshening up your clothes with these easy deodorizing methods that take smells out of clothes without washing.

Published February 5, 2024

In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a good washer and dryer and be able to keep their clothes clean regularly. Unfortunately, washers and dryers aren’t guaranteed for anyone. But everyone deserves the dignity of fresh-smelling clothes, and there are so many ways to take the funky smell out of clothes without washing them. So pull out your roulette wheels and give one a try. 

Spritz Them With Distilled White Vinegar

If there’s one thing you should always keep in your house, it’s distilled white vinegar. This natural product is a lifesaver for all sorts of cleaning and laundry needs. Pour some in a spritz bottle and spray those funky-smelling clothes. Let them air dry and the vinegar smell will dissipate along with that noticeable funk.

Spritz Them With Vodka

Vodka is another powerful deodorizer you might have lying around your house. When you spray your smelly clothes with it, the alcohol molecules trap the odorous ones and pull them off of your clothes by evaporating. Since vodka is the most distilled liquor, it won’t leave any trace of smells.

Lay Them Out in the Sun

While UV rays are horrible for your skin, they’re great at eliminating musty smells. Bacteria is the leading cause of most funky-smelling clothes, and UV rays can kill it. Why not harness the powerful and free deodorizing tool at your fingertips?

This won’t work immediately, though. You’ll need to leave your clothes out for a few hours at best to maximize the deodorizing effect.

Dust Them in Baking Soda

You’ve probably opened a box of baking soda and put it in your fridge when something started to smell off. Well, you can basically do the same thing for your clothes. Some people like to pour baking soda into a bag, toss their clothes inside, and shake them up. But that can leave a whole lot of baking soda left over to dust off.

Instead, we prefer getting a body powder puff and dusting the baking soda on ourselves. Not only is it more controlled, but it also means there’s less mess to clean up.

Related: 14 Ways to Make Your Closet Smell Good Right Now

Freeze Your Clothes

There’s a lot of debate in the scientific community about whether freezing is effective at killing the odor-causing bacteria on your clothes. Yet, some people swear by the tactic. So, if you’ve got some freezer space and a day or two to wait around, you might as well give it a try.

Layer Musty Clothes With Dryer Sheets

Slipping dryer sheets in between layers of musty clothes is a great low-energy way to leech out the bad smells. If you leave clothes in storage for too long, they start to get this stale scent. So, when you rotate your seasonal wardrobes, pack the clothes that are going into storage with dryer sheets between every item. Future you will thank present you for putting in the extra work.

Spray Them With a Commercial Deodorizer

From Febreze to Clorox, there are all sorts of commercial deodorizing sprays. Generally, these work pretty well. However, they do often come pre-scented, which can be annoying. Not everyone wants to replace one bad smell with an equally powerful one.

Related: Clothes Smell After Washing Them? 9 Ways to Get the Stink Out

Leave Them in an Ozone Generator System

Now, ozone generators are what many dry cleaners use to really pull out baked-in bad smells from clothes. But these machines are rather cost-prohibitive at $150-$200 at the minimum. Yet, they are an option, and they’re good at their job if dry cleaners have anything to say about it.

Skip Wash Day Without Any Regrets

If you’re like us, then laundry is one of the last chores you get around to doing. We’ll toss on those too-small pants if it means we can skip out on doing laundry for another day. That’s where these deodorizing methods to freshen up clothes without washing them come to our rescue. Now you can skip wash day without having any regrets.

8 Ways to Keep Your Clothes Smelling Fresh Between Washes