How to Remove the Musty Odor From Vintage Clothes

Vintage clothes stored in damp, warm, dim, or poorly ventilated environments often attract moulds and mildews. Molds and mildews harm vintage clothes by rotting the fabrics and causing the garments to develop a musty odour. Remove the musty odour from vintage clothing by brushing off the mildew spores and then washing the garments in white distilled vinegar and hot water. Treat vintage garments as soon as possible to prevent mould and mildew from causing further damage.

Take the garment outdoors. Brush off the mildew and mould spores from the garment with a cleaning brush.

Pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar into a washing machine. Wash the garment on a gentle cycle with hot water.

Allow the garment to air-dry in direct sunlight. Once the garment is completely dry, inspect it for remaining odours.

Place an air ioniser in a room with the vintage garment if the musty odour remains. Turn on the air ioniser and shut the room's door.

Allow the air ioniser to purify the air in the room for one day. The air ioniser will remove any lingering musty odours from the vintage garment.


Do not put vintage garments with rubber, elastic, or vinyl materials in the room with the air ioniser, as these materials will disintegrate.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning brush
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • Air ioniser
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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.