How to Dry Clothes Indoors — & Avoid That Mildewy Smell

Many of us hate hanging up wet clothes indoors and waiting for them to dry. The process also leaves them with a mildewy smell. Unfortunately, some garments can get ruined in the dryer, so it’s better to air-dry them. In this article, you will find helpful advice from cleaning experts on how to dry clothes indoors effectively.

What Causes That Mildewy Smell?

7 Ways to Dry Clothes Indoors and Avoid the Mildewy Smell
What Causes That Mildewy Smell?

George Moore, president of Sew Fine Cabinets, says that leaving wet garments in a dark and damp environment, like your basement, can cause mold spores and bacteria to appear. They can build up in your clothing over time, leaving a permanent odor.

How to Dry Clothes Indoors?

Despite the pain of drying your clothes indoors, there are still ways to speed up the drying process and make sure they smell fresh post-wash. Here are some easy tricks suggested by experts:

Use a Dry Towel
Angela Rubin from the cleaning company Hellamaid suggests hanging a dry towel along with the wet clothes. It will soak up any excess moisture in the air and cut the drying time.

Sort the Clothes by Material

Separating your clothes by fabric type can make a difference when drying them inside. Thicker materials take longer to dry than t-shirts and underwear, for example. You can also hang heavier items on one drying rack and lighter ones on another.

How To Dry Clothes Indoors?

Use a Room with Real Air Flow
Hanging the clothes in a more ventilated room can be a game-changer. Airflow eliminates the risk of dampness and mold when drying indoors. It speeds up the drying process by allowing moisture to escape. Places like your kitchen or living room would be the perfect choice.

Benefit From the Sunlight
Place your clothes near a window that allows for direct sunlight. This will help dry them faster and serve as a natural disinfectant, eliminating bacteria and smell.

Spread Them Out

Don’t put clothes on top of each other, as it can hinder proper air circulation and lead to longer drying times. Give each one enough space to ensure that they completely dry. This will reduce the risk of mildewy smell.

Try Rotating Them
Another thing you can do is flip and reposition your clothing while they’re drying. This ensures all parts dry evenly and receive the same exposure to air.

Invest in a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers help extract the excess moisture from the air. An air purifier can also do the job if it has a dehumidifier function; most of them do. This is definitely worth the investment as these devices help clothes dry faster and prevent musty odors. This guarantees the drying process will be a success no matter how damp the air is.

What if the Musty Smell Is Already There?

If it happens to be too late to prevent the smell, there’s a way to make your clothes fresh again. Fill a spray bottle with 1⁄2 cup of water, 1⁄4 cup of witch hazel, and 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil — and lightly mist over the garments.

What if the Musty Smell Is Already There?

Just remember to make sure that the bottle you use is dark. This will protect your oils from light and keep them from spoiling.