Linen closet odor Hot Conversation

I need to clean out my linen closet.  It has that smell of sheets and towels that haven’t been washed recently.  Is there any way to prevent that?  Do I need to launder ALL of them to get rid of the odor? 

I have to keep several sets of linens for guests that come visiting, but it’s not like they come every weekend.  Sometimes it’s months in-between.  And I need regular cotton and flannels.  I could probably get rid of a set or two, but would still need to keep several.  Right now, I end up washing the set I will use just before company comes.  Any ideas?

Posted in home & garden.

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12 Responses

  1. grannyinlongjohns grannyinlongjohns says

    Lavender sachets might give a nice scent to the linens.  Or you could put fabric softener sheets inbetween the linens.

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  2. Generic Image dillin257 says

    A louvered door on the linen closet would keep the air circulating. maybe wouldn’t smell so musty.

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  3. Generic Image Jody Nixon says

    Depends on what odor you mean.  If it’s musty (like an old dishtowel) then you may be putting the sheets away before they’re dry.  If it’s a smell coming from the cupboard itself, then either use a drawer liner or the scenting options listed.  I usually launder sheets again just before company comes, which probably explains why I don’t enjoy company coming.

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  4. WaveWatcher WaveWatcher says

    Thank you to all of you for your helpful hints.  Fortunately it is not a musty odor. And I usually lay the sheets out to be sure they are completely dry before putting them away.  I’ll try the fabric softener sheets in between.  The lavender sachets sound good too. I’ll make several of those and put them in between the piles of linens. 

    Unfortunately I don’t have enough room to put them on hangers.  And the door does not have louvers.  I don’t think that would work where the closet is located.

    I appreciate this wonderful community of women and feel that you are all friends.  Thanks.  WW

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    • MamaTuna MamaTuna says

      I read an article recently that said to launder the linens in a cup of sudsy laundry detergent.. that will get rid of that “old sheet” odor. I tried it and it worked for me. I can’t use the dryer sheets due to allergies although I can and do use lavender sachets as well.

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  5. ThurmanLady ThurmanLady says

    I think all the suggestions are great.  I love to hang my laundry outdoors, which does make them fresher.  I’m also partial to cedar rather than lavender or any other more flowery scent (many scents and I don’t get along with each other).  Cedar also has the added benefit of keeping moths away.  But that’s me… I just prefer a more woodsy smell! :D

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  6. WaveWatcher WaveWatcher says

    Thanks for all your wonderful tips.  What department would I find the cedar chips?  What purpose are they sold for?

    I could do the ammonia thing, too.  But I wonder how long that would last.  I think I’ll try these each on different shelves and see what works best.  Lavender on one, cedar on another, ammonia washed on another. 

    I love this site for all the wisdom we can share with each other.

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    • MamaTuna MamaTuna says

      Cedar chips or nuggets might be found with the hangers. Check in Bed Bath and Beyond if you are near one. Of course you could always buy cedar chips at a pet store (hamster bedding etc) and put a cupful into one of the socks that the great sock god hasn’t eaten and tie the end off and put that on the shelf. Don’t know what the price points are. I have various cedar marbles and chunks of cedar that I use with my wool sweaters. When they stop smelling cedary I rough them up a bit with sand paper…

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    • ThurmanLady ThurmanLady says

      I have found cedar on little hangers at Home Depot and/or Lowe’s (don’t remember which, or if it was both).  If you really love it, and want good sized pieces, they’d probably have some in the lumber section, too, and will cut it in lengths for you. ♥

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  7. Happy Daze Happy Daze says

    I would still air out the set of sheets for company by hanging them in the sunshine for awhile.  We don’t have a clothes line but I just wipe off the deck rails and put them out for a 1/2 hour in the sun and breezes.  Also do this for pillows and blankets.  Makes the bedding so sweet and fresh and your guests will sleep well :)  

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  8. Generic Image MarlaK says

    Cedar keeps moths away, so they won’t eat your wool sweaters. Smells much better than those moth cakes we used to buy and hang in closets. I have a musty closet and I put a lavender scented car air freshened in it and it is working great!

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  9. Generic Image sylvie says

    I keep bars of yardley’s Lavender Soap in the linen closet. Smells wonderful!

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