Why do my clothes smell musty after dry cleaning?

Answered by Frank Schwing

I’ve had this same issue before, and let me tell you, it can be quite frustrating! After getting my clothes dry cleaned, I would often notice a musty smell on them. It was really unpleasant, especially considering I had just paid to have them cleaned.

So, I decided to do some research to figure out why this was happening. And what I discovered was that the odor is actually caused by the solvent that dry cleaners use, which is commonly known as “perc” or perchloroethylene. This chemical is used to remove stains and dirt from clothes during the cleaning process.

However, if the dry cleaning machine is not working properly, it can lead to the clothes retaining some of the solvent, which results in that musty smell. The solvent can get trapped in the fabric fibers, and even though the clothes may appear clean, they still have this lingering odor.

This issue is more common in older dry cleaning machines or ones that are not properly maintained. When the machine is not functioning at its best, it can’t effectively remove all the solvent from the clothes, leading to the odor problem.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? Well, the best course of action is to take your clothes back to the dry cleaner and explain the issue to them. They should be able to re-clean the items properly or provide a solution to get rid of the odor.

In some cases, they may need to use a different cleaning method or solvent to ensure that the clothes are properly cleaned and do not retain any unpleasant smells. It’s important to communicate your concerns and expectations to the dry cleaner, as they should be able to address the issue and provide a satisfactory resolution.

The musty smell on your clothes after dry cleaning is likely caused by the solvent used in the cleaning process. This can happen when the dry cleaning machine is not functioning properly or is not properly maintained. To resolve this issue, it’s best to return the clothes to the dry cleaner and explain the problem. They should be able to re-clean the items or find a solution to eliminate the odor.