“Why do my clothes smell after drying outside?” This is a question that most people have sought the answer to, after they hang their clothes outside only to find that they develop a strong stench after drying. After all, everyone knows that drying clothes out in the sun helps clothes smell fresh and pleasant. In fact, the fresh-smelling aspect of clothes after they have been dried in the sun is one of the main reasons why air-drying clothes is considered the best option for drying clothes.

clothes outside

Therefore, it is quite concerning when you hang clothes outside, only for them to develop a bad odor after drying. And unless you understand why clothes smell after drying outside, you might be forced to endure these lingering odors every single time you wash and dry your clothes. So to help you keep your clothes smelling nice all the time, we discuss seven reasons why clothes smell after drying outside and what you can do about it. Dive in!


Why Do My Clothes Smell After Drying Outside?

The main reason why clothes smell after drying outside is due to a dirty washing machine.(Check below for 4  more reasons) Usually, dryers heat up clothes up to point where all the bacteria is killed off. However, if you usually do cool or cold cycles that do not use any heat, there is a high probability that your washing machine has become a breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria thrives in moist environment, and usually transfers into your clothes when you wash them in the machine. It is this bacteria that causes most clothes to smell and develop a bad stench after drying outside.

RELATED = = = > Why Do Clothes Dry Faster in Summer Than in Winter?

Therefore, if you wish to eliminate the bad stench and keep your clothes smelling fresh always, you should start by cleaning your washing machine. You can do this by setting the washing machine at its highest temperature, then running an empty load.

Alternatively, you can run add a washing machine cleaner then run an empty load. Doing so would help to kill all the bacteria that thrives in moist environments, leaving your washing machine clean and gunk-free. And it goes without saying that a clean washing machine would result into clean, fresh-smelling laundry, especially after drying these outside.


4 More Possible Reasons Why Clothes Smell After Drying Outside

A dirty washing machine is one of the key reasons why clothes may smell after drying outside. However, even after washing your machine thoroughly and ensuring that it is gunk-free, your clothes may still have the lingering odor. Why is that so?

Consider these 4 other reasons why laundry may still smell bad even after drying outside in the sun:


1. Using Too Little or Too Much Laundry Detergent

wash machine

How much detergent do you use in your washing machine? Do you really measure the recommended amount of detergent, or do you just chuck it? Using too much detergent in the wash cycle could lead to the clothes not rinsing properly, causing excess detergent to remain trapped in the clothes’ fabric. In turn, this encourages water-logging and the growth of mold. On the other hand, using too little laundry detergent won’t clean the clothes thoroughly.

Therefore, when washing clothes in your washer and dryer, ensure that you measure the amount of detergent faithfully. Check the detergent bottle or packet for instructions on how much detergent you need to use and follow these instructions for every wash cycle.


2. Overloading Your Washing Machine

Washing Machine

If you want all your clothes to get properly cleaned, you should avoid cramping them in the washing machine. Clothes need enough space to move around and spin in the washer and dryer. Therefore, while it might be tempting to stuff your washing machine to get done with laundry quickly, avoid overloading your washing machine; put laundry in such a way that they have enough space to move.

Are You Overloading Or Under Loading Your Washer?


RELATED = = = > Can I Wash Clothes With Just Water?

3. Taking Too Long to Dry the Clothes

When clothes take too long to dry, they may develop a damp smell which lingers even after drying them outside. It could be that the clothesline is located in a high-humidity region or a shared area. This would cause the clothes to stay damp and wet for extended periods of time, such that slight mildew begins setting in. Clothes would also develop mildew if dried naturally indoors.

To prevent this, try drying your clothes outside on sunny days for a few hours. And if you have to dry them indoors, invest in a dehumidifier to prevent the development of moisture which could cause your clothes to develop mold and damp smells.

How to Fix a Dryer That Takes Too Long to Dry


RELATED = = = > Can You Mix Dark And Light Clothes In The Washing Machine?

4. Not Letting Clothes Dry Properly

Before taking clothes out of the tumble dryer or from the clothesline, make sure that they are completely dry. If you take them while they are still damp, they could develop musty odors which longer even after completely drying. And in cases where you might be forced to pick them while still damp, iron these straight away to dry them properly.



Hygiene starts with you; even the simple smell of your clothes can define you as being an hygienic or unhygienic person. Therefore, if you wonder why do my clothes smell after drying outside, it is high time you figured out the main reason why this happens and took action. When you put enough effort to keep your clothes always smelling nice, you will boost your confidence and create an identity that will endear you to people!

READ ME NEXT = = = > How Long Does It Take For a Robot Vacuum to Clean a Room?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.