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Laundry Smells Bad After Washing

Sometimes I forget I have a load of wash in the washing machine that has begun to smell musty. How can I get rid of the smell that sometimes remains in the cloths even after washing them again?


By Mary Jean from Budd Lake, NJ

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

With towels use the hottest water you can vinegar is good to use so is oxi clean. I use oxi-clean instead of clorox, clorox eats up the clothes oxi clean doesn't. With the clothes vinegar or oxi-clean (dissolved first). Use at least warm water on clothes.

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

When I've done this, I re-wash the load, adding Oxy-Clean. Just in case you use cold water when washing, Oxy-Clean needs hot water to dissolve. I let the load sit and soak for a while before finishing the cycle. This seems to take care of the problem for me.

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October 19, 20101 found this helpful

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I have made 2 rules for myself. 1) I cannot put any clothes in the washer or dryer unless I first set my loud kitchen timer for 35 minutes. 2) When the timer goes off I must drop what I am doing and go directly to the washer or dryer. With these 2 rules, clothes are never left in the washer and I can take the clothes out of the dryer while it is still spinning, which means less wrinkles.

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

Between all of using my family, this happens fairly often. If it doesn't smell too bad, I usually just do a quick wash with warm water & 1/2 the amount of laundry soap. If it smells strong, I add borax to the wash.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

I have done this many times. I am a stay at home Mom but I get easily distracted by my kids and their needs, so I forget to go down there and switch loads. I remove about half of the clothes and wash again, it usually does the trick.

Good luck to you.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

When I do this, I rewash the load, adding 1/2 cup powdered dishwasher soap to the load, gets the smell out of smelly socks and "jock stuff" as well!

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May 1, 20170 found this helpful

you could use downy scents

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

How do I remove stagnant water smell from my clothes and towels? I was stupid when I did the laundry. I gave the plumber a towel to use, I didn't think when I did the laundry and that towel was in with the laundry. Now everything smells.


I cleaned the washer out with warm water and vinegar. I washed the towels by themselves with just vinegar and they still smell. Oh, not to mention I washed them with detergent and 1/2 cup of Baking Soda and that still didn't help.
Help please, my husband's best jeans were in that load. I had a small load to be washed, so I combined it. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

By Kennerchick from Kenner, LA


Laundry Smells Bad After Washing

I have had that problem recently as well, off and on for the past year. I had to cut my loads down to half what I used to wash, and make sure that I dried them right away. We also found that the dryer duct was almost full of lint, so we replaced it. I also started using baking soda in each load along with detergent, and vinegar/water mix in the liquid fabric softener dispenser.

I also changed from my fluffy thick bath towels, to smaller, thinner ones, that don't take as long to dry. This has helped a lot! If it seems that you have some that you have trouble getting the smell out (the way to tell is to take a pair of jeans, and put a small bit of water on them, and smell). Soak them overnight in the washer with vinegar and water, spin that out, then wash as usual. (07/23/2009)

By fatboyslimsmom

Laundry Smells Bad After Washing

I have read many posts about getting fire smoke smell out of clothing by using regular, not diet, cola in the wash. Perhaps this will work for you too. (07/24/2009)

By Beth

Laundry Smells Bad After Washing

My sister use to get stuff from the trash, clothes and stuff. She'd clean and repair the stuff and then give it to charity. There were lots of times that things had a musty smell and other unpleasant odors. She used TSP in the wash. After the wash would agitate for a while, she'd stop the washer and let it sit for a few hours. This worked for her, but here's the thing about TSP, it's a very strong cleaner. So I would let it sit for maybe 1.5 hours and then run through and give it an extra rinse.


My husband is a truck driver. He has come home with the most disgusting dirt, oils, diesel, and smells you can't believe. What I use is BIZ with all the other additives, like Oxypower and a good amount of detergent. I let it sit for a while, then run through a number of rinses. Sometimes, to get his clothes clean, I had to wash it a number of times. Something that worked for diesel, which is the worst, I would put the pieces in a bucket with a good amount of Biz and let it soak for days. This would work for the fuel. Hope you get some ideas. (07/24/2009)

By c t

Laundry Smells Bad After Washing

After a good wash, if you are able, hang the clothes outside in the sun to dry. I noticed when I used a really cheap laundry detergent on my husband's work clothes that his socks still had a smell to them until they either went in the dryer or hung outside. I quit buying that one and bought Purex linen and lilies and I've had no problem with smelly clothes.

By kghsave

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