If your freshly washed clothes have a bad or sour smell, some sleuthing may be called for to determine the cause. This is a guide about when clothes smell 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
My clothes smell real bad. I have tried washing them twice each time I visit the laundromat. I followed your instructions regarding vinegar and today when I on the train everyone started sniffing around me. When my fellow employees past my desk the smell themselves. I am desperate and need advice asap.
laundromats just don't clean as well as they should! First, make sure your clothes can tumble and toss in the water. Packed together and overloaded they cannot get as clean as you want. Second, you can presoak. A used cat litter bucket with a lid, some Oxy and water, and overnight soaks can really get stains and smells out. Third, do you smoke, have cats, or drink alot of coffee? Those smells cling to fibers. Use a mixture of peroxide and baking soda to soak overnight. Wash bras by hand so they don't self destruct! A paste of peroxide and baking soda will take out armpit stains which are actually caused by antiperspirants. Try washing in hot water. Try washing with no detergent. If you get suds even without, you are using too much detergent and the smell is build up. If you still feel like you smell bad, ask your doctor. Kidney disease, hormonal disturbances are sometimes tipped off by a funny smell. Keep on trying!
sounds like your laundrymat has dirty washers ,or are you on any medications alot of them will cause a hard to destroy smell,my other half was on a special medicine for a year and it ruined all his tee's.
Get your water tested...I bet you have this problem every summer as I do...I live in SW Pa...and every summer my laundry smells like sulfur.
Our clothes smell funny in summer, especially my husband's and I live in southwestern PA. Not from this area so I had no idea what the issue was. So glad to read this comment!
My husband is ridiculous about hygiene he has a whole deodorant, body spray AND cologne routine every morning and when he gets home from work his clothes sme s bad I make him change. This has never in 18 years of marriage been an issue until we moved here! Now I know what's causing it!
I washed my clothes and later used a hand towel to clean my face with. It had a bad sour smell to it. I had a cut so I used a towel again and poured hydrogen peroxide on it and noticed it started bubbling. Doesn't that only happen if there is bacteria present? I need help with this matter. Do I change detergent or try vinegar or ammonia to clean the washer? Why do my towels have bacteria on them after washing?
I would rewash them and in the rinse cycle add a cup of white vinegar. No fabric softener. It will fix it.
You might also try:
Running the washing machine without detergent through two complete 'boil wash' or hot programmes - you probably have a build of excess laundry detergent AND/OR general gunk (lint, bits of paper, soap scum, etc). Most modern machines don't have a hot water rinse but the hot water cycle of the hottest programme should work to rid your machine of excess/built up detergent and softener gunk, mould, etc. There are products you can buy meant specifically for this purpose but usually the simple two hot washes followed by one more with vinegar in the dispenser where bleach or softener goes does the trick for much less money! Btw, you should run the washer empty on boil wash at least four times a year to keep it clean.
After cleaning the machine of built-up gunk, cut down on how much laundry powder or liquid you're using per load - try dropping the amount by a quarter or third and go from there to determine how much detergent you need to get your fabrics clean and fresh smelling. Also consider skipping the softener if you're using it - vinegar works far better and is multi-purpose (cleans and deodorises machine, assists rinse water to get all the detergent out of the fabrics, softens fabrics). Vinegar is also a fabulous savings over commercially prepared softeners!
Cleaning the filters at the hose to tap connections - small mesh screen should be under the washer ring on the hose end, use an old (clean!) toothbrush to get all the accumulated gunk on the screen - you may not be able to see how thick the film on that screen really is until you brush off some of it. Repeat at least twice a year.
Check the washing machine user guide - the machine may have a more accessible filter in addition to the one at the hose to tap and that filter needs to be cleaned regularly as well.
If none of the above solutions resolves your problem, a small (usually a sock) item has likely worked into an area it wasn't meant to and is quietly moulding away causing the 'swamp stench'. This is a job for a repair tech.
This happens to me especially in summer. If I don't put the clothes in the dryer soon enough also. I found that washing the load again on hot with an oxyclean type powder added will kill the sour smell present in the clothing and towels. I also periodically wash my towels on hot with this same thing added to prevent whatever buildup happens over time. I normally wash on cold with liquid detergent. I wonder if this happens to people who consistently wash on hot?
This happened to me and it was because I was using too much laundry detergent and putting too many clothes in the wash. Cut back on the clothes and the laundry detergent
This sounds a little weird, but every time I do my laundry, afterwards they end up smelling bad. The weird part is that I know what I smell like after I've been sweating. When I take them out of the washer, they seem to smell clean and fine. It's when I take them out of the dryer that I notice the smell. It's not super strong, but strong enough to notice. I end up covering myself with perfume to try and at least mask it. But it's become a problem that is bothering me.
My work clothes get washed regularly by themselves. The smells don't go even after they've been washed. Shall I hand wash it? Any recommendations would be helpful.
By F. C.
Vinegar and baking soda are know to absorb odors. Try putting a cup of them both in the wash, along with detergent when you wash your clothes. Also make sure your washing machine is clean.
Some times I use All liquid detergent and baking soda. I used this even after a fire for the soot smell. Thought this might help. J
Do not use both together, because they neutralize each other.
Why do my clean clothes smell after awhile? I rewashed clean clothes because they smelled and now they smell again after being in the laundry basket. Please help
By Barbara from Youngstown, OH
You must be new to TF or you'd know this is a problem many, many people have. I used to have this with my towels which smelled clean after washing and drying, but smelled like mildew when they got damp again. Now I use vinegar in my wash instead of fabric softener and make sure they're dry before removing from the dryer. This cured it for me.
I have a feeling that the problem is in the washer. I ran the washer with half a bottle of clorox yesterday. I read a suggestion for that, someone also suggested taking the wringer out, but at my age that is impossible. The washer is old don't remember when I purchased it. I also removed that part where you put fabric softener in, after cleaning it in clorox it still smells. I also bought gain, someone suggested that. the problem is not with the clothes being dry. I think the problem is in the washer. I have towels washing now will see what happens. Thank you for all your suggestions.
I use 1/3 cup borax in my frontloader. No smells ever.
Also, you can clean your washer by running a load with just water and a cup or two of white vinegar.
I have some foul smelling clothes. I tried vinegar, fabreeze, lestoil, baking soda the works. I have to wash my clothes 2 times a week and the smell is still there.
Recently I discovered my clothes have started to smell sour like vinegar. I use Gain detergent and fabric softener along with baking soda. What else can I do?
By Laken M
1. Run your washer with bleach to kill bacteria in your washer.
2. Use white vinegar or Borax in your wash instead of baking soda. Don't overload your washer and put clothes in the dryer right away. Don't let them sit.