Clothes Smell Sour After Washing

I am in Phoenix AZ where temps reach over 100 consecutively. My husband works outside, so sometimes when he gets home his shirt smells sour. I thought it was from sweating and the shirt drying slowly. Anyway, I noticed that sometimes after a few hours my clothes smell sour. I always check them before I put them on, but they start stinking. I am not sweating. I am wondering if there could be something wrong with the washer. This is maddening. I really hate that smell.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Sounds-or should I say smells- like your washer needs a cleaning. Run the machine on a complete cycle..use the smallest load setting to save water, and add either 2 cups of bleach OR use 2 cups of white vinegar in the wash water on HOT. Let the machine run through the whole wash and rinse till done. Also, never close the door tight on the washer. Always leave the lid or door open at least a little, so moisture can escape to dry the inside. You can also add some vinegar to each load of laundry to cut any smell on the clothes.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Many newer machines these days have a clean cycle on them afer you wash so many loads. This normally takes over 3 hours to complete. Furthermore, after washing clothes they do not want you to close the door on the machine it is to remain open. This keeps out the smells in the machine and allows them to completely dry out.

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If you have an older machine you will need to do a deep cleaning on this machine. This is normally done with very hot water and you can add some cleaning agents like bleach or even vinegar in the water to clean the inside of the machine. My grandma always added a small amount of Lysol in her clothes no matter what she was washing to keep them smelling fresh all the time.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Check the drying process, making sure clothes are completely dry!

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

You do not say if you have a top load or front load (HE) washer and this might make a difference in what will work in your washer.
If you have an HE then you might check with the brand company and see if they have some suggestions.

You might try soaking (pre-wash) your clothes in hot water with a cup of baking soda for light color clothes and 2 cups of vinegar for dark clothes. Soak for a couple of hours and maybe turn agitator on for a few minutes while soaking.

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Rinse with one cup vinegar in all colors.

If at all possible hanging your clothes outside to dry may help to solve your problem. Bring them in while still slightly damp and finish drying in dryer to remove any wrinkles and soften the fabric.

It may be a good idea to clean your machine once a month but Google your brand with maintenance and see what they say about cleaning so you will have the correct way for your machine.

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August 21, 20190 found this helpful

Clean your washer with vinegar and leave the door open between uses.

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August 21, 20190 found this helpful

It also could be the drying process if your clothes are not completely dry when you put them away.

Sometimes you can break the cycle with the smell by washing the clothing with vinegar, then line drying them outside in the sun.

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August 21, 20190 found this helpful

I had this problem with my front loader and solved it by switching over to powdered detergent. The liquid detergent was getting caught in the washer's filter and leaving a reservoir of smelly water. I just buy the big container from Costco, which saves me a lot of money too.

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I would also wash the clothes in the hottest water they can handle, to ensure that any mold or mildew is gone. Now, my clothes only smell sour if someone forgets to move them to the dryer in a timely fashion. As I have two teen boys, this happens more than I would like.

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