Sour Smelling Clothes?

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

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February 11, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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October 26, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, You gave some good tips on getting the foul smell out of clothes but I have a question,,are you putting the stuff right in the wash basin, or in the dispensers, i.e. detergent the dispenser, or fabric softer dispenser, or the bleach one?? I have a high efficiency washer and I didn't think we are supposed to put stuff right into the wash tub, or shiukd we with these tips?. Will you clarify please? Thanks

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January 7, 20190 found this helpful

What type of washing machine are you using? Top load or front load? Also are you on well water or city water. When we first moved to house with HE front loader on well water we had bad smell issues. Found out by asking it's a common issue. Had to run machine empty with vinegar, bleach or CLR to get rid of smell but it comes back.


We have simple top loader now and have hardly any issues. But still use vinegar in rinse. Also use as little soap as can. Just did wash with just vinegar and everything was cleaning and sweet smelling. If you have front loader also clean rubber gasket round door to prevent smells.

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January 8, 20190 found this helpful

When we first got our front loader, there was a sour smell in the wash after a couple of weeks. We did a lot of research on the internet and found that many people switched from liquid detergent to powdered. We started buying the powdered tub from Costco and the smell went away.

I think it is that the liquid soap gets trapped in a filter or some other area and is a source of mildew, perhaps in the final rinse (which is cool water).


Many people recommend using a washer cleaning product but we found that switching detergents worked very well.

Good luck!

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