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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Prevent Sour Laundry Smell

Over the years, I’ve shared lots of things about my family life – like our smelly HE washing machine, my husband leaving towels in the washer for a week, and that I run pretty much every day.  What do all of these things have in common?  They are all related to sour smelling clothes.  Here are some common things that cause your clothes to end up smelling sour, along with the solutions:
  • It can start in your washing machine; moisture, soap build up, and dirt build up in your washer and can turn to mold over time.  Steer clear of using too much laundry detergent, and check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly clean and maintain your washing machine.  If it has been going on for quite some time, consider calling a service man to identify the exact location of the problem and how to solve it.
  • Not properly cleaning your clothes can also lead to odor issues.  Something we’ve all been guilty of on occasion is overloading the washing machine.  Unfortunately, a too full washer doesn’t allow the detergent or clothes to move around sufficiently, causing some stains and spills to be missed and leaving detergent residue on clothes.  There’s a simple solution to this one – don’t overload your washer.
  • Letting your laundry sit for too long before washing.  While this is helpful with stain removal, it is also important, especially if we’re talking about damp items like towels or workout clothes.  Bacteria can begin breeding within hours, leaving an intense smell.  If you can’t wash damp items or workout clothes right away, don’t leave them in a pile.  Instead, lay them out to dry or hang them on a drying rack.
  • One tip we’ve often shared on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ is to not put damp clothes away.  Damp clothes in dark places start to grow mold or mildew, causing that musty, sour smell.  Always make sure clothes are completely dry before putting them away.
So what do you do if you notice your clothes smelling sour?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • For things like white undergarments, rewash them in chlorine bleach using the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric.
  • If they are color clothes or towels, add a small box of baking soda to the wash.
  • Hang items outside in the sunlight to dry.  Fresh air and direct sunlight eliminate mildew.  To reduce chances of fading, turn garments inside out.
If none of those suggestions work, you can always bring the items by one of our locations.  Our trained staff will be glad to help you solve the problem.

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