Author Topic: Getting the stink out of clothes  (Read 4114 times)

Trying to get this right

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 32
  • Location: HNL, HI
Getting the stink out of clothes
« on: November 09, 2014, 12:37:36 PM »
I've been noticing a musty smell on my clothes lately.  Any ideas on how to get it out?  I pinky promise I shower and wear deodorant daily.  These are just clothes I wear in an air conditioned office- I don't exercise in them. 

My normal detergent is the Honest Company pods (won in a Whole Foods gift basket!) and baking soda.  I've tried warm water and oxi clean with no avail. 

I'd rather not dump the clothes as they are a part of my work wardrobe so any suggestions are appreciated!

Thank you!

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1897
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 12:46:19 PM »
I've removed the mildew smell from towel and robes using white vinegar. 

I'm also obsessed with the blog Clean My Space.  Just a quick survey of laundry related posts: http://cleanmyspace.com/category/laundry-2/

YoungInvestor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 01:05:56 PM »
If it's a few select pieces, I'd take them to the cleaner. If it's generalized, I'd see what in your environment is bringing that smell. Maybe they come out clean and get that smell in your wardrobe?

Credaholic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Seattle
    • Credaholic
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 05:17:48 PM »
Might not be an option right now depending on where you are, but sun works wonders. I've gotten mothball smell out of thrifted clothes with a white vinegar wash and then a few hours on the line.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2985
  • Location: WDC
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 06:36:25 PM »
By any chance, do you have a front-loading washer?  That may be the source of the mildew smell. 

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3951
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 06:54:54 PM »
If I line dry in high humidity, and it takes more than a day for stuff to dry, it smells a bit musty. Another wash and a runthrough the dryer cures it.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 07:46:09 PM »
I've never tried it, but some people have had success with Bac-Out, an enzymatic cleaner.

I have had good luck putting clothes out in the fresh air, even in the shade.

You could also try washing in HOT water. Sometimes it makes a difference and most washable clothes can tolerate a hot wash now and again.

One more thing to try would be putting vinegar in your final rinse, as if it were fabric softener. This will help with the odor if it is caused by detergent buildup, which is totally possible.

And if none of those work, then change your laundry detergent! Not every detergent is a good fit for every washer and every body chemistry.

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 07:53:49 PM »
I use vinegar all the time in my wash for various reasons, but I do have this one blanket that my dogs love to lay on, which I could NOT get the smell out of. I read a tip online to soak for an hour in v. hot water w/a  cup of baking soda, then wash w/vinegar & regular detergent. It worked! The vinegar has worked for everything else for me though. If you think it's your washer causing it, run it full of water & add vinegar & let that sit for a bit to see if that will help with the overall smell problem.

m8547

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 09:50:48 PM »
-You could clean your washer with citric acid or chlorine bleach. When using shared machines I like to do a bleach load first, like socks, towels, etc. Chlorine bleach will turn stuff yellow with regular use, though.
-You could use real, industrial strength detergent like Tide. (I've heard Tide Ultra Vivid+ Color Safe Bleach HD Max II or something like that is good) I bought some natural detergent and that was a mistake.
-Oxy clean really should help?
-You could try a sports laundry detergent. Atsko Sport Wash works surprisingly well for me, but there are others like Win, Sport Suds, Nikwax tech wash (overpriced). Atsko is marketed to hunters to get odors out.
-Don't use fabric softeners. They don't rinse out of clothes and can become musty over time since they are oily substances.
-Machine drying will kill anything that could be causing odors, but it's not a permanent fix if it's coming from your washer or as a result of excess fabric softener.
-Leave your washer open to dry out when you aren't using it
-Keep dirty clothes in a breathable laundry hamper, like a hanging cloth bag


stripey

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 772
  • Age: 119
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting the stink out of clothes
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2014, 10:00:44 PM »
I don't have much more to add than the above fabulous suggestions. What I know works for me is:

- Ensuring the washing machine drum is not mildewy/smelly, and if it is, doing something about it (e.g. a cycle with citric acid, very thoroughly cleaning the gasket in a front loader)
- If you use commercial fabric softener ( I don't!) reduce the amount or eliminate entirely, and/or replace with baking soda or vinegar (depending on your water quality)
- Ensuring you don't use TOO MUCH detergent per load
- If you DON'T live in a humid climate and you have the ability, line dry clothes where possible (UV irradiation does wonders for things which make musty smells, and the airing is second to none) and failing this, ensuring clothes dry as quickly as possible.

Good luck, and let us know how you go!