How to Get Smell Out of Laundry

Linens and clothing odors can vary in their sources of origin. Often, these smells can develop outside the home during exercise, work or daily errands.  However, they can also easy come from the laundry process within the household.


 

Since all laundry shares the common thread of being fabrics, there exist a handful of tips for wiping out nearly any laundry odor.  Within this guide, these solutions will be provided in hopes of returning clothing and linens to normal.

 
 

Preventative Methods

There are things that can be done to ensure that laundry will be fresh upon drying.  These two steps can often save the need for multiple washer and dryer cycles.

 

1 Don’t Leave in Washing Machine

If clothes and linens are left within the laundry machine more than 8-12 hours, they can begin to develop an unwanted odor.  Wet laundry serves as a habitat for mold and mildew residue, and can quickly smell if left within the washer.

 
 

2 Hang Dry

The best way to dry clothing is by clothesline.  Besides benefiting your electricity bill, but the UV rays, open space and fresh air all work to reduce odors.  If you believe an odor is still present after running through the wash, take the preventative action of hanging you laundry outside in direct sunlight.

 
 
 

Odor Removal Solutions

Once your clothing or linens have develop a powerful smell, it will need added solutions to remove the odors.  By employing some of the below solutions, you can be sure that you will be left with fresh laundry.

 

1 Hot Water

In the battle against laundry odors, hot water is you friend.  You will want to set the washer to the warmest water setting that the clothing and linens you are washing will allow.  Hot water help to open the fabric fiber and allow the detergent to get deep within to fight the odor.

 

2 Wash Again

Often one rinse and spin in is not enough to remove difficult odors.  As a rule of thumb, if the laundry smells after a wash, the odor will not improve by placing them directly into the dryer.

 
 

3 White Vinegar

This solution can deliver and extra boost to any detergent wash.  Measure a cup of vinegar and pour it into the washer with your normal clothing detergent.  This solution works especially well with clothing that has developed a mildew odor from being left within the washer too long.

 

4 Baking Soda

This household substance is known for it’s powers of odor absorption.  Measure a half cup of baking soda and add in with your normal detergent wash.  The baking soda will work to pull in much of the fabric’s odors and work freshness within your laundry.  As an added benefit, this substance will make your whites whiter and will make fabric softer.

 

5 Fabric Softener

During the drying cycle be sure to include at least two sheets of fabric softener.  It will make the fabric soft and add a pleasant aroma that masks any residual odors.

 
 
 

6 Oxiclean

If nothing has been effective at removing odor, this product can help in taking the laundry the final mile.  Pour Oxiclean in with your normal detergent wash and air dry outside for safe measure.


 

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1 Comment

  1. Foxy Mom

    I appreciate all of this advice.  But I have a unique problem:  My adult son has a distinct smell that is not simple body odor.  It smells vinegar-like.  Wiki page calls this (& others) scent, “Malordor Syndrome.  It can be caused by secretions from sebaceous glands or aprocrine glands (close to sex organs – can you spell pheromones?); can also be a zinc deficiency.  Baking soda, Adidas deodorants; AXE or TAG body spray… well, you get the idea.  I’m soaking his sheets in salt and vinegar before agitating, now.  I’ve tried other laundry treatments.  They help, but don’t remove all of the smell.  If anyone has any knowledge or experience with this, please share. Unlike my son, don’t be embarrassed, be clinical, please! 

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