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Help! My just laundered towels smell sour as soon as they get wet?


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#1 mom2jrcsc

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:49 AM

How do I get them really clean so they won't smell? I don't want to use bleach because they're dark colors.

#2 Cafelattee

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:52 AM

wash in hot water with clorox 2 and it will kill the mildew smell

#3 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 10:05 AM

What kind of washing machine do you use?

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You can use vinegar with them too, instead of the clorox 2 - i'd start doing some hot water washes without soap and seeing how much is still in them. Then do the vinegar to help kill the stuff in them.

Your hot water setting on your water heater might not be hot enough - so you might want to crank it up to get it out for now, then turn it down. I think it's 150 degree will kill "stuff" without using bleach.

#4 Doran

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 10:41 AM

I rarely use a hot water setting, but I do use vinegar in the rinse cycle. What I've found works well for smelly clothes is to pour about a cup of white distilled vinegar in after the washer has filled for the rinse cycle. I let it agitate a bit, then turn the washer off and let the articles soak for as long as possible (often, for me, it's overnight). Complete the rinse cycle and hang out to dry in the sun. If you don't have a clothesline, you can dry them immediately in your dryer. The vinegar should help. If you have a front loading washer, I'm clueless about how to add things midway through the cycle. :confused:

#5 Ellie

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:43 PM

Have you tried a different detergent? I've never had any problems with smelly laundry using Amway products.

#6 cillakat

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:47 PM

i'd crank up the heat for a load......and run an empty wash with 1/2 cup cascade complete dishwashing powder (enzymes and bleach eat up lots of bad guys) plus 1 c hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.....they'll get anything else left:)

Just in case it's a washer problem.....

K

#7 spotted_ladybugs

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:00 PM

I was having the same problem with my towels until I switched laundry detergent. Actually, it was all of my laundry but the towels smelled the worst to us. What kind of laundry detergent are you using?

#8 H.S. Burrow

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:17 PM

How do I get them really clean so they won't smell? I don't want to use bleach because they're dark colors.


I was having the same problem with my towels until I switched laundry detergent. Actually, it was all of my laundry but the towels smelled the worst to us. What kind of laundry detergent are you using?


I am also having this problem! It is driving me NUTS!!!!! I have completed a cycle empty with hot water, Tide, Bleach and a cup of baking soda to clean the washer. I have cleaned all of the filters.

My laundry still smells TERRIBLE! Clean towels smell ok until you dry your hands on them and then YUK!

I have washed them on hot, with Tide, bleach and baking soda. We had been using Arm & Hammer laundry detergent and Downy, but I have switched back to Tide and Bounce sheets. The reason is Tide and Bounce are what my mom and MIL use. We are all in the same neighborhood with the same water main. So, theorectically, my laundry should smell just the way theirs does.

It does not. I have asked my DH if there could be anything in the water lines of the washing machine and he said no, not without clogging the line so that water wouldn't enter the machine.

Any advice on this would be appreciated - and not just by the OP.

#9 spotted_ladybugs

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:37 PM

Tide was the detergent that I was having problems with. We have used Arm & Hammer in the past and I don't recall having an issue with odor like we did with Tide (sorry to all the Tide lovers out there). We're now using Cheer and the odor is gone after one load! We believe it was the detergent. Something else we tried before changing detergents was eliminating softener in the washer. That didn't seem to help at all.

#10 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:47 PM

You could search on the Laundry Forum.

http://ths.gardenweb...forums/laundry/

They are pretty helpful - but they will want to know what kinda of machine, soap (liquid or powder), water harness and all that :D

ETA: here are a couple of threads

http://ths.gardenweb...1904507948.html
http://ths.gardenweb...8512428889.html
http://ths.gardenweb...5024926529.html

Edited by TraceyS/FL, 01 November 2008 - 01:52 PM.


#11 jamnkats

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:54 PM

We live in the tropics and this smell is normal. To keep on top of the mold and mildew I never use a dryer (don't even own one). I ALWAYS line dry and the sun will naturally bleach the bugs and bacteria out of your clothing. I also take any damp towels (here they don't naturally dry overnight after an evening shower) and at first light, I hang them on the line to bleach/dry.

As long as any wet or damp stuff is continually hung in the sun to dry we never have this smell.

#12 H.S. Burrow

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:11 PM

You could search on the Laundry Forum.

http://ths.gardenweb...forums/laundry/

They are pretty helpful - but they will want to know what kinda of machine, soap (liquid or powder), water harness and all that :D

ETA: here are a couple of threads

http://ths.gardenweb...1904507948.html
http://ths.gardenweb...8512428889.html
http://ths.gardenweb...5024926529.html



THANKS! I would never have guessed there was a forum dedicated to laundry.

I have several ideas to try now, including Borax and powdered detergent. AND allowing the washer lid to stay open. We have an old Maytag top-loader.

Thanks again!

#13 mom2jrcsc

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:16 PM

But they did just change the detergent formula to super concentrated. I buy the "free and clear" and I noticed the shirt I'm wearing smells perfumey, so something is different.

#14 mom2jrcsc

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:18 PM

.

#15 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:22 PM

But they did just change the detergent formula to super concentrated. I buy the "free and clear" and I noticed the shirt I'm wearing smells perfumey, so something is different.


I would do the cup of Casade on HOT and clean the machine (check the gasket for any build-up). Liquid detergent seems to cause the most problems it seems.

The threads i posted have a variety of things to try - but i'd personally start with the casade to get it out of the machine. Then for sure do a wash without soap and see if you have soap residual in them. Cut back on the amount of soap you are using too.

Have you checked to see if any other stuff has it? Wipe your wet hands on a t-shirt and see what it smells like?

#16 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:23 PM

How do you add vinegar to the rinse cycle of a front loader?


I put mine in the fabric softener spot. It replaces that.

#17 ChemMommy

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 05:20 PM

I was going to toss the entire huge stack of towels and start over.

Instead, we bought the giant jug of vinegar (the cheapest possible--hey, it's all acetic acid diluted to 4.75%).

Step 1: We put two cups of vinegar in and washed the towels on the hottest water setting, trying not to crowd the load.

Step 2: We washed them in our regular detergent, trying not to let them sit too long wet in the washer after step 1.

Step 3: We dried them extra thoroughly.

Step 4: We sniffed them with joy.

Not one single towel or rag, no matter how stinky, still smells bad!! That's a wonderful product--simple vinegar!

#18 hornblower

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 05:37 PM

My laundry still smells TERRIBLE! Clean towels smell ok until you dry your hands on them and then YUK!


Bleach
Sun
Vinegar
as has been mentioned already. All the things that smell when you wet them a bit, need to be washed with a strong dose of bleach if they can handle it, or with loads of vinegar if they can't.

Clean the machine.

AND then, the other part of the equation is what you're doing with your wet towels, dishcloths, etc. If you leave them wet, or even just damp, & bunch them up & dump into a laundry basket for a day or two or more, the problem will come back.

Used damp towels, facecloths, dishcloths etc have to be either
a) hung in an airy room, preferably flat out on a rail rather than on a hook
B) put into the wash immediately
or
c) if they're not quite clean enough to leave out but you're not ready to do laundry yet, you need a wet prewash soak bucket. The items need to be completely submerged in water. I put in a little bit of detergent, sometimes I add a bit of borax. In this way, the cloths can wait for laundry but won't get mildew so long as they're fully covered with water.

hth

#19 Miss Sherry

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 08:35 PM

Are you leaving them in the washer after they are done for awhile before putting them in the dryer ? They may be going bad from being left wet for too long.
I think you should rewash them and add vinegar to the wash.

#20 Frontier Mom

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:21 PM

I was going to toss the entire huge stack of towels and start over.

Instead, we bought the giant jug of vinegar (the cheapest possible--hey, it's all acetic acid diluted to 4.75%).

Step 1: We put two cups of vinegar in and washed the towels on the hottest water setting, trying not to crowd the load.

Step 2: We washed them in our regular detergent, trying not to let them sit too long wet in the washer after step 1.

Step 3: We dried them extra thoroughly.

Step 4: We sniffed them with joy.

Not one single towel or rag, no matter how stinky, still smells bad!! That's a wonderful product--simple vinegar!


Thanks. I'm trying this tomorrow. My towels smell OK out of the dryer but as soon as they get wet - :tongue_smilie:.

#21 Ellie

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 10:12 PM

Any advice on this would be appreciated - and not just by the OP.

Amway. You should be able to find someone locally who sells it.

#22 mom2jrcsc

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 04:26 PM

Rewashed the towels with hot water and my regular detergent. Added 1/4 c. vinegar in the fabric softener cup. That did the trick.

#23 Storm Bay

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 04:28 PM

I use BioKleen Oxygen Bleach on my coloured towels & wash on hot. I wash a lot of towels as my dd's swim on a team. I also don't let my towels sit wet more than 24 hours, and usually less.

#24 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 04:43 PM

YAHOOOO!!!!!!!

#25 H.S. Burrow

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 05:14 PM

I had DH check the hot water heater. It was only set on 100. So we bumped it up as high as it would go. We have 2 hot water heaters - one for the kitchen sink and laundry room and another for the bathrooms...no scalding problem in case anyone was concerned.

The washer has been sanitized...again, but this time with REALLY HOT WATER ;) and the last load of towels are great so far. The real test will be when they get used.

Thanks again for all the help! :)

#26 Doran

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:01 AM

There's not much worse that getting out of a nice warm shower only to bury your wet face in a smelly towel!

Well, okay, there are a lot of things that are worse. But, I'm just sayin'...:001_smile:


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