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Clean clothes gone stale after a while

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've got this problem for ages.  Usually DH's clothes or sheets or towels would smell fresh and nice after washing.  Then I fold them and put them away or hang them in closet.  If he doesn't use them for a while (say a few weeks), these thing start to smell off.  The longer they sit there the worse they smell until they contaminate whatever was next to them as well.  The kids's clothes or mine don't ever have this problem.  Thank goodness he has his own closet.

 

We've always been using front loader, either Tide HE, Ecos HE or Nellie's laundry soda.  I'm guessing these stuff simply didn't get 100% clean.  We have high humidity here and what's left eventually feed bacteria?  He works an office job and hardly does any yardwork or exercise, you'd think washing his shirts once would be enough.  Can anyone suggest a good way to make his clothes clean in one wash cycle?  Washing soda?  Oxyclean?  Hot water (not all the fabric can use that, though)?  We do have a cloth diapers cycle on our machine that probably would kill everything, but it takes 2 1/2 hours.  I'd rather not use that much energy if some laundry additive can fix that.

post #2 of 8
I've had this problem with DHs linens as well, it does seem like bacteria excess. Every now and then I'll use Biokleen's Bac Out (same one I use for smelly diapers) on his clothes and it makes them good as new.
post #3 of 8
Maybe wearing an undershirt? That you then wash with bleach.

What type of material are the clothes? I have no issues with 100% cotton, even though it is wrinkle-free.
post #4 of 8

I've had the exact same issue here--and he DOES wear an undershirt every day.  I hate front-loading washers.  They simply don't get things clean.  This may help some...http://www.ecokaren.com/2009/06/front-loading-washer-maintenance/

post #5 of 8

Try washing with a bio powder and on hottest cycle.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions!  I've been adding washing soda and borax and that seem to help a bit.  I also told him to declutter.  He has too many shirts that he doesn't wear.  If they're worn regularly they would not develop funky smell.  He's lost 20 lbs and still holding onto his ginormous shirts.  Most of his clothes are cotton so they should be able to withstand vigorous cycles.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

I've had the exact same issue here--and he DOES wear an undershirt every day.  I hate front-loading washers.  They simply don't get things clean.  This may help some...http://www.ecokaren.com/2009/06/front-loading-washer-maintenance/

 

Count me in as another that has been disappointed by her front loader.  Our first was a no-frills GE and that one was fine.  The current fancy Elextrolux model smells danky and moldy and like the OP mentioned, freshly washed clothing can smell off.

 

That is a good link.  I am generally lazy when it comes to that type of maintenance but I need to make the time to do it.

 

Just the other day, I was listening to a radio show.  The host was talking about his experience with a front loader. (also a stinky laundry issue) He contacted a rep from the company and learned that the newer detergents contain enzymes that actually encourage bateria growth.  When water sits in anywhere in the washer, the residual detergent creates an excellent environment for bateria to grow.  Great......

post #8 of 8

You could throw in a little PineSol as a disinfectant.  (Keep it away from the kids, though--it looks like apple juice.)

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