Why do bedsheets get stinky in the linen closet?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does this happen to anyone else??

I put my freshly washed, 100% cotton sheets into the linen closet. (Note: My detergent is not perfumed.) Maybe a week later, I go to get them out and they have a distinct smell. It's a stale odor. I once thought it might be because they weren't getting completely clean (like maybe the skin oil had turned rancid? I'm getting creative here...) So I washed them on HOT with Oxyclean and detergent. As usual, they smelled fresh when I put them away and stinky when I took them out of the closet. Oh! And this happens regardless of which house/apartment we're living in, so it's not the closet's fault!

My bath towels don't turn stinky in the linen closet. Why do the sheets?
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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This happens to me, too! And just the sheets. I don't get it either. Someone give us answers!

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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Old 06-14-2007, 06:05 PM
 
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This is so funny! It happens to me too. I always assumed I was just weird and not doing something right. I would love to know how to solve this!!!
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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I just cleaned out my linen closet and donated all the old sheets and I noticed they smelled bad! I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I have dustmite allergies so I usually wash my sheets in hot water right before they go on the bed anyway.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:12 PM
 
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Here too. When I hang sheets on the line I get that same smell, which is why I DON'T hang laundry outside - because it all reminds me of stale sheets.

I have NEVER had sheets that come back out of the closet smelling fresh and clean.

Peggy: full-time shift-working mama to Kiddo (Nov|04) and Babygirl (May|11). Fiancée to Babe. Step-mom to Tween, my bonus daughter (Sep|00). Currently TTC - http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3c1739

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Old 06-15-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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Old books also smell when you crack them open. Anything made from plant fibers will probably smell after it sits long enough.

It is mildew, which only requires very little moisture and darkness. Sheets and towels (and books) can absorb plenty of moisture when stored. Put a container of damp-rip in your closet and change it every month and you shouldn't have a problem, unless you live in a very humid climate. Then you might have to change it more often.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...id=prod1993561

There is no reason to stop drying clothes outside, that doesn't contribute to the problem.
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm mildew doesn't explain why freshly-washed sheets and towels can go into the same closet at the same time, and 3 days later the sheets smell yucky while the towels smell fresh *shrug*
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taedareth View Post
Hmmm mildew doesn't explain why freshly-washed sheets and towels can go into the same closet at the same time, and 3 days later the sheets smell yucky while the towels smell fresh *shrug*
Sure it does. Mold and mildew do not grow on different textiles at the same rate, even if they are sitting right next to each other. Since you're in Washington, which is far from a dry state, 3 days is probably plenty of time for mildew to form.
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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ITW...plus, are the sheets still warm when you are folding them? They will trap some moisture in them when they're warm too, fold them up and it's all in there.
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