The stinky washcloth thread - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So - my cloths (the ones I use in place of paper towels) get SO dirty and even the clean ones have a funny smell. Surfacing said that hers get stinky when wet.

Can anyone help us with our stinky cloths?

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#2 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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My crocheted cotton dishcloths get stinky so I let them dry and when I have 4 or 5 of them, soak them in a bucket with about a gallon of water and half a scoop of oxi-clean before tossing them in the wash. That works well for me. I'm about to try a scoop of oxi in a load of towels and such that are bothering me.

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#3 of 20 Old 06-27-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Try drying them in the full sun.

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#4 of 20 Old 06-27-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Thanks for reminding me of this trick, USAmma. Been having a trouble with my towels in general and will definitely take the drying rack outside for the next load.

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#5 of 20 Old 06-28-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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Thanks for reminding me of this trick, USAmma. Been having a trouble with my towels in general and will definitely take the drying rack outside for the next load.
I love the sun! :-) But if you hang those towels outside be prepared for an extreme skin exfoliation experience. The more expensive towels seem to hold up better but the cheap or old towels-- watch out.

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#6 of 20 Old 06-28-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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Have you tried scalding them in hot water daily?

I drink tea, so after I pour my tea water (and the dish cloth has been rinsed and wrung) I just pour the leftover boiling water from the kettle over the cloths in the sink. When they're cool enough to wring, toss them in the wash, or wring and hang to dry.

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#7 of 20 Old 06-28-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I have the same problem with my also. I try to remember to rinse them out but I forget most of the time.

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#8 of 20 Old 06-29-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Mine do this as well and I have found if I wash like normal and then do hot cycles with no soap I get lots of suds. I keep rinsing till the suds are gone and they smell fresh again. I need to do this again as a lot of my kitchen cloth is not smelling so pretty.

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#9 of 20 Old 06-29-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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Mine definitely do this. It happens more frequently when I air dry them instead of dryer drying them, which makes me suspect it's some kind of bacteria issue as opposed to soap buildup. That said, I'm going to try a soapless hot wash and see what happens.

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#10 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Mine do this as well and I have found if I wash like normal and then do hot cycles with no soap I get lots of suds. I keep rinsing till the suds are gone and they smell fresh again. I need to do this again as a lot of my kitchen cloth is not smelling so pretty.
Thanks for this! For the last load of towels and such, I washed them in hot with no detergent but did add a scoop of oxy cleaner. They smelled much better! I'm going to do that several more times to make sure I got all the towels and rags, then will probably do it every other load. (I didn't do a repeated rinse, though, because we have a community laundry room and would have to pay $1 every time.)

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#11 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arianwen1174 View Post
My crocheted cotton dishcloths get stinky so I let them dry and when I have 4 or 5 of them, soak them in a bucket with about a gallon of water and half a scoop of oxi-clean before tossing them in the wash. That works well for me. I'm about to try a scoop of oxi in a load of towels and such that are bothering me.
I do use cloths in the kitchen, but crocheted cotton dishcloths sound so awesome! I've been looking for some easy, crafty things to work on since #4 was born a few weeks ago, this is perfect!

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#12 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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Oxyclean is wonderful stuff! Soak with a scoop of that and really hot water and you should be stink-free.
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#13 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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I do use cloths in the kitchen, but crocheted cotton dishcloths sound so awesome! I've been looking for some easy, crafty things to work on since #4 was born a few weeks ago, this is perfect!
Who knew a stinky washcloth thread could spur a craft moment! Dishcloths are so quick and easy, I love making them. Too bad I don't need anymore, lol.

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#14 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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The only thing I use my microwave for is to disinfect my dish sponges. I imagine you could do that with cotton cloths, too. First, put dish soap on them, squeeze the bubbles through, rinse with hot, hot water, and squeeze the water out. When damp, put in the microwave for say, 60 seconds and hopefully the cloth will be dry or nearly dry...if not, you might practice to see if you need to put it in for say 70 or 85 seconds or whatever. The microwave will kill the bacteria that is making the cloths stink, assuming you have a microwave.
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#15 of 20 Old 07-01-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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Borax is way cheaper than oxyclean and works just as well!

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#16 of 20 Old 07-03-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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We have not had a problem with stinky washcloths since we stopped using commercial laundry products. I make my own detergent and I only use 1 tablespoon per load.

I love my handknit washcloths. I make them with Sugar N Cream thread. Every time I wash them they get softer.

Kathi

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#17 of 20 Old 07-04-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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We have not had a problem with stinky washcloths since we stopped using commercial laundry products. I make my own detergent and I only use 1 tablespoon per load.
What's your recipe? Share!
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#18 of 20 Old 07-04-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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I've now washed two separate loads of towels/rags/family cloth with just an oxi cleaner and hot wash/cold rinse and the loads smell better than they have in ages. So nice! I don't think I'll use detergent in those loads again now. And I'm going to do that with every other load of clothes too, because the cotton knits get a wet dog smell that is really annoying for someone like me with a wonder nose. I'm sure it will help the clothes too.

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#19 of 20 Old 07-04-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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It's not my recipe. I got it from Prairieland Herbs.

Handmade Herbal Laundry Detergent

approx 4 oz. grated laundry soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
1 cup baking soda
essential oils (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a widemouth container with a lid. (I use a recycled kitty litter container). Add essential oils as desired (but they are not necessary). Use 1 tbsp to 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

It's been working great for us.

Kathi

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#20 of 20 Old 07-05-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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I have the same issue, I line-dry just about all my laundry. They only smell in the summertime, in the winter our kitchen is too cold for the mildew to start
Tried oxyclean, tried commercial detergent (as opposed to my homemade stuff) and finally broke down and used a capfull of bleach. It worked like a charm.
But I hate to use bleach.
Back to the drawing board!

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