For many, laundry isn’t the most exciting household chore. But it gets worse when your freshly washed clothes come out of the machine smelling odd.
Why are your clothes not smelling fresh after washing? And what can you do about it? This guide explains why your clothes smell bad, even after thorough washing, and shares tips for resolving the issue and achieving great smelling laundry without lingering odors.
Clothes Not Smelling Fresh After Washing: 4 Common Reasons
Smelly laundry can be caused by many factors, including a buildup of bacteria in the washing machine and improper use of detergent.
Here’s a quick rundown of the common reasons for pongy laundry:
1. Bacteria Buildup in the Washer
Washing machines collect plenty of residues over time. These include limescale from water and chemical residues from detergents. And because there is usually a small amount of water in the washer, bacteria and mold can start to develop.
If you do not clean both the interior and exterior of your washer regularly, your laundry will eventually pick up the odors from all the biological and chemical buildups in the machine.
2. Leaving Clothes in the Machine for Too Long
Your laundry is not meant to stay in the washer overnight or for extended periods. The dark interior of the machine, combined with wet clothes, makes a perfect breeding ground for odor-causing microorganisms.
If you leave wet clothes or garments in washing machines for too long, they will take on unpleasant smells, even after washing them thoroughly.
3. Using Too Much or Too Little Detergent
Using too much or too little detergent when doing laundry is a common mistake. If you use too much detergent, your machine’s rinse cycle may not fully remove the chemicals from your laundry, leaving it with a pongy smell. On the other hand, your clothes will not be properly cleaned if you use too little detergent.
4. Clothes Stored for Too Long
If your clothes are stored in a poorly ventilated area for too long, they will take on a damp, moldy odor. This is especially true if the storage location is near an external wall with little air circulation.
Typically, washing such clothes with regular detergents will hardly eliminate the offensive smell. It may take repeated washing and lots of elbow grease to come anywhere close to a fresh smell.
A better solution is to use a more powerful but natural odor-neutralizing detergent to remove stuck-on odors from clothes stored for too long.
Clothes Not Smelling Fresh After Washing? Try These Tips
Your clothes won’t automatically smell nice just because you tossed them into your washing machine. Fresh-smelling clothes require doing laundry properly; luckily, the correct laundry routine isn’t complex.
If your clothes have a lingering smell after washing, follow these tips to resolve the issue.
Air-Dry Dirty Clothes Before Washing
Hang dirty and wet clothes outdoors to dry properly before putting them in the hamper. Heat and ultraviolet rays from sunlight can kill germs and bacteria on clothing, reducing the chance of dirty clothes clinging to a foul odors and bad smell.
However, consider drying your clothes indoors if the weather outside is unsafe, particularly if you have allergies. That’s because pollens may get on the clothes and trigger allergic reactions.
Whatever you do, avoid putting dirty laundry in the clothes dryer, as the machine is not designed to remove dirt.
Store Clothes Properly
Neatly fold clean clothes before putting them away in spacious drawers. Avoid overstuffing drawers to allow the clothes “breathe” in storage.
If you hang clothing in a wardrobe or closet, ensure enough room for airflow to keep clean clothes smelling fresh. Remember to properly clean and dry shoes, gear, and other accessories before storing them in the same location as clean clothes.
Check Your Detergent Use
Using the right amount of laundry detergent ensures clothes come out cleaner and smell nicer. However, if your laundry smells awful even when you use the recommended detergent quantity, it may be time to switch to a more effective odor-fighting detergent.
On the other hand, if you’re happy with your laundry detergent but still have lingering smells on freshly washed clothes, consider boosting your detergent with an earth-based enhancer like the EnviroKlenz Liquid Laundry Enhancer. It targets odor at its source and works well on various fabrics, including spandex, cotton, wool, and lace.
Stick to your Washer’s Load Capacity
Your washing machine will do a better cleaning job when you follow the recommended load capacity.
Your clothes will come out smelling fresher and cleaner if your machine has enough room to move the laundry around during wash and rinse cycles.
Use a Hotter Wash Cycle
Stuck-on smells, particularly those caused by the interaction of sweat and bacteria, can be difficult to get rid of using normal water.
If your work clothes, gym wears, or kids’ play clothes tend to smell bad no matter how thoroughly you wash them, consider cleaning them in a hotter wash cycle.
Remember that excessive heat can damage some fabric, so make sure to read the care label on clothes before using the hot cycle to clean them.
Remove Washed Clothes Form the Machine as Soon as Possible
Leaving washed clothes in the washing machine overnight is an open invitation for pongy laundry. If you’re going to multitask or tend to easily forget, set an alarm to take your clothes out of the washer.
Clean Your Washing Machine
If you’ve tried everything, but your clothes still smell funky after washing, the problem is probably with your washing machine. While your washer may do a good job removing dirt from laundry, a buildup of bacteria, grime, and residue can prevent it from eliminating bad odors from clothes.
Clean your washing machine regularly. We recommend running a “clean cycle” to rinse your machine once weekly and deeply clean it at least once monthly.
Remember to use a good-quality, fragrance-free washing machine deodorizer to neutralize bacteria and other residue causing bad smells in the washer.
Cleaning your machine this way can help banish the problem of clothes not smelling fresh after washing.
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EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:
“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”