smelly jeans - laudry recommendations?

earthieMay 2, 2008

Any advice on how to wash smelly jeans so that they really get clean? Jeans and workout clothes seem clean after washing, but after a few hours the old smells are revived, so I know they are not getting really clean. It seems that no detergent or technique I've tried, including adding baking soda, double washing, or pre-soaking helps. I even tried the clear enzyme stuff you use to deoderize cat urine. Didn't help.

Currently using an Arm & Hammer Clear forumla for washing, but I've tried other detergents as well and have had no success with this problem.

I discovered that Febreeze makes a laundry odor elimnator. Any one tried that? Does it work?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Hi Earthy,
Have you tried using Borax as an additive? It works well in getting out the sour smell in my laundry when I've forgotten to move the clothes out of the washer. I usually use Tide HE for a front loader. Tried a "free and clear" detergent recently, and everything smelled sour, even with a fragrant softener. My DH finally asked me to go back to the chemicals.

Right now I am trying Charlie's Soap based on rec. on this forum. I am really pleased!!! I'm not using softener nor dryer sheets and my clothes smell great. Very fresh, no fake smells and not sour! And another thing I've noticed, which I can't explain, is that the clothes seem to dry quicker.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:29PM
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the laundry forum has this same exact thread..type in "smelly jeans' in the search bar and it will come up.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:02PM
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Funny, I've tried that a couple of times, but your search must be better than mine...never found it.

Anyway, since I wrote this, I've been researching a bit and found these recommendations:

* add 2 cans of coca cola to the wash
* make sure detergent doesn't contain phosphates which cause fabrics to hold odor
* try 20 mule team borax
* use Dreft

The dreft thing makes sense to me, as it has traditionally been used to clean and deoderize smelly hey, may give that a try.

The coke thing just sounds weird. But I may try it.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 3:19AM
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If your workout cloths are made of synthetic fiber,like those used in Under Armour or Dri-fit,then you might want to use a detergent (supposedly) designed for them. Here are some I've found:

Win Sport Detergent

Sport-Wash Detergent

Sport Suds Detergent

Personally, I think Twenty Mule-Team Borax laundry additive will take care of the problem.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 6:56AM
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I find that a scoop of oxy clean neutralizes all odors that I have encountered.
Try putting fewer items in your washer....perhaps you are overloading it....jeans are cotton and should wash clean every time.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:29AM
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I also recommend OxyClean. I use it whenever I wash something "smelly".

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I happened to be the one to start the smelly jeans thread in the laundry forum. I am happy to say that after switching to Charlies Soap and after several (maybe 10) washes there is no more smell and even when I wear the jeans the smell does not return.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 8:37PM
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thanks for the up date, I am glad Charlies worked well for you! Don't ya just love the stuff? (smile)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Hi there! I use the oxyclean spray (pre-treat stuff) I spray all my husband's work jeans (grease, dirt, blood, etc.) and everything comes out...I mean everything...even smelly stuff :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:19PM
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I put about a cup or more of white vinegar in every rinse cycle for all my clothes, sheets, pet bedding, etc. Makes lint fall off and makes everything soft, free from detergent residue and retains colors in fabrics.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 4:27AM
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I second white vinegar. I use it in every load of laundry for the above reasons, and to eliminate odors! I first tried it with sour rags and was amazed they came out smelling perfectly fresh. It does the same for a load of laundry that was left in the washer. No odors what so ever. I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets anymore. Saves money, and does a much better job!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:26PM
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OK...I'll be trying them all. I hope the cheapest one works the best!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 2:04AM
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