Removing musty smell from towels and clothes

sweeterthanhoneySeptember 15, 2007

ok, I will admit that doing laundry is not my strong point. I do do it, but I sometimes, ok, OFTEN, forget to take it out of the washer and put it in the dryer.

So, I got musty towels and some musty smelling clothes :(

How on earth do I remove this smell? I've tried vinegar, vinegar and baking soda, both in with the wash cycle, and vinegar in the rinse cycle. I can't get rid of it!

I need some HELP! I am sick of smelling strong musty towels when I dry off after my bath!

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rewash towels with HOT water, detergent and add might also want to run your washer with one cup of bleach and hot water ( empty, no clothes) to clean the machine out as well and get rid of any musty odors (and bacteria)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:03PM
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I had the same problem and started putting less clothes in my washer, and using less detergent. That did it. Once in a while I get that same smell and realize I need to go back to putting fewer clothes in. Worth a try.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:30PM
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I get a product from SAMS club called OdoBan. It comes in a gallon jug usually with a full spray bottle attached.
I fill my fabric softener dispenser with it and use a little less detergent and the towels come out soft and fresh smelling.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:04AM
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Are you in a location where you can try natural outdoor direct sunlight?

Cautiously, it may bleach some materials.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 1:57PM
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We had this issue. I stopped useing liquid soap and switched to powder. I also added 20 mule team borax to the loads then once or twice and we have no had it returned. I think it was a build up of liquid detergent in our case.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:15AM
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Also..front loaders are known to get a sour smell..( I am not sure if this is what you have) it's because the door is sealed tight when air gets inside, after you do a load, you naturally close the door and the inside is not dry, so it will smell after a while...It is also good to clean out you machine as I have posted earlier on..also vinegar after a bleach wash (empty) will help it a long as well as clean out the hoses..

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 3:24PM
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How about this? I have a moldy smell in some of my clothes but not others. More specifically in some of my polo type shirts but not others. It's bad enough that I can't wear them. I can wash two shirts in the same load - one will smell, the other will not. I should also mention that it's the same 3 or 4 shirts that smell every time. I'm guessing they got moldy at some point and the mold is still there. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:46AM
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"OFTEN, forget to take it out of the washer and put it in the dryer."

Run that load through again with hot or warm water and a cup of ammonia. Usually works for me. (BTDT) Or, set a loud timer to let you know when the load is finished so you can get it out before it smells ;-)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:02PM
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zjdeere- I had the same problem with a pair of jeans- the smell increased over a short period of time. The jeans were practically new and I didn't want to throw them in the trash. I got on the Laundry forum and several people recommended Charlie's Soap- after a few washes with that detergent they quit smelling and I keep using that detergent and they haven't smelled since.

The only thing we could think of was maybe something used in the manufacturing process of the clothing.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:18PM
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I can also recommend Charlies Soap and multiple washes. It even gets rid of the smell of feces. Don't ask how I know, but it does.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 6:52AM
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Add a little Lysol all purpose cleaner to your detergent and let it soak for a little while.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I'm with summiebee, my sisters and I were all complaining about our towels and thought it was the dye maybe. Ditch the liquid soap and go back to powder. We have had no problems since.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:06PM
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Dacron or other fibers of that family ( it's been too long, I forget it it's a polyester or another classification) hold smells and stains more than cotton or other man made fibers.
That may be an explanation for why some shirts smell and others don't.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:43PM
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