Baking Soda & Sour Laundry

monicakm_gwNovember 19, 2012

We were to leave town Friday morning and not return till Sunday afternoon, but, decided to leave Thursday night instead. So I had to scramble around to get things done the last minute.

I had washed a load of DH's work clothes Thurs afternoon and in my rush to leave, forgot about them. Got home Sunday afternoon. Fortunanetly the weather was mild and temp inside the house was 64 when we returned. The clothes had soured some but it wasn't horrible. Maybe 2 on a 1-5 scale. Enough to cause a problem tho. I knew from past experience that vinegar wasn't going to get the smell out completely so I Googled it and found that baking soda is recommended. The article said 1 cup of baking soda but I just dumped the entire (reg size box) in the washer, agitated the clothes for a couple of minutes and turned off the washer for a couple hours. Used vinegar in the rinse cycle.

OMGosh! The most perfectly neutral smelling laundry ever! Amazing! Just called DH and told him to smell his sweaty shirt (g) That would be the real test. NO sour smell :) I don't know if I would have gotten the same results if the clothes had sat in the washer longer. This is the first time this has happened in 5 years and the first time in this washer (top loader). YMMV depending on the "sour-ness" and condition of your washer. Worth a try tho and next to free (55 cents at local dollar store). Hoping this could help someone.


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Very good to know!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I left a load in for 2 days - just forgot about it. I used baking soda and the clothes seem on now, but my washer smells sour. I have to get every load out immediately or they sour in about an hour. Is it possible I ruined my washer leaving that forgotten load in for so long?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:51PM
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Yes mommabird, I'm afraid it is possible you ruined your washer. I'd try a couple boxes of bs and fill the washer up as high as it will go. Agitate and let it sit for 3 hours or so. I don't know if longer will help or not. Couldn't hurt. Maybe try overnight. If you smell an improvement, but it's still somewhat sour, repeat. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle. If you have a front loader, your problem may be the dreaded stinky washer syndrome that is inherent to front loaders. Washing with baking soda won't help that. I only use top loaders and keep the lid open when it's not being used.
I'm glad the bs helped your clothes :)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:28PM
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I think Tide makes a clothes washer cleaner, I've seen it advertised on TV. Definitely try it first. I've been warned not to soak dirty clothes in my clothes washer basket, it damages seals and stuff like that. It's possible your clothes washer is ruined. Sorry if this has happened.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:32AM
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I use either Tide washer cleaner or Refresh. Nothing else I tried seemed to help
my front loader get rid of a musty smell that was on the clothes too..

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:18PM
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I have a top load washer. I'm going to go in search of the Tide tomorrow and also pick up several boxes of baking soda. I hope I can get that smell out! The washer is only 3 years old.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:09PM
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I seriously doubt if it "ruined" you washer....Either you didn't say or I missed if it is a top or front loader. There are several products made for cleaning machines. Tide makes one, as was mentioned, then there is "Afresh" , which you can get at Home Depot. Home Depot also sells a product called "Whirl Out" It is made for cleaning whirlpool tubs and is back where they sell tubs in the store. Whirlpool tubs are notorious for left over water in the lines souring and moulding. I have used them all in my front loader, just as a normal cleaning. If you have a front loader, does it have a sanatize or cleaning cycle? If so, run it and add a couple cups of bleach. If it doesn't have a sanatize or cleaning cycle, just run the longest cycle it has with the hottest water and a couple cups of bleach. If it's a top loader run the longest cycle with the hottest water and bleach... Then wipe out and leave the lid or door open to air out good. I have had a front loader for over 12 years and have never had any mold or smelly issues with mine, I do wipe it out good after the last load of the day and crack the door open, using a little towel. I can't leave it open very far because it is so close to the back door, so that proves just a little air flow helps. I have read where people put a small fan inside after the last load to help dry it out, that's not a bad idea at all either. I also had a problem with towels smelling soured this summer but it was not because of the machine, just because they were not drying good hanging up in all the humidity. Once that smell gets into a towel, it is hard to get out. I figured out if I add soda to every load of towels they come out nice and fresh smelling. I imagine the same would be for clothes also. I would be interested in hearing how this turns out for you so please update.. and best of luck...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:50PM
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I forgot to also mention that my daughter never ever ever has wiped her front loader out, just takes out the clothes and slams the door shut... well that will work for a while but not for long. I spent a lot of time at her house this summer babysitting and being the kind of person that cannot sit still, much to her liking.. I did a lot of laundry and the smell in her machine was horrid... but believe it or not her clothes always smelled good.. Then one day she says "Oh mom.. do you think you can do something about the smell in my machine?"... So I ran it on the cleaning cycle with I'm tellin ya.. half a jug of bleach... man did it ever work, it smelled good as new and still does.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I was able to get the smell out. My machine is a top loader. I didn't find the machine cleaner at the grocery store, so I bought 4 boxes of baking soda. I filled the washer with hot water & added all 4 boxes. I let it soak for a couple of hours then ran it with bleach. It smells fine now.

Thanks for all the tips!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:34AM
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A salesman told me that the front loaders have a seal or something at the bottom front (door open) and to wipe under the seal/flap. Evidently that stays wets and collects black stuff like you find under the rubber flaps on the garbage disposal.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:29PM
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