Fresh smelling laundry one day, oderless laundry next day...

loofagirlJanuary 7, 2008

I'm always astounded (and extremely jealous) when I pass someone in the grocery store/McDonald's/school/etc. and they are surrounded by a cloud of eau de fabric softner. What is their secret in keeping laundry detergent/fabric softner smells on their clothes?

What frustrates me the most is that every so often, I'll do a load of laundry and the smell does stay on it, for days or weeks, until it's worn. Most of the time though, it doesn't even smell all that great still warm from the dryer.

Somebody give me Clean Smelling Laundry 101!!

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tell us more!!!--what type of machine do you have, what laundry products are you using????

However, I will tell you this. MOST!!! people will overdose on detergent and fabric softerns. So don't be jealous about that--what you should be thinking is--"god i'd hate to see their washer or dryer broken down and the gunk that is build up in there

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:13PM
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My specifics are as follows:

I'm not brand specific on a lot of things but I do like my Tide HE. Fabric Softner - whatever is on sale and smells good. I do have a Maytag Neptune front loaders - the original model. I am battling a mold issue on the rubber gasket (as mentioned in an earlier post).

It's never been this bad before but for the past couple of days, my laundry room has had that pungent, yucky smell older laundry rooms can get.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:23PM
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If I may please tell you what I have been using. I found Purex HE "After the rain" scent. I also use Method (can't remember the name of the scent). I use only 1 tablespoon (I use 2 tablespoons for larger loads) in the wash and I splash 3 X into the fabric softener dispenser white vinegar with every load.
From reading the posts here and understanding FL's better for that, I leave my door open and my detergent dispenser open after I wipe them dry, or as dry as I can get them.
I no longer use fabric softener sheets in my dryer and the way my clothes smell now is a big change. Even the smell of the dryer while drying smells like clean laundry and not of the perfume from assorted stuff added to make clothes "smell" clean.
The clothes are always soft and comfotable afterwards. This forum had been a blessing for a new user of FL's like me. I may not know much, but I know that I like my clothes to smell clean and nice.
I can not use Tide HE since Tide has always made my skin condition really bad. I also can not use Wisk. Purex and Method have been great at cleaning my dirty laundry and making it smell nice and look cleaner. Amazing what a FL can do.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 10:12PM
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If your clothes are smelling of fragrance 1 day or 1 week after you launder them, then you will have your skin against the chemicals that are generating the scent and increase the chance of allowing the chemicals to transfer through your skin. I personally don't care for that.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:40PM
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Did you try cleaning your Neptune gasket with Cascade liquid dishwasher detergent? NOT the Complete, the regular Cascade liquid with the bleach in it. Put it all over the gasket/boot with a sponge/rag and give it a good coat. Close the door and leave it on overnight. Then the next day take a rag and some warm/hot water and wash the gasket/boot off. I have found this cleans very well plus the cascade sticks well and therefore can clean it better. Then put some bleach1-2 cups in the washer and run on long hot wash. This should help your smell. I would also get some Affresh of give the WhirlOut a try.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:46AM
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Thanks everyone!! So far, I've only tried spray cleaners (409, Lysol, etc) to clean the mold/stink issue. I will go out today and get some Cascade w/ bleach (I only have Complete in the house). I'll try anything to get rid of the science experiment growing in my washer.

As for the Purex HE suggestion - I stick with Tide because it really seems to have an uncanny abiity to get dirt out. Does Purex have that same punch (with a 4, 6, and 8 year old, my detergent needs "punch")? Also, the only Method that I'm familiar with is hand soap. Is that what you're using or is there a washing machine soap made by them as well.

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I was so excited to have found this site yesterday (boy, has what excites me changed!).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:35AM
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We get inured (accustomed) to scents (good scents as well as bad). After using a certain brand or scent for a period of time, you can't smell it as acutely as when it was a new fregrance to us. I worked in a store that sold scented candles and after a brief time, I couldn't smell them anymore, unless I was gone for 3 or 4 days.

Have you ever changed brands of dish detergent and loved it when you first started using it, but barely notice the smell of it by the end of the bottle? The same thing can happen with perfume, and people tend to apply a lot of it, or multiple applications, so that THEY can smell it, while it nearly kills anyone close at hand. What I call the PEWWWWWWWWWWW factor. It almost knocks you over it's so strong.

As a person who is affected by so-called "fresh" laundry smell (and scents of any kind), even the mildest smell is toxic to me. We had a waitress the other day with "fresh" laundry smell, and it nauseated me every time she walked to the table. I find these toxic smells as obnoxious as cigarette smoke.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 10:32AM
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Drying laundry outside - like the vast majority of people in the world - really works as well. Here in the UK you would be considered v wasteful/lazy not to take advantage of the creators free gifts of wind & sun on a good drying day.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:46PM
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Never any theft or mischief issues, Sylvia?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Fresh smelling laundry is not fragrance drenched laundry. Some people can't stand the fragrances of the detergent aisle in the store. They call it the stench. The smell of laundry dried outside is fresh smelling laundry. It has neither a stinky nor perfumey smell.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:25PM
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Yes Loofagirl "method" makes a detergent that cleans very well. I have a husband that works in the tower business and his clothes come into my laundry looking like an 8 yr. old just played football in mud and finger paint.
There are somethings I just can not get out of his clothes, like orange tower paint, black marking stuff for towers.
I (personally) enjoy the smell of clean and if I can hang them out to dry for a day without rain, YAY! Most times I don't have the time to do that, but, that would be the best smell. During winter I'll stick to what I'm doing. Sorry if I have offended anyone.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Thanks Holly and everyone else!!!! I will seek out some Method Laundry soap. I've probably passed it a hundred times in Target, etc. and not even noticed it since it wasn't my tried and true big orange bottle of Tide. And like so many others of you, I LOVE the smell of freshly laundered - dried OUTSIDE, clothes. It's one of those warm and fuzzy memories from my childhood (sheets that were dried on the clothesline). Unfortunately, HOA convenants prevent me from passing that memory onto my children. No clotheslines allowed. Back to Target's detergent aisle for me.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Dear clipshot - no - never had anyone "interfering" with my laundry hanging outside in 30 plus years, nor to any friends/family/colleagues/neighbours that I am aware of over 55 years or within the living memory of my mother who is 92!!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 3:31AM
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I just started to come back to this forum, haven't been here since a week or two before Christmas.

This week where I work tons of fabric softener is on sale, and I am so disturbed by the tons of people that purchase this toxic stuff, so I posted a friendly warning of the use of fabric softener.

I use water/vinegar/drops of essential oil in my fabric softener cup holder  what ever smell you love add that essential oil, I love lime, it smells citrus key lime fresh.

I won't repeat everything again here, ecept for the link to read about the dangers of fabric softener.

amigo Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: Click on this link, and then the in-depth link also.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:57AM
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Thanks for that information - really worrying as I use quite a lot of FS as hate ironing (pressing). Have forwarded on to as many people as possible.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 2:38PM
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There's always something to fear it seems -- if not terrorists, then the mortgage market; if not that, then falling house prices; if not that, then the horrors of fabric softener! People, using fabric softener is just fine if you use it with reason and with care. As with anything in this world, too much of anything can turn a good thing bad.

The best way to retain that fabric softener scent in dry clothing is to make sure you are not spinning your clothes above 800 RPM, so the clothes retain more moisture and therefore more of the FS, and dry your clothes on a LOW temperature setting so that the FS chemicals in the clothing don't degrade as quickly. I personally don't care to have a cloud of synthetic odor interfering with my luminous aura, but to each his own.

Switching scents every now and then will help too, as you become acclimated to any scent if you're around it long enough. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:21AM
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I think that for every jealous person like you that that the laundry-scented person passes, s/he passes another who says, OMG, why do they feel the need to smell like that and torture people around them?!? As a migraine sufferer, these smelly people are called _triggers_! Please don't make it your goal to make us suffer.

I specifically came to this forum to find out how to get that smell _out_ of my clothes. If I buy something at the thrift store, get hand-me-downs, or have something accidentally get washed somewhere where they don't use perfume-free detergents, I have to wash it multiple times and leave it on the line for days (hopefully in the rain) before I can even think about having it near me for any length of time.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:41AM
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and i just got new LG machines (WM2233/WLG3744) and love them! i'm so happy to be able to add fabric softener again to my wash and i love the smelly of downey! it reminds of my childhood cuz my mom always used downey. with my previous used washer that i purchased 4 years ago (a 1983 whirlpool), it didn't have a fabric softener dispenser and that downey ball just didn't work so when i got my new LGs i was ecstatic to be able to use downey again! anyway, i've noticed that the lingering smell really depends on the types of clothes/fabrics! some retain the smell better than others after drying...towels don't seem to hold the smell that well but cotton undershirts/underwear do! so i guess the lingering smell just depends on the fabric! if anybody knows how i can get that smell all the time, i'd be a happier camper!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:55PM
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with my previous used washer that i purchased 4 years ago (a 1983 whirlpool), it didn't have a fabric softener dispenser and that downey ball just didn't work so when i got my new LGs i was ecstatic to be able to use downey again!Simply opening the lid during the rinse-fill and pouring a dose of softener directly in works quite effectively! Believe it or not, thousands of people have added softener this way for many, many years, with no ill effect to either themselves, the clothes, or their machine. :-)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:57PM
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There are different opinions about this. If you want to smell fabric softener all week go buy some Downy with the scent beads that release scent every time you move. The audacity of this.

I honestly find this offensive. I do not want to smell other people and their clothes every time they pass by. I don't even want the smell of FS in my clothes into the next week. I will be glad when manufacturers stumble on some other marketing gimmick and start promoting it. Manufacturers and their consumers pushing their nasty sweet scents on us...can we sue them for this?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:54PM
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@ dadoes
i know but i didn't want to stand there and wait for the rinse cycle plus i never knew when that was so i would have to run up/down stairs to check when the rinse cyle is coming...guess i coulda timed it but i think it also depends on the there!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 2:29AM
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I am in contact w/ hundreds of people, I work in the restaurant, and must say that I suffer a lot b/c most of them reek, yards away. I never understood why people have a need to use so much FS, parfumes, deodorants or whatever they put on. We have one lady who comes in and smells like strange and strong baby powder, I wouldn't be surprised if it was expensive perfume. Lots of the hispanics employees smell like they bathe in FS. I get headache a lot. I use perfume too, but not so much of it.
Why can't people like just plain old clean laundry smell?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 5:57AM
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I'm looking for tips that will just make my laundry smell CLEAN, not necessarily like fabric softener or perfume. I have a front-loader after a lifetime of top-loaders. I know it saves water and does a perfectly good job of cleaning, but my clothes never have the fresh smell they used to from my old washers. I leave the door open between washings and the tub doesn't smell, so I'm wondering if the issue is just that it doesn't use enough water to leave a clean smell. I've tried a variety of detergents and sometimes use dryer softener but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 4:22PM
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Your frontloader is rinsing the products out completely, as your TL likely never did. What you're thinking of as the smell of clean laundry was the residuals of the washing product(s) that remained in the clothes. Once most people started drying their laundry in machines the detergent companies started adding articficial scents to simulate the smell of air dried clothes since it was such a powerful marketing tool. FL's tend to rinse much better and so this counteracts or nullifies the added perfumery of detergents.

If you want the air-died scent, then you'll have to hang your clothes outside or add it artificially.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:37PM
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Purely CLEAN laundry does not have a scent beyond what is natural for the fibers/fabric. Laundry perfumed from additives (detergent, softener, etc.) has a scent.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 4:19AM
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Order Miele Fabric Softener. I find it makes clothes smell fresh and good without any discernable scent. It also makes your clothes soft and feel good without any slimy slippery feel.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Thanks all for the responses. I probably wasn't clear in my initial posting. I wasn't looking for laundry with an artificial smell, just clothes that didn't smell like they'd been rinsed in dirty water. I finally started running an extra rinse for every load and that seems to make a difference. Of course, that negates the water savings of a front loader. Actually, if I had it to do over, I probably would not get a front-loader. I really miss being able to fill the washer and let things soak for an hour or so before running it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 9:25PM
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I don't know why every thread pertaining to 'scents' has to get hyjacked by the scent police lecturing the OP on the evils of Downy and other FS. We get it, clean laundry should smell CLEAN, not artificial!
However, some people including me LIKE fresh smelling laundry with a little FS lingering on the clothes. So what!
Jean, if you are looking for something a little stronger than what you are using, try Gain FS, my daughter loves it so I use it on her clothes. You can use it with your Tide or give Gain HE a try. The original Gain and the Island Fresh are the ones we use, the fruity mango apple one doesn't smell that great. (to us)
One reason I noticed for scents not lingering is overdrying, make sure you pull your clothes out when they are just dry or even a little damp and hang them.
I use Downy for most loads, Gain FS for my daughters clothes...I used to love Final Touch but was disappointed to find it's not the same anymore. If you really want lingering scent, try friend uses it and I can always smell it on her clothes. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 9:54PM
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My neighbor uses alot of FS, you can smell it when she is doing the laundry. The kids clothes smell strong. I looked in her washer and it's all gunked up, disgusting!!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:50PM
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I like the fresh clean smell of my scentless laundry. Plus I save lots of cash by not using FS or dryer sheets.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 9:15AM
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I know what you mean. At the beginning of this school year I had to go with my little girl to school. It was for an orientation for kindergarten. There was another mom there and when she sat down, the heavenly scent of original Tide liquid wafted into my nose. Ahhhh, it was a lovely smell. It also occured to me that my clothes had never had the lingering smell of Tide, or any other detergent for that matter, after washing. It didn't matter if I line dried them or put them in the dryer. They had never had that lingering aroma. They had smelled clean, but that was about it.

Anyway, I decided to up the dosage of my detergent to get that long lasting fragrance. Oh the scent lasted alright but the clothes were as stiff as sand paper by the time they had dried. I even tried putting them in the dryer and they were still rough as heck.

It ocurred to me that the other mother had sacrificed comfort for a scent. Upon this realization, I decided it was better to be comfortable than to have the lingering odor of Tide everytime I moved.

Now I just worry about them being clean and smelling clean. As long as there is no stink from perspiration, mud, or whatever, I am content.

As for the washing machine itself being stinky, here is what I do.

First, I put it through the hottest, longest cycle I have with a water softener of some type, or something that will remove the built up detergent like lemi shine, automatic dish detergent or tang. Then I make sure that is rinsed out really well. Second, I put it through another hot long wash with 1 cup of concentrated chlorine bleach or 2 cups of a non-concentrated chlorine bleach. I make sure that it is rinsed out well. Third, I do a short hot wash with white distilled Vinegar to clear anything that has not already been cleared out.

If there is mold or mildew on the gasket itself, I will spray that with bleach and water and let it sit for about five minutes. It may not remove all of the mold stain, but all you really need to do is make sure the mold is killed. Then you can go back with some other type of cleaner to get the mold stain off. Just make sure you do not let cleaners sit too long on the gaskets as it may do damage.

If you do all this and there is still a problem, I would call a service tech immediately to make sure there is not something wrong with the machine.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 12:12PM
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If people like the smell of Tide, Bounce, Gain, etc. so much, why don't they just apply a perfume that smells like them?

Odor free for me, please. Others can do as they wish so long as they don't create a stink that causes me or someone close to me to suffer.

Don't FL's typically use less water than TL's even with an extra rinse thrown in? And don't many TL's also offer an extra rinse?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 3:56PM
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What kind of perfume smells like Tide?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 5:42PM
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Burger King came out with a cologne (no, I'm not joking -- see link), so why can't P&G come up with a fragrance reminiscent of Tide?

25% of profits to me, please!

Here is a link that might be useful: Flame by Burger King

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 7:49PM
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lol, if they did, I just might wear it....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Or how about a brand extension, Tide bodywash? You'll feel clean and smell good, no matter the state of your clothes. I'm full of good ideas today!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 8:45PM
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I have a lot of friends who would use it! :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 10:19PM
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amigo: you wrote that you use water/vinegar/drops of essential oil in your fabric softener cup holder. I think I may give this a try; please, where can you find essential oils, what store?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 2:45PM
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