Mildew Smell - Pajamas only

peabody1October 16, 2010

I have a problem with pajamas that smell like mildew. The clothes in all the other drawers of my chest of drawers smell fine, but the pajamas in my pajama drawer smell like mildew. I soaked and washed them several times. I used Smelly Washer product, vinegar, baking soda, fragrance-free laundry detergent. I used either vinegar in the rinse or fragrance-free fabric softener. The pajamas smelled fine. After being back in the drawer, they smelled again. I washed the pajamas again, but I also cleaned the drawer several times, using bleach, another time with vinegar, and left it out in the sun. I stored newspaper in it for a time and baking soda. When I put the clothes back in they developed the smell again. I again soaked and washed them several times. I put all my clothes in a different room in a different dresser. Again, all the other clothes in the other drawers smell fine, but the pajamas get a mildew smell. I have soaked and washed them and rinsed them several times. They smell fine. I dry them until they are dry, then I take them out of the dryer and do not put them in the drawer for a day, just in case. Again, they develop a smell.

I am very clean and do laundry regularly. My sheets do not smell so they are getting a smell from the bed. I bathe regularly and my other clothes do not have a problem. So its not me. Why would my pajamas be presenting such a problem?

This one has puzzled me for some time now. Anyone got any ideas? I cannot use products with fragrance to mask the smell because of my sensitive lungs. I would like to get rid of the mildew smell because it bothers my lungs. Help!

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georgect

I have had jeans that would get a mildew smell from not air drying fast enough, usually around the waste or seams where the material is thicker.

My only solution was chlorine bleach in the wash cycle.
Not a lot as to fade or ruin them. You can safely use bleach if you do it right.

If you have a top loader mix the bleach with the water first (about half a cup or a quarter cup depending on load size or amount water used).
You don't have to use detergent if they are already clean.
Line or machine dry as you normally would.

For a front loader, pour a small amount (an eighth of a cup) directly into the washer. Let it start and fill with water and splash/mix up the water bleach solution. Pause the machine, add pajamas and continue the cycle as normal.

Cycles don't have to be that long...a short wash cycle should do it.

I've successfully gotten rid of the mildew smell by doing this without ruining the clothes.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:58AM
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cryptandrus

Are these pajamas new? It could be a problem with the actual fabric. I once had a cheap silk sweater from Marshall's that just stank!

It was cute, and I was young, (and strapped for cash) and thought "oh, I'll just wash it and it'll be fine"

It wasn't. This was about 20 years ago, but I remember it. It was gross, I never did figure it out.

If your pajamas are new, I'd consider returning them where you bought them. Or try googling the brand?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:52AM
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sshrivastava

Run to Home Depot right now and pick up a gallon of ODOBAN. Add 1/4-1/2 cup to your main wash and the odors will be destroyed. ODOBAN is an anti-microbial product that kills germs, mold, mildew, and odors. I've used it on my pet items and it's excellent. I've also used it on a pair of sweat pants which started smelling funny around the waist band area. No more problems! It's also good to use to prevent your machine from developing a mold/mildew problem and to keep it smelling nice and fresh!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 12:03PM
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mara_2008

OP, have you tried drying your pj's outside, in the sun? That could deodorize them. And I agree with a pp that just a little bit of Clorox (1/8 cup would most likely be very effective) could also get rid of the odor. If you do get them deodorized, I wouldn't put them back in a drawer; I think I'd hang them in a closet. :)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 3:25AM
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steveomc

Those pajamas sound gross. I think it is time for new pajamas.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 10:30AM
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