HE washer laundry smells, not the machine
Hello, all, I've used this forum in the past and have gotten good information from it. Now I am hoping for some ideas for getting my clothes clean.
My HE washer history is:
10 years ago we bought our home, and a new washer and dryer. We looked at front-loaders but, the laundry area is a narrow hallway, with the water hook-ups on the right, so we felt that a top-load was a better fit. We purchased a Calypso. That machine was amazing! After reading all the problems it had, and the recall, I think I had the only one that actually worked. I had 4 small children, and one was a particularly aggressive peanut butter swiper. Grease! All across his shirt front. All the time. I never had a problem getting that out, even if I missed pre-treating. No one's clothes smelled anything but clean after washing, and I used a free and clear detergent.
After 6 1/2 years, the U-joints? on the machine finally went and I was quoted over $800 dollars to repair. We decided to purchase a new new washer instead. We thought that surely they've worked out the problems with this type of machine by now? Enter the Oasis.
What a nightmare. Right from the start there was a difference in the laundry. Whites were dull, anything oily/greasy (even pre-treated) did not come out, and the smell...the stench from my husband's t-shirt drawer could have been used as a weapon. I tried different soaps, including Charlie's, more soap, less soap, nothing worked. I called for repair service, and the tech told me to use less soap, and that I should be "mixing" my loads (i.e. underwear and jeans in the same load.) I did not use fabric softener in this machine, I used vinegar in the rinse. It was awful. I was finally able to speak to someone in Sears "Executive" customer service department. I was given a credit for a new machine.
I now have a Samsung FL. It is better, but I still have the smelly laundry, greasy/oily stains do not come out unless pre-treated, and sometimes not even then. I am careful not to over-load. I wipe down the gasket every night. I bleach clean the washer periodically. I leave the door ajar. I now use the heavy duty cycle for most routine loads, which is 2 hours including the pre-wash and extra rinse. I do an extra rinse and spin after that cycle is complete. I see from reading the posts, that many say it is the machine that needs cleaning, but in this case it is NOT the machine. The dirty laundry smell is not as strong as it was when we had the Oasis , but it is still noticeable. And I know it is not the machine, because my youngest children's clothing do not have that smell. They don't have adult physiology, and their things do not smell like that. My husband's clothing is the worst. I think the problem is removing oil-based dirt/stains, like skin/body oils, cooking spatter, peanut butter. I do not use fabric softener, only vinegar. I am currently using Biokleen liquid with enzymes, a little Oxy-Clean powder and vinegar. I've noticed that the Bio-Kleen rinses off my hands, after I pre-treat, easier then other detergents that I've tried. I believe we have very alkaline, but heavily mineraled water, if that makes any sense. I think that the water quality, in addition to the quantity, is where my problem lies.
For really smelly things, I've soaked them in my utility sink, with various combinations of detergent, oxy-clean, baking soda and vingar. This does work, but it takes a very long time.
I am very frustrated, and I'm not sure what else to try. Any suggestions?
Thanks very much.