Imagine that it’s a Friday night and you are out on a first date. You’re a bit nervous, so you’ve sweat a bit more than usual. Now, imagine that the freshly laundered shirt you’re wearing starts to smell of mildew. As the date goes on, the odor gets stronger and stronger, and by the end of the night, you know you are going down in history on your date’s social media as “that one date that smelled of mildew”. Unfortunately, if washing isn’t done properly, odors can stay in clothes. There are several reasons clothes may not come clean in the wash. Let’s take a look at some causes and ways to prevent such a fate.
1. Overfilling the Washing Machine
Overfilling the washer is an easy mistake to make and may be why you’re clothes aren’t getting clean. Who wants to wait around and do several loads when stuffing the washer will get it done in 2? The problem here is that the clothes have no room to wash. They are all packed together and once wet can become too heavy for the machine. This can also add unnecessary stress to the fibers of your clothing, causing them to wear out faster, lose their brightness, and become dull.
The washer will try to clean the clothes, but can’t do a proper rinse, leaving the clothes full of soap and dirt. Once they go through the dryer, that soap and dirt dries to the fibers, Once the grime is dried in, it will start to smell as soon as it gets warm. Some really bad odors will still be present as soon as the clothes come out of the dryer.
Washing machines should never be more than 2/3 full. This is considered a full load. A small load is under half full. Always make sure to use the appropriate amount of detergent for the load size as well.
2. Leaving Wet Clothes in the Washing Machine
I’m sure you’ve experienced this at least once in your life. You run the laundry, get distracted by something, and end up forgetting it is in the washer. 2 days later, you go to start a load. When you open the door to the washer, a powerful moldy/mildew odor hits you. Are these clothes even salvageable at this point?
The odor can be removed by using a cup of vinegar in place of the normal detergent. Run it as usual, and the odor should be taken care of. If not, run again with the vinegar and pour ½ cup baking soda directly on top of the clothes. This will take care of the odors. Air dry if possible, or place in dryer right away.
3. The Washing Machine is Dirty
This is something most people don’t think about. How could something that has soap and water running through it get dirty enough to cause odors? The problem lies with the washing tub itself. It has so many little holes and nooks for dirt to cling to, and eventually, that buildup of gunk will start to smell bad.
Try to clean your washer’s interior at least every 6 months. Use vinegar and run it on hot for a load, then scrub the interior. Run again to rinse it and you should be ready to wash again.
One of these three reasons will generally be the culprit of you are experiencing clothing coming out not clean. Follow the above steps and your laundry will start to love you again.