We all love that cozy scent of warm laundry straight out of the dryer. But what do you do when you start to notice your laundry smelling less fresh than it once did? We’ve tracked down a few tips to help remedy this problem if it should ever happen to you.
Identify the Issue
Before you can get your laundry smelling fresh again, you first have to determine what’s causing the off-putting odor. Check the hidden areas of your washing machine for mold, especially around the door gaskets on front loaders. Ask yourself if you’ve been overloading the washing machine or leaving laundry in it for too long before transferring it to the dryer.
Clean Your Machine
Regardless of whether you find mold in your washer, it’s still a good idea to clean it periodically to keep your laundry smelling fresh. There are two suggested ways of doing this. One is to fill the bleach compartment and run the self-cleaning cycle. If your washer doesn’t have one, pour a solution of 50/50 vinegar and water into the drum and run a load as usual. (Just don’t ever use both methods, as bleach and vinegar shouldn’t be mixed.) Once you’ve cleaned it, start leaving your washing machine door open so it can air out between uses.
Always wash your clothes on the hottest setting possible according to the care instructions. Items that get the most soiled (e.g. workout wear, undergarments, etc.) are often able to be washed in hot water, so separate those from the rest of your laundry and turn up the temp. Check your detergent label too to make sure you’re using the right amount for your load size and washing machine type.
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Speed it Up
Don’t let soiled clothing sit too long before washing, as it gives bacteria more time to reproduce. Instead wash it as soon as possible (or consider pre-soaking), even if it’s a smaller load. Likewise, move laundry quickly to the dryer once it’s washed. If you hang dry, leave plenty of space between items.
For less than pleasant-smelling laundry, dirt and germs are almost always the culprit. So, the cleaner your clothes, the better they’ll smell. And the happier you’ll be on laundry day!