Stinky Laundry Issue.

Updated on June 23, 2011
R.C. asks from Emerald Isle, NC
14 answers

I accidently left a load of wet laundry in the washer and now the clothes stink. Ran the washer again, still stink. Used the washing machine's cleaning mode with one of those tablets, then ran them through again, still stink like old water. Any suggestions or do I have to throw the clothes out?

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So What Happened?

I knew you guys would know what to do! Thanks for the suggestions. Will commence the de stinky mission immediately!

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answers from Chicago on

Add about a cup of white vinegar. I started using vinegar in the wash when my daughters forgot to take the towels out of the washer and they sat overnight since I put them in at night and then all day. Horrible. I did try washing again but still had that smell. Now, I add vinegar all the time and even when they just sit in the closet, they do not get that stale smell. And I have noticed they feel better as well. No need to dry the clothes first.

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answers from St. Louis on

Throw a cup pf white vinegar in there, that will get the smell out. This always happens to the dark stuff. Never the white stuff for some reason. Im about to throw out the dark towels because of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I use oxyclean. It is amazing. Gets out all of the food stains that my baby leaves and also soaking the clothes in the water with detergent and oxyclean for about 20 min then run through the whole cycle will get them clean.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wash in baking soda.
You have to dry the clothes first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

run vinegar through the washer then run it with the regular washer ....rewash the clothes with reg. detergent and fabric softener and hang them outside....this happens to us alot when the town does water treatments...even the shower smells and i dont even want to wash dishes lol



answers from Chicago on

Switch laundry products completely. The smell is caused from a decaying filler or fragrance.
There was a town in Wisconsin a few years ago who had to evaucate the town because an anhydrus amonia tanker flipped off the track. People left with washers, dishwashers running just to save their life because that stuff can be lethal when not contained.

Upon their return, the ones using this one particular product had no mold smell, no stinky laundy and it was mainly because it had NO fillers or specific fragrances. The side benefit of it was that is also cleans so well that I rarely pre-spot. Looks like you have found a solution, but if you are curious as to what I found, let me know.



answers from Chicago on

hi i have also done that i use plain white vinegar.i use a cup full
i also use it to run thru my front loader a couple times a month



answers from Chicago on

Add a cup or two of vinegar and run it again. That will take care of the smell. If you don't like the vinegar smell, then add some fabric softener to the rinse cycle and all will be gone....


answers from Richmond on

Once you wash them (again), let them air dry in the sunshine. The sun has magical anti-stink powers! Then throw them in the dryer with a pretty smelling dryer sheet to get the fluff going :)



answers from Chicago on

Try baking soda, presoak, rinse and wash again in pure baking soda. Then wash in your favorite detergent. You probably smelling a combination of mildew and hard water. You can also try a hard water remover in your washer machine without the clothes.



answers from Chicago on

I recommend throwing in a 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar (white distilled) directly to the washer basin as it fills with water. Vinegar works many wonders!



answers from New York on

no don't throw out clothes. Fill the washer up and begin agitation- you may have to put your hand in and move them around to get them loosened up in the water. Add detergent only after the clothes have been loosened up - also add baking soda (at least 2 cups) and white vinegar about the same amount of white vinegar. That should do it.



answers from Chicago on

Do you use fabric softer in the washer? That usually helps get the smell out.


answers from Redding on

I do em again with the white vinegar, it will work.

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