clothes don't smell clean after a wash.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Hi does anybody know what I can do to get my clothes to smell good after a wash? I have tried different detergents and the clothes come clean after the wash but they just don't have that clean smell they just don't smell like anything to me. I have one of the cheaper front loaders but even with my last machine a regular maytag the clothes was just not smelling at all. Boy I still remember my mom's clothes smeling clean for days even after drying and all, I am wondering if it is the detergent or what.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Are you using a scented detergent or one of the free & clear ones? The free & clear ones wouldn't leave any scent on the clothes. And even regular detergents might not have as much scent in them as they used to, plus the HE machines use less detergent and do a better job rinsing, so you wouldn't have as much detergent residue left as you would have with an older machine. Also, do you use fabric softener or dryer sheets? Those will add a stronger smell to the clothes than the detergent. I suspect the "clean" smell you remember from your mom's clothes was the particular detergent and/or fabric softener that she used. Clean clothes just all by themselves wouldn't really have a smell, so anything you were smelling then was left over by the products.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Yes I've used several that are scented detergents and still not much of a smell, just a light one. I guess you are right detergents are probably not what they used to be. I do love my HE machine though it has definetely saved me $ on detergent. Right now I just tend to use the one that Sams club offers, it is much cheaper than the name brand ones and seems to do the same job cleaning. I used to use liquid softener but decided to stop and just use the sheet ones instead in the dry cycle in my dryer to save $ as well.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

It may be your water.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I think they cut back on the stuff they are putting in detergent since it's hard on the skin and the environment.
Dryer sheets can clog your lint trap
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/d/dryer-sheets.htm

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you flowerjen I guess I'll have to stop using them, definetely want my dryer to last.

catzgalore, I thought it could be as well, excpecially since when I go to my mother in laws house in Michigan, they added a water softener to their house, when she washes her clothes it just smells better, and she just uses regular detergent nothing special.

Nevada, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't know if this is helpful or not, but I was out of town and hubby left a load of towels in the washer for days. When I got back they smelled sour. I rewashed and dried several times and still could smell the bad smell. I then added white vinegar to the wash cycle and afterwards the towels smelled good. I could not smell the vinegar on the towels, just detergent and fabric softener. I don't know if this will work for you and I would check my washer's manual to make sure it was OK before using vinegar.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

thank you for the brilliant idea I'll check and see if I can do just what you said. Sometimes even if I leave the clothes in the washer for just 30 min longer they start smeling bad expecially in the summer time, I have done that quite a bit.

Nevada, MO(Zone 6a)

You are welcome. :)

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If your problem is clothes smelling bad (vs clothes not having any smell at all which is what I thought from your first post), then the other problem could be bacteria and things building up in your machine. This is something that was never a problem in the older top-loading washing machines because the water always drained completely, but in the new front-loading machines, water can get trapped behind that rubber seal that seals the door shut. I always leave the door on mine open in between loads to let it dry out, but if that's not an option for you (or if you do loads just about every day so it never has time to dry out), try running a load with bleach through the machine (either run the washer empty with just the bleach, or if you have some white towels or something that need to be bleached you could wash those). I think I've seen some special products you can buy just for cleaning out machines like this too, but if you've got bleach around anyway it should do the job.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

ecrane, I just did exactly what you said today, just in case.

The machine actually does not smell bad neither do the clothes, the problem is that even though the clothes is clean it just does not have the smell of watever soaps I am using. Sometimes I look like a crazy lady around the stores smelling the laundry soaps but I really would like to have a small scent of perfumy clean smell.

Before I had this machine I had a top loading one a maytag and the clothes from that machine did not have a scent at all either, they just were clean but no clean smell of soap.

I am either almost thinking it could be that detergents are just not as powerful smell wise as they used to be or maybe it is the fact that I have very hard water, not sure.

Have any of you tried a soap brand that you like and leave a little scent behind on the clothes?, if so please let me know.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I love the Tide with Vanilla/Lavender Downy Simple Pleasures scent...although I also use the Vanilla Lavender Downy fabric softener along with it so I'm not sure how much of the smell comes from the softener and how much is from the detergent. But I think the Tide varieties with the Downy scents are meant to leave more smell behind than the regular detergent is so you might give those a try. The Tide with Febreze detergents would probably leave more smell behind too.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I always thought mom's clothes smelled good because she used the clothesline.

And she ironed everything and ironed clothes (and sheets!!) always smelled so good.

My sis's wash always smells good but she uses dryer sheets. I don't like the sheets because the towels don't suck up water as well when dried with the sheets.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

DH has changed to Gain and he really likes the smell & I am not allergic to it - so that is a double win for them in my book.

Nevada, MO(Zone 6a)

Gain is my favorite detergent. I will not use anything else. I tried a free sample of detergent last weekend that was marketed as a "green" detergent and I hated it. Gain really does seem to keep clothes smelling good for a long while after they've been washed. When my 11 year old daughter was hospitalized for close to 6 months last year, she wouldn't let the hospital wash her clothing. Instead, she sent it home with mom because she loved how good the clothes smelled after I washed them.

My mom hangs clothes outside and only dries them inside when necessary. I agree that fresh air does seem to give the clothes a good scent. However, I always hated how our towels felt, so rough and stiff (unless the wind was blowing). Things are so much softer out of the dryer, although I'm sure the dryer is much harder on the clothes.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you so much for all the advice, I will have to try new detergents and see which one might work. I agree with plantmomto3, I bought a green detergent as well, it was sold by Sams club and it was a great price for the cuantity of soap it had, even though the perfume was laverder which I like, the clothes just did not smell at all, so I decided notto buy it anymore. Right now I am using the Sams club brand soap and the same thing it just does not have a smell to it but at least it does clean the clothes.

I have not tried any of the varieties you mention so I'll have to try them and see, I know that I've tried tide but not with any of the new scents so we will see. The Gain is it the regular one or is it the new one with the febreeze scent to it?

Also yesterday I bought a bottle of simple green because I had heard that you can clean your carpets with this, and that it did not attract dirt like a regular carpet cleaner would so I thought I might try, on the bottle I read that you can add a little of simple green to your laundry as well to boost the efficiency of your detergent and also to save on detergent costs, have any of you tried this? I have a front loader machine so I am even wondering if this would work in the front loaders as well or not.
I have also heard that you can use the oxiclean as well as a laundry booster but does this work for front loaders since it is powder instead of liquid form?



Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Oxi Clean makes a liquid too that you could definitely add to your front loader if you wanted to try it. I'm not sure about using powders--I think you can but I'd be worried they wouldn't dissolve all the way because the machines don't use as much water as the older machines.

Nevada, MO(Zone 6a)

I agree--I wouldn't use powders in a front loader. I've never used Simple Green in my laundry although I have used it to clean other things and it's a great product. As for Gain, I use regular scent but I'm sure the other scents are OK.(Hope this message reads OK- I sent it from my phone.)

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Just got to thinking--you said that you're using Sam's Club brand soap, that may be the problem. Not them specifically, but store brands in general. They can often work just as well as the name brands for cleaning clothes, but since they are cheaper they have to save cost somewhere, and it wouldn't surprise me if they skimp a bit on the fragrance (fragrance is one of the more expensive ingredients in most products). So they probably put in enough to make it smell fine in the bottle but not enough to last on your clothes, or they use a cheaper fragrance that doesn't last as well. You'll pay a little more for one of the name brands but there's a better chance the fragrance will last.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

O.K just came from my local Walmart and bought the gain soap and gain softener, the softener is the Island fresh but the soap is just the regular stuff, one thing I have noticed is that they don't have as many varieties of soaps for front loaders as they do for regular machines, also I wish I would have read your posts earlier, I went with the powder kind for the soap instead of the liquid, the powder is suppose to work for front loaders as well and for the price you could do more loads, I will try it but we will see if it is as good as the liquid one.

The simple green I was going to use it instead of the very expensive carpet cleaners that you use with your carpet machine, I could not believe my eyes when I spent about $40 on 2 bottles that did not last me at all. I have read some people use vinegar to clean their carpets and even oxiclean as well, I just thought I might give this one a try, if my carpet machine ever gets fixed, With 2 little kids and 2 dogs I just can't live without it, it has saved my carpet from dissaster more than once.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I have one of the front loaders and have used the powder for about a year. I have only noticed a problem with the powder not dissolving a few times and that turned out to be my fault. I had the dispenser set for liquid, not powder. I changed it to the correct one and no longer had a problem. You do have to be careful not to use too much of the powder though.

I have noticed that my towels do not always smell fresh. It is usually the dark ones that have this problem. I have tried baking soda and vinegar, neither seem to work really well to solve this problem/. All other clothing smells fine. Any suggestions?

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Ditchlyly, yesterday I spent the whole day doing laundry, trying new concoctions, I did add some apple vinegar to my bleach dispenser to see if the clothes would smell better, one thing that I have noticed is that sometimes my kitchen cleaning rags smell terrible and even after the wash the smell was still there, but after the adding the vinegar the horrible smell went away and now they smell clean.

My clothes now have a little scent of clean but I am going to try the liquid type next time and see if the liquid soap makes them smell a little better.

As per your question I am not sure but I would either try the liquid one instead of the powder or maybe adding something like simple green which I tried yesterday as well will work, I added a 1/4 cup to my bleach dispenser and the clothes smelled good after that as well, the container says that this is a laundry booster.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Good idea. I will try.

Nashville, TN(Zone 7a)

I use vinegar ( put in the fabric softener dispenser) with every load. I use Mrs Meyers lavendar concentrated detergent. It doesn't leave much of a scent but smells wonderful while the load is washing. My daughter has a ton of allergies so I am very careful with a lot of products. The vinegar leaves a fresher scent as well as keeping the washer clean, cutting back on sourness and is supposed to help with static cling. We live in Florida and I especially think it helps keep the towels fresh in the humidity when they never seem to dry completely after use.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I love the Mrs. Meyers spray (like a windex) for the counters. Everything smells lemony fresh.

Nashville, TN(Zone 7a)

Yes, I do too! I use the Lavender Counter top Spray. If you buy the big bottle of All Purpose Cleaner it is the same product just add water and refill. Its inexpensive that way also. The toilet cleaner isn't great though.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Terichris - what do you mean? Will you explain. Are you saying that Mrs. Meyers brand has an all purpose cleaner in a concentrate?? And if it is reconstituted it becomes the windex like product?? Does it have a fragrance too?

Toilet cleaners.... I can't find ONE that does what it say it will. My water is well water and I get this mineral ring right at the water line. I clean the toilets all the time --- I still get the ring. I have tried Lime Away, CLR, scouring powders, plastic Dobi pads, vinegar...A CHISEL!!! everything. The best thing I found is this solid square 'thing' made from what looks like dried and then formed scouring powder. There is a think cellulose sponge glued to the top. It acts like a sandpaper of sorts and it does work... but I am not sure if it will hurt the porcelain on the toilet if I use it too much. When my husband saw me and the chisel he threw a big (BIG) fit!

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I used to use a paint stripping plastic do hickey on my drill to clean that line off. Pumice stones work real well, but I loved the convenience of just running that thing around the water line and being Done. The only chemical (muriatic acid) that I found that worked was too dangerous to keep around, so I used the pumice or the drill.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

I havent even seen this Mrs Meyers, where do you guys find this product?

By the way I tried cleaning my clothes with laundry detergent and just placing the vinegar in the compartment where you place the softener, did not add softener at all and the clothes came really clean and soft but they had a little vinegry scent so I think from now on I'll use the softener as well just to make it smell better. My laundry area is smelling really good.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I buy the Mrs. Meyers dirt cheap at Marshalls.

A paint stripping thing. What is that? It attaches to a drill? Any chance of it scraping or ruining the porcelain clear sealant? The big baby would start whimpering, whinning, and pouting, the first sight of me with a drill and anything that approaches scratching.

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Simple Green is wonderful for laundry. I wash all my fabrics with it. I tend to have mostly "natural" stains, not much ink or paint. It smells odd out of the bottle, but I can't detect it afterward.

We have well water, and Lime-away works pretty good on our deposits, whatever they are. I bail the water out of the bowl first, then apply the Lime-away and wait awhile. I have also used sandpaper on the "ring-around-the-toilet". It works but it is a pain.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

huckle
do you think that the sandpaper ruins the porcelain in any way?

Are you saying that the LimeAway works on that ring - I have not tried taking the water out of the bowl....I thought the LimaAway works well in the water and needed some dilution. I better put on the glasses and read that small print.
Do you all notice that print is getting smaller!!

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

thanks! I am going to get this. (it is WAR)

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i am surprise Baking Soda is never mentioned. BS aid laundry soap for better washing of dirt off the clothes plus it has so many uses around the house http://housekeeping.about.com/od/laundry/qt/bksd_washmachin.htm

i sometimes, simply use 1/4 cup BS to wash not too dirty clothes, no laundry soap. if laundry is dirty i use 50/50 laundry soap and BS. i love it cuz it keeps my laundry very clean and always fresh smelling. no sour smell, not even on rags.

on warm days, i also hang my clothes on the line. but have to put in the dryer for 15 mins. to soften the materials, specially towels. hth.

a 5 lb BS at costco is less than $5.00 a bag. using BS in my laundry is well worth the money spent and less laundry soap use.

i wonder if some of u knew that if laundry soap is not properly rinse from ur clothes, it has the tendency to give that itchy feeling, specially in bed linens.

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Yes, I believe sandpaper could ruin the porcelain. I did it once, just to see as my pumice bar seemed too abrasive also.
I used Lime-away because it was left at the house when we moved in. It is extremely noxious and I try not to use it. Now it comes in a gel form and I may try it. Baking soda sounds best, maybe combined with vinegar.

Terichris, thanks for the reminder about using vinegar in the wash. I washed my towels today and added about 1/2 cup of clear vinegar. Towels were softer and had no odor. Sometimes I detect a sour odor in our towels too.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you MaVieRose, I'll have to try the baking soda, I have tried so far just adding white vinegar in the laundry, would BS still work in the front loaders as well?.

"on warm days, I also hang my clothes on the line. but have to put in the dryer for 15 mins. to soften the materials, specially towels. hth." that is great advice, I have been hanging some of my clothes to save a little on electricity costs around the house but all the clothes get really itchi and they just don't feel soft so I am going to try what you are saying see if it makes a difference, also acording to my sister who just does not like to dry her clothes in the dryer at all and just uses the hanging method, she says that the clothes tends to last longer this way since the dryer just wears out your clothes.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

some people have the tendency of using more soap in their wash 'prolly thinking more is better' WRONG! if u use more soap, the clothes are not properly rinse therefore soap residue resides inside the fibers of the clothes. once dried, it causes the skin to itches.

the same effect also happen when u shower. if u do not rinse urself properly, the soap hides in ur pores. ever notice those mapping on ur legs? those white stuff on ur legs and feet are dried soap. using lotions, does not cover it, it aggravates the problem.

BS soften and loosen almost all dirt lounge in ur clothes. using combo of laundry soap and BS allows clothes to be wash clean. does not matter what machine u use. it works. ever since i use BS i do not have that problem anymore. the clothes are properly wash. partially drying on the line, finishing on the dryer, also solve the problem of ironing. been using this method for a long time. i will not do laundry any other way, if u want to know the truth.

Moderation is the key in all aspects of life. excess always cause problems!

i doubt if

Quoting:
according to my sister who just does not like to dry her clothes in the dryer at all and just uses the hanging method, she says that the clothes tends to last longer this way since the dryer just wears out your clothes.
it all depends on how u care, wash or dry ur clothes. i have clothes from '60's they still look great. of course i no longer use them, but my nieces enjoy them cuz they were well made. who would want clothes to last forever? that won't give me the excuse to buy new clothes. LOL! jmo

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Over here the women HAND wash most everything and tell me (while giggling politely) that the machines are wearing my clothes out for me. All that lint that we see in the drier is our clothes being worn out. I am not going to give up my machines, but it is true that how you clean and dry them makes the difference on how long they still look good.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Boy JuneBug if I had to wash by hand every single load of clothes that my family throws in the hamper I would die, seriously my DH sometimes just wears a tshirt just once and is perfectly fine and it ends up in the floor so I end up having to wash it, plus two very messy toddlers which just can't wear clean clothes for more than an hour. Anyways loads of laundy in my house all the time.

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