Laundry stinks: 5 tips that help against a musty smell after washing – and 5 mistakes that you should avoid

The main reason freshly washed laundry stinks or smells musty is bacteria. In a warm, humid environment, aka our wet clothes or washing machine, they feel really comfortable and multiply rapidly. The consequence? Stink that can be sour to musty. In the following, we will tell you which mistakes promote bacteria, thus leading to musty laundry and how you can simply avoid them.

Laundry stinks after washing in the machine: the reasons

Reason 1: You leave the laundry in the washing machine for too long

Anyone who leaves their laundry in the drum for too long (several hours) after the spin cycle should not be surprised if they then smell musty or even stink. Since the residual moisture cannot evaporate from the machine and clothes, it stinks even though it is actually freshly washed.

This helps: If the musty smell comes from lying in the washing machine for too long, you should clean your laundry again. Our tip: Before washing again, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the detergent in the dishwasher compartment. The proven household remedy binds and neutralizes odors and is a real miracle weapon for smelly laundry.

How to do it better: Ideally, freshly washed laundry should be taken out of the washing machine immediately after washing and hung up to dry – preferably in the fresh air or in a room with good air circulation.

Reason 2: The detergent is not portioned correctly

The second most common mistake that results in musty or smelly laundry: too little or too much detergent. If items of clothing are extremely dirty or sportswear and functional underwear are completely sweaty, more detergent is needed to eliminate bacteria and clean the parts properly. However, more is not always automatically better: Too much detergent can also result in an unpleasant odor, because if the laundry foams too much, it is not rinsed with enough water and is therefore not really clean. The best way to find out how much detergent is right is to always refer to the respective dosage instructions.

Reason 3: You wash too short and too cold

Sure, the quick wash cycle is a practical thing – but you shouldn’t wash laundry that is heavily soiled or has been in the laundry basket for a long time in the machine in this way, otherwise germs will remain.

How to do it better: It is better to clean really dirty laundry in the normal wash cycle. If the garments only tolerate low temperatures of up to 40 degrees, you can soak them in a bath of table vinegar and water for about 30 minutes before the main wash. The vinegar helps against all kinds of odors because it has an antibacterial effect and is also much gentler on the skin and the environment than chemical hygiene detergents.

Reason 4: The washing machine is not clean

Neither reason 1, 2 nor 3 apply to you? Then your washing machine itself is probably the problem – after all, it’s the one that has to flush bacteria and dirt out of your clothes. If the washing machine is only used at low temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees and is not cleaned regularly, this can result in a musty smell in the long run.


By zonker

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