Why Do My Clothes Smell After Washing? Handy Laundry Facts And Tips | Kidadl

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Why Do My Clothes Smell After Washing? Handy Laundry Facts And Tips

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Laundry day can be labor-intensive and, if the clothes come out smelling bad, it can be quite heart-breaking.

There are a couple of things that you might be overlooking when it comes to how your clothes smell after they are washed and clean. Sometimes, washing them in a machine is not enough.

It may be hard to fathom, but everything from human biology to water temperature and how long you hang your clothes to dry could be causing that funny smell in your fabrics. Read on to find out how to get rid of smells and odors!

If you enjoy this article, why not also read more Kidadl fun facts, starting with why do clothes shrink and why do lights flicker.

What Your Clothes Might Smell Like After Washing Them

It is hardly a surprise that, after spending hundreds of dollars on fabric softener every year, every one of us expects our fabrics to have the scent of meadows or an ocean breeze.

However, the harsh truth is that, even after all of the efforts that we put into laundry day and the hours of tireless labor, the clothes might still come out smelling funky. If your clothes aren't coming out smelling lovely and you are wondering why they still smell bad now that they're not dirty anymore, there are a couple of things that could be going wrong. The clothes that come out of the washer may not be dirty, but they could still smell of mildew.

Reasons Your Clothes Might Not Smell Fresh After Washing

There are a couple of things that could be leading to the musty and damp odors that your towels and other clothes have been gathering. The first thing that you may want to check out is if your washing machine is clean.

Believe it or not, washing machines and driers also need cleaning. The warm and damp environment of washing machines provides the best environment for the development and growth of mildew, fungi, mould and bacteria. If that is the case, consider running an empty cycle with no clothes. The use of warm water, with some amounts of white vinegar or baking soda can help to eliminate the odors. The detergent tray could need a proper cleaning too. A good soak in hot water will always do the trick.

If your clothing still comes out with musty odors once you have cleaned the washer and drier, the poor machine is probably not the problem. Musty odors usually develop when clothes and towels have not been dried properly. Drying washed clothes in damp areas with no proper air circulation is counter-productive, and you will just end up with clean yet smelly clothing. Let's be honest, no one wants that! What can be done, you ask? Well, the best thing to do is to dry your clean clothes on a clothesline and make sure that there is enough air circulation. One of our best tips is to make sure that, when left to dry on the clothesline, your clothes have no folds where the dampness can remain and send you down an unending cycle of having to re-wash them.

Using smaller amounts of laundry detergent is not always the best thing to do, but did you know that over usage could also be adding a bad odor to your otherwise clean clothes? Make sure to use a measuring cup while adding detergent to the washing machine, as this will make your life far easier. Although, keep in mind how hard or soft the water is. For hard water, you will have to use more detergent than with soft. If the measuring cup is too much of a hassle, you can always buy the capsules that have just the right amount of softener for your next load of clothing!

Another useful tip is to wash your clothes in hot water. The safety instructions on the tags of clothing and towels will tell you the correct temperature of water for your laundry. Hot water helps in canceling out any odor and in getting rid of the stubborn sebum that is produced by human bodies and in turn transferred to our clothing.

Drying clothes on a clothesline is the best way to rid them of smells.

How can drying affect the smell of laundry?

As tiring as it may sound, washing clothes in a washing machine and using a nice fabric softener or detergent is not the end of the line when it comes to making sure that your clothing smells fresh instead of musty.

Clothes smell musty when left in the washing machine for too long. The simple reason behind this is that the damp and warm insides of the washing machine are the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, mold and musty smells to develop. To make sure that your clothes don't come out smelly, dry them out as soon as the timer tells you that laundry is done! It is also important that the laundry is dried off in a place that is dry, has proper air circulation and will get at least a few hours of sunlight. Putting up a clothes-line will also help you when it comes to quickly getting your clothes dry and keeping that musty smell at bay forever!

What To Do When Your Clothes Smell After Washing Them

What happens if you end up missing a step or two? Well, its not an unforgivable sin and you can always get rid of the smell.

Let's suppose that something went wrong and your clothes still have a musty smell. The best thing to do is to wash them again, but this time, use a cup of white vinegar. Vinegar is a savior when you have to get rid of a musty smell, since it acts as a deodorizer. Run the machine with some hot water, a cup of vinegar and dry the clothes off immediately to have fresh smelling clothes again!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do my clothes smell after washing then why not take a look at why do things float, or why do the clocks go back.

Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

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