Clothes Sour/Smell Bad after Washing


Old 09-05-11, 05:05 PM
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Clothes Sour/Smell Bad after Washing

I have a washing machine (Maytag) that is creating sour clothes, even if I take the clothes immediately out of the machine.

I tried switching detergents (liquid)

I tried adjusting the size of the loads

I tried adjusting the water volumes

Nothing works. And it is getting worse. If the unit goes unused for days, you lift the lid and the smell is inside the unit.

The drain connection is to code without any chance of sewer gas entering back into the unit.

Where you can pour bleach into that small opening in the front corner, I was told to pour vineager down that opening, along with ammonia.

There has to be something that needs cleaning that I cannot get to that's spoiling the fresh wash of these clothes. It's very bad at this point.

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Old 09-05-11, 06:10 PM
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You can try 1/4 cup of bleach put in both the bleach dispenser and in the tub for a total of 1/2 cup...........more is not necessary.
Start a load with warm water and set to fill the water level full.
Let the load start agitating and then turn off the machine and let it sit overnight with the water in it.
Next morning let it complete the cycle.

If this doesn't fix the problem you may have some type of foreign matter in a place standing water in the tub doesn't reach.
You then might want to partially dismantle the machine and remove hoses to check hidden spots for inaccessible gunk.
Perhaps the pump or between the inner and outer tub is harboring something interesting.
Old 09-06-11, 03:26 AM
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You don't tell us what type washer you have but they sell a couple of different products for smelly washers, One is made byTide and one is Called Afresh. Read directions on back and follow them. I know Afresh works well don't know anything about the Tide product.
Old 09-11-11, 10:16 AM
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Worth a try

I learned this from my mom and still do it all the time. Try leaving the lid on the washer open all the time. That allows the machine to dry out between washings. You said if you open the lid after several days, the smell is worse, so if you leave it open, maybe it will dry out enough to take the smell away. Would also be worth trying the bleach treatment and then leaving it open to dry. Hope you find a solution.
Old 09-11-11, 05:26 PM
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good thing is when you dry on high heat it all gets sterilized.
Old 09-16-11, 07:10 AM
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I just posted this in another thread about dishwasher smells, but run a few loads through with a cup of vinegar and a cup of ammonia. That should get rid of the smell! There is no harm in putting vinegar through with each load on a regular basis either, it will help prevent musty smells like this and is a natural fabric softener

Leaving the door open is a good tip too though, I try to do this all the time as it lets things dry out.

If none of this helps though, it could be the rubber seal around your door. Do you have one of these? My machine is a stackable and around the door there is a lot of rubber ... if we leave stuff in the washer too long this starts to reek. I've always been able to solve the problem with vinegar but I looked into getting a new rubber online and it was pretty cheap, less than $20 I think.
Hope this is helpful!

Last edited by Gunguy45; 09-16-11 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Removed possible advertising
Old 04-07-12, 09:25 PM
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All of your responses were good, if only I followed them.

Well, with the start of spring I couldn't even go in the basement while the machine ran, it smelled that bad.

One thing I never knew and this is because I'm a guy.... the "reason" to leave the lid open. Now I do.

Yesterday, I bought affresh. GregH, around the time you responded before all others, I followed your advice and didn't get good resuts. However, this machine has never ever been cleaned. It's over 9 years old at this point, and ever since a family member passed away we've been doing it all wrong.

So now I understand the leaving the door open mentality. I used all 3 pucks of affresh for each cycle on a normal wash. I took and cleaned everything I could visibly see,

also "just" filled up the drum to the top holes and grinded up a leftover puck of affresh, hot water and letting it sit overnight. Probably a 1/2 a puck.

But running it through what would be 4 cycles should of removed the majority of what was accumulating where it couldn't be seen.

Tomorrow I am going to rewash some towels and see what type of results come of the product I used.

Out of curiousity I wanted to know what sodium carbonate was, along with sodium percarbonate which is the main ingredients of the affresh.

I read a wiki link which was over my head from the science point of view and then I went and googled affresh, which showed me a link to amazon.

The reviews at Amazon led to a recommendation of using Borax as part of your everyday use of laundry detergent. There is one particular review that got a 75 out of 75 recommendation of that suggestion so I'm going to try that after I see what results of my efforts today.

I wasted a lot of water trying to clean this today but all my efforts failed last year and I was starting to notice the gross smell in my clothes when I start sweating. I'm not going through this for another year. If nothing works, I'm buying a new washing machine.

I noticed that the HE (High Efficiency) units have this mold issue more than the conventional one that I operate. Mine is just a regular one like what's been around for decades.

I bookmarked this thread as I wanted to make sure I followed back up on this situation.

I'll post results when I find out if it worked this time but I've probably went way beyond a normal situation.

Thanks for all the suggestions, tips/advice.
Old 04-12-12, 05:08 PM
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Is the outer tub plastic or metal. Whirlpool now makes the maytag machine and if it is plastic I can tell you how to clean it out.
Old 04-19-12, 09:26 PM
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Still smelly?

Since the OP resurrected the thread, I'll bring up a couple things. Firstly, in regard to the suggestion of using vinegar and ammonia - it should really be vinegar or ammonia since 'and' implies that you would combine them which will neutralize to a watery solution. Secondly, you mentioned that your clothing starts to smell bad as you sweat; I've found that lesser quality detergents can cause this (Surf comes to mind). Just some thoughts.
Old 04-22-12, 02:15 PM
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I would presume metal. It appears that way without pulling the front cover off.

When the washing machine comes to a stop, it's abrupt. It "used" to come to a slow stop. I'm presuming the bushings/rollers are in need of grease. It's been that way for years though.
Old 04-22-12, 02:27 PM
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Clothes are decent now. I did have some towels that had somewhat of a scent but I figure it might take a couple washes or more (doing that today) to get them 100% clean.

Vineager was used initially with no result. Ammonia was used with no result. Neither were mixed though, both used individually trying to solve the issue.

At one time a year or two ago I used the lesser quality detergents, figured I was setting myself up for the problem and then I switched to Tide liquid. I never use powder, but I've noticed that the big thing going these days is detergent in a small ball that is caged by the container it comes in. In other words you buy a bag at the store and has like 14-20 smaller round discs inside.

Would love to know if that trumps liquid or not.

My update:

Consider difference now that Affresh was used. I used a bag's worth, 3 pucks, one for each cycle.

I can now tell when the laundry is going that the smell that usually had the perfect resemblance of a dried p-trap where water sealed the sewer gases out, is gone.

As a plumber that was the first place I checked, nearby floor drain that receives little or no water throughout the year. When that didn't work, I pulled the cover off, watched to see if there was a partial clog or the drain was belching back sewer gas. Not so.

I now use a lot less detergent as a recent discussion on NBC nightly mentioned that these detergents come in high concentrations, that you should not follow the instructions either on the machine OR the bottle the product comes in.

More or less use 1/2 what it calls for. I started doing this and my clothes are still clean, no obvious smell like before.

That smell I was dealing with on my shirts/shorts probably was responsible for some mild skin irritations on my body that I could never tie to anything but the grime of a good day's work. Being a plumber I'm associated with lots of chemicals and the nasty things associated with plumbing.

That content I'm putting in the washing machine was probably contributory as well.

But at the present moment, the situation is 99% solved unless something changes.

It's worth it to me for $8 a month to keep that machine 100% clean.

I'm almost embarrassed to say how long I went with it being in this condition... just like people who let a faucet leak for years instead of fixing it.

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