Why Do My Clothes Smell Bad After Washing? — Everything You Need to Know

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Everyone has that one guy in their office a few cubicles down. He’s nice enough, but he always smells a little…off. You don’t want to be this person. He probably asks himself why do my clothes smell bad after washing them?

Slapping on deodorant and showering every day may not be enough. You should also ensure that you wash your clothes adequately. If you’re doing laundry loads three times a week but still have smelly clothes, you may be frustrated. 

Do your clothes smell after washing? In this guide, we’ll address potential culprits of stinky laundry and how to get smell out of clothes. By the time you’re through reading, your once stinky dresses and T-shirts will emit aromas of all things fresh. We’re talking citrus, honeysuckle, lavender, and any other fragrances your nose craves.

What Is That Mildew Smell?

You pull your favorite bedtime T-shirt that you got from the state fair out of the washer and discover that it reeks. It no longer smells like cotton candy and caramel apples — no, it’s giving off more of an earthy, tangy odor.

Are you wondering why your clothes smell like mildew after washing?

A likely answer is that you left your garments in the washer for too long. Maybe you heard the timer go off but chose to ignore it. Or, perhaps you missed it altogether because you got caught up with other responsibilities. In any case, letting wet laundry sit for too long can produce an unfavorable musty smell. Damp garments are safe havens for bacteria, which can cause your clothes to smell like a wet dog instead of fresh linen.

If you don’t trust yourself to transfer your clothes from the washer to the dryer timely, enlist Smarty Wash to do your laundry loads. Our team will arrive at your doorstep, pick up your garments, launder them, and take them back to your house. Our livelihoods revolve around doing laundry, so we’ll never forget the essential transfer process. You can dedicate your time to other tasks, and we’ll ensure your clothes always smell clean and fresh.

Maybe You Should Clean the Washer

Our previous discussion point won’t apply to you if you always transfer your loads the second the washer’s timer goes off. So, why do my clothes smell after washing?

You may have a different problem on your hands — a dirty washer.

It’s natural for detergent and fabric softeners to build up in your washing machine over time. If you don’t clean your washer regularly, this built-up scum can become a serious problem.

The buildup can harbor bacteria and block filters. As you perform washes over several weeks, your clothes will become exposed to bacteria in the water.

Aim to clean your washing machine at least once a month. Once a month is what we recommend, but it won’t hurt to do it more frequently if you have the time.

Follow these four simple steps to perform a thorough cleaning job:

  1. Pour two to three cups of vinegar in the machine’s detergent drawer.
  2. Leave your washer empty and start a hot water cycle. Choose the longest setting.
  3. Once the cycle is over, wipe down the inside of the drum using a sponge. This process will help you get rid of any stubborn scum left behind.
  4. Allow the hot water cycle to run again. One more rinse will ensure all the vinegar washes away.

You Could Have Used Too Much Detergent

Did you clean out your washer and are still wondering why your laundry smells bad after washing?

Hear us out, but the problem may be that you’re using too much detergent. Yes, we’re saying your beloved Spring Meadow and Mountain Breeze products could be the culprits.

What?! How could using too much detergent cause my clothes to stink?

Rewashing musty clothes with more detergent may seem like a natural solution. However, you may be adding fuel to the fire instead of solving the problem. Excess detergent can cling to your garments and encourage bacteria growth, leading to a mildewy odor. 

To eradicate this issue, always measure your detergent before you add it to your load. You’ll likely need less than you think. Would you believe us if we told you that you could throw away that large measuring cup that comes with most bottles of detergent? You only need about one tablespoon of detergent for every average-sized laundry load. 

You Could Have Overfilled the Washing Machine

At this point, you may be at your wit’s end. You transfer your loads efficiently, clean your washer regularly, and use a moderate amount of detergent. Why do my clothes still smell after washing?

The solution may be as simple as splitting one laundry load into multiple sessions.

Split up your whites and darks or wash each family member’s loads separately. Whichever way you choose to lighten your loads will help all your garments smell fresher in the long run.

When you ask Smarty Wash to do your laundry for you, you don’t have to worry about best practices for loading. Our team knows exactly what our machines can handle, so we’ll produce fresh-smelling clothes your family can wear all week long. 

Soiled Fabrics Could Play a Role

Clothes not smelling fresh after washing could also mean you have highly soiled fabrics on your hands.

An afternoon of playing outside may cause your children to leave dirty, sweaty clothes in their laundry baskets. Or, maybe you (or your spouse) work at a laborious job and arrive home with layers of grime on your garments.

You can shake off all the dirt you want, but many of the odors will originate from difficult-to-see substances. The sweat that clings to your clothes can cause bacteria to multiply and worsen the already-present odor.

Smarty Wash, serving Citrus Heights and the greater Sacramento area, knows how to deal with soiled fabrics effectively. Contact us today to schedule professional laundry cleaning services.

Get Clean-Smelling Clothes Every Time with Smarty Wash!

If the instructions in this article seem too arduous to follow, we get it. Other responsibilities in your life will likely take priority. Why not have a professional pick-up and delivery service handle your laundry loads? Use Smarty Wash for efficient, effective laundry services. If you live in the Greater Sacramento area (including Citrus Heights), you can contact one of our professionals today to schedule service.

You’ll never find yourself asking, Why does my laundry smell? ever again. All your coworkers may migrate to your cubicle, though, drawn by the scent of cleanliness you’ll exude. 

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