How to Easily Fix Stinky Laundry

Home | How to Easily Fix Stinky Laundry

Laundry should smell fresh and clean after washing, but sometimes it can develop an unpleasant odor. This is usually caused by bacteria, dirt or sweat buildup in the fabric fibers. Not only is stinky laundry unpleasant and embarrassing, but it can also be a health hazard as it can spread harmful bacteria and germs. Fortunately, there are effective ways, which we follow at our 24 hour laundry in Houston, to easily fix stinky laundry and prevent it from happening again. From using the right detergent and fabric softener to adding baking soda or vinegar to the wash, implementing these simple tips can help keep your laundry smelling fresh and clean every time.

Dry Your Clothes Thoroughly

Whether you do your laundry at home or at our washateria in Houston Texas, drying your clothes thoroughly is an important step in ensuring that they don’t develop a stinky odor. When clothes remain wet or damp for too long, they become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, which can result in a musty smell that lingers long after washing. 

To prevent this, always make sure that you dry your clothes thoroughly before storing them. If you’re using a dryer, use the highest heat setting possible and leave the clothes in until they are completely dry. Alternatively, hanging clothes outside to dry on a sunny day can help to kill off any bacteria or fungi that may be lingering on them. 

It’s also important to make sure that your dryer is functioning properly. A dryer that is not working efficiently can leave clothes damp, which can lead to stinky laundry. Make sure that the lint trap is clean and clear of any debris, and that the dryer vent is not clogged or obstructed.

If you do happen to notice a musty odor on your clothes after drying them, try re-drying them on the highest heat setting for an additional cycle. Adding a cup of white vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle can also help to eliminate any odors.

Clean Your Washing Machine

One of the main reasons for stinky laundry is a dirty washing machine. Over time, washing machines accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria that can transfer onto your clothes during each cycle. Cleaning your washer should be a regular part of your laundry routine to keep your clothes smelling fresh and avoid any potential health hazards.

To start, check your washing machine’s manual to see if it has any specific cleaning instructions. Most modern washers have a self-cleaning cycle, but some may require additional steps, such as manually wiping down the inside with a mild cleaner.

One effective method for cleaning your washing machine is to run a hot water cycle with bleach or vinegar. This will kill any bacteria and remove any built-up grime. Another option is to use specialized washing machine cleaners, which can be found in grocery stores or online. These cleaners are designed to dissolve residue that has accumulated over time.

In addition to cleaning the inside of your washer, it’s also important to regularly clean the dispensers and seals. These areas are prone to mold and mildew growth, which can cause unpleasant smells and potentially harm your health. Wipe them down with a mixture of vinegar and water or a specialized cleaner.

By incorporating regular washing machine cleaning into your laundry routine, you can eliminate stinky laundry and ensure your clothes are always fresh and clean.

Use Your Washer’s Hot Cycle

One of the easiest and most effective ways to fix stinky laundry is to use your washer’s hot cycle. This is because hot water can help to kill the bacteria and germs that can cause unpleasant odors in your clothing.

When you use hot water, you can also help to remove any built-up dirt, grime, or other residues that may be causing your clothes to smell. This is especially important for items like towels or gym clothes, which can quickly become musty and unpleasant if not washed properly.

To make sure you get the most out of your hot cycle, you may want to use a hot water booster or another laundry product designed to work well in high temperatures. These products can help to further sanitize your clothing and leave them smelling fresh and clean.

It’s also worth noting that while hot water can be very effective for getting rid of odors, it may not work for all types of fabrics or stains. So, be sure to check the care label on your clothing and follow any specific instructions for washing, drying, and caring for your items.

Evaluate Your Detergent Use

One of the primary reasons why your laundry may be stinky is because of your detergent use. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate your detergent use and determine whether you are using the right product or not.

Your laundry detergent should be chosen based on your water hardness, washing machine capacity, the type of fabric you are washing, and your personal preferences. If you use the wrong type of detergent or use too much of it, it can leave your clothes smelling musty and unpleasant.

Furthermore, many detergents contain synthetic fragrances that can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems. It is always better to opt for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergents that are gentle on your clothes and skin.

In addition, using too much detergent can also cause a build-up of soap and residue in your washing machine, which can lead to bad odors. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the right amount of detergent for your load size.

Lastly, it is a good practice to clean your washing machine regularly as the accumulation of dirt, soap, and fabric softener can lead to mildew and bacteria growth, which can cause foul odors.

By evaluating your detergent use and making necessary changes, you can easily fix stinky laundry and have fresh-smelling clothes every time.

Don’t Overuse Detergent

Using too much detergent in your laundry may sound like a good idea to get rid of any unpleasant odor, but it can lead to just the opposite result. Excessive detergent can leave behind residues in your clothes that attract more dirt and bacteria, causing them to become smelly over time. Moreover, it can damage the fabric and decrease their lifespan, making you spend more money on buying new clothes.

To avoid this, start by reading the label on your detergent bottle to determine the recommended usage for your load size. If you have a smaller load, don’t use the same amount of detergent as you would for a larger load. Additionally, if you have soft water, you may need less detergent than if you have hard water.

Another tip is to look for detergents with low-sudsing formulas, especially if you own a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine. These machines use less water than traditional washers, making excessive suds build-up more likely. Using less detergent that is formulated for HE machines will prevent this problem and give you a better chance of getting rid of smelly odors.

Lastly, remember that detergent remains in your washing machine, even after a cycle is complete. Therefore, perform a hot water cycle without any clothes or detergent every three to four weeks to clean the machine and get rid of any residues. By following these simple steps, you can easily fix stinky laundry without damaging your clothes or your washing machine.


Preventing stinky laundry is easier than dealing with it. Adopting simple habits like sorting clothes properly, air-drying them, and avoiding overloading the washing machine can go a long way in keeping your laundry smelling fresh. Additionally, using high-quality detergents and adding vinegar or baking soda to the wash can help eliminate odors. Don’t let stinky laundry ruin your day – follow these tips for a delightful laundry experience every time. If you need professional help, don’t hesitate to use our wash fold laundry service in Houston.

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