Remove Sour Smells and Odors from Your Laundry

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 16, 2015)


Sometimes your stuff just starts to smell. It's not pleasant and sometimes you just don't know how to fix it. Some smells can even induce gagging, so there's definitely no way you'd want to keep those smells in your clothes and other laundered items. Fortunately getting rid of those smells isn't difficult and will leave you with pleasing results.

First, get rid of smelly dishcloths. Don't let your dishcloths get to the point where they make you gag. These dishcloths sometimes may need to only be rinsed out, sometimes they need to go through a laundry cycle, and other times you just need to throw them away and pull out a new one. Dishcloths are used often and you need to maintain them; keep up with their condition so you don't have to suffer from a nasty smell in the kitchen.

Most of preventing smells comes down to taking care of the problem as soon as possible. This means you can't let your smelly garments or other laundry items sit too long without treating them. The longer you let your rags and clothes sit, the more the smell will set in, leaving you with a tougher job to rid the smell. If you take care of the problem as soon as you can then you'll be in good shape for tackling all smelly situations.

Here are some other ideas you can try to get rid of those sour smells:

  • Vinegar. Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash when you are adding the detergent. The vinegar will help eliminate the sour smell, while also being washed away itself.
  • Dishwashing detergent. Create a solution of one gallon of water and two tablespoons of liquid dishwashing detergent. Allow the clothing and washcloths to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. After soaking, wash as normal. This should remove the smell.
  • Dry completely. As you are washing the laundry, keep in mind that you need to make sure that the items are completely dry before removing from the dryer. Also, do not allow damp clothes and linens to remain in the washing machine any longer than necessary since mold (which can be a cause of the sourness) can grow in damp, dark places like a dormant washing machine.
  • Replace. There are times, no matter how much we may not like to admit it, that the only way to remove the sour smell from the laundry is to replace the offending clothing or washcloths. While this should not be the primary option used, it is effective.

Removing sour smells from your laundry definitely is possible; you may need to work a bit harder for some smells, but almost every smell has the potential to be eliminated. Bad smells are definitely unpleasant; you don't have to live with them.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood


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What is four less than 8?

2015-11-14 15:55:19

carol michaels


2015-04-10 11:32:53

Susan from Alaska

Can u use on a on my son's work vlotges. We tried baking soda and vi b egat..neither one helps.
will among a strip the color?
thanks much

2015-02-20 07:33:22


I can understand not using dryer sheets on the towels; that makes them less absorbent. But does it work the same with liquid? And also, please tell me, why doesn't ammonia just add to the smell, thus making the problem worse? I'm sorry to be so dense. 😌

2015-02-19 23:40:42


My apt doesn't have an a/c vent in the bathroom. Towels get a very sour smell. I have learned to use two cups of lemon ammonia per load of towels and wash cloths along with regular detergent. It takes care of any sour smell and any body oils. Extra bonus: the ammonia makes my towels fluffy. I NEVER add softener to my towels.

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