Here's why your clothes still smell bad even after washing

Nothing can be worse than opening your washing machine in anticipation of laundry with a pleasant scent of fabric softener just to discover it 'smells of a wet dog'. Why does it happen?

Here's why your clothes still smell bad even after washing
© Photo by PlanetCare on Unsplash
Here's why your clothes still smell bad even after washing

Washing clothesdoes not guarantee getting rid of a bad smell, and sometimes the process can make it even worse.

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Laundry can retain unpleasant odour for several reasons. Dirty washing machine is one. The amount of detergent used can also contribute to foul-smelling clothes.

Here are all the possible causes you need to know about.

Your washing machine needs cleaning

Washing machines can harbour a lot of gunk and grime. The constant moisture combined with the cleaning products creates a perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew.

Deep cleaning a washing machine may sound like a serious undertaking, but fortunately, it’s pretty hands-off. All you need are basic household supplies – distilled white vinegar and baking soda – and you can have your machine fresh when running a cycle or two.

You’re using too much or too little detergent

Laundry detergents are highly concentrated – it may not look like much is being poured in, but once water is added, it multiplies exponentially.

If too much detergent is added to a wash cycle, it becomes impossible for the machine to thoroughly rinse it all away. Contrary to how it might seem, this will lead to the attraction of dirt and bacteria, leaving clothes dirty.

Alternatively, if you don’t add enough detergent, the water alone won’t always have the power to get things completely clean.

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You overfill the machine

It is very tempting to shove as much as possible into the washing machine to get the laundry done more quickly. Unfortunately – this tactic will backfire. If the washing machine is overloaded, it just can’t do its job.

You left clothes sitting wet for too long

When you throw a load of laundry in the machine and get caught up with another task, it’s too easy to forget the clothes in the washer for hours or even days.

Leaving wet clothes in the bottom of a dark washing machine is an invitation for mould and mildew to grow. Mildew is one of the main culprits for bad-smelling laundry, and it can start to grow in dark, wet places in a matter of hours.

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Your clothes didn’t dry properly

When clothes don't dry properly, they can develop smells even if they didn’t smell directly after being washed.

Putting too many clothes into the dryer is a common reason they don't dry thoroughly. Just like a washing machine being overloaded, there is not enough space for it to tumble.

Your clothes were put away damp

If the dryer buzzes and we have the time – why not just put the clothes away?

Putting clothes away damp is never a good idea. You think you’re doing yourself a favour – getting the job done quickly. But when you go to wear something from a load, you’ll be disappointed to discover the smell.

The stored clothes do not have enough airflow

Air flowing around garments keeps things smelling fresh and prevents mildew, mould and other things that cause smells from growing. When clothes are tightly packed together, air cannot flow between them.

Sources used:

- Silver Bobbin: 'Why Do My Clothes Smell After Washing?'

Clean and disinfect your washing machine with these simple tricks Clean and disinfect your washing machine with these simple tricks