Help me make my laundry smell better.

I do laundry in a student dorms. For some reason my clothes smell weird after I take them out of the dryer.

I’ve tried dryer sheets, but that just makes the clothes smell like dryer sheets.

Any other ways I can make them smell better?

Try using vinegar in your wash cycle. Odds are the odor is following your clothes in to the dryer from the washer.

Agreed, vinegar, about 1/2 cup per load. But be sure to use white vinegar & not apple cider vinegar. Also try switching your soap, maybe the stuff you are using isn’t that effective. Also be sure that you move your clothing from washer to dryer as quickly as possible, even half a day of sitting damp in the washer can start that mildew smell.

another vote for white vinegar. that stuff is magic and cheap.

gain laundry detergent smells really nice. when i did my laundry in a dorm-style setup i had a very specific formula. start water, mix in some powdered color safe bleach and add a bit of detergent. let water run for a minute. add clothes. add the rest of the detergent. i’m partial to gain’s apple mango tango or hawaiian aloha scents. when drying, use a dryer sheet or 3 in the same scent(or a similar scent, whatever). this would cause me to open my closet just so i could smell my clothes like in those febreze commercials.

Since you said it’s the dryer and didn’t mention the washer, and didn’t specify what kind of “weird” smell, I’m wondering if the dryer gets too hot and kind of scorches the clothes.

If it wasn’t getting the job done good enough, I’d look around for a well maintained laundromat instead. It only takes an hour a week.

Check out “sour laundry”.

I don’t have one of those washers where you can add detergent after the water starts. You add detergent, set the cycle, and the door locks afterwards.

I don’t have a car, so I’m not going to go looking for a different laundromat.

In that case, it’s OK to pour some vinegar directly over your clothes as you’re loading them in - it’ll still help a bit. Heck, if it can get the smell of cat pee out of bathtowels, it’ll get a little college funk out of your stuff! :slight_smile:

Everyone who has mentioned white vinegar is right. Buy yourself a Downy (fabric softener) ball and put the white vinegar in it to the fill line (not fabric softener). Throw it in, along with the soap and clothes, and start the wash. I use it for every single load I do, and it works great.

I don’t know if the OP is male or female. I am allergic to fragrance, so my laundry smells like nothing. But if I want it to smell nice, I take a washcloth and dampen it very slightly with orange flower water, and toss it in the dryer with the rest of the load. Even though it’s very subtle, I don’t recommend this for the gentlemen.

Also, make sure you’re not over-filling the washing machine. If you pack it tightly with clothing, the clothes won’t get clean and you can wind up with weird odors.

Take a whiff of the washer[s]; I bet they have a substantial buildup of detergent gunk and quite possibly mildew. If so, put in a written request for maintenance to clean them out. Pending that, you might be able to do a bit of cleaning yourself, with a few paper towels, on the back side of the rubber seal (if these are front-loading machines, that is).

ah. in that case i’d substitute liquid color safe bleach for powdered and just dump that in along with the detergent before you start the washer. in my experience powdered works the best if you can mix it into the water by hand, otherwise it clumps and leaves white spots on the clothes. try the gain (i used to use store brand detergent, then switched to gain and couldn’t believe the difference it made in how my clothes smelled) and some good dryer sheets. any of the gain scents work, or bounce with febreze is nice too. in a pinch you could skip the color safe bleach but i always use it when i can.

Do these laundry washers have the soap metered in by pumping from buckets or tanks and you don’t actually get to add your own soap and other products, as is common in dorms now?

Try the old pre-chemical ways of the lost wisdom of out foremothers and astonish your friends.
Chamber lye was a useful laundry product, even though it couldn’t be made into soap. Precious urine collected from chamber pots, its many uses included stain removal and pre-wash soaking.

Before that you suffer it to be washed, lay it all night in urine, the next day rub all the spots in the urine as if you were washing in water; then lay it in more urine another night and then rub it again, and so do till you find they be quite out.
Hannah Woolley, The Compleat Servant-Maid, 1677

Washing with Lye

Make an interesting conversation point, too, to break the ice.

{ I mislike the smell of vinegar, but orange flower water sounds rather nice. )

How much are you willing to spend? White vinegar will help some, but on Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator will help a lot more. It’s worth $9 every three months or so to me, but ymmv.

Get a cage for your pet skunk.

If you are a guy or just like the smell of trees, Pine-sol has directions for laundry use. A lot of the commercial fisherman I know use is to remove the fish slime smell for their clothes.

I believe it is ammonia based so be careful to keep it away from bleach

I can add my own soap. They are front load machines with a separate slot for adding detergent.