Solving the Stinky Laundry Problem

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Guess what? I just solved my stinky washing machine problem.

“Um, isn’t this a homeschooling blog?”,  you ask.

“Yes, but we are on Spring Break. And my washer has been stinking, so today I decided to get to the bottom of this problem while the kids played ‘fort’ and video games in their pajamas all morning.”

So, I have a top-loading high-efficiency washer. You are supposed to clean it with a specific brand of tablet whenever a light comes on and tells you “Clean With XYZ Brand Tablets”.  Well, the problem with the tablets is…

  • (a) They are expensive.  And,
  • (b) They don’t sell them at the grocery stores or Target, so I have to go to Home Depot. For high-efficiency washing machine cleaning tablets. There is nothing efficient about that. And,
  • (c) Did I mention they’re expensive?

So, I figured since vinegar and baking soda clean everything else so well, why not see if they would clean my washer which was getting stinkier by the day and making my family’s clean clothes smell to the point of which even my children noticed (you know that is serious, if the kids even notice).

I poured the vinegar into the soap dispenser of the machine and also into the bottom of the basin.  I used about 2 cups total. Then I turned the washing machine on the “Clean Washer” setting.

After that cycle finished, I sprinkled baking soda around the bottom of the basin and ran a regular wash cycle with hot water. I used about a half a cup of baking soda.

And, guess what?  No more stinky clothes! No more stinky machine! It worked.

UPDATE: I’ve experimented with smaller amounts of vinegar and baking soda as well as putting them in together and running them on one “clean washer” cycle and it works just as well. I now use 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda, both poured into the basin together. 

And here’s a little trick I used to get the stinky smell out of the clean clothes without having to re-wash three loads of  “clean” laundry.  I took a wash cloth and sprinkled a few drops of tea tree essential oil on it and threw it in the dryer with a load of clothes. Took the smell right out. I refreshened the wash cloth with a few more drops for each load. The laundry didn’t smell like tea tree oil when it came out of the dryer but it didn’t smell stinky anymore either. It just smelled clean.  I experimented with lavender essential oil and that didn’t work. The clothes still smelled stinky. So tea tree oil is definitely the way to go.

And, now back to your regular homeschooling blog topics.  I’m off to put away our clean, non-stinky laundry.