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Wash the stink out?

Old 01-04-21, 03:15 PM
  #1  
pennpaul
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Wash the stink out?

I wear a lot of graphic Tees and many are a blend of cotton and polyester. After we moved into a new to us house, these shirts have picked up a sour smell. My cotton shirt don't suffer from this, but cotton isn't always comfortable in the heat or come with the prints I like.

I recently did a load of laundry where my bike clothes were mixed with one of those t-shirts and now I'm getting a whiff of sourness from my bike jersey and bib. Short of burning everything, is there anything to salvage the shirts and my bike kit? I haven't tried re-washing my bike clothes but those t-shirts have been washed multiple times, with different detergents, and sometimes mixed with white vinegar or baking soda. Nothing seems to neutralize the sour smell. I will straight up dunk the shirts in straight vinegar or a baking soda solution if that will kill/release the funk.

We're living overseas now so if the "infection" started back in the US, it's followed me.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-04-21, 05:57 PM
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And why don't my bike shorts smell like crap after a while? They smell musky, not crappy. I'm not exactly smitten with myself, but I gotta say, I kinda find that smell to be a rather pleasant surprise. My shirt pits smell worse than my shorts: more sweaty, not musky. If I could bottle this shorts muskiness, could I sell it? What should I charge? Should I call Ralph Lauren or Estee Lauder?
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Old 01-04-21, 06:02 PM
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indyfabz
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Eau de Pits. The new men’s fragrance from Ralph Lauren. For the serious cyclist.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:13 PM
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That is strange, I wash my base layers, jerseys and short then let them air dry. Never get a sour or bad odor from them after. I have read air dry is best to keep the garments lasting. Works for me.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:18 PM
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Have not had that problem but you could try adding an enzyme cleaner like oxi-clean. It's supposed to help with odors. I use regular detergent on the most delicate cycle and hang dry.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:19 PM
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It's the water. Since we moved to the coast whatever we wash has a funky smell. All the neighbors have the same problem. We started adding a laundry disinfectant to the wash. Lysol makes one called Laundry Sanitizer. They work. No more sour clothes. Still don't wash my sweats in with the rest, but nothing has that sour odor anymore.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:25 PM
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Another option is 20 Mule Team Borax detergent additive. And I guess you could "sage" them, but it only works on bad spirits. Smiles, MH
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Old 01-04-21, 06:30 PM
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Do you have a front load washing machine by chance?
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Old 01-04-21, 06:37 PM
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I use this stuff and don't suffer the stink and my socks especially REEEEEEK. I got stank foot bad and my socks and bibs and shirts and everything come out smelling clean and no stank. You might also consider cleaning out your washing machine as that can sometimes harbor stank as well.

I have also in the past made some from Dr. Bronners (I use that stuff for everything) and it works well. Here is a recipe that could help you if you want to D.I.Y. https://livesimply.me/homemade-liqui...ral-detergent/. Me personally I wouldn't use the Lavender because I hate lavender but almond is my jam or peppermint if I want to make it real fresh.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Eau de Pits. The new men’s fragrance from Ralph Lauren. For the serious cyclist.
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Old 01-04-21, 08:33 PM
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^ Cancer Boy spilled Husk Musk on his science project and got an A!
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Old 01-04-21, 10:24 PM
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I've had good luck with this stuff.
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Old 01-05-21, 06:05 AM
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Vinegar and/or baking soda really should do the job of eliminating any smell. If they aren't working then I really would be looking into the water quality or possibly something in the washing machine.
You could try using old fashioned bleach. If that doesn't work then its got to be the water or something living in the washing machine.
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Old 01-05-21, 08:14 AM
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When I am concerned about laundry smell I pour a half cup of white vinegar into the wash.

THe explanation above that the smell is from the water sounds like a logical one.
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Old 01-05-21, 08:35 AM
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Sink the Stink always worked well for me with funky watersports gear. You can find it on Amazon or ebay.
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Old 01-05-21, 09:11 AM
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Adding vinegar to the washing machine itself is insufficient once the odor sets in like that. Soak them overnight in a mix of white vinegar and water, at least a cup of vinegar and as little water that is takes to cover.
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Old 01-05-21, 09:42 AM
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pennpaul
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Many things I've read is that it could be the water. We have well water in our house back in the US which goes through a brine tank and then a UV light. That house also has a front loader but I always leave the door open after we're done washing clothes so it dries out. I've also run some bleach only rinses through it. I do not know what our water source is here in Central America, but we are advised to not drink from the tap so I'd imagine it can't be better than back in the US.

I did look through reviews of the Lysol product. I can't buy it locally but Amazon will ship it to me. However, many people are reporting getting hives after coming in contact with their clean clothes. The same thing has happened to me using the local laundry detergent marked as hypoallergenic (this never happened before) so I am not going to risk it. It's a miserable experience when it happens. After one of my rides here, I had hives that matched the shape of my bib shorts.

The Lysol product is added during the rinse step and allowed to sit for almost 20 minutes so I'm going to give that a try with vinegar. I'd been adding the vinegar at the beginning of the wash with no soaking but it makes sense to do this at a later step and allow it to sit. First I'm going to separately soak the offending clothes in a vinegar solution, and then put them in the washer. I've never washed clothes with bleach for fear of discoloring them but I'll have to research that as a backup.

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 01-05-21, 09:52 AM
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After you wash the clothing do you let the wet clothing sit in the washer sometimes? Also don't leave the washer door closed when not in use.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:05 AM
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pennpaul
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
After you wash the clothing do you let the wet clothing sit in the washer sometimes? Also don't leave the washer door closed when not in use.
I try not to leave them sit for a while. They go in the dryer within an hour, bike clothes are air dried, and the washer door/lid stays open to air out.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
I try not to leave them sit for a while. They go in the dryer within an hour, bike clothes are air dried, and the washer door/lid stays open to air out.
You might try a product called “Affresh” these are fizz balls that foam up and do a better job of getting at the mildew which forms internally in the interior orifices inside the washer. A 4 pack from Amazon I believe is $20. If you look at the rinse water when the Affresh treatment goes through the rinse cycle, you might see evidence of the mildew (lots of disgusting black sediment) getting cleared out. I think the directions say you can use 2 of them for the first treatment if the mildew internally is that bad.

My workout apparel was super funky prior to me doing the above treatment. I do have well water and a Bosch front loader that is about 12 years old.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:48 AM
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My wife just uses plain old Tide she gets at Sams Club, and none of my stuff has a smell.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:51 AM
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Our house has had great success with Tide Sport.
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Old 01-05-21, 11:24 AM
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"odo ban" product available at home depot is pretty good for yoga towels (very sweaty!)
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Old 01-05-21, 11:38 AM
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It's not the water. It's your detergent. Use less of it and double rinse.

Synthetic fabrics are designed to wick sweat away - but they retain odor. And detergents often stick to the fabric too, trapping in the odor. Vinegar or vodka soaks will help kill the built up bacteria in the fabric, but going forward, adding vinegar to the wash and less detergent plus a second rinse can help.

You can also try air drying under ultraviolet light.
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Old 01-05-21, 06:24 PM
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I might have had a breakthrough. My wife doused by stinkiest of stinky shirts (coincidentally, it's an Oscar the Grouch shirt) with an Oxiclean Stain Remover spray then washed it normally after the spray sat overnight. I don't detect any funk!

I think they do sell Oxyclean here so I'm going to seek out the powder and see if this solves it.
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