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Have you ever started a load of laundry and forgot about it?
My husband Casey and I work nights, so this happens more often than we would like to admit. Usually, one of us will remember or notice that the clothes weren’t taken out of the washer and take care of it. But sometimes that’s not the case.
The weekend before last, Casey and I were busy all weekend. I tried to wash as many clothes as I could on Thursday since I knew we were going to be busy Friday-Sunday. I began watching Suits again on Amazon Prime. (I’m way behind.)
I admit that I was getting a little sleepy but I didn’t think that I would actually fall asleep… and forgot about the laundry. But the next day, we were in such a rush. Then the day after that was the same way. I knew at this point, I would really have to work with the clothes to make the smell soured/mildew smell disappear which is something I just didn’t have time to do for right then.
At last, Sunday evening I was able to start working on the clothes. I rewashed the clothes, added a little more Dawn, Shout, and Gain, each time. The smell was still pretty strong. Each time, I did an extra rinse and an extra spin. The first wash, however, I let them soak too, so they could get the soap in there nice and good. But I fear they may have just soaked up the stink extra well during that time. I did have some good news. I knew what to do: add vinegar.
Now, this was a large load of clothes, almost to the top of the washing machine. Therefore, I used probably about 1/4 cup of vinegar. You will want to use more or less depending on the types of clothes and the size of the load. My clothes were mostly nicer, work clothes with a few PJs to give you a reference point. We have a top loading washing machine that does not have a spot for the laundry soap but does have a section for fabric softener. As best I could, I poured and/or sprayed the vinegar, Shout, Dawn, and Gain in the part of the bottom I could see. I then encircled the tub with the mixture and put some in the fabric softener spot although that’s not what it’s for. This time, I did not let the water soak at all. I did do an extra rinse and an extra spin for good measure. I didn’t want to do too many spins or washes because that can shrink some clothing types.
To avoid this mess in the future, you can set an alarm as a reminder, ask someone for assistance, do laundry earlier in the day, or wait until a more convenient time.
In conclusion, if you have clothes that sour or mildew, pour some vinegar in with your favorite laundry detergent, Shout (or other stain remover), and your favorite dish soap (Dawn). You may have to do this just once or more than once, depending on how long the clothes were left to sour. Use the extra rinse and extra spin cycle if possible.