Day to Day Adventures

Banish the Sour Smell in the Washer!

Cleaning, 2011-12Kim5 Comments

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I am so excited about this money saving tip!  Last fall my old washer just quit so we needed a new one and the debate was top loading or front loading.  Either way we were going to be saving some money on a newer more energy efficient model.  We went with a Kenmore front load. 

It was a good switch.  Our clothes come out so much dryer!  That means that they dry faster which is awesome for the electric bill from the dryer.  I am finding they are done in a flash when I hang them outside!

The one thing that my hubby was really worried about was the smell that can occur in the washer.  It happens when the small amount of water that is left in the washer sours if the door is shut after a cycle. 

It is a super tight seal so the water cannot evaporate.  We have been making sure to leave the washer door open after each cycle and even drying off the plastic around the opening to avoid this.  I haven’t been able to detect any smell but dear hubby has on a couple of occasions.

We bought the recommended cleaning tablets & ran a cleansing cycle but it seemed to come back.  Nothing too bad but bothersome to all involved and we certainly didn’t want it to get worse!                                                                                                       

A friend(that is where I get my best tips!) and I were talking about homemade laundry soap and she made the random comment that she used vinegar in her washer. 

sour smell washer

I asked why because that seemed a curious thing to do!  I love vinegar for hard water deposits but laundry?  She said Oh I do that to keep that musty smell away.  Voila!  Problem solved.

Since then I have been testing using the vinegar in my washer and it WORKED!  The smell in the washer is completely gone. 

Here is what I do.  I fill the soap as normal and then I fill the bleach spot with vinegar.  It isn’t much just a few tablespoons!

I also did some research on vinegar in a front load washer


  • Vinegar in the last rinse(put it in the softener spot) will remove the detergent &  restores absorbability to towels.
  • There is no vinegar smell everything just smells fresh and clean.  No perfume smell
  • Vinegar whitens whites with out the harshness of bleach so your clothes will last longer(oh yeah!)
  • Whites will not turn yellow with vinegar!
  • Softens mineral deposits
  • Softens clothing allowing the detergent to work better so you can use less detergent(less $—AWESOME!)
  • Removes odors from clothes.
  • Harm the environment or fibers in material

I hope this helps someone else avoid stinky laundry!  If you are under piles & piles check out last weeks post on Keeping Up with Mount Washmore!