Washing powder ads have us believe that freshly laundered clothes should bear the scent of lilies, roses or tropical fruit! In reality, however, laundry out of the clothes dryer (see Mabe’s online catalogue here) just seems to smell like… well, detergent or bleach or whatever kind of washing liquid you used. At times, a malfunctioning washer or improperly serviced machine can release substances that leaves undesirable odours on a fresh laundry load.
However, that doesn’t mean your laundry can’t smell good! Here are 9 tips on how to make that happen:
1) First things first: Make sure your machine isn’t the cause of the stink
If your clothes aren’t smelling fresh out of the clothes dryer in Saudi Arabia, it’d be a good idea to check your machine for mould or mildew.
To prevent the growth of these fungi in your machine, consider using the ideal detergent or fabric softener recommended. After a wash cycle, product residue can allow mold or mildew to form on the sides of the drum. This is particularly true in the case of a front load washer, which uses less water than a top loader.
Another way to prevent the formation of mold and mildew is to leave the door of the washer open after a wash cycle, allowing the leftover moisture to dry out. Without water, mold or mildew cannot form, leaving your clothes odour-free.
2) Remove clothes from the washer ASAP
Another way that the scent of your laundered clothes can be affected by mildew is if you leave them in your machine too long after they’ve been washed. The dark, moist drum of your Mabe clothes dryer (see online manual here) is the ideal breeding ground for fungi and your clothes are likely to smell weird if you regularly delay unloading your laundry.
On occasions when you have left a wash load in the machine for too long, allowing mildew to impart its dingy smell on them, you can simply neutralize the unpleasant smell by giving the clothes a quick rinse with white vinegar.
3) Give your washing machine a deep cleanse every six months
In order to deodorise your washer, it’s a useful practice to run an empty wash cycle with vinegar every six months.
To do this, pour at least two cups of vinegar in the detergent dispenser and run a full cycle on the highest, hottest setting. Then, add a cup of baking soda and run another cycle. Once that’s done, wipe down the inside of the washing machine with a cloth to pick up any leftover vinegar or baking soda.
4) Dry the clothes completely before putting them away
If you feel your clothes are still damp, spread them out to air dry or put them back in for another cycle in the Mabe clothes dryer (see online catalogue here).
Damp clothes in dark environments like cupboards will grow mildew, which will make clothes smell foul.
5) Use dryer sheets or essential oils while drying clothes
Dryer sheets not only make your clothes soft and static-free, but also makes them smell nice.
If you don’t have a dryer sheet, you can add a few drops of essential oil on a piece of fabric and toss it with your laundry as you load it in the dryer.
6) Keep your dryer well maintained
After every drying cycle, clean the lint trap, which would otherwise trap unpleasant scents and transfer them to your laundry. The lint trap itself can be removed from the machine once a year and washed with a mix of detergent and water. Also, the drum of the dryer should be wiped down with a cloth soaked in a vinegar solution at least once a month.
7) Consider air drying your clothes
When clothes are air dried, the process tends to leave a fresh, clean scent on clothes. Sunlight kills any leftover germs or bacteria on the clothes and can even whiten whites. However, it can cause some coloured clothes to fade, so be careful about what you choose to air dry.
8) Use baking soda to deodorise cupboards
Closed spaces like cupboards can leave musty smells on clothes. If you leave an open container of baking soda, it will soak up odours and keep the cupboard scent-free. To perfume the cupboard, you can even add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda.
9) Spray a white vinegar solution on sour-smelling clothes
If your clothes have acquired a musty smell, try turning them inside out and spraying them with a vinegar solution (with equal parts white vinegar and water). Let the clothes air dry for a few minutes and the vinegar smell should go away, along with any foul odours that were preventing you from wearing those clothes.