Dear Home Ec 101,
For a few weeks I’ve occasionally noticed a musty smell. At first I thought it was something in my house, but I couldn’t ever pin it down. I finally realized it was my favorite pair of jeans! I think they sat too long in washer, but I’ve washed them several times since and they still smell. I’m not ready to part with these pants.
~Little Suzy Stinky Pants
It sounds like you have a case of detergent build up. This sticky residue can trap all kinds of funky odors. This usually happens with heavier fabrics and more commonly in high efficiency washers. The easiest solution is prevention. Always use the least effective amount of laundry soap possible and add vinegar to the final rinse.
In your case, it’s a little too late for prevention. If you have a progammable washer use hot water, place vinegar in the prewash dispenser, borax powder in the main wash and add an extra rinse. If you have a standard washer, run with vinegar in the wash water, rinse, then use borax in the next wash cycle, and finish with a plain water rinse.
Dry your jeans thoroughly and you should now be stink free!
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