The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why do clothes that are left to dry in the washing machine smell for so long?  (Read 5876 times)

Offline Souffle

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
If I ever make the mistake of leaving clothes in the bottom of the washing machine to dry all scrunched up they acquire a special 'slow drying' smell. This smell can stick around for months and no amount of rewashing will get rid of it. I was wondering what causes it and why it manages to hang around for so much longer than almost any other smell I can think of.


 

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7709
    • View Profile
Is it like a musty smell?
 

lyner

  • Guest
I think it's 'microbes' which love the damp clothes and which aren't destroyed by low temperature washing programs.
The secret is to leave the rinse water in there - most washing machines can end their programs before the final spin, which, I guess, removes a lot of the microbes and their smelly excrement You can do your washing with cheap electricity, that way. You just drain and spin when you want to take them out.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2009 12:03:23 by sophiecentaur »
 

Offline DrN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
I've had the same problem over winter - we have a washing machine but not a dryer, and no radiators to hang things on, so drying clothes in winter is a bugger. on several occasions the clothes have taken too long to dry, and really smell after a few hours wearing. Its strange because the flat is plenty warm enough. Perhaps I should take to them with the hairdryer?
 

Offline Karsten

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
    • View Profile
    • Fortunately still only a game
I've had the same problem over winter - we have a washing machine but not a dryer, and no radiators to hang things on, so drying clothes in winter is a bugger. on several occasions the clothes have taken too long to dry, and really smell after a few hours wearing. Its strange because the flat is plenty warm enough. Perhaps I should take to them with the hairdryer?

Your clothes may dry slower than you like not because of the perceived (or real) temperature in your apartment, but because of the humidity. If it is humid in your apartment (and you may not feel that if it is warm enough) your clothes will take a long time. You may, by the way, find that with dryer air you will have to crank the heat up less high and still feel comfortable. Save money and pollutes the environment less.

Another good solution to speed up drying time is to use the spin cycle of your washing machine twice (it sometimes squeezes out a bit more water) or purchase and use a spin dryer. Those nifty little machines spin the laundry at really high speed and remove water much better than most laundry machines. I have not used one lately, but when I was a kid I used one once and I was quite impressed. The clothes felt much dryer than when taking out of the laundry machine.

 


 

Offline DrN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
Good point. There is a dehumidifier in the bathroom that we don't use, could try that out.
Cheers!
 

lyner

  • Guest
I bet that's why someone put one in there! It's quite good value, in terms of electrical energy, actually.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
I agree and if you can't do that crack a couple windows while drying lets the moist air out and circulates the warmer fresh air around better and dries the clothes..

They also make those closet bags that capture moisture.. hang them up and be amazed how much drier your air is and how much moisture is removed from the air!
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Have you got a problem with damp in your home that might be causing the musty smell in your clothes?

Or do you leave the door of your washing machine slightly open in between usage, (I do).

 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums