mouldy smell shirts too long drying.


Here in london u.k., the wife has puts my shirts in the washing machine which then spins them. Then if the weather is fine they go out on the line outdoors, if not so good (it's often rainy here) they go on a drying rack in the bathroom. (it's a non heated rack).
She had to go and visit some relatives recently on the other side of the world and was away for a month. i did not use the washing machine, but hand washed the the shirts and then hand wrung them. Then put them on the rack in the bathroom as per usual.
Now when 'hand' wrung they are not half as dry as after being spun in the washing machine. So they spend a lot longer trying to dry off. Consequently they have become a bit stinky. A kind of a mouldy smell.
Now the wife is back, they have all gone into the washing machine twice, but still the mouldy smell is there.
Any suggestions as how best to remove this smell gratefully received. thanks.
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You must have an awfully damp home, as I've never had that happen to clothing hung up dripping wet, only if left in a wet pile.
A cup of vinegar added to the wash water (with detergent) in the washing machine removes mildew from shower curtains, I would give that a try.
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If these are undershirts, add a half cup of household bleach to the laundry and use hot water. Soak the shirts overnight in a bucket containing a couple gallons of hot water in which a cup of Boraxo (Mule Team is one brand) is dissolved. Laundry as usual. Add a cup of vinegar to the rinse water. If it is a sunny day, hang the shirts out on the line. If you don't have any Boraxo, try (one cup of) soda ash or vinegar for the overnight soak.
You would have avoided the moldy smell by drying each shirt better. Place the garment between two dry terry towels, roll up onto the floor, and put pressure over the roll with your knees. The towels will extract most of the mositure for fast drying. Many years ago I recall the local laundry had something called an "extractor" which looked like a huge doughnut. It had a powerful spin that took most of the water out of the clothes which made the clothes dry quickly, although it left terrible wrinkles in the fabrics. You can also place a fan in the bathroom to speed the drying process. Mold likes dark and damp, a situation you want to avoid.
On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:47:11 GMT, "jw 111"

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Many thanks for all responses. with regards to the post below; living in the u.k. i have never heard of Boraxo or soda ash. would you know the chemical name please? would it be bicarbonate of soda ? thanks for any further help. john west.
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Boraxo is a hand soap. He meant borax, which is sodium tetraborate decahydrate. Soda ash is sodium carbonate, a stronger cleaner than sodium bicarbonate. For cleaning it's sold in the hydrated form as washing soda.
Any one of those remedies should work. I'd try vinegar.
jw 111 wrote:

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My mistake; I did mean Borax (not Boraxo). Borax (20 Mule Team) is sodium tetraborate Na2B4O7*10H2O.
Soda ash (or washing soda) is sodium carbonate Na2CO3*10H2O. It is also known as "soda crystals."
Bicarbonate of soda is not soda ash, but "baking soda." However, deer hunters use baking soda to wash their clothes instead of traditional laundry soaps to get rid fabrics of perfumes, colognes, and human sweat smell. That may work for you.
On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 06:43:42 GMT, "jw 111"

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In alt.home.cleaning on Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:47:11 GMT "jw 111"

P&M
I had an obnoxious roommate who insulted me and blamed me because he hadn't paid his rent (75 dollars a month, in 1980). When the steam radiator was leaking, instead of telling me so I could fix it or have the landlord fix it, he took MY thermal blanket, the kind with a loose weave and lots of air to keep in the heat) and put it around the radiator to soak the water up. When he was leaving, I noticed it on the floor around the radiator. He didn't offer to wash it, and was not a bit embarrassed.
I did wash it at the laundromat and it smelled just as bad after as before, which was terrible. I put it in the drier, and just let it get warm or rather warm (Something short of hot, iirc. I never let my clothes get hot, and I think that was true then too.) and when I took it out, it smelled wonderful. No trace of mildew. No drier sheets or anything, just heat.
If your shirts are permanent press, I would never let them get hot. Afaict that ruins the perm. But if they need ironing anyhow, and getting them warm doesn't get rid of the smell, I'd go hotter.
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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