Stinky wet clothes

I know a bit off topic for this group, but i know there are knowledgeable people here.
Ok, so i neglect a vacant house all winter and guess what? The sumps fail. So now i have many sterlite tubs full of clothes (that my wife would prefer to salvage some of) that smell like stagnant water. I've kept everything wet, still in the tubs, but even after regular washing they still smell. (duh). What's gonna be a good procedure to salvage some of the more important items without a smell?
thanks!
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Steve Barker
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I had a buddy that used to do fire restorations. He swore by Febreeze. Wash the clothes with a color protecting bleach, dry, hang up and spray.
As a litmus test, I tried it with my clothes covered with cigar smoke. It works!
Robert
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On 6/2/2011 10:56 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

Wash them with LOTS of LYSOL CONCENTRATE ... it will kill the mold/mildew without bleaching out the color ... then, after drying, leave them out in the sun for as long as possible, and finally, seal them up with a good bit of FEBREEZE.
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Perhaps a neurologist or surgeon can do something to your noses... :)
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Steve Barker wrote:

Works like a champ on a boat interior.
YMMV. ------------------------------ From: "Bob Johnson" Subject: Re: discolored clothes Date: Monday, September 01, 2008 2:34 PM
A mixture of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part rubbing alcohol.
Works wonders.
I use it in my bilges, on boat headliners and woodwork.
It is cheap and can be kept in an old spray bottle for a long time.
I keep it at the ready under the galley sink and don't hesitate to take up arms against mold or mildew.
------------------------------- Lew
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I wonder if baking soda would do it. Backing soda is a great cleaner. Also vinegar is great. The two together are very very powerful at cleaning. The baking soda usually soaks up the smells (even when dissolved).
On 6/2/2011 10:56 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

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tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> wrote:

_WASHING_ soda works better for this kind of thing than baking soda.
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I had a similar problem with some clothes which were covered in lamb fat. A regular wash at 60 degrees C without detergent, but 500ml or so of white vinegar cut out all the remaining fat (and therefore smell), followed by a blast on the 'Refresh' setting of the washer (basically a 30 minute rinse-spin-rinse-spin) with about 100 grammes of sodium bicarbonate removed all smells. I don't know how it would deal with stagnant water smells, but given the cost, it's worth a try.
Good luck!
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The smell comes from the excrement of, and the dead and dying critters that grew in it. An oxidizer such as bleach 'burns' them up. Start off with a small amount per load. If it still smells, use more the next time. 'Colorfast bleaches' work the same way, but with a peroxide and some 'laundry boosters' instead of chlorine. They are less aggressive and may work. Medicine cabinet style hydrogen peroxide will work too. Dilute any of them before using on clothing. Concentration is entirely experimental. Contact time is as effective as higher concentrations. Consider using a series of PLASTIC buckets with your cleaner of choice in it (Do not mix chlorine with any others), moving clothes progressively from dirtier to cleaner, then finally to the washer. Use the first bucket until nothing happens, then the second becomes the first. Don't mix whites with colors, and too high a chlorine concentration can yellow instead of whiten. Good luck. If nothing else, think of all the new shop and yard clothes you have!
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On Thursday, June 2, 2011 7:56:01 AM UTC-7, Steve Barker wrote:

Sounds like organic stuff (mildew, algae?); so, oxidizers will work. Chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda (already part of most detergents), and oxalic acid all have some effect. I'd try 'em all (but the oxalic doesn't work next to iron, you'll have to soak in plastic buckets rather than use a washing machine). An enzyme presoak might also be useful.
The old-fashioned clothesline in the open air with sunlight is also a good idea.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/woodworking/Stinky-wet-clothes-515460-.htm biguggy wrote: In my opinion there is no panacea to the problem of foul odours from front load washers. I have seen posts where it was stated to have been traced to the discharge pipe pushed to far down the drain pipe allowing water to siphon back into the machine. Most machines I know of have a non-return valve to prevent this, and prevent any water in the pipe draining back into the machine. These, even if fitted, may have been defective. I have seen posts where the smell has been stated to be traced to small items of clothing, baby clothes, sock(s), ladies flimsies etc. that have got stuck somewhere in the works and are cheerfully rotting away. Use of excess detergent and/or fabric softener very often coupled with use of other than HOT water. This allows build-ups of these laundry aids to form and then start turning foul. HOT water alone will sometimes get rid of these build-ups. Sometimes the assistance cleaners such as Affresh will help, sometimes not.
In my opinion there are two, normally overlooked, sources of these fouls odours: - 1.    The recesses in the hubs of the spiders fitted to many of these machines will retain water even after the fastest spin. This water will contain, inter alia, unused laundry aids (detergent, bleach, fabric softener etc), soil, the products of the interactions between the laundry aids and the soil, the products of the interactions between the laundry aids and the chemicals in the tap water, and unused chemicals in the tap water. When left over time the water will turn foul smelling. A photograph of such a build-up can be seen at: - http://www.ripoffreport.com/appliances/electrolux-home-prod/electrolux-home-products-n-am-4cd6d.htm I removed that tub/spider from a machine owned by a relative.
2.    The products of corrosion on the spiders retain small quantities of water after the final spin giving the same result as above.
Many posts on many sites claim that the corrosion of the spiders is due to galvanic action. I do not agree, I believe it is primarily chemical corrosion.
Should the corrosion have been galvanic between the stainless steel drum and the aluminium spider the majority of the corrosion would have been at the junction of the two metals i.e. at the ends of the arms. I have seen no photographs of spiders corroded in such a manner, nor read of any similar descriptions.
Aluminium, and its alloys are corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value above about 8.0 or below about 4.0 (nitric acid is a well known exception). All detergents have to be above about 8.0 or they would not work. The Material Safety Data Sheets put out by Proctor and Gamble state that the pH for one of the liquid Tides is 8.0 and for one of the Tide powdered detergents as 11.0. Bleach, (sodium hypochlorite) is also very corrosive to aluminium. I should add that for corrosion of the spider to take place these levels are considerably above the levels found in a washing machine during the wash/rinse phases of the cycle.
Sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium percarbonate found in some laundry aids (Affresh and Oxi-Clean [powder]) are also corrosive to aluminium, as is borax, provided the required concentrations are reached.
I believe the mechanics of the corrosion are as follows. Even after the fastest spin small quantities of water will remain on the shaft and towards the centre of the spider. Any recesses in the spider close to the centre will aggravate this situation. This water will contain contaminants as detailed above. Should sufficient of these contaminants be present the pH of the mixture can, as evaporation takes place, rise to a level where corrosion will take place.
Corroded spiders can be seen at: -
http://fixitnow.com/wp/2009/10/28/front-loading-washer-corrosion-contagion-a-menagerie-of-metallic-misery /
http://softsolder.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/sears-kenmore-he3-washer-drum-the-rot / for a LG spider http://www.viewpoints.com/LG-TROMM-Front-Load-Washers-review-33dc10
For information on galvanic corrosion there is a very good paper at: - http://www.unene.ca/un1001/UN1001_Galvanic%20Corrosion.ppt
For information on chemical corrosion of aluminium (or micro galvanic corrosion as the author calls it, I grew up calling it pitting corrosion) there is an informative paper at: -http://www.sintef.no/static/mt/norlight/seminars/norlight2003/Postere/Gaute%20Svenningsen.pdf
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Very nice! Thanks so much for posting this. Very informative and compels me to investigate further. The odd time I catch a whiff of that sour smell. (Maytag Neptune 2nd generation). Just every once in Blue Moon does that happen. Then next time through, the same offending Tshirt comes out just fine...except one I bought at Montreal Jazz Festival a couple of years back.. no matter what you do to wash it, it smells bad. Did after wash#1. Has to be a weird fibre..made in China. That 'sour' smell is one I am extremely sensitive to ever since my granma wiped my face with a facecloth which had been lying in a heap, wet, for godknowshowlong. I absolutely abhor that smell even though those around me are going: "WTH are you talking about???"
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