This is a weird vexing problem and I just want to see if anyone has any input.
Some items come out of my wash with a weird, unpleasant metallic odor. At first it was a couple of towels, now it's some shirts and a pair of my sons jeans. The best way to describe it is if you've ever been in a machine shop, where they machine metal and use oil or grease to lubricate it, just a weird burnt metal odor.
I do a lot of laundry, and I can do a whole load and have just one or two items come out with this weird odor. It persists through drying, and is there even when the items are hung outside or fabric softener is used. I've tried every kind of detergent. I've had to throw a few towels away, but now the jeans are affected and I'm loathe to throw away a 40-dollar pair of jeans before trying to get this smell out!
Some information, that may or may not be relevant:
We have very hard well water, but have lived here for 20 years, and this problem is recent.
We have a full-size washer and dryer downstairs, and an apartment size set upstairs. It occurs in both places.
My husband is an auto mechanic by trade, but worked in a bronze foundry for a few years, leaving in 8/2006. This problem started 6 months or so ago. I never washed his stuff with anyone elses.
I usually wash things in hot water, because the hard water makes it hard to get things clean if they are washed in cold water. We drink the water right from the tap, and it tastes fine.
I'd appreciate any feedback, because this is driving me nuts!