Clean out your softener oftener.

Clean out your softener oftener.

Do you remember the saga of my stinky washer? You were all so kind to share a bunch of really great tips and tricks to defunkify it, so armed with your advice and a new sense of bravery, I stormed into my laundry room and started pulling my washer apart.  Bleach dispenser?  Looked fine.  Agitator?  Wouldn’t come off.  Fabric softener dispenser? Holy gruesome discovery of gagginess.

I can’t even describe it.  But I’ll try.  It was years of soggy build-up that had blackened with age, the texture of pureed cottage cheese weaved throughout with strands of hair.  It smelled like fresh sewage on a hot day, though with gentle undertones of fabric softener. My kids came running to see what was wrong, because I was dry heaving to the point of tears. I could NOT believe I had been washing our clothes in proximity to such grossness.  (I hope you weren’t eating breakfast right now.  I probably should have warned you).

Anyway, much bleach and literally, an HOUR of scrubbing later, my washer is all better and smelling so fresh and so clean, clean.  It’s all thanks to you.  And that concludes the saga of my stinky washer.  Don’t let it happen to you.  Check your dispensers today!

And look, another fabulous laundry room makeover to get your mind off of mine and my terrible story.  From Bette at Somerset Lane, who ditched her hardly used utility sink in favor of custom cabinetry and storage.  Lovely!  Check out her blog to see how her built-in seat was actually a store-bought kit!

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  1. January 14, 2013 / 4:42 PM

    ooh thank you for the fresh and clean references, now i’m bopping along to it on youtube 🙂

  2. January 14, 2013 / 4:54 PM

    Yeah, looks so much better! You are really good!

  3. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 / 4:58 PM

    Glad you got your laundry room destinkified! Ever try skipping softener altogether and using dryer balls instead? Don’t get the cheap Walmart ones or similar. I got mine from Norwex (I have no affiliation with them) and love them. They cut drying time in half and leave our clothes soft and nice with no added chemicals. Cheap dryer balls are hard and can be hard on your clothes (and dryer), but the Norwex ones do a great job. I no longer use any softener at all. Our clothes are better and we cut our electric bill by quite a bit since we use a LOT less drying time.

  4. January 14, 2013 / 5:04 PM

    Ahhh. The nastiness that is facric softener! Since I switched to using vinegar, my v=clothes are NEVR staticy and never smell of vinegar. For specials I use a tiny! bit of Mrs Meyers clean day softener. mmm mmm mmm. O and wool dryer balls. They are the bomb. Find them on Etsy.

  5. January 14, 2013 / 5:49 PM

    Thanks for the feature!

    I don’t use fabric softener, just dryer balls.

    Bette @ Somerset LAne

  6. January 14, 2013 / 6:11 PM

    You are so funny! I really enjoy reading your post.

  7. Kelsey
    January 14, 2013 / 8:02 PM

    is that a countertop on top of the washer now??

  8. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 / 9:33 PM

    Dryer balls are fine for speeding up drying time, but I haven’t seen any reduction in static when using them alone without fabric softener. Maybe it’s because I live in a dry climate, and our hard water could have something to do with it as well.

    I don’t like strong smells on my clothes, so I only use about half the detergent and fabric softener that the package recommends. If your clothes are only worn and aren’t really dirty, you don’t really need a lot of detergent, especially in a front loader that uses less water. Any time I use full strength detergent (for really dirty loads) or add stain removers or bleach, I put the load through an extra rinse cycle.

    Even using half the amount of fabric softener, it does build up in the dispenser and needs to be cleaned out periodically.

    BTW, I love Bette’s new laundry room. I can’t wait to get started on my own laundry room remodel.

  9. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 / 10:19 PM

    glad to hear your washing machine is nice and clean. I also use white vinegar instead of fabric softner (also breaks down urine for those moms who have kids who are potty training). My sister called me about how to get rid of the pee smell in her kid’s WASHED crib sheets and was thrilled with the results after rewashing and using vinegar instead. I have a top loader HE machine and thankfully have not dealt with this issue of buildup so far probably due to using vinegar(i also keep the top open on the machine when i am not using it to allow it to dry out).

  10. January 15, 2013 / 2:49 AM

    I, too, have suffered through gruesome washer goo. All the while gagging at the odiforous irony of spending my WHOLE ENTIRE MORNING washing my washing machine. And promptly switched to dryer sheets. Since then, I have started making my own laundry soap (tightwad), quit using softener (tightwad) and my clothes are softer than they were with regular detergent and softener. No idea why and don’t care.

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