It’s tough for scent-sensitive folks when their washing machine becomes fragranced due to someone washing fragranced clothes or using fragranced detergent in their washing machine. The dryer can also become scented in the same way.
Most people are able to successfully remove the fragrance, which is good news.
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Surprisingly, the main strategies to remove fragrance from the washing machine and dryer are fairly simple, though often need to be repeated many times.
- EnviroKlenze Washing Machine Deodorizer – The EnviroKlenz Washing Machine Deodorizer is a natural product made of minerals and many sensitive people report it does work quite well. Some people use this first followed by 2 cups of vinegar in hot water and then let it soak overnight. If this doesn’t get the fragrance out completely, move on to the next step.
- Vinegar – In the washer, pour straight vinegar into the washer itself and into the detergent/fabric softener spots. About 2 cups worth in total. Some people have had to do this up to 7 times before washing their clothes in the washing machine, it just depends on how sensitive to fragrance you are. You can also use vinegar in the wash for your clothes/laundry for a while after this procedure to help fragrances not stick to them. For the dryer, soak washcloths or rags with straight vinegar and run those through the dryer.
- Baking Soda – Some combine vinegar and baking soda by using vinegar in the pre-wash and baking soda in the wash. Repeat a number of times or until the fragrance is gone. You can also scrub down the machine with baking soda and vinegar, then run a wash cycle with the same (make sure the baking soda doesn’t come with fragrance cross-contamination).
- Milk – For oily fragrances (like sunscreen, lotion, or plug-in odor on clothes) milk helps to bind and break down this type of fragrance. Most people use powdered milk but whole milk can work too. One person uses a soak of baking soda and powdered milk together in the washer to remove scents. Another soaked towels in the washing machine with 2 cups of dry milk for a day. Then while the towels were still wet with the milk (no spin drying) she put those towels in a dryer and dried them to help the dryer as well. Then drained the washer of milk and ran a load through with regular laundry detergent. After that, run a load with two cups of vinegar and let it soak. Another option is to follow the milk with alternating loads of baking soda and vinegar.
If those don’t work or if you don’t have the above products, you can also try the following:
- Rubbing alcohol to wipe things down (though this is a fire risk in the dryer or in gas-powered machines)
- Ammonia (a non-sensitive person should run the wash with ammonia in it)
- Citric acid
- Oxyclean or hydrogen peroxide (can bleach some clothing). You can also use this on the dryer by wiping it down with a solution of Oxyclean.
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