Step 7: Nontoxic/natural solutions
Try allowing each load of smelly laundry to presoak for at least 15 minutes in hot water using one of these additives per load to see what (and how much) works best for you: borax (about half a cup), vinegar (three-quarters a cup), lemon juice (about half a cup), baking soda (three-quarters a cup), hydrogen peroxide diluted to 3 percent (half a cup).
Step 8: Commercial cleaning products to try
Try running your stinky wash loads with the addition of one extra cleaning product at a time, such as OdoBan ($18.39 at Amazon), Simple Green ($8.47 at Walmart) or Pine-Sol ($3.79 at Target). Add only one-quarter cup of Pine-Sol — and only if you can handle the scent.
Step 9: Common household products — but beware
You can try using one-quarter cup of bleach (add it to the wash water and make sure it has been diluted significantly before adding smelly laundry and never use bleach with any other additive besides regular detergent). Another option is to add half a cup of ammonia to a load of laundry, but be sure not to use it with bleach to avoid creating dangerous fumes.
Step 10: Detergent with a bonus ingredient
Try a commercial laundry detergent, like Febreze ($8.84 at Walmart), that has an odor-removing additive.
Step 11: Go with hot water
Use hot water to wash loads that smell.
Step 12: Wash the washer
To help keep your smelly-laundry problem from returning, you may need to give your clothes washer a deep-clean of its own. Find out how to deodorize your smelly washing machine.