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Bacteria and mildew love a moist warm environment to breed in. Clothes are made of fibers that will trap many microscopic bits of skin and bacteria- no matter how many times you wash them. If your clothes are not being properly or completely dried before you put them away, this can cause mold, mildew and bacteria to flourish in the fibers of your clothing. Mildew is especially hard to get rid of once it finds its way in. Washing in hot water and bleaching may work- unless your clothing is dyed or are of a fabric not recommended for bleaching, such as nylon or spandex- but this at best, would be a temporary fix.
Most fabrics today can handle medium to high heat. Light fabrics and certain synthetics should be dried on low or hung to dry on a hanger. Cotton fabrics are very durable and versatile and can be dried on higher heats. If you are still not comfortable with drying your clothes on a higher heat setting, another possible alternative- if you are able- would be to line dry your clothes! Just make sure they are completely dry before you take them down.
I am notorious for hanging some garments (only in the laundry room covenants forbid outside lines!) and then just soften them in the dryer. I guess I had best be diligent about their being dry - really dry! Thank you!
If your loading your washer too full it will also cause odors to happen.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|