Thread Number: 72409  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Line dried laundry get a smell?
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Post# 956890   9/10/2017 at 09:10 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I notice people here saying line dried laundry smells better than those dried in the dryer. I have not had that experience myself. When I line dry items (usually it's heavy jackets and things of that sort) they have a musty old smell to them. They don't get that if I use the dryer or hang them up in the laundry room.

I have also noticed this at times especially in the winter. If I wear a jacket or sweater outside for a while, when I come back inside it seems to get that same smell, even if the clothing had not been line dried.

Has anyone else had this happen and what would be the cause?





Post# 956892 , Reply# 1   9/10/2017 at 09:18 by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

Cold water washing in a nasty washer will cause this...

Post# 956900 , Reply# 2   9/10/2017 at 09:45 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Issue is what you're drying outside---flat goods (sheets/towels) and underwear get a nice smell outdoors. Thicker/quilted things...not so much. I think it's a bit of a race to get them dry outdoors before the fungi/molds kick up a stink. Agree also that a good detergent helps get body odors (oils/sebum) out--I notice every so often that things my husband stored away before we married smell unpleasant; he was of the "cold water and Arm and Hammer/Ajax/cheap liquid" point of view before we got together.

Post# 956909 , Reply# 3   9/10/2017 at 10:13 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
I just did a big load of lights and was all set to hang them on the line but there was a huge swarm of stinging yellow jackets around the line, so in the dryer they went. Seems this year we have been plagued with those nasty bees and their sting hurts. Usually, you can see where their nests are in the ground, but not this year.

Post# 956965 , Reply# 4   9/10/2017 at 17:59 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
stinging yellow jackets

rolls_rapide's profile picture
They're not bees, they are wasps.

I've never understood how folk can confuse the two.

This might help though:


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Post# 956967 , Reply# 5   9/10/2017 at 18:21 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Yes, they are wasps, but we always said it was black flies Mothers day until Fathers day, mosquitos after Fathers day or a bee, because they buzzed around until the first frost and died.

Post# 957067 , Reply# 6   9/11/2017 at 03:07 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Wasps,unlike bees can only sting once-wasps can sting you MANY times over!

Post# 957071 , Reply# 7   9/11/2017 at 03:30 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Hornets too!  A hornet got down my sister's shirt once and stung her 5 times before she could get it out!  I'm terrified of wasps but even more so of a hornet!  I keep cans of wasp and hornet spray on my patio and porch.


Post# 957072 , Reply# 8   9/11/2017 at 03:49 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

A significant distinction, hornets are aggressive, wasps not so specially.  Wasps, you kind of have to disturb. You can just be toddlin' past hornets and they will not only attack but chase you like killer bees.


Post# 957081 , Reply# 9   9/11/2017 at 06:43 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Anybody who grew-up in the "Deep South" knows Yellow Jackets are VERY aggressive wasps. I never had one sting me more than once because I would smash the damned thing before it could get another shot. A Bumble Bee tried the other day and I made a quick shmear out of it.

Post# 957083 , Reply# 10   9/11/2017 at 06:50 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

When I lived in Atlanta I used to line-dry some items. Sometimes the laundry would come in with a faint "fishy" odor I did not like. I would fluff them in the dryer for a bit and it would go away. Sometimes the birds would drop a load on them as well. I came to the conclusion it wasn't worth the trouble. In Florida you just had to remember to get the laundry in as soon as it dried, especially in South Florida. Too many thunderstorms drifting by to risk it.

I would like it here in Virginia as the air is much cleaner and there isn't a tree over the clothes-line area. We get about a half-dozen thunderstorms a year.


Post# 957101 , Reply# 11   9/11/2017 at 09:30 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Line drying

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I suppose a number of factors affect how fresh the laundry dries.

A nice, breezy Spring or Summer day will be fresher than a still, dank Autumn days where the smell of decaying vegetation (moulds, fungi) start to become prevalent.

Depends too, on whether the garden is open to airflow and sunlight, or whether it is enclosed by trees, hedges and bushes.

I love bright breezy days, where everything dries quite soft. I hate still, hot days, where everything dries like cardboard. And dank, Autumn days usually allow no drying whatsoever.


Post# 957174 , Reply# 12   9/11/2017 at 20:27 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Lots of yellow jackets here in Connecticut this year as well. And September is prime time for them. One phenomenon I noticed here is that come mid/late August, our beaches are infested with them. You can be sitting on a chair in the sand and you will get buzzed constantly and forget about bringing anything to eat or drink. I never noticed that on an ocean beach, but it sure is true on the Long Island Sound beaches.

And they are particularly cantankerous in September. Almost like they are confused with the cooler mornings/evenings and warm days. I steer clear if at all possible and am really careful when hanging clothes in the yard - you never know where they will nest next and they work very fast...

And finally I won't eat outdoors after mid August. Got really tired of fighting for my dinner.


Post# 957175 , Reply# 13   9/11/2017 at 20:50 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I was working on one of my old cars in the driveway over the Labor Day weekend, in my sandals. I felt something odd on my foot, and looked down and saw a yellow jacket trying to land. I sort of flicked it away but it kept coming back, flying in menancingly. I realized I had an air hose nearby and gave it a few blasts, and it took off and didn't return. I think I may be onto something there.


Post# 957176 , Reply# 14   9/11/2017 at 22:24 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
I dont know if its climate change or whatever. But in the last few years those assholes, wasps, bees or whatever are WAY more abundant and attacking you this year especially now in September, almost like you hate to go outside. I have been here since 1959 and never seen it getting this worse every year.

Post# 957197 , Reply# 15   9/12/2017 at 04:46 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Although I hate to put back anything that has been worn into the closet there are exceptions like that suit or jacket I only wore once or just a few days. For those things hanging outdoors even over night works miracles. Don`t know what exacly makes the difference to indoor airing, but it works.

For clothes that have been washed I prefer to dry them indoors on a clothes rack, after an initial ride in the tumble dryer. It`s mostly towel loads that get fully dried in the dryer.

On a side note I heard if you want to eat outside without being bothered by wasps all you need to do is to hang a scrunched up brown paper bag in a tree over your head. The wasps take it for the nest of a foreign colony and will stay out of their territory.
Bees and bumblebees are our friends and never agressive at least where I live. While every species on the planet is important to keep the balance, those are even directly essential for human survival as they are the most important pollinators. I`d never kill one of these.


Post# 957207 , Reply# 16   9/12/2017 at 06:17 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
I agree with bees and bumblebees being quite docile, and very important pollinators. I'm actually quite fond of them.

Wasps tend to get rid of some pests, like caterpillars, flies and bluebottles. My parents once saw a bluebottle fly resting on the wall of the house. A wasp zoomed in and attacked it.

And wasps attack spiders too. My niece once saw a common wasp snatch a Garden Spider right out of its web. My mum saw a wasp become entangled in a web, a small spider shot out to investigate, and the wasp made off with it. They're quite viscous creatures.


Post# 957579 , Reply# 17   9/14/2017 at 19:10 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I have noticed sometimes that stuff dried on the line can get a faintly sour aroma. I attribute that to local air pollution, not to any fault of the washing process. These days the only stuff I dry on the line are bed sheets, blankets, comforters, and small rugs. Stuff that doesn't do that well in a dryer anyway. The sheets, lately, smell fine.





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