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Nasty odor from your front load washer? Try Sportwash.

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
6,001
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Front loader washers have some pretty good attributes but one thing they are known for is developing a nasty stench. I may have stumbled on a good cure to rid the reek.

A little background info...
We have a well. Very nice water...soft, no odor. And since it's a well, there's no chemicals (like chlorine) like city water has, but at the same time our washer doesn't get a regular drink of chlorine via city water or bleach (I don't want that in my septic tank).

We've never used any perfumed detergents. We've always used some sort of "free and clear" type detergent.
I run a tank-clean cycle a few times per year with a product made for front loaders.
And really important, we leave the door open when not doing laundry. Closing the door creates a science project.
BUT, even with those precautions, our washer was still developing a bit of an odor from time to time. Another note...leaving clothing inside the washer for even a couple hours after a cycle can have them smelling a little "off".

Here's what I've started doing and it really seems to be making a big difference.
For the last couple months, I've only been using Atsko Sportwash and the washer odor is pretty much gone (to my human nose).
Sportwash directions calls for only 1 oz per load but I've come to realize that, unless there's a lot of dirt and grime, 1/2 oz or even less Sportwash is all that's needed, especially when washing base layers which are never really dirty.
In fact, Sportwash does have a slight odor if too much is used. I've cut way back on the amount for general washing of hunting clothes and there's no residual odor at the lower rate and the washer tank and door's rubber gaskets are so much cleaner.

Sportwash is very concentrated. They claim that a half gallon jug will do 64 loads, but I can say that I'm getting way loads more than that.
I've used a tiny amount in my boot tub to scrub it out (boots too) and it's amazing how far a tiny amount will go...even with cold water. (MY well water so YMMV).

Sportwash has no UV brighteners and it's also marketed to be best for breathable fabrics (like Goretex) because it rinses thoroughly and won't leave residuals that can clog the breathable pores. That claim might be hype...I have no way to quantify it.

Anyone else using Sportwash?

BTW, Debatable topic but Atsko also makes a UV killer for gear that's been subject to detergents with brighteners. I have some of their UV killer but the jury is still out on if it actually works or not. But I digress.
 
I have used sport wash for a long time (guessing 15 yrs +/-) and love the stuff. I found it at a sporting goods store for my hunting clothes and my other outdoor technical, membrane fabrics and it seemed to work fine. I really liked how little was required. In the mean time I started using some of the hunting specific clothes washes which also seemed to work fine and kept the sport wash for down and membrane fabrics.
My polypro mtn biking clothes were taking on a funk that no regular washing would take out So I tried my hunting clothes detergent and that didn't touch the funk either. I still had part of the old bottle of the sport wash so I gave it a try and it worked, zero funk after one wash. I have been using sport wash exclusively ever since and it is safe on wool as well.

Atsko also makes snoseal which is a great conditioner/waterproofing for leather boots.
 
Whenever I want to clean my washer machine, I’ll dump some baking soda and some bora in it and run the clean cycle on the washer. Works great and costs very little.

David
 
Made the switch to Sportwash last year because it was several dollars more economical than DDW, Scent Killer, Scent Away, and the other detergents I’ve used. I really liked Scent Away bc it had the least detectable odor of the others, and the main reason I’ve used “technical” detergents is because of the lack of UV brighteners. I have been super impressed with sportwash. It has kept my scent profile noticeably lower, I’m positive it doesn’t brighten my clothes because I’ve had deer look right at me without so much as blinking twice, and there’s zero detectable odor out of the wash from it, unlike SK Gold and somewhat Scent Away. I dunno if I’ve gotten more than 64 loads out of it but I admit, I overuse detergent. I’m a stinky feller and I overkill my laundry to compensate. Probably right around 64 though, and I paid $16 for a half gallon. I know that ain’t cheap by some standards but I’ve wasted $16+ on gear that’s single-use or that I believe in a lot less than Sportwash. Maybe it’s my version of the ScentLok Kool-Aid, but I’ve killed three deer within 20 yards that had no idea I was there since using sportwash, and I’ve never been winded (that I could tell) unless it was my fault by using the wrong access or tree or whatever. I’m sure I have, I just haven’t noticed. Movement spooks more deer for me than anything else, by a long shot. So if I’m still and not super sweaty, I’m reeeaaaaaaally confident that the detergent is doing it’s job too.
 
Front loader washers have some pretty good attributes but one thing they are known for is developing a nasty stench. I may have stumbled on a good cure to rid the reek.

A little background info...
We have a well. Very nice water...soft, no odor. And since it's a well, there's no chemicals (like chlorine) like city water has, but at the same time our washer doesn't get a regular drink of chlorine via city water or bleach (I don't want that in my septic tank).

We've never used any perfumed detergents. We've always used some sort of "free and clear" type detergent.
I run a tank-clean cycle a few times per year with a product made for front loaders.
And really important, we leave the door open when not doing laundry. Closing the door creates a science project.
BUT, even with those precautions, our washer was still developing a bit of an odor from time to time. Another note...leaving clothing inside the washer for even a couple hours after a cycle can have them smelling a little "off".

Here's what I've started doing and it really seems to be making a big difference.
For the last couple months, I've only been using Atsko Sportwash and the washer odor is pretty much gone (to my human nose).
Sportwash directions calls for only 1 oz per load but I've come to realize that, unless there's a lot of dirt and grime, 1/2 oz or even less Sportwash is all that's needed, especially when washing base layers which are never really dirty.
In fact, Sportwash does have a slight odor if too much is used. I've cut way back on the amount for general washing of hunting clothes and there's no residual odor at the lower rate and the washer tank and door's rubber gaskets are so much cleaner.

Sportwash is very concentrated. They claim that a half gallon jug will do 64 loads, but I can say that I'm getting way loads more than that.
I've used a tiny amount in my boot tub to scrub it out (boots too) and it's amazing how far a tiny amount will go...even with cold water. (MY well water so YMMV).

Sportwash has no UV brighteners and it's also marketed to be best for breathable fabrics (like Goretex) because it rinses thoroughly and won't leave residuals that can clog the breathable pores. That claim might be hype...I have no way to quantify it.

Anyone else using Sportwash?

BTW, Debatable topic but Atsko also makes a UV killer for gear that's been subject to detergents with brighteners. I have some of their UV killer but the jury is still out on if it actually works or not. But I digress.
I’ve used it for years! Great product.
 
I started using it this year. I had always just washed hunting clothes with baking soda but switched it up. The other change was ozoning my clothes. Opening morning got winded by a deer about 75-80 yards out, lol. But I also had an encounter with 2 mature bucks earlier this season that I felt should have busted me the way the wind was when they came in. They never showed any indication they got any wind at all. I did have the addition of smearing some nose jammer on the tree that time though. I am still of the opinion the best bet is to not have them directly downwind.
 
The smell in a front load washing machine is most likely the rubber boot or the gasket. Moved away from them because of this reason. Sportwash. Baking soda. Vinegar. Hydrogen peroxide. All can be used with success.
 
The smell in a front load washing machine is most likely the rubber boot or the gasket. Moved away from them because of this reason. Sportwash. Baking soda. Vinegar. Hydrogen peroxide. All can be used with success.
Yeah, it's the rubber gaskets so I am told.
But what I'm saying is that when I switched to Sportwash, the gaskets no longer smell. And I'm not doing vinegar, baking soda, or peroxide. I'm just doing laundry in the normal fashion and my washer is no longer funky.
 
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