Because I needed to take care of at least one of the items on my list of beefs just to get back some peace of mind over the weekend, I waged war on the mysterious (and impossibly hardy) microbes in our laundry.
I think we have detente.
We won't know for sure until D tries out the most seriously affected item (a t-shirt), but so far, everything else has proven to be odor-free. So, for your amusement -- and actual use, if you ever run into this problem -- here's what I did on Sunday morning. N.B.: this approach is only recommended for clothing appropriate for the regular hot cycle in your washing machine.
large pot with lid (ours was a 6.5 quart)
distilled white vinegar
large mixing bowl or other similarly sized receptacle
tongs or chopsticks
1. Using measuring cup, fill pot about halfway with hot water from tap (this will reduce time required to bring to boil). Note quantity of water and add about 1/12 this volume in vinegar. Cover and heat on stove until a rolling boil is achieved.
2. Place one laundry item in pot. Poke with tongs or chopsticks until completely immersed. You may add more if the items are small, but dyes do come out of fabric and may discolor other garments.
3. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, 10 for garments with especially resistant odor problems. At the halfway point, stir garment to resoak any parts that may have puffed out above water line from steam.
4. Carefully lift garment with tongs or chopsticks and transfer to mixing bowl. Empty pot and repeat boiling process with fresh vinegar solution for each remaining garment.
5. Place boiled items in washing machine and launder on regular hot wash cycle with detergent. DO NOT add bleach as this will mix with the vinegar to produce poisonous fumes. Select the extra rinse option on your machine if you have one -- this should help prevent any residual vinegar smell from remaining.
6. Tumble dry as usual.
And now, I'm off to the airport. Life will be unpredictable here for a little while, but I'll be checking in as best I can ...
1 day ago