How can I clean my husband's smelly work clothes in 1 laundry cycle?

by Jane

Hi. My husband and I live in an apartment and the coin-operated washing/drying machines are a floor above us. My husband works outside and comes home wearing filthy/sweaty jeans, socks, shirt, and underwear. I have him place his black jeans in one garbage bag and the other clothes in a similar type bag. I do laundry twice a week and when I open the bags, they smell something like ammonia.

I have to pre-wash his jeans in the sink to get out some of the dirt and the smell. In an attempt to reduce costs, I then wash his jeans with our towels and his clothes with my clothes. Sometimes I have to wash the clothes twice to get the odor out.

I'm wondering if there's a better way to get the odor out so that I don't have to wash the clothes twice or if there's a better way to tackle all of this. As I mentioned, I live in an apartment. Therefore, putting clothes out on the patio is not an option.

Thanks for your replies!


P.S. I make my own laundry detergent which I found on this site using Borax, Dawn, and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

  5 answers
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Jul 23, 2019

    This is when you need to buy commercial laundry detergent. LIke TIDE. Add in a little 20 mule team borax and some baking soda.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 23, 2019

    Borax is a great additive. As far as the smell, check out Odo-Ban. I'm wondering why you wouldn't wash all his clothes together. My husband is similar and I have a laundry basket for his work clothes only. I wash his jeans, shirts, socks, & underwear together with a cup of Borax to boost the detergent.

    I think the garbage bag may be increasing the potency of the smell. You can put in an open item as well as using Odo-Ban to eliminate the smell in the basket.

    • Jane Jane on Jul 23, 2019

      I wash his jeans with our towels b/c I can dry them all on High. I dry our clothes on Low so that they don't shrink.

      I've never heard of Obo-Ban but I will certainly check it out. Thanks!

  • Maybe get a big bucket with a lid, like the old nappy buckets. Soak the clothes in the bucket with pre soak powder and keep the lid on. Even change out the water on days you dont wash.

  • Wash his clothes separate. That way your clothes and towels are not getting extra wear and tear. A weeks worth of jeans surely fills a washer. I feel for you, as it can't be easy having to pay horrendous sums of money every week.

  • Amy Poulton Amy Poulton on Jan 24, 2024

    You could try some of the laundry detergents mentioned in this guide: