Laundry Tips and Tricks To Get Rid of Odor This Rainy Season


My grandmother and my mom washed clothes the traditional way -- hand washed and even "sun bathe" the whites (kula in Tagalog) before rinsing. The clothes even get a beating with a flat wood (palo-palo). It was only when I got married that I started doing laundry and I have a washing machine. My mom would often say that clothes washed in the machine are not really clean and don't smell clean. Of course, I don't agree. And I don't want to do hand washing.

I must admit, there are times I find it difficult to make the clothes smelling fresh especially when the sun doesn't show up. You've probably experienced having your laundry take more than two days before drying up. Or you have met someone wearing clothes that smells maasim. But is the weather really to blame for malodor?

What causes malodor?

You may think you already know the real cause of musty malodor in your clothes. No, it’s not from indoor drying. Downy, the leading fabric enhancer brand in the world, recently shared the number one cause of this unpleasant smell in clothes, especially this rainy season.

The root cause is millions of germs. As a generally hygiene conscious culture, Filipinos are particular about keeping our clothes clean from bacteria secreted by our own skin and dirt coming from the environment. The distinct musty malodor is actually caused by germ growth, which may start as early as after washing the clothes, regardless of the laundry means – and not directly because clothes are dried indoors.

Can we do something about malodor?

Here are some laundry tips and tricks from Downy to help keep clothes germ-free and malodor-free.

Freshness Tip No. 1: Watch out for high-risk laundry and wash them ASAP.
The longer clothes remain damp with sweat and other bodily dirt, the more germs will grow. If the items you are washing are susceptible to more germ infestation, they should be washed as soon as possible, and with more attention too. Soiled gym clothes, your child’s PE uniform, shared towels, lampins, clothes used in food preparation, clothing worn over a wound, and healthcare worker’s uniforms are just some of the high-risk items that one should watch out for. These should be washed separately from other items. Homemakers can protect themselves from infection by wearing gloves when handling high-risk laundry.

Freshness Tip No. 2: Stop Staphylococcus!
Staphylococcus what!? A study showed that several malodor-causing germs are found to grow in different type of fabrics, including our clothes. Many healthy people normally have staph (short for staphylococcus) on their skin, in their noses, or other body areas. Most of the time, the germ does not cause an infection or symptoms, but when they do, it can make them or others sick. To avoid staph infection: keep your hands clean by thorough hand washing with soap and water; keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered until they heal; and do not share personal items such as towels, underwear or cosmetics.

Freshness Tip No. 3: Detergent is not enough.
Various global research shows that the use of water with temperature of 60 degrees Celsius or higher in laundering can be effective in killing possibly pathogenic bacteria. For the lucky ones who dry their clothes in the sunshine, they are actually killing germs as well. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for many of us to hang clothes outside due to space limitations and the season’s weather conditions. But there can be a solution that is more accessible and controllable, like use of an ingredient known as Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride, found in Downy AntiBac. This ingredient ruptures the bacterial cell wall, thereby preventing germ growth and minimizing bacteria population that can contribute to musty-smelling clothes. 

Downy Philippines Country Marketing Manager Cedric Le Goff states, “To beat the enemy, we have to know the enemy. We need to be particular in treating the root cause of musty malodor to achieve long lasting freshness, not just during the rainy season, but throughout the all-year humid conditions.”

He furthered, “This can only be accomplished by the exhaustive prevention of germ growth in all the clothes that we wear – be it pambahay or panlakad. With Downy AntiBac, we can eliminate the germs that cause malodor in our clothes and provide long-lasting freshness.”