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HE Washers Smell – The Struggle Is Real

I’m willing to bet anyone that purchased an HE washer has buyer’s remorse like a mother f*cker.

I know a lot of folks that hate their HE washer because it smells. I hated mine. I still do, kinda… It’s annoying that they can’t make them not smell. What does it smell like? Let’s take to Google to see what others have typed in:

HE washers smell suggested results in Google

Smells like rotten eggs. Check.
Smells like mildew. Check.
Smells like sewer. Check.

So yeah. We bought an HE washer a few years ago. When we bought it the salesman said we would have to clean it with Affresh tablets or it would smell. That should have been a sign that we shouldn’t have bought one, but hind sight is 20/20…

Sure enough, within a few months all of our clothes and linens smell like shite. The Affresh tablets aren’t cheap, either. So I start this long, shitty journey of trying to find detergents and stuff that don’t make me sick (from the synthetic scents) and will still clean the clothes. Months go by. I hobble along.

Then I discovered Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder. I originally found it on ThriveMarket.com and I JUST ordered some more, but it appears to be out of stock now. Anywho… The reviews were awesome so I said “What the hell?” and tried it. I mean, look at what the product boasts and the ingredients:

Biodegradable natural laundry detergent in concentrated powder form*
Deep clean and detox your Laundry for only pennies per load!

  • Removes entrapped odors and stains
  • Removes residues from your previous detergent.
  • Just one tablespoon per large load
  • Hypoallergenic, non-toxic and safer for the environment.
  • Works on all your laundry, even hi-tech fabrics and delicates
  • Say bye-bye to fabric softeners

Ingredients
Based on an earlier Charlie’s Soap formula designed for textile quality control labs, Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder is truly the answer to getting the cleanest clothes for just pennies per load while caring for the environment.

  • NATURAL MINERAL INGREDIENTS: Sodium carbonate, sodium metasilicate (rinse aid formed by heating a mixture of sand and sodium carbonate)
  • BIODEGRADABLE INGREDIENTS: C12-15, Pareth-2 (Vegetable and mineral sourced surfactants)

*Source: Charlie’s Soap

No more fabric softener??!! Non-toxic chemicals??!! Safe for the environment??!! Sign me up!

I started using it last November. I really put it to the test. I washed dog-slobbered dog beds, mildewy stuff, kayaking stuff… I was determined to prove that this stuff was bullshit.

I immediately noticed a difference. The clothes actually smelled like nothing. In fact, they were so devoid of scent that I started using essential oils to create scent. The thing I noticed before using Charlie’s was that the clothes would smell kinda clean when I took them out of the dryer, but days later the smell came back. With Charlie’s, they stay scent free with no nasty smells returning. I also haven’t had to clean my washer since November.

By using the essential oils, I can create any scent I like and switch up if I want. I have been using doTERRA’s On Guard. This stuff is fantastic. It smells like Christmas – Clove, Cinnamon, Citrus… AND it cleans. On Guard became so popular, doTERRA has created an entire line of products that are made from the oil blend. This blend is a must if you have little ones around the house.

I have been using the On Guard with wool dryer balls and these work great to preserve the scent. I add 2-3 drops of On Guard to the dryer balls and toss them into the dryer.

So if you’re out there struggling, please know it doesn’t have to go on and you’re not alone. There is hope. 😉

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. This came up in my Facebook feed and my first thought was, “YOU NEED TO BE USING CHARLIE’S!” Then I read the whole post and laughed. My front loader is about 10 years old and I have been using Charlie’s for most of that time and my washer never smells. I have forgotten about laundry in it for a week and the washer still doesn’t smell and that load only has a very slight smell if you put your nose right in it. I get it on subscription through Amazon, so it just appears at my door before I even run out : -) I needed a seal replaced on my washer once and when the repair guy came he was amazed that I had absolutely no smell. He said you should never use liquid in a front loader and to take a little bit of your powder in your hand and add a little water. If it gets hot, it is cleaning your clothes. If it doesn’t, you’re wasting your money. My Charlie’s got hotter than any other detergent he’s tried. If I want a little scent I use the scent booster pellets, but your way is probably better 😉 Even though I don’t usually use anything in the rinse, my clothes are still soft. With other detergent if you do that your clothes are scratchy from the soap that doesn’t rinse out. What does that tell you?

    1. Yes! I don’t even use fabric softener or regular detergent anymore. Just Charlie’s and doTERRA oil. It made all the difference.

      Just the other day my friend, Andrea sent this link about scents in laundry detergent having carcinogens.

  2. I’ve been using Charlie’s for about two months now and I’m so glad I switched! Not only is the HE washer smell gone, we also have less skin irritations. (I’m using a lavender essential oil with the white vinegar in lieu of Fabric softner). I find it interesting what clean really smells like. Thanks Linds!

    1. I’m so glad it worked for you! And yeah, HE washers are SO nasty. On a side note, I noticed after I started adding essential oils to the fabric softener tray it started degrading the plastic. I just put it on the dryer balls now. You might notice your tray gets kinda warped and pliable.

      If you guys have any itching, be sure you’re using certified pure therapeutic grade oils. They are very easily adulterated with toxic chemicals, which can cause itching and other health issues.

      Thanks for reading my blog, lovie! 🙂

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