Vinegar, baking soda and commercial treatments can be used to remove odor in laundry. Determine the cause of the odor whenever possible in order to choose the best treatment method for removing odors.
According to Mrs. Clean, white vinegar removes the smell of mildew from clothing. Vinegar can also remove body odor clothing when added to a regular wash. Add 1/2 cup to 2 cups of white vinegar to a regular wash to remove odors. Switching to heavy duty washing detergent may remove some types of odors. For instance, using a detergent that is specifically made for sports clothing reduces odors on gym clothes. Clothing can be pre-treated with heavy duty washing detergent by rubbing a small amount of the soap on clothing, then washing as usual.
Infant and toddler clothing can be treated with a small amount of oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach to remove odors. Add 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach to light and white colored clothing, or 1 tablespoon of oxygen bleach to dark clothing after the washer has filled with water. Clorox recommends rinsing the clothing before washing and using a high quality detergent to remove odors from children's clothing. Baking soda can also be used to deodorize clothes by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda per load. Laundry boosters, such as borax, may be used in place of baking soda or vinegar to remove odors.