You can reduce sour odors from laundry by cleaning the washing machine with commercial cleaning tablets. You can also add odor-reducing products, such as bleach or white vinegar, to the wash cycle. You can eliminate most sour smells in the time it takes the washing machine to complete a full wash cycle.
Clean out the washing machine
If you have a front-loading washing machine, you can use a commercial washer cleaning product to remove odors. Follow the directions on the product's label to remove sour smells from the washer. You can use chlorine bleach to clean both front- and top-loading machines. Without adding clothing, start the wash cycle with 2 cups of chlorine bleach. Allow the washer to complete a full wash and rinse cycle to remove odors.
Wash the clothing
Use hot water and white vinegar or bleach to rewash laundry that comes out of the wash with a sour smell. Add either 1 cup of white vinegar or 3/4 cup chlorine bleach at the beginning of the wash to reduce sour odors.
Dry the clothing immediately
One cause of sour odors is allowing laundry to remain in the washer too long. Remove and dry the clothing as soon as possible to prevent odors.