Laundry sometimes does not come out of the washer or dryer as fresh-smelling as a person would like. This can happen for many reasons. A pleasant scent in laundry has a lot to do with the detergent you use, the soil load on the clothes (very dirty clothes will take more water and detergent to get clean, as a rule), and several other factors--some you may have never considered.
Things You'll Need
Gain (or similar fragrant brand) liquid detergent
Fabric softener dryer sheets
Fill up your washing machine with hot water (but no clothes) and then turn it off so it won't yet go through a cycle. Add two cups of white distilled vinegar to the water. Let the water and vinegar mix remain for 30 minutes. Washing machines can develop a musty smell sometimes, and this smell may be imparted to laundry. Deodorizing the machine is a good first step for helping laundry smell better.
Turn the washing machine back on and let it run through a regular water cycle. When it is finished, add a load of clothing.
Pour one capful (according to the load size) of a fragrant laundry detergent over the clothes and turn on the washing machine. After the laundry has gone through one wash cycle, smell one article of clothing. If it has a lingering odor other than detergent, try putting the machine on a soak cycle next and adding one cup of baking soda. After it has soaked for 30 minutes, launder again with detergent.
Put clothes in the dryer soon after the washer has shut off. Leaving wet clothes in a washer can make them smell musty. Add a scented fabric softener sheet to the dryer load and dry the clothes.
Remove the clothes from the dryer. Place a dryer sheet in sock and underwear drawers to keep these clothing items smelling fresh. For items in the closet, place scented sachets near the clothes.
If you don’t want to buy sachets, you can make your own air freshener simply by spraying a handkerchief with a scent you like and hanging this in the closet.