Right after M was born our dryer crapped out on us. We decided to go big and replace both washer & dryer with high efficiency models. Love the dryer - especially as the old one only had 1 setting & consistently melted things like mattress pads. The washer baffles me. Our clothes don't smell clean. We use a ton of washclothes for cleaning up and they come out of the dryer stinking like baby food and mildew. The other day I couldn't figure out why the baby smelled so wierd and gross & I realized it was my t-shirt that I had put in with a bunch of washclothes. So now I'm using extra soap, chlorine free bleach, and the heavy duty cycle (which takes longer and uses more water) So much for high efficiency. Thinking about buying laundry detergent with perfume to mask the problem.
Thanks so much for all of the advice mamas! I did a ton of laundry yesterday and it all smells lovely (or more importantly - it doesn't smell like anything). Here's what I did/am doing. The seal on the front of the dryer collects a bunch of crap, kind of like the lint guard on the dryer - cleaned & dried that out & I'm leaving the door open between washes. The funky washclothes and bibs have their own little hamper now and get washed separately from any other laundry. I'm also doing smaller loads in general. I think I tend to overstuff. Haven't tried the vinegar yet but I'm going to start doing that with the washclothes.
Thank you all for helping me save my relationship with the washing machine.