View Full Version : Stinky towels

01-09-2009, 04:29 PM
Situation: I always make sure my DH & Children hang up their towls to avoid them from becoming mildewed and stinky. They use to have bad habbits of leaving them laying around, Wet and all, causing them to smell :hunh Or they would throw them in the laundry basket all wet, Therefore causing them to get smelly again. They've gotten better about it but i'm afraid it might be too late. My question is this: Is there any way to get that mold smell out. Even after I wash them and they're nice and fresh I can still smell it after I use the towel. It even leaves the smell on my skin..Gross!! :sick Is there a solution I can use in the washer, Or am I just better off throwing them out and buying new towels? Please help and tell me i'm not the only one with this stinkin problem :blush

Naked Camper
01-09-2009, 04:33 PM
bleach :shifty

You can try vinegar, but I've never had much success with it. Bleach is the only way I've gotten rid of mildew sink in laundry

01-09-2009, 04:34 PM
:hugheart ITU! I hate that smell.

I have used the same protocol I use in stripping diapers and that seems to work.

Regular wash in hot water.

Another hot wash with a tsp of dish soap, and vinegar for the rinse cycle.

Another hot "wash" with no soap or detergent at all - check for sudsing. If there is sudsing, repeat. If not, and they smell ok, toss them in the dryer.


01-10-2009, 02:33 PM
ICU?? I'm sorry, I'm so new to all this stuff so i'm kinda out of the loop when it comes to abbreviations :blush since we're on the topic, Can someone do me a favor and throw in a list of some abbrevs. and tell me what they mean. I felt clumsy when I found out BF meant Breast freeding, Silly me thought it meant Best Friends..lol. No wonder why some things weren't making sense to me :scratch

Anyways, Back on topic: Thank you ladies for the suggestions. I will definetly be trying both methods. I've never tried vinegar but i'll give it a shot. I usually try and steer clear of bleach since it has such a potent smell but I guess in this situation I have no choice. I either try it or have stinky towels..I think i've made my choice & bleach it is :yes

Thanks again ladies!!!

01-10-2009, 02:36 PM

Abbreviations can be frustrating. ITU = I Totally Understand

Good luck!

01-10-2009, 02:41 PM
Ohhh :doh
Thank you so much!!

01-10-2009, 02:43 PM
White vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil

01-10-2009, 02:45 PM
Because bleach is linked to causing asthma, and my husband and I are both asthmatic, we don't use it except under the most extreme circumstances. I would strip the dirt and detergent out of those towels the way Blessed Blue listed: hot hot water, some Dawn dish detergent, vinegar in the rinse. They're clean when they smell like water, and nothing else, and when there are no more bubbles in the rinse water. In the summer, I'd dry towels in the sunlight to kill the ook.

01-10-2009, 02:53 PM
Yes Rabbit I TOTALLY AGREE, That is why we don't use bleach. I always seem to get headaches when I smell it but if nothing else works I guess that would be my last resort :yes2 I'm just waiting for a full load to accumulate and then i'm on to trying these wonderful solutions. I too have a clothesline and use it as often as I can and considering I live in California it's pretty often. Save tons of money on the electricity bill. Thank you ladies. GCM Is awsome!!

01-10-2009, 04:04 PM
If none of those work, I've had wonderful success with baking soda w/ vinegar used as fabric softener using the absolute hottest water setting you can get your washer on (and even adding a pot of boiling water if you have a top loader).

01-12-2009, 02:40 PM
I hate towel smell. I always wash in hot water with only other towels. It's the only way to get them clean enough for me. I second a few drops of dawn dish soap. That stuff works wonderful for stripping dipes and freshening towels. Can you put some hooks up for towels? They are easier to hang that way.

01-16-2009, 04:28 PM
UPDATE: Thank you sooo soooo much for the suggestions mommas :grouphug. I am happy to report that I no longer have mold smelling towels :clap. What I did was wash a load of towels in hot hot water, Adding one pot of boiling water and a little dawn dishsoap. Then I added a tbls. of vinegar & baking soda. Let them finish, and then I hung them out to dry. I did this a second time but instead of hanging them out to dry I put them in the dryer and man oh man. My towels are as fresh as they have ever been. I have one of those things that you hang on the back of your bathroom door for the towels to dry on but I think i'm going to take it down and buy hooks. The towels seem to just lay on top of eachother on the door hanger and I think that's what's causing them to take so long to dry resulting in the smell. So, I'm trading it in for hooks. Again, Thank you guys so much for the suggestions. :ty

01-16-2009, 04:30 PM
:dance I'm glad your towels are healed!

:grin BTW, it's suppposed to be baking soda in the wash, vinegar in the rinse. Used together at the same time, they react to each other and have no effect on the laundry. So, you can just leave those out if it ever happens again.

01-16-2009, 04:36 PM
:dance I'm glad your towels are healed!

:grin BTW, it's suppposed to be baking soda in the wash, vinegar in the rinse. Used together at the same time, they react to each other and have no effect on the laundry. So, you can just leave those out if it ever happens again.

Oh really?? I really think it was the hot water and dawn that did most of the dirty work..And then hanging them in the sun that finished it off. Thank you for letting me know, That way I can do it different the next time around. I was thinking about just taking ALL the towels (even the clean ones in the closet) And just washing them all the same way. :idea Maybe i'll make a day of it tomorrow!