There’s nothing quite like the luxurious feeling of wrapping yourself in a clean, freshly-scented towel after a relaxing bath or shower.
On the other hand, there is nothing worse than finding out your towel has a musty smell! Ugh, a mildew smell is not a pleasant smell. Today, I am going to show you how to get mildew smell out of towels and prevent it from happening in the first place.
So, why do your towels smell musty and how can you keep the mildew smell from getting into your towels??
I am going to show you how to tackle this pesky issue and how to keep that musty smell from your bath towels!
In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore “how to get mildew smell out of towels”, uncover effective methods for eliminating these pesky smells, most of these are pretty common sense tips, and share some valuable tips for maintaining a mildew-free laundry routine.
If you’re ready, let’s get started on restoring the freshness of your bath towels, and get rid of your smell towels once and for all.
How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Towels Key Takeaways:
- Get the musty smell out of your towels by washing them with white vinegar, then baking soda on a hot water cycle.
- Prevent the mildew smell by utilizing regular washing routines, sunlight exposure, moving damp towels into the dryer instead of leaving them in the washing machine.
- Don’t wash with your mildew towels with your other laundry – keep them separated.
- Don’t leave damp towels laying around, make sure you are putting away dry towels.
How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Towels
If you are getting a mildew smell from your towels, even after a thorough wash, it’s important that you address this issue immediately for the sake of your health and your family’s health.
I am going to show you exactly what you need to do to take to get a mildew smell out of towels!
#1 Machine wash with white vinegar
Using vinegar in the wash cycle helps dissolve mildew buildup and freshen towels. Adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine, helps to remove the mildew smell. Add your regular detergent, and run it using a very warm or hot wash cycle.
Do NOT wash your stinky towels with other laundry, otherwise the mildew smell will spread to your other laundry.
If you prefer a more natural alternative, tea tree oil can also be used to eliminate mildew smell from towels by adding five to ten drops of tea tree oil to the washing machine along with the detergent, followed by washing in hot water and allowing the towel to tumble dry on low.
Utilizing vinegar or tea tree oil in your washing routine not only helps eliminate mildew odors but also serves as a more eco-friendly and non-toxic option for maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your towels. Give it a try and experience the difference these natural treatments can make in your laundry routine.
#2 Machine wash again but with baking soda
Adding baking soda to your laundry loads neutralizes mildew odors and softens towels. Baking soda is renowned for its ability to neutralize odors and break down and dissolve dirt and grease.
Including baking soda in laundry loads offers several benefits:
- Neutralizes mildew odors.
- Softens towels, making them more comfortable to use.
- Extends the lifespan of towels
- Helps eliminate unpleasant smells
- Enhances the overall quality and softness of towels.
Run your smelly towels through another hot water wash but this time add a half cup of baking soda to your smelly towels, and no detergent or fabric softener. The baking soda alone will do its job to get the awful mildew smell out of towels!
You can also use borax instead of baking soda. Simply add half a cup of boraz to your regular wash cycle.
Borax acts as a detergent booster, disinfectant, and stain remover to eliminate mildew smells from towels. This versatile mineral can effectively combat mildew odors, leaving your towels smelling fresh and clean.
#3 Let your towels dry completely
After completing the vinegar and baking soda treatment, it’s time to dry your towels. Some prefer line-drying for a fresher scent, even though it might not leave the towels as soft. To strike a balance between both benefits, you could do this. Put your clean towels in the washer for 20-25 minutes and then let them air dry outside in the sunlight.
Place your towels in the dryer along with some wool dryer balls. These balls will help fluff up the towels and restore their softness. Make sure to let your towels dry completely before you fold and store them. This will prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, keeping your towels smelling fresh for longer.
How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Towels Easily
There are various methods to effectively remove mildew smell from towels, including:
- Regular washing and drying routine
- Exposure to sunlight
- Using hot water to wash your towels
A regular washing and drying routine is vital for eliminating any bacteria or mold on your musty smelling towels, thereby reducing the mildew smell.
Exposure to sunlight can help naturally disinfect the towels and eliminate any potential mildew odors. It is also important to use the right amount of detergent, as too much detergent can leave residue that promotes mildew growth.
Implementing these effective methods will restore the freshness of your towels, leading to a more pleasant bathroom experience.
1. Regular Washing and Drying Routine
Sticking to a regular washing and drying routine is huge to prevent towels from getting mildew buildup and mildew smell in towels by maintaining their cleanliness and dryness.
Here are some tips to closely follow:
- Avoid washing towels with other clothes.
- Use white vinegar as an effective substitute for fabric softener when washing towels from time to time.
- Limit the loads to three or four large bath towels, as the larger towels will absorb more water, resulting in longer drying times. It’s important to allow enough space for your towels to move around in both the washing machine and dryer.
- Wash your towels after3 uses, so every 3-4 days.
- Remember to use the appropriate amount of detergent and fabric softener, too much detergent can cause a musty odor in your towels.
By following these tips, you can continue to have fresh towels and avoid smelly towels, and stinky towels.
Establishing a consistent washing and drying routine ensures the cleanliness and freshness of your towels, thus preventing mildew growth and odor.
2. Direct sunlight is great for drying towels
Exposing towels to direct sunlight provides natural antibacterial effects and thorough drying. Sunlight has a natural antibacterial action that helps to prevent the development of mildew odor in towels and can even remove stains. This works really well for white towels.
If you can hang your towels outside to dry, do that, but I understand that’s not always the case.
Is there a sunny spot in your bathroom where you can hang your towels and leave them to dry.
Embracing the power of natural sunlight to dry and disinfect your towels not only saves energy but also ensures that your towels remain fresh and mildew-free.
3. Washing your towels in hot water is best
Washing towels on a hot water cycle helps reduce mildew and bacteria, sanitizing fabrics more effectively. Here’s why:
- Hot water destroys mildew and mold spores that cause odor.
- The heat from hot water breaks down and removes bacteria and fungi that thrive in damp environments.
- Hot water can activate cleaning agents like vinegar or detergent, which help eliminate the mildew smell.
By washing your bath towels or hand towels in hot water, you can effectively reduce mildew and bacteria growth, ensuring that your high quality towels remain fresh and hygienic. Incorporate hot water washes into your laundry routine and experience the benefits of a cleaner, fresher, and more sanitized towel collection.
Tea Tree Oil Application
Applying tea tree oil to towels neutralizes mildew, bacteria, fungus, and mold growth. Tea tree oil is utilized in eliminating mildew odors from towels due to its antimicrobial properties, which can help eradicate the bacteria and mold causing the odor.
Incorporating tea tree oil into your laundry routine can be a simple and effective solution for combating persistent mildew smells and maintaining the freshness of your towels.
Antimicrobial Towel Options
If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection against mildew smell, consider investing in antimicrobial towels. Miracle Made® Towels are infused with natural silver, which has antimicrobial powers that effectively fight bacteria and fungi, reducing the need for frequent washing and eliminating mildew smell.
Another option is copper-infused towels, which provide more longevity and robustness, preserving the freshness and hygiene of the fabric for an extended period. Copper has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, which are beneficial in reducing and preventing the growth of mildew, mold, and bacteria on its surface.
Opting for antimicrobial towels allows you to enjoy fresh-smelling towels, while also cutting down on laundry frequency, thereby conserving time, water, and energy. With fewer trips to the laundry basket, you’ll appreciate the convenience and efficiency these towels provide.
How to Maintain a Mildew-Free Laundry Routine
Maintaining a mildew-free laundry routine involves proper washing machine care and towel storage. Here are some tips to follow:
- Ensure towels are dried thoroughly before putting them away or storing them.
- Store towels in a dry and well-ventilated area.
- To maintain long-lasting freshness in your towels, it is recommended to wash them after every three uses. Replace your towels when they produce an odor that does not dissipate after washing, lose their absorbency, have frayed edges, or become too scratchy on your skin.
- Use a mildew-resistant laundry detergent.
- Consider adding vinegar or baking soda to your laundry to help eliminate mildew odors.
- Clean your washing machine regularly to prevent the growth of mildew. Following a consistent and effective laundry routine allows for fresh-smelling towels and eliminates the frustration of persistent mildew odors.
We’ll delve into the importance of proper washing machine care and towel storage in this section, providing helpful tips and insights to maintain a mildew-free laundry routine. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can ensure that your towels remain fresh and ready for use, free from the unpleasant odors associated with mildew.
Do this to stop your towels from getting a mildew smell
- Educate your kids that damp towels are not to be left on the floor of their room or the bathroom!
- Do not leave damp towels sitting in your washing machine for a few hours or even a day before they move to the dryer. The longer your damp towels wait, the worse the mildew smell will be.
- Alwasy check your towels before you pull them out of the dryer, give damp towels another spin if necessary.
- Check to see if your towels smell fresh before moving them to the dryer. If you get a moldy smell, follow my instructions above.
- Empty your lint filter regularly to ensure your dryer is running at full capacity.
- Make sure to clean the rubber gasket in the front of your washing machine, as it collects lots of things if not cleaned properly.
- Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan for at least 25 minutes after you have showered!
Proper Towel Storage
Storing towels properly, ensuring they are completely dry and well-ventilated, prevents mildew smell and prolongs their lifespan. To ensure a mildew-free laundry routine, it is important to:
- Hang wet towels to dry.
- Store towels in a well-ventilated area, if you don’t have much space, invest in a wall mounted unit to help you store more towels, or these wall mounted hooks.
- it is recommended to keep them away from dark, moist spaces and ensure they are completely dry before storing to avoid musty odors.
- Keep mildew-smelling towels segregated from other laundry items to prevent the mustiness from spreading!
With a few simple changes to your storage habits, you can say goodbye to musty towels and embrace the luxury of fresh and clean linens.
By following these steps, you can prevent mildew odors and ensure your towels stay clean and fresh.
Maintain your washing machine
Regularly cleaning the washing machine with vinegar and a microfiber cloth helps prevent mildew growth and odor. It is recommended to run the washing machine on its longest washing cycle for a thorough cleaning.
Most washing machines have a self cleaning cycle, purchase some cleaning tablets and schedule a time that works for you. I do mine at the beginning of each month so I don’t forget!
Add either two cups of white vinegar or half a cup of bleach to the cycle. The use of vinegar ensures that your machines remain sanitary, thereby avoiding the spread of bacteria and mildew to your garments and towels with each wash.
Maintaining a clean and well-functioning washing machine effectively eliminates mildew odors from your towels, leading to a more enjoyable and hygienic laundry experience. Don’t overlook the importance of regular washing machine care in your quest for fresh and clean towels.
How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Towels Summary
In conclusion, tackling the problem of mildew odors in towels involves understanding the science behind these odors, implementing effective methods for eliminating them, and maintaining a consistent and effective laundry routine. By incorporating natural treatments such as vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil, exposing towels to sunlight, and utilizing the antimicrobial properties of copper, you can effectively combat persistent mildew smells and enjoy fresh-smelling towels once again.
Take action today and transform your bathroom experience by adopting these proven strategies for eliminating mildew odors from your towels. With a little dedication and effort, you can enjoy the simple luxury of wrapping yourself in a clean, freshly-scented towel after every bath or shower.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can mildew be washed out of towels?
You can wash mildew out of towels with a cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, or with two cycles using moderate detergent. If the mildew is very bad, consider doing a Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach soak before washing.
Why do my towels smell like mildew after I wash them?
Leaving your towels slightly damp after washing and too much fabric softener or detergent build-up can lead to bacterial growth, creating mildew which causes an offensive odor. To prevent this, make sure to dry your towels immediately and only store them when they are completely dry.
Can you wash towels with vinegar and baking soda at the same time?
Yes, you can wash towels with vinegar and baking soda separately, as using them together in one load will cancel out the effectiveness of each.
There you have it, my best tips for how to get mildew smell out of towels and get them back to smelling fresh and clean once again.
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.