How to fix smelly towels and keep them fresh in 3 very easy to follow brilliant steps.
Are your towels smelling a little bit strange, and maybe aren’t quite as absorbent as they once were? While you might think these are good reasons to toss your towels or turn them into rags, you could actually save them with this one simple trick!
The problem with a smelly or a non-absorbent towel is often due to detergent and fabric softener buildup. Towels are so absorbent that washing machines can have a difficult time washing out all of the fabric softeners and detergents and then it ends up building up over time. This can actually end up attracting mildew to your towels and essentially waterproof them. This is why you might end up with smelly towels that are non-absorbent. In order to restore the towel back to tip-top shape, we need to strip off that build-up.
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Smelly Towels Be Gone In 3 Steps
To get rid of smelly towels and make them absorbent again, you’ll need:
- 1 Cup Of White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Of Baking Soda
- To begin the smelly towel process you’re going to want to place the towels into the washing machine and turn it on in the hottest setting you can.
- Once there is hot water in the washing machine add in 1 cup of white vinegar.
- Let the washer finish the vinegar cycle and leave the towels in the washing machine.
- Open up the washing machine and add in 1/2 cup of baking soda.
- Run another wash cycle on the hottest setting.
- Dry towels with a ball of aluminum foil.
Remember to switch the towels from the washing machine to the dryer quickly to prevent any mildew from growing back on the towels right away. Also, make sure to clean the lint filter every cycle to ensure the dryer runs as efficiently as possible. If the towels are taking too long to dry, you might have too much water in the towels before they make it into the dryer. Make sure the towels dry completely before folding them and placing them into the linen closet.
This should take care of the smelly towels and absorbency problems. If you are still experiencing problems, start again at step one and go through the process again.
This is a treatment process and not an everyday towel washing solution.
Now you know how to keep your smelly towels feeling and looking fresh.
Why Does Baking Soda and Vinegar Work To Clean Smelly Towels?
Vinegar and baking soda dissolve all the buildup that hangs around your towels. The vinegar has acetic acid which breaks up mineral deposits and dissolves grease and grime too. Baking soda helps neutralize odors and dissolves dirt and grease. Using them separately helps eliminate all the potential culprits that have caused your towels to get smelly.
Why Do My Towels Stink?
Towels often develop a smell due to bacteria, mold and mildew buildup. Towels are a breeding place for bacteria which is why I personally wash them after every single use.
Bacteria can result from moist towels, build-up of detergents and fabric softeners as well as dirty washing machines.
You can’t see the bacteria, but you can definitely smell the odour the bacteria causes. The bacteria is stuck deep between the fibres of the towels. The longer the bacteria lives in the towels, the more it multiplies and causes a smelly towel. The good news is that you can remove the smell and the bacteria using me method I mentioned above.
Common reasons towels smell:
- Towels Left In Washer: We’ve all been there, left our towels in the washing machine too long after the cycle has finished. Life is busy and I am guilty of this too. This is the main reason towels start to get smelly. Leaving towels in the washer for many hours will cause the odour-causing bacteria to grow in the warm humid environment that bacteria love.
- Damp Towels After Bathing: Another common thing many people do is placing the towel on the floor after drying off post bathing. Towels on the floor simply cannot dry. You need to hang the towel up so that it can dry and be odour-free.
- Dirty Laundry Machine: If your laundry machine is dirty, then you can do all the right things such as hang up your towels and fold them when they are completely dry and still have smelly towels. If your washing machine is dirty, here is a handy guide to clean it well.
- Fabric Softener: You’re not supposed to use fabric softeners on towels, so if you do this then this could be the cause of a smelly towel. There are oils in fabric softeners that lessen the absorbency of bath towels. The oily coating traps mould, dirt and mildew which creates the stink.
- Detergent Buildup: We all use detergent to wash our towels and clothing, but too much detergent can make your bath towels impossible to completely rinse off in the washing machine. Any detergent that is leftover on the towels will attract dirt and bacteria, resulting in a smelly towel.
Here are some of my best towel tips to help you keep your towels fresh and clean.
- Hang your towels up to dry after you take a bath or shower. If you cannot do so, then throw it into the laundry basket right away for washing.
If you have trouble getting your family to commit to hanging towels back up, you can always colour code your towels to your family members. This way you can work with the culprit who is always leaving the towels on the floor to create good habits of hanging towels up to dry.
- Avoid fabric softener on towel washes to keep your towels absorbent. White vinegar can act as a natural fabric softener, so feel free to add a little bit of white vinegar to the rinse cycle if you wish to prevent buildup and eliminate static.
- Use the correct amount of detergent to prevent excess detergent from sticking to the towel after the wash cycle is over.
- Ensure towels are completely dry before folding them up and placing them into your linen closet to prevent mildew and smelly towels.