Smelly towels? Here's how to make towels smell nice and fresh

How Do I Fix Smelly Towels?

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Do you have smelly bath towels? Towels are just one of those things that build up funky odors that are really hard to get rid of.

One solution is just to get rid of them and get new towels, but there is a way to easily remove that stubborn gym locker smell so that your towels smell clean and fresh again.

In a hurry? This odor eliminator is made specially for removing smelly towel odor both fast and effectively.

One of the reasons that towels get smelly after awhile is because they build up detergent and fabric softener residue that attracts mildew, which in turn causes the bad odor.


Is vinegar or baking soda better for towels

Answered By: Adrian Wright Date: created: Mar 17 2021

Because vinegar contains acetic acid, it dissolves all sorts of grime and mineral deposits on your towels. Baking soda is alkaline, which helps to neutralize odors. To recharge your towels, be sure to: Wash your towels with 1 cup of white vinegar and hot water.

Asked By: Keith Gonzales Date: created: Jul 01 2021

The Reason Why Towels Can Smell Bad

We’re sure you’ll agree that drying off with a smelly towel is an unpleasant experience. Mildew smells tend to intensify in warm, moist environments, so a bunched-up, wet towel left in the washing machine drum or at the bottom of your laundry basket provides just the right circumstances for that mildew smell to develop.

Additionally, body soils left on your towels either from the use or from poor-performing detergents will break down over time to release a sour, musty smell. In the end, you’re left with towels full of a stink that’s difficult to get rid of. But all hope isn’t lost if you know these smart, deep-cleaning techniques.

How can I make my towels smell fresh again

Answered By: Chase Jenkins Date: created: Nov 04 2021

Print linked here!Wash with Hot Water and Vinegar. Wash your load of towels on the hot cycle and add 1 cup of vinegar to the load. … Wash with Hot Water and Baking Soda. Then, if you still smell a little bit, rewash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. … Time for the Dryer!Apr 9, 2013

Asked By: Cameron Young Date: created: Nov 09 2021

Separate Towels From Other Laundry

If you’ve ever done a load of laundry and realized that while your clothes came out clean and fresh, your towels didn’t, it may be time to give them special attention in a separate load each cycle. By separating the towels, you also create a smaller load, which helps your washer perform more efficiently, fully cycling the towels around, and helps your dryer completely dry them, eliminating unwanted odors. Separating your laundry also prevents you from turning your towels on a high heat dryer setting, shrinking your favorite t-shirt in the process. Separating the towels also allows you to complete the above vinegar soak without impacting any other clothes, which may need detergent instead.

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Still smelly? Get out the baking soda

If the vinegar didn’t do the trick and your towels are still smelly, it’s time to turn to some baking soda. Rewash your towels following the steps above, but use half a cup of baking soda instead of vinegar. Just remember, don’t use any bleach or detergent. Your towels should come out fresh and crisp. If you don’t have a dryer or somewhere sunny to hang your towels, it might be worth heading to your local coin-operated laundromat to make sure your towels get as dry and clean as possible.

Towel Stripping Steps

Some items require more attention than a typical wash and dry cycle. You can use many steps and products to strip and deep clean these laundry items to rid them of their unfortunate past. Repeat this process every few months as needed for tough to conquer smells.

  • Mix three ounces of borax, powdered original tide, and oxiclean sanitizer in a container

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the container

  • Mix well to dissolve 

  • Soak the towels in the solution

  • Remix every hour for 6-7 hours

  • Wash on a double rinse cycle in the washer and dry completely

Reader Success Stories

  • Robin Summerlin

Nov 1, 2016

    Robin Summerlin Nov 1, 2016

    “I had been plagued by a smell in our dark towels, wash rags, and hand towels for some time. After having tried everything that I felt was safe for our laundry, I still had “that” smell. A friend told me about using a formula with vinegar and baking soda. I searched for it on the Internet, which led me to your site. It worked, I am delighted to say. Thank you. ” …” more

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