I’ve noticed that “smelly towels” is a subject that I get asked a lot, and lately I’ve been receiving phone calls asking about this as well. This leads me to believe it’s a pretty big problem. So, I thought it was high time I addressed it. For heaven’s sake…we can’t have people suffering needlessly from “Smelly Towel Syndrome” when there is such an EASY FIX!
I also get customers asking, "why aren't my towels as absorbant as they used to be?" What I have discovered after looking into this phenomena is that both problems stem from the same source. Detergent and Fabric Softener Build-up!
Over time, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue. This not only attracts SMELLY mildew, it can essentially “waterproof” your towels. If water can’t get into the fabric to clean it, the towel won’t BE or SMELL clean.
Wash your load of towels on the hot cycle and add 1 cup of vinegar to the load. Do not use detergent or anything (especially bleach – that can be super dangerous!)… just hot water and the vinegar. Let the washer do it’s job.
Then, if your towels still smell a little bit, rewash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Again, no detergent, just baking soda and hot water.
When your towels are done, throw them in the dryer. Set the dryer on a high heat setting. Towels should be thoroughly dry when you pull them out. Done! Follow these steps and your towels will always come out smelling great and fresh!
Tips for KEEPING your towels CLEAN and FRESH-SMELLING:
- Be sure to check that your towels are 100 percent dry before putting them away. Even a small amount of moisture can make towels smell sour.
- Mold and mildew love it when towels are left in a puddle on the floor. They should be hung up to air-dry after each use. Bathmats, too, should be hung to dry.
- Make sure you’re not using TOO MUCH DETERGENT. Too much detergent leaves a residue, especially with high efficency washers that use less water.
- Don’t use commercial fabric softener on towels; it coats towels with a thin layer of chemicals which makes them less absorbent. White vinegar is a GREAT natural fabric softener. It prevents further build-up, eliminates static, and makes towels softer.
- Make sure towels are drying quickly enough after using them. Hang them on towel bars or spread across two hooks until they’re completely dry.