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Home Improvement

How To Get Rid of Stinky Towels?

What could be worse than coming out of the relaxing shower only to discover that you are drying off with a towel that smells awful? If you experience a bad smell in your bath towel sets, you don’t necessarily need to replace them. There are a variety of methods you may use to rejuvenate them, and most of them are simple, quick, and involve using common household items. 

You might be wondering why your clean towels smell before you start the process of freshening them up. Here, in this article, we have detailed answers and solutions for you. 

Reasons Towels May Have An Odor 

  • They Were Put Away Wet

The thick texture of the towel sets sometimes takes longer to dry than the other items in your wash load since they are designed to be very absorbent. You can end up folding and storing towels that are still a little damp. When towels are stored damp, mildew can grow on them, which can produce an unpleasant odor.

  • Your Washing Machine is Uncleaned

Your washing machine could possibly be the source of mildew problems. Its growth can be caused by standing water, using too much detergent, or having unclean gasket parts.

  • Too Much Fabric Softener

It’s likely that a layer of laundry detergent or fabric softener has accumulated on your towels.

  • Body Oils 

On seemingly clean laundry, germs and oils can create an unpleasant smell if your towels are not being cleaned properly. As we all know, there are a variety of causes for towels being stinky, but don’t worry; they are all typical home problems.

Regardless of the cause, here are a few quick fixes that will revive your smelly towels and solve your problems.


Few Effective Ways To Freshen Up Towels

  • Vinegar

Try adding one cup of white distilled vinegar to your washer’s fabric softener dispenser before washing a load of towels. Use this in addition to your regular detergent. Just one cup of vinegar will soften materials, help dissolve buildup, and has antimicrobial properties. Make sure to avoid using vinegar and bleach together because the resulting fumes might be harmful.

  • Hot Water

If you usually wash your clothes in cold water, you may want to try washing towels in hot water. Warm water disinfects far better than cold water and helps in the reduction of bacteria and mildew. Additionally, it may also assist in the better breakdown of laundry chemicals, resulting in less buildup. Keep in mind that bath towels don’t need to be washed with much detergent since they are typically only used to dry off clean water.

  • Baking Soda

Due to its alkaline nature, baking soda is one of the most widely used solutions for odor problems of all kinds. It eliminates smells and can also make your fabrics softer. You should include 1/2 cup of baking soda in your regular load of washing.

  • Wash/Dry Routine 

Bath towels should be washed at least once every week or every 3 to 5 days. Tennis balls can be added to the dryer after washing to help the clothes fluff up. In between washing, make sure to immediately hang your towels up after each use. Hang them evenly. , they will dry the most efficiently, preventing the musty or mildew smell.

  • Natural Sunlight 

If your towels are white, they can be hung in direct sunlight to dry. Unfortunately, if you attempt this with colored towels, they will surely fade. Stains are easily removed by the sun’s rays, and they also have an antimicrobial effect. This is a fantastic, cost-free solution to naturally freshen up your stinky towels.

  • Clean Washing Machine 

Your washer’s door or gaskets may sometimes develop mildew. You should use a microfiber cloth and white vinegar to clean the inside of your washer at least once every six months. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket at the front, which frequently collects hair and soap scum. After that, run a hot or cleaning cycle while tossing a machine-washing tablet into the empty drum. Another important tip for keeping your washer from smelling is to always leave the door open in between loads to allow it to air dry and avoid stagnant water from accumulating.



There are a few key steps you can practice to make your towels last longer and keep them smelling fresh.

  1. Proper Hanging  

If you share your bathroom with any other family member, you may be saving on space by folding towels in half on your towel bar. When you fold a wet towel, you make enclosed spaces that collect air and produce smells. Always spread out damp towels for better circulation and faster drying.

  1. Avoid Letting Wet Towels Sit Too Long

If you have plenty of extra towels, you might be tempted to grab a fresh towel and toss your old one in the hamper until the laundry day. When putting your used towel in the hamper, make sure it is completely dry if you don’t have time to wash it straight away.

  1. Exhaust Fans in Bathrooms 

If your towels never fully dry between uses, you should come up with a bathroom humidity solution. Exhaust fans quickly circulate air so your bathroom can dry effectively in less time. Not only will a fan help your towel avoid mustiness, but it will also help you keep your tile grout looking clean and bright for longer.

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