How To Remove Musty Odors From Your Towels

food, how to, how to remove musty odors from your towels

woman with a towel

When you use a towel — whether it’s a bath towel, tea towel, or beach towel — you surely want it to look comfy, feel soft, and smell fabulous. However, you might find at times that your towels have a less-than-pleasant odor. While there are various reasons why they might not smell great, there’s also a very good chance that your towels are simply musty.

A result of sometimes being hung up or stuffed in a laundry hamper while still wet or damp, you may find that the funky smell pops up when the towels aren’t able to dry properly, according to Smelly Washer. In order to remedy the situation, you might think that you just need to toss them in for a wash. However, your washing machine might also be part of the problem. Mildew and mold can build up in your appliance if you use too much laundry detergent and fabric softener (they leave residue behind). The same issue can crop up if the water in the washing machine isn’t draining fully or is able to evaporate. If mildew and mold have invaded your appliance, then anything that comes out of the wash may have a musty smell.

While you can give your washing machine a good rinse in order to get rid of any mildew, which will hopefully leave your future loads of laundry smelling lovely, you may need to take a little more action in order to remove the existing musty odors from your towels.

Get Rid Of The Musty Smell

food, how to, how to remove musty odors from your towels

washing machine with towels

If you find that your towels have succumbed to stinkiness, then you definitely need to take action before you use them again. First, you can try tossing them in a (clean and mildew-free) washing machine while using water on the hotter side, says S&G Cleaning Services.

If that doesn’t do the trick, or you want to make sure that every last hint of smelliness is dealt with, you can also use a cup of vinegar while washing your load of towels in the machine. You may find a vinegary smell has been left behind, which is likely better than the musty smell but still isn’t ideal. In that case, simply wash the towels again normally and give them a good dry. A scented fabric softener can also eliminate any final odors and give your towels a fresh smell.

Once they are free of the musty odor, S&G Cleaning Services notes that you’ll also want to target other areas that might be transferring a nasty smell to your towels as well as other linens and clothes. That includes your laundry hamper. On top of that, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re washing your towels regularly and correctly as well as throwing them out when they simply can’t be saved. If you’re not sure when that is, there are a few things you can keep in mind.

How Often To Wash And When To Throw Out Your Towels

food, how to, how to remove musty odors from your towels

towels in a pile

While you want to be sure to fold and store your towels properly after you’ve washed them, you should also know what’s best when it comes to keeping them clean. Ideally, you should be washing them in hot water and vinegar before running them through the wash again with laundry detergent even when they aren’t smelling musty, according to Modern Bathroom.

As for frequency, you might be washing your towels after every use, but that could be more than necessary. Modern Bathroom notes that you can get away with washing them after you’ve used them three times or even four. Granted, that’s only if you let them fully dry between uses. However, if you leave them damp, then you’ll end up dealing with the musty smell again.

If you simply can’t get rid of the unfortunate odor or it comes back as soon as you use your towels, then it might be time to throw them away. Modern Bathroom notes that if they are too old or too worn, they won’t work as well as they originally did. If you’re unsure if your towels are past their prime, you may want to just go ahead and replace them after two years of use. Of course, if they are ripped and filled with holes, you might want to get rid of them while keeping an eye out for a good sale on new towels.

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