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Time needed:  1 hour and 30 minutes.

How To Get M

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How To Get Mildew Smell Out of Towels!

  1. Wash with Hot Water and Vinegar

    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 you still smell a little bit, rewash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. I did not need to do this step but if your towels are bad, you might want to. Again, no detergent, just baking soda and hot water. Got it?

  2. 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. I did not need to do this step but if your towels are bad, you might want to. Again, no detergent, just baking soda and hot water. Got it?

  3. Time for the Dryer!

    When your towels are done, throw them in the dryer. Done and done! They always come out smelling great and fresh!

Instructions: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 you still smell a little bit, rewash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. I did not need to do this step but if your towels are bad, you might want to. Again, no detergent, just baking soda and hot water. Got it? When your towels are done, throw them in the dryer. Done and done! They always come out smelling great and fresh! This also works well on clothing, like stinky wet swimsuits that were left sopping wet out of the pool! Just be sure to be careful with the hot water and mixing colors. You don’t want the colors to bleed so do them separately or with very like colors.   Check out Spring Cleaning Day 1 – Printable Cleaning and Laundry Schedules here  

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Things To Never Do

  1. Don’t use essential oils.  While they may smell wonderful, it only covers up the scent of the mildew and makes it harder for you to tell if there is an actual problem or not. It is much better to keep the towels smelly fresh and clean, naturally.
  2. I try to steer away from using dryer sheets or dryer balls.  Like essential oils, the scented varieties may temporarily cover up the musty smell.
Don’t Cover Up the Smell
Don’t Cover Up the Smell

How To Prevent Mildew Smell In Towels

I’ll show you how to correct the smell below, but let’s talk about ways to prevent your towels from mildewing.

  • Hang up towels to dry. Don’t ball them up or leave them on the floor. They need air and space to dry completely.
  • Never use fabric softeners with towels. They become less absorbent and leave a film that makes it hard for good airflow and natural drying.
  • Always measure the amount of detergent you’re using. Front-loading washers are sensitive to too much detergent and using too much may leave a residue on your towels. This is a case where more is not better.

What if the wet towel smell is still lingering after the initial cleaning process?

If you tried steps 1-5 and still smell mildew on y

If you tried steps 1-5 and still smell mildew on your towels, it might be time to bring out the big guns.  Here are some great tips to help your towels smell fresh and clean:

Get rid of that lingering sour towel smell using borax

If you thought baking soda was good at getting the sour smell out of towels, you’ll be blown away by what borax can do.

If you’ve completed the process above with vinegar and baking soda and your towels still stink or smell like mildew, try using borax.

To complete this process, turn your water settings on high or sanitize, put ½ cup of borax in where you’d typically place the detergent and fill fabric softener spot with 1 cup of vinegar. 

Additionally, you can try laundry stripping-which is the process of soaking clothes/towels in a mixture of detergent, borax and washing soda.

Our Recommended Solution

The OdorKlenz Laundry Liquid offers the important step in eradicating odors out of your fabrics. Have confidence in an odorless wardrobe and trust that your linens will be free of any funky smells. Ideal for any fabric odors including smoke, grease, body odor, mildew, fragrances, chemicals, urine, or musty smells. Just use 1/4 to 1/2 a cup in your laundry load, mixed with your regular, unscented laundry detergent.

  • Contains No Masking Agents or Fragrances
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Final thoughts on smelly bath towels

Removing mildew smell from towels isn’t impossible, but it does take some work; with a little effort towels will come out clean, fresh and soft!

How to Get Mildew Stains Out of Towels

Removing mildew stains takes a bit of effort. Initially, you have to scrub the towels with a brush to get rid of loose mildew. Put the towels in a bucket of hot water and pour undiluted bleach over the towels. After 30 minutes, wring the water out and rinse under cold water. Dry the towels into the sunlight or throw them into a dryer. This should permanently get rid of mildew stains from your towels.

How to Get The Mildew Smell Out Of Smelly Towels

2 cups of Borax 2 cups vinegar

I soak the towels overnight in the washing machine in warm water with vinegar and borax. In the morning, run them through the wash cycle. Wash the towels again with borax and detergent and dry as usual.

Using this process, the towels come out great and fresh!! When I first tried this in Kansas, after battling smelling towels for months, a week later I still had no mildew smell.

Prior to using this process, my towels would start stinking after a day or two and I was constantly washing smelly towels!! After discovering this method, we were able to go back to washing towels every week instead of every couple of days.

I’m glad I got that irritating problem solved! I hope you find this super helpful! 🙂

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Washing Odor Solutions

Once a mildew odor finds it’s way within a towel, it can be very challenging the remove.  It is important to add some additional functions within the washing process to ensure that all remaining mildew residue is removed.

1 Hot Water

 
  Setting the washing machine to the hottest setting will help in removing odors from clothing.  The hot water helps in opening the fibers and allowing detergent to penetrate the fabric and remove the mildew odor.

   

2 Wash Again

 
  If the first wash is not successful at removing all of the mildew residue, simply wash it again.  As simplistic as it sound, washing the clothing a second time is often effective at removing any residue odors.

   

3 White Vinegar

 
  This household substance works wonders in cutting through mildew odors, and returning towels to normal.  Measure a full cup of white vinegar and pour within a normal detergent wash.

   

4 Baking Soda

5  BleachThis powder works fantastic at absorbing unwanted smell and rendering it odorless. Pour a half cup of baking soda within a normal detergent wash.  In addition to working to remove the mildew odor, the baking soda will also make the whites whiter.

5 Bleach


 If towels are white, bleach can be utilized to help remove mildew odor.  Measure a half cup of bleach and pour within a normal detergent wash.  The bleach will help in neutralizing the smell, and render the white towels odorless.

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How do you get the mildew smell out of towels with baking soda?

Ah, baking soda — the one ingredient we can always rely on to banish pesky odors in just moments. As it turns out, baking soda can be used to make that musty towel smell a thing of the past, too! 

This hack is super simple, and you don’t need any ingredients other than baking soda to finally get rid of towel odor. To use baking soda for sour towel smell, all you have to do is throw your towels into the washer along with one cup of baking soda and run your washer through a cycle. For this hack, you don’t even need to use laundry detergent — in fact, you shouldn’t! By using just the baking soda and hot or warm water, your stinky towels will come out smelling like new. 

How to Keep Towels Smelling Fresh in Closet

There are many ways to keep towels smelling fresh in the closet. One of them is to use baking soda. Add three tablespoons of baking soda into a container. The container must have holes in the lid. Put that container inside the closet where towels are. What this does is that the baking soda will absorb the moisture and keep your towels from smelling musty.

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Does mildew smell go away by itself?

This unpleasant aroma doesn’t go away easily, and spraying an air freshener will only help temporarily. Once you detect the odor, the key is to look for the mold colony. Although spores aren’t causing the awful scent, they generally come as a package. Spores travel through the air and potentially into your lungs.

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.

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