How to get mildew smell out of towels – Miracle Brand


What kills the smell of mildew?

Bleach: Bleach’s active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is effective at eliminating mold and mildew and musty smells. Toothbrush: If the area affected by a mildew smell or mold is small, you can use a toothbrush to dip into the bleach mixture and get directly at the mildew problem.


How to get mildew smell out of towels

Most people incorrectly assume they can just toss smelly bath towels in the washer on high and fix the problem–not so. 

To truly remove the stink out of towels, you’ll need to follow a fairly easy formula:

Step 1: Wash smelly towels with 1 cup of vinegar 

Make sure you wash towels with vinegar on the high

Make sure you wash towels with vinegar on the highest water setting possible. 

Note: if you haven’t cleaned your front load washer in quite some time, STOP! Don’t attempt to get rid of mildew smelling towels in a dirty washer. Take time to fully clean mold or mildew from your front load washer gasket, first.

Step 2: Select the highest temperature setting on your washer 

Note: You may need to temporarily bump up the settings on your hot water heater. You need this water to be hot for this process to work!

Step 3: Wash towels again, with baking soda

This time you’ll toss ½ cup of baking soda in the drum of the washing machine or where you put powder detergent. Make sure to use the highest heat setting.

Step 4: Dry towels on highest heat setting 

You want to dry your towels using the highest heat

You want to dry your towels using the highest heat until they are fully dry. If you were dealing with towels that were truly stinky, it’s a good idea to put towels out in the sun. The sun is amazing at getting that moldy, mildew smell out of items.

Step 5: Remove towels promptly

If you live in an area with high humidity; especially in the warmer months, your towels could be stinky because you’re leaving them in the dryer too long.

You want to quickly remove towels once they are done drying so you don’t allow warm, humid air to come in through the dryer vent and moisten your towels.

Remember, a towel that isn’t fully dry is a wonderful breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Shop my favorite washing machine essentials

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Towels Baking Soda

Using baking soda is a great way to get rid of the mildew smell from your towels. Put your towels into the washing machine with the hottest water available. Add half a cup of baking soda with it and wash the towels in cycles. If you still sense the smell, add another half cup of baking soda and rewash the towels.

Once the towels are washed thoroughly, it is time to take them out and dry them. Throw them into a dryer and wait. Use dryer balls to make the towels fluffier and softer. To be on the safe side, take the towels out in the sunlight and let them dry for a couple of hours more to get the best result.

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 Do I Get White Towels White Again?

Do not bleach your towels every wash. Bleach should only be used every few washes. If your towels’ cleaning instructions indicate that you cannot use bleach, use baking soda or white vinegar instead. Add ½ cup of baking soda or ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your washing machine, along with the laundry detergent.

What Do I Do If I Left My Laundry In The Washer?

Simply run the wash cycle again. Definitely don’t dry the clothes if there’s any hint of them being not fresh; the smell will not go away and you’ll have to do the whole load again anyway.

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.

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!

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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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.


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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