Smelly Towel Dilemma

Ugh!!!! I’ve got smelly towels!!!!

This is that time of year that if I use my bath towel MORE than 3 times it gets that MOLDY, MILDEWY, DISGUSTING smell that I feel like IS ON MY SKIN after I towel off.  I have been washing them in SUPER HOT water, they smell fresh when they come out of the dryer…I get out of the shower, dry myself off and…UGH, the smell is back!

Yesterday I was on the hunt for the answer to my “smelly towel” dilemma.   After a few hours of research, I loaded my smelly towels into the washer (follow steps 1-3 below) and hoped for the best.

1.  Wash your towels on the HOTTEST cycle that you can with 2 cups of WHITE VINEGAR.

2.  Wash a 2nd time with detergent.

3.  Dry as usual (with no fabric softener).

And a few more interesting things I found out….

  • DO NOT put any kind of fabric softener into your towels because it decreases the absorbency (I didn’t know this).
  • ALWAYS wash NEW towels with vinegar to get rid of the sizing the manufacturer applies to the cotton.
  • To keep your towels smelling fresh (no more mildew stench)  put a cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle (if you have a Downey Ball you can put the vinegar in that).  The towels WILL NOT come out smelling like vinegar – the detergent will mask the vinegar smell.

That’s it!!! That’s all it takes.  I tried it and it worked my friends!!!

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  1. Ann Arabian says:

    I’ve actually been wondering what to do about this problem. Thanks for solving it, “Project Queen”!

  2. Mandy! I have been having this problem and complaining non stop! I will try this 🙂

  3. Tracie L. says:

    Ok, I am off to try this right now! Thanks for the ideas! Now if there was something that could be done with smelly boys and their rooms! LOL

  4. White vinegar in the rinse works with cloth diapers too! We’ve been doing this for a few months and it has worked wonders for us. Never tried it on the towels though and will have to now!

  5. Awesome! I have clothes that do that and now I know how to fix it. Thank you. I do have a suggestion for boys and their smelly rooms, make sure their shoes are not living in their room – keep them by the front door and seriously, you have to wash their sheets often. Boys – even before puberty, just stink. Maybe it’s God’s way of keeping the girls away. 🙂

  6. Jo Dee Bright says:

    when i wash any fabric that i bring home i always put about 3 glugs of white vinager in the water as it sets dye too!! no stinky vinager smell lingers after and my dye is good to go no running!! ty ty ty, good tip for our towels in the humidity of virginia!

  7. I had the same problem, but then I started using Melaleuca products and it took care of the smelly towel problem. I love Melaleuca……check out their website, and let me know if you are interested in becoming a “shopper”!!

  8. Kevin, an old, old childhood friend says:

    I use Vinegar in the wash all the time.. With new clothes that have dark or bright colors, vinegar helps to “set” the colors, so they last longer. And you’re right, it’s great when the towels start smelling musty!!! FYI, you can buy gallon containers of white vinegar at Costco & Smart & Final, cheaper than WalMart…. Costco has the best price, it’s a 2 pak……

  9. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

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