How to Get Rid of Towel Smell?

Have you ever been burdened with towel smell? While the odor can be irritating, the underlying reason can cause health issues. Because the reason for that ugly smell is bacteria growing on your towel.

While that might not be the only reason, the usual suspect for the smell is mildew, a kind of mold. But if your towel has a sour smell, that is caused by oil that has built up on your towel.

In short, the smell is due to residues on your towel. Here’s how you can get rid of these unwanted guests.

Getting rid of mildew

Detergent and crumpled towels against gray background1. Wash your washer

The most common type of washer is the front-loader washer. They are also the most common type of washer to cause mildew. The mildew that the washer has also gets transferred to your clean clothes and causes towel smell.

Your washer can easily be cleaned of mildew with only 1 ingredient.

You just have to start a regular cycle with 4 cups of vinegar. And afterwards, you have to wipe it down, both the interior and the exterior.

An alternative is to use cleaning packets that are made especially for your washing machine, if it does have them. While using these, make sure to abide by your washing machine’s own cleaning suggestions.

Also, make sure to let your washing machine breathe after a cycle by leaving the door open.

 

2. Put towels in laundry degreaser

If the cause of your towel smell is oil instead of mildew, this part is for you. There are many options for laundry degreasers on the market.

Oil can very easily build up on fabric. Both your bodily oils and oils that you use for skin care and health reasons can leave residue on the towel, which can cause towel smell.

Hand and kitchen towels are also suspect to oils that you use in the kitchen and oil from hand creams and other oil-based products you might use on your hands. 

And these might be the culprits for the smell on your towel.

The ideal place to put your towels in the degreaser is either your sink or tub. Make sure not to put too many towels at once to make sure they all get cleaned properly.

While instructions may vary depending on the brand, for powder degreasers, 2 teaspoons are ideal.

3. Washing Soda & Vinegar

By adding half a cup of washing soda, or less preferably, baking soda, half a cup of vinegar, and your standard detergent and washing your towels in the cycle that you normally use, you can properly clean your towels from any residue.

While air drying gives the towels a much fresher smell with a little bit of toughness, tumble drying is also a safe option.

How does this work?

Woman putting towels in washer to get rid of towel smellBy using washing soda, you separate the residue on the towel from the fibers, and vinegar properly washes the removed residue.

This is one of the best ways to remove towel smell from your fabrics. You can also take preemptive action to prevent your towels from smelling by following the list below.

How to Prevent Towel Smell

  • Use quick-dry towels like Turkish cotton towels.
  • Don’t leave your towels damp.
  • Don’t use fabric softeners.
  • Prefer wool dryer balls.
  • Wash your towels frequently.
  • Hang your towels.

 

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