Cleaning Stinky Towels

There are a number of products that can be used to clean stinky towels, including ones you probably already have around the house. This is a guide about cleaning stinky towels.

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Tip: Odoban for Musty Odors

I use OdoBan in my final rinse. It makes towels, (and all my laundry) smell fresh wonderful. For stubborn musty odors in clothing, I turn off the washer, and let the final rinse soak for thirty minutes or so.

It is inexpensive ($10 for a full gallon jug plus a 24 oz refillable spray bottle). It has too many uses to mention. It is not a masking agent.

It eliminates all odors and kills 99.99% of germs. With six dogs, I wouldn’t be without it.

By Erika from Tallahassee, FL

Tip: Vinegar in the Rinse Cycle

My child is always leaving towels lying around on the floor, or the furniture. They are never dry when she drops them where she does.

I have found that if I put a Downy ball full of apple cider vinegar in the washer for the rinse cycle, it leaves the towels fresher longer, even when they are wet and lying on the floor.

Source: I don’t remember where I got this idea, but it has been many, many years.

By Donna S. from Beatrice, NE

Tip: Cleaning Stinky Facecloths and Towels

My facecloths were getting to the point of making me want to vomit from the smell they gave off once wet. I found that lots of people are having this problem. I noticed that it was worse if they were not left for enough time in the dryer!

This all started when I started to use liquid washing soaps. So I went back to powder and hot water and a soak for facecloths, towels, and sheets. I also use a similar process for the dishwashing and cleaning cloths we use.

I use gel Javex and powdered soap in hot water, to kill those nasty bacteria because cold water does not kill any of that.

Well to my total amazement after the first wash all smells have disappeared completely. They are back to smelling like cloth should smell. I am so happy I got rid of it.

Believe me, I tried everything (vinegar, soda, soda wash, and so on and so forth). I was thinking of buying new everything again, but I had changed everything last year. The problem is now solved, try it!

By Elfy from Quebec, Qc. Canada

Tip: Use Tomato Juice to Remove Mildew Smells

Removing mildew smell from towels: Even, large, dark colored ones that can’t be bleached. Soak the towels in 50% diluted tomato juice for two or three hours, run the wash cycle to be sure the towels are completely saturated, then rinse two or three times in cold water. Dry thoroughly.

No more smell, even when wet.

Source: My father and grandfather used tomato juice to rid the dogs of smell from skunks, I figured it would work with mildew and towels. And it does

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Most Recent Answer

By BonnieAlice 11/16/2011

Question: Towels Smell After Washing

What am I doing wrong? My towels smell after washing, when I leave them in the basket down in the cellar. Will those new detergent boosters work?

Fabric softener sheets do not seem to work.

By TheThreadLady 03/06/2012

Vinegar is my solution for smelly towels and I have found that when I bought a front loading washer I was using way too much soap. I have cut way back and use the kind of detergent meant for front load washers but I still run all my washed clothes and towels through an extra rinse.

Question: Musty Smell on Laundered Towels and Wash Cloths

I have relatively new towels and wash cloths that are stinky. What can I do to get rid of the odor?