How to Stop Your Towels From Smelling

By Nidhi Nangia. June 24, 2018
How to Stop Your Towels From Smelling

Towels are perhaps the most used fabrics in daily lives. If a towel is not cleaned properly it can become damp and therefore vulnerable to bacteria growth. This bacteria growth can lead to your towel smelling sour and musty. Towels are used to dry oneself off after showering or bathing. The idea of drying yourself with a dirty towel is counter-productive. When towels smell, people generally tend to blame their detergent or washing machine for not being effective. However, the real cause of a smelly towel is in fact much easier to resolve.

There are quite a few ways to prevent bacterial growth on your towels, or to clean them with an aim of removing the awful smell. In this OneHOWTO article we will discuss how to stop your towels from smelling.

You may also be interested in: How to Get Rid of Musty Smell From Towels

Causes of Towel Odor

People use towels after showering to dry off their wet bodies. Therefore, towels are designed to get wet, but they are not designed to stay wet. Your towel won’t dry if you just throw it in the laundry bag or leave it rolled in a ball on the bed or floor. A wet towel, like any moist and warm environment, is a perfect breeding ground for germs, mold, mildew and bacteria. This bacteria and mold therefore produces a pungent smell.

How to Stop Your Towels From Smelling - Causes of Towel Odor

How to Prevent Towel Odor

There are many ways that you can prevent the growth of bacteria or mould on your towel. By avoiding this build/up, you will in turn avoid your towel smelling bad:

  • The best and most effective way to prevent towel odor is to hang it on a washing line or rack. This will to allow air to cicrulate through it. Letting your towel air dry is the best method to prevent a towel from smelling.
  • Whether it is your bathroom towel or kitchen towel, never throw it on the floor when it is wet. Also don’t leave it in a laundry basket and think that it will dry itself. Residue buildup will only worsen if you don’t allow your towels to completely dry in between uses.
  • Make sure that you when cleaning your towel, once it is done in the washing machine, quickly place it in the dryer. When it sits in the washing machine for too long it can begin to smell. Clean your lint filter regularly to ensure that your dryer runs efficiently. If it is taking too long to dry your towels, it could be a sign that there must be a problem with your washing machine or your dryer. If this is the case, you need to get it checked and repaired as soon as possible.
  • Be sure that your washing machine is clean. An average person sheds 1 billion dead skin cells everyday, and most of them end up in the washing machine or on clothes and towels. If you use bleach, always wash your white clothes before your towels. Otherwise, run ¼ cup bleach on an empty load in order to disinfect the washing machine before putting your towels in it.
  • We suggest tough cleaning your towels from time to time. Do not wash more than three towels at a time, the water should be hot, and you should wash them on the longest washing setting. Towels are perhaps the sturdiest cotton material your washing machine is built to deal with. Its heavy duty cycle is designed to handle items like towels.
  • In addition to using regular detergent powder, you can also boost cleaning by using a cleaning booster, for example, a specialized stain remover. Also remember, as soon as you are done cleaning your towels, do not let them sit in the washing machine, take them out to dry.
  • Do not use fabric softeners while washing your towels. Fabric softeners are only designed to mask the smell, not clean the towel thoroughly. Liquid fabric softeners leave residue on your clothes that can infact help mold grow. Instead, consider using dryer balls or dryer sheets to give your clothes a softer feel.
  • If you need to hang your towel inside, for example, in your bathroom. make sure a window is open so heat doesn’t condense.
  • Air out your washing machine. Leave the door of your washing machine open in between uses. However, it is important that if you have kids or pets that they do not accidentally get stuck in the washing machine.
How to Stop Your Towels From Smelling - How to Prevent Towel Odor

Ways to Remove Smell from Towels

Now, if your towels already smell, here are some tips on how to remove the purgent odour:

  • Washing with vinegar: Place your towel in the washing machine on the hottest setting. Add one cup of white vinegar. Do not add any fabric softener or detergent. Let it soak for about an hour and then complete the wash cycle. Then, run the cycle again after adding laundry detergent and another cup of vinegar. Transfer the towel into the dryer immediately and run it on the highest setting until it completely dries.
  • Soaking in detergent: Add half a cup of detergent into a bucket, fill it with hot water and let your towel soak in it for about 48 hours. Then wash it in the washing machine on the hottest setting. You can add more detergent into the washing machine. After the wash, immediately transfer the towel into the dryer and let it dry on high heat.
  • Using baking soda: Pour one cup of baking soda over your towels, fill your washing machine with water and throw your towels into the washer. Do not add vinegar or detergent, only baking soda. Run a complete wash cycle and rinse thoroughly using hot water.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop Your Towels From Smelling, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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