43 answers

Getting That Musty Smell Out of My Bath Towels

Maybe someone can help me out....

It never fails, I buy bath towels and after a few several times of using them, they get stinky. It's a musty type smell and I dont know how it gets there or how to get rid of it. It' doesn't happen to my white bath towels because I think the bleaching really helps with the problem, but my other towels I've tried soaking in color safe bleach, oxy clean and different brands of laundry detergent, but nothing helps. Eventually I end up throwing them out and buys a few new ones.
anyone have any advice, or have the same issue??

2 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Hello N. O;

My name is De Dee and I am a mother of three teenage and preteens. I found that sometimes using something too much may stop working. I change detergent will help, like using deodorant's sometimes it goes out (lol). No seriously I used tied and after a while it did stop working like i wasn't using enough or it just wasn't working. I recently got married and had to change so I started using Gain with a Fabric softener and everyone in the house loves it. It has cut down on the smell my partner brings in from the plant and the pet smell the kids bring in after playing all day. Try it hope it works for you.... Have a good day

I'm so glad you asked this question and received so many responses. I have had the same problem. I'm going to start using some of the advise that has been given out.

I bleach all my towels unless they are a very dark color and never have problems with fading. If you want to stay away from bleach, vinegar is a great anti-bacterial agent.

More Answers

N. -

I had this problem for years. Did some research and found that towels need to be washed in HOT water with white vinegar added. Apparently, with the trend to cold water washing, gunk builds up in the washer that doesn't get thoroughly flushed out. At least one load of hot water washing a week helps and will definitely make your towels smell better. Since I switched to this method, our towels are smelling sweet! Give it a try. L.

1 mom found this helpful

Stinky towels are the worst!!!! Especially when you know you JUUUST washed them!

Here's my tip - Baking soda in the washer. That does it everytime... and I mean the stinkiest of stinky kitchen wash rags too! No stink left in them!

Good luck! Have fun!

I had that same problem and looked on-line what to do.

Now I put 1 cup of white vinegar into the washer before adding my towels and I don't use any fabric softner.

I have to do it every time or that smell comes back.


thank you for posting this question! i just asked a bunch of other moms this same question while i was at a playgroup earlier this week, because i'm having the same problem!

they said to wash them and then dry them immediately following on the hottest setting your dryer has.

another suggestion was to line dry them out in the sunshine. my friend swears by this and even sneaks the dish rags out to the clothes line in the dead of winter if it's a sunny day. she said even if they don't get all the way dry that way - the sun has done it's job - and she finishes drying them in the dryer.

please post what you try and if it works - i'd love to know!

I'm so glad you asked this question and received so many responses. I have had the same problem. I'm going to start using some of the advise that has been given out.

Use white vinegar in your wash. I am amazed at the odors it is able to remove. Occasionally the load will smell a tiny bit like vinegar, but after drying they just smell clean!

Sometimes my boys will leave a wet towel in their room, and the only reason I find it is because I follow the smell! I get a product from Sams Club called ODO-BAN, it is the best stuff for removing odors. It removes that moldy, mildewey smell, it also will remove smoke odors (it is used in fire restoration) it kills germs, bacteria, and viruses. I have even used it on the upholstery in my van when one of my boys threw up in there(in the hottest part of summer!) and I couldn't get that "pukey" smell out any other way.
What I do when I use it in the laundry is put it in the fabric softer dispenser, it works really well and has a very pleasant floral smell, it smells really fresh and clean. I havent had any issues with discoloration or fading on my clothes either.
It is sold in a 1 gallon jug and is concentrated. It also has a spray bottle with ODO-BAN (ready to use) included. The price is $9.99 and a gallon jug will last me about a year with just normal use around the house and in my laundry. I highly recommend it.

I have had this problem too. I always used a powder form of laundry soap (Tide with Bleach). Then I changed to a liquid and then I started having the problems. I went back to powder Tide with Bleach and have not had a problem since. This had also happened to my mom and my sister whenever they went to the liquid detergent. So we all changed back to a powder form. Not sure if that is the case with you. Hope you find a remedy.

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