After you get out of the shower, you reach for you bath towel only to be confronted with an absolutely dreadful odor hanging within the fibers of this towel. Is it a cross between musty and B.O, or maybe even mustiness and laundry detergent? Whatever the smell is, you most definitely do not want to use it to dry your clean body, and therein lies your problem… your towels stink! There are various factors that can influence the odors (and sometimes less than pleasant odors!) that your towels emanate after they have been washed – such as your washing and drying process, the laundry care products you use, and the conditions that you leave your damp towel in after using it in your bathroom.

When it comes to deodorizing and cleaning your foul-smelling bath towels you may need to look for alternative solutions that will help in your odor-removing pursuit, no matter what the odors are that you are trying to expel. However, when it comes to cleaning and de-funking your bath towels, what is the best odor solution to use to remove the various smells that can acquire on these linens?

In this article we are going to learn more about how to get musty smell out of towels, the different towel odors and their causes, and determine what the best laundry odor solution is to solve your musty towel problem quickly and safely. 

Why Do My Towels Smell

What is it with your towels and the odors that permeate from them, even after they have been washed? When it comes to your towels there are many potential reasons behind why the smell of this fabric is less than stellar, and some of these causes can come as quite a surprise. Whether it be the time of year, the conditions in the environment where the towels are stored, or even the laundry care products or wash routine you use to clean these items can all have a major impact on the smell that seeps from the fluffy material of your bath towels.

Below we are going to discuss the main reasons behind why towels smell badly after they have been washed to help homeowners to avoid these towel odor mistakes in the future.

  1. Why Do My Towels SmellDark & Humid Environments: When it comes to the use of your bath towels, they are inevitably going to become wet due to the ability of the material of towels to absorb liquid efficiently. If you throw your towel into a dark and humid space, such as a hamper or hanging in a closet then you may be leaving your towel a willing victim to odor development on this material. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, humid environment where moisture is present and thus wet bath towels in your closet or hamper can lead to the perfect space for these fungi to form and create a pungent musty odor on the fibers of your towels. Additionally, when towels are left wet in a washing machine for an extended period of time after its initial washing this will also lead to the progression of musty odors on towels.
  2. Time of Year: The stinky smell of towels can be influenced by even the weather conditions outside of your house, as the summer humidity in many regions of the United States can create humid environments inside of your home which will eventually lead to mildew smelling towels. Although towels can develop pungent odors any time of the year, it is highly more likely for musty smells to develop on towels during the hot, humid months of summer.
  3. Laundry Care Products: It may come as a surprise to learn that the products that you use in your laundry’s washing machine can have a direct impact on the smell of your towels and clothing, particularly in a negative smelly way. When you use too much laundry care products in your towels wash load it can eventually lead to a buildup of detergent on the towels that will ultimately lead to an odorous problem within the fibers of the towel. Therefore, it is important to only use the recommend amount of detergent and laundry care products per load to minimize odors problems in your linens and garments.

What to Wash Towels on

Washing towels can be dramatically impacted by the washing machine settings that you use each time you wash these materials. Whether you wash the towels on cold or hot, the soil level you set it at, and even how full you load the washing machine, will all have a direct influence on the smells of these towels. Typically, when it comes to the best settings to use during your towels wash load you will want to choose a warm water cycle that will allow for the cycle to kill those residing bacteria and germs that have become collected on the towels material from use. Usually bacteria that forms on towel fibers will be one of the key components to smells that develop on these linens.

Additionally, the number of towels that you place in each wash load will also have a tremendous effect on the odors of the towels, due to the inability for detergent and the washing machine to properly clean some of the linens if the load is overcapacity.

How to Keep Towels from Smelling

How to Keep Towels from SmellingIf you have finally had it with your foul-smelling, musty towels than it will be the time that you need to learn the best ways on how to keep your towels from smelling, whether that be through laundry additives or alternative laundry washing practices. Some of the most well-known, and highly used products for deodorizing towels will include simple household products like baking soda and vinegar that are known deodorizing agents that can be used in a variety of methods, including for use to remove odors from clothing and linens that have become compromised by various odors.

However, when it comes to using vinegar and baking soda in your washing machine is it safe for your washing machine and its parts, as well as will these two products work to deodorize a variety of odors stuck on towels?

Washing Towels with Baking Soda & Vinegar

When it comes to washing your smelly towels with natural deodorizers like baking soda and vinegar, you may find that there are many benefits that will occur to your smelly linens, however, there may also be some unpleasant things that will also take place within the washing machine itself, and the fibers of the towels. These two household products work differently but similarly in its pursuit to try to expel odors from the material of fabrics and linens. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a base that has a lower pH level than both neutral and acidic substances. When the baking soda is used on odors it will lower the pH neutralizing the substances that causes the odors, therefore helping to remove the odor from the source.

Whereas vinegar is an acid that works to neutralize alkaline odors on surfaces such as towels and linens. Inorganic soils and mineral deposits will leave behind odors on surfaces that will easily be removed through the use of vinegar. Additionally, the vinegar will also work as a sanitizing agent to kill a wide range of bacteria, yeast, and mold on items such as clothing and towels. However, when it comes to the impact of vinegar on your washing machine, this may become an issue in using vinegar to deodorize towels in the wash cycle.

Vinegar in Washing Machine Bad

Vinegar in Washing Machine BadThe use of vinegar inside of your washing machine can have a lasting impact on the working parts of the washing machine, specifically the rubber hose of this machine. The rubber hose and seals are key components to the operation of the washing machine, and thus it is important not to compromise these parts when doing laundry. The use of vinegar in washing machines has been used for a long time, however, recently it has been found that this acidic odor neutralizing solution can potentially damage the rubber hose and seals of this machine and lead to an array of problems, which can get costly.

Vinegar that is used in your washing machine will start to corrode these parts and eat away at the rubber, which will lead to a lot of mechanical problems within the machine. Therefore, it is best to try to stay away from this deodorization solution in your washing machine, especially for frequent uses.

Smelly Towel Cleaner

Smelly towels, linens, and clothing have become a constantly battled issue for many people who are relentlessly striving to eradicate the various odors from these fabrics and materials. The growing need of a solution to this smelly laundry problem has led to the development of innovative laundry additive products that will work specifically to remove a variety of odors. Among these laundry additive products, one of the most revolutionary is the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive, a product designed specifically for removing musty, foul-smelling odors from towels and other linens/garments.

Smelly Towel CleanerThe OdorKlenz Laundry Additive is a proprietary laundry odor neutralizer that utilizes a patented earth mineral technology that is designed to capture, contain, and neutralize/breakdown odors as the minerals come into contact with these odors on the surface. OdorKlenz does not contain any masking agents or chemicals within its ingredients and is safe to use on a variety of clothing fabrics and materials. Simply apply the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive to the wash cycle with your traditional, unscented laundry detergent to provide the laundry load with deodorization and odor neutralization, specifically for bad smelling towels.

Laundry Liquid

$14.99 – $24.99

Made of Safe, Natural earth minerals that provide a complete odor elimination on fabrics

Fast acting, without the use of masking agents or fragrances

Safe to use on all washing machine types include HE washers

Can be used on all washable fabrics including moisture-wicking, spandex, polyester, rayon, and wool.