Tricks to remove the musty smell from bath towels

Towels, in general, swimwear are garments made with the purpose of trapping moisture when in contact with the body. After use, it is advisable to spread them out to dry and avoid that unpleasant “musty smell”.

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But why do towels smell bad? In most cases, this bad smell is due to the fact that the towels have been stored without being completely dry out or because they have been wet and tossed for a long time in the laundry basket. They even give off a bad smell when left in the washing machine for a long time. To solve it, it will be necessary to resort to suitable cleaning products.

The most recommended are white vinegar (our favorite multipurpose cleaner), liquid ammonia (the best to remove bad odors) and bleach (in the case of white towels). Get ready to say goodbye to all odor-causing bacteria, mold, and spores on towels.

Products to remove odor from towels

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the towels should be washed at least once a week. They are garments designed to trap moisture, so it is necessary to wash them frequently using only soap and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Another aspect to keep in mind is that if they are used daily, such as gym towels, it is better to wash them daily.

You need:

1 pair of gloves (if you wash by hand)
Scented liquid ammonia
White vinegar
Bleach (white garments)

With liquid ammonia

If your towels give off a stale and unpleasant smell, turn to liquid ammonia, one of the most powerful detergents on the market. You can use it in both washing modes: either by hand or machine washing.

If you wash by machine, all you have to do is put the towels in the washing machine, pour a generous amount of liquid ammonia (especially for washing machines) in the usual detergent drawer and program a short wash cycle, with hot water and spin gentle.

On the other hand, if you wash the towels by hand, always do it with gloves and in a ventilated place. We advise you to follow these steps :

In a bucket, pour plenty of cold or warm water.
Pour in a cap of liquid ammonia and stir.
Insert the towels to be washed and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
After the time has elapsed, drain the towels, rinse them well and put them to dry.
During this time, the ammonia will have fulfilled its function, which is to eliminate the bad smell. If your towels were stained, feel free to rub in the process, as ammonia also helps remove stubborn stains.

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With white vinegar

White vinegar is another of the star products, as well as economical, to eliminate the bad smell of the fabrics. So, if you have white vinegar and a couple of bad smelling towels on hand, feel free to apply this trick to get your towels back! You just have to follow these steps, do not lose detail.

If you wash by hand:

In a bucket pour plenty of warm or hot water, which covers the towels to be treated.
Pour in 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar (cleaning special). You can find it in any supermarket.
Introduce the towels to be washed. Let them soak for 30 to 60 minutes.
Drain the towels and wash them with your regular detergent, either in the washing machine or by hand.
White vinegar is also great for removing yellow stains from towels and for bleaching them. In addition, with this product you can also make your own homemade, scented and 100% ecological fabric softener for clothes.

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If you wash by machine:

You can also remove the musty smell from towels by putting them in the washing machine and adding 1 cup of vinegar to the fabric softener drawer. In fact, for sportswear and towels, they are fabrics made specifically to trap moisture, we recommend not using commercial softeners.

With bleach

If your towels are white, turn to bleach. In some countries it is also called ‘chlorine’. As you know, this is one of the best bleaches and disinfectants on the market. Its high capacity to neutralize bad odors from fabrics make it our favorite for cleaning white fabrics.

Of course, try to read the garment washing label to see if they allow the use of bleach. Otherwise, its fibers could break and wear out faster.

If you wash the white towels in the washing machine, pour 1 cap of pure bleach into the drawer for this detergent and program a short wash cycle, with cold water and gentle spin. If you wash by hand, put on gloves and follow these steps :

In a bucket, pour a generous amount of cold water.
Add a cap of bleach.
Add the white towels and let them sit in the mixture for 20 minutes. During this time, the bleach will neutralize the bad smell of the clothes.
After time, drain the towels and wash them as usual.

With baking soda

One of the best-known cleaners and bleaches in the world is baking soda, a product that will also help you remove odor from towels. In fact, if you combine it with white vinegar, you will create a powerful cleaner.

In the case of towels, add 125 g of baking soda along with your usual detergent to the washing machine drawer. Insert all the towels and program a medium or long wash cycle with hot water and a gentle spin.

During washing, the baking soda will neutralize odors, remove grease, food or drink stains, and prevent lint from shedding.

Tips for keeping towels from smelling “musty”

After applying these tricks, it is very important that you know how to store your towels to prevent them from re-acquiring moisture. With these 5 tips your towels will not smell bad, and most importantly, you will extend their useful life.

  1. After showering, avoid leaving them rolled up on the laundry basket or hanging them indoors. If you leave them in the bathroom, ventilate this room daily, thus avoiding the proliferation of moisture by condensation (ventilate the bathroom daily, and if possible, after each shower).
  2. Avoid putting towels in the same laundry basket. Being almost always wet, they can transfer that bad smell to the rest of the clothes.
  3. One of the most frequent mistakes when putting the washing machine is not drying the clothes after washing. If you leave your clothes in the washing machine for hours, it will generate mold and bad odors. Therefore, at the end of the wash cycle for the towels, put them out right away.
  4. Before folding and storing clean towels, make sure they are dry. Otherwise, you will generate humidity in the closet where you keep them.
  5. We already mentioned it at the beginning, but it is advisable that you do not use commercial fabric softeners when washing towels or sportswear

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