A fresh, fluffy towel is always lovely when you come out of the shower or pool, but smelling mildew while drying off can ruin your whole experience. Isn’t that right? Whether you’ve washed your towels or not, if you still smell musty odours, let’s be honest: it’s time for some extra cleaning. A smelly towel can harbour mildew or other pathogens that would harm one’s health. Luckily, in this article, you will find some tips for fixing this problem and preventing towels’ foul smell from occurring again.
The reasons why your towels smell like mildew
Understanding how mildew causes that musty odour will help you address your mildew issue. There are several factors which can lead to this unpleasant towel odour.
For example, when did you last forget a load of towels in the washer overnight? Don’t worry, almost everyone has done it! Mildew and bacteria thrive in moist conditions, such as the washing machine or laundry hamper, which create ideal conditions for mildew growth.
Also, where do you usually leave them to dry? After your towels dry, you should choose where to store them to prevent excessive warmth and humidity. Poor ventilation can contribute to musty odours, especially in a humid, warm climate. In ideal environments, you would store your towels in a cool and dry spot. However, humid climates can result in mildew growth on towels even after properly drying them.
In addition to these, storage has an essential role too. It may be tempting to try and fit as many towels as possible into a limited linen closet, especially if you don’t have a spacious one. While towels can last for a long time in your storage, leaving room for airflow between items in the linen, one can make a big difference.
Reasons for musty odour after washing
Understandably, the smell of musty towels can be frustrating after you’ve gone through the effort to wash them. As in everything in our lives, several factors might explain this.
Most of the time, many rely entirely on our laundry detergent. Not to be misunderstood, using detergent when washing your towels is okay. However, a good old-fashioned white vinegar solution will do the magic for keeping them fresh.
Overworking the washing machine will also trick you and leave you with bad results. Even though putting everything in one load might be tempting, an overcrowded washing machine may need help thoroughly cleaning and rinse your towels. Doing this, instead of following the washing machine’s instructions, will leave traces of mildew behind.
Also, hard water deposits could affect your towels if you live in a hard water area. Even though hard water contains minerals, it leaves residues even after you wash it. It is a good thing that vinegar can help reduce mineral buildup during the rinse cycle.
The easy method to remove the musty smell of your towels
A little white vinegar and baking soda are the secret to keeping plush towels smelling fresh. Do the following after combining one cup of white vinegar with twelve cups of baking soda.
The towels can be washed once with vinegar added to the warm water. Ensure you put the vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine. Of course, if your washer has one. Otherwise, if your washer doesn’t come with a detergent or fabric softener dispenser, you can pour the vinegar into the washer once it’s full of water.
The effectiveness of vinegar in freshening mildewed towels lies in its ability to dissolve the mildew. Since it’s acidic, it kills mould, mildew, and other bacteria. Soap and detergent residue can also be removed from your towels with it.
The second cycle can be done with either a small amount of detergent or 11.2 cups of baking soda after washing your towels only once with warm water and vinegar. In addition to eliminating lingering vinegar smells, your towels will be extra soft.
Once your towels are clean, move them to the dryer and tumble dry on low heat. Let them air dry until they are completely dry. Besides smelling great, your towels should feel better, too!
You may also add a few drops of essential oils to your detergent before washing towels to leave them smelling nice. It is also important to note that some essential oils have antimicrobial properties, which can effectively combat mildew.
Some extra washing tips
Undoubtedly, we all love soft, fluffy towels, and it is so frustrating when they develop a lingering mildew smell. Luckily, besides the above methods, there are a few more ways to keep your towels fresh.
You may find it helpful to wash your towels for one more cycle with baking soda instead of your usual detergent. Especially when you are combating mildew with a cup of white vinegar. Vinegar and any other lingering smells will be neutralised by the method.
Of course, using vinegar and baking soda together in the same cycle is not recommended. Since vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a basic substance, their effects will be cancelled.
If you plan to use fabric softener with Weezie towels or any other towels, know that it is always recommended to avoid it. While fabric softeners might sound appealing, they leave a residue that damages clothing and towels. It is possible for fabric softener residue to reduce the absorbency of towels in the short term. Additionally, it traps moisture and promotes mildew growth.
To all of these, consider using dryer balls or dryer sheets to keep your towels fluffy.
Ways to prevent mildew smell
To prevent mildew from forming, it is better to take proactive measures instead of trying to eliminate it after the fact.
Before folding or storing your towels, be sure they are completely dry. The moisture in your towels will create humidity in your linen closet, making it more inviting for mildew and possibly making everything smell bad. During the summer, hang your towels on a rack or hook to dry after you shower or use them by the pool. Even a laundry basket full of towels will begin to smell of mildew after a few hours.
Also, storing your towels in an area that allows air to circulate around them is best. Due to poor air circulation, mildew can grow in enclosed spaces such as laundry hampers and closets. Keeping towels fresh requires good ventilation, so open shelving or towel racks may be a good solution.
Towels and Weezie towels should be washed regularly, every 3-5 uses. Weezie robes don’t need to be laundered quite as often, depending on your usage. Towels should be washed together in cold water and tumble-dried at a low temperature when they are washed. Considering how easily Terry snags, it’s also best to wash your Weezie alone, with no other clothes.
Laundry is already a tiring task in our everyday lives. Not all of us use the services of domestic cleaning companies. Occasionally, we will leave towels in the washing machine overnight. After all, no one is perfect. The good thing is that you don’t have to blame yourself anymore! Follow the tips in our helpful guide and enjoy clean, fresh and fluffy towels in the comfort of your home.