I am going to assume that I am not the only one with this problem, actually I know that’s the case because I googled it and found 164,000 possibilities. A few months ago I started to notice that shortly after washing my towels they just did not smell fresh, in fact they were kinda stinky. I have an amazing new washer and dryer that has a Sanitation cycle, so I used it on my towels and noticed that helped a bit but I didn’t want to use that much energy and hot water every time I wash towels. I just knew that had to be a better way. After much research, I found that most people with this problem used one of two methods listed below. I would recommend them. I’ve only tried the vinegar method and it worked well. Something about the vinegar has even made my towels slightly softer (I never use fabric softener because I have heard that actually coats the towels and makes them less absorbent). On the second wash cycle I added a few drops of an essential oil to my laundry soap and really liked that addition.
TMI? I don’t know I just figured if it helped me, it’s got to help someone else :-)!
The Vinegar Method
- Put your towels in the washing machine, using the hottest water available. Add one or two cups of white vinegar. Do not add detergent, fabric softener, or any other products at this time. Run the washer.
- Leave the towels in the washer and wash the same load again just as you would normally with laundry soap. Again, use the hottest water available. Don’t use fabric softener or any other products.
- Dry the load in the dryer using a high heat setting. Towels should be thoroughly dry when you pull them out. If they’re not dry, put them back in, or move them immediately outside and hang them in the sunlight.
The Ammonia Method
- Put your towels in the washing machine.
- Add a normal amount of detergent.
- Use the hottest water available. Do not add fabric softener or any other products.
- Watch for the rinse cycle and add one cup of sudsy or clear ammonia during the rinse cycle.
- Let the washing machine finish.
- Move the towels out of the washer immediately. Fully dry the load right away using normal dryer settings, or hanging on the line on a sunny day.
Repeat and Soak if necessary
- Smell the towels when you have completed one of the above methods. If the towels are not completely free of musty smell after the first attempt, try soaking overnight.
- Fill the washer with the smallest amount of hot water necessary to cover the towels.
- Add one cup of ammonia. Agitate for a few minutes and allow to soak overnight.
- Add detergent in the morning, and let the wash cycle complete.