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Related Articles: Removing Lint from Bath Towels | How to Get Your White Towels Whiter

Towels Smell Bad Even After Washing

Q: After washing towels, they smell fine when they are dry. Once they get wet, let have an awful smell to them. The smell gets on your skin and stinks! I have used ammonia in the past to get rid of the smell. However, that does not seem to work anymore. Any suggestions???

Tip #1: I had the same problem when I forgot about a load of towels in the washer. Even after rewashing they didn't smell fresh. What worked for me was using a half cup of white vinegar in the rinse water (this also works as a fabric softener). If you do this be sure not to use bleach because the two shouldn't be used together. Someone else gave me the tip of using powdered detergent instead of liquid. Supposedly powdered detergent will get your clothes cleaner. Hope this helps!

Tip #2: My daughter had exactly the same problem with her smelly washing machine and towels. She did some research on the internet and was amazed at what she found out. The problem was with the liquid fabric softener. The liquid fabric softener had coated the plastic tub under the strainer tub of the washing machine. The liquid fabric softener had build up and became moldy and was giving off an awful odor. She took a part the washing machine and took a putty knife and scraped the moldy fabric softener off the plastic tub and cleaned it throughly. She put it back together and viola the smell is gone completely. One of the recommendations is not to use liquid fabric softener. It causes a lot of problems and should be banned. It gums up your washing machine. She was at the point that she thought she was going to have to buy a new washing machine to get rid of the smell ... smelt like stinky socks. Thank heavens a new washing machine was not needed.

Tip #3: My husband complained about stinky towels...I never did smell the peculiar odor he found offensive. I did find, however, that he stops complaining if I am extremely prompt about removing the towels from the washer the moment it stops. I then either line dry or use the dryer, and he does not complain. Good Luck!

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Rachel Paxton
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