How to Remove Wet Towel Odor

14 November, 2020
Bath towels usually start smelling like humidity after several uses. Fortunately, there are some tips and natural products that help eliminate it completely. Keep reading to discover them!

Bathroom towels are something we use every day. Therefore, they get dirty and need to be washed frequently. Due to their contact with the skin and the humidity, they’re usually the perfect place for fungi and bacteria to grow. Do you know how to remove that wet towel odor that’s so common in home bathrooms?

Nobody likes having to use a towel that smells terrible. That’s why, in addition to washing them regularly, we must know how to neutralize that unpleasant smell.

In this article, we’ll give you some recommendations.

Tips for removing wet towel odor

The best way to avoid the musty smell of towels is to air dry them as soon as they’re used. Also, it’s ideal to change them frequently, since the accumulation of humidity and microorganisms favors this problem.

However, if you still have this problem, some measures can help solve it. Keep reading as we share with you the best tricks to apply and improve your very own bathroom!

Washing towels

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Don’t throw them in the laundry basket

Don’t make this mistake! If it’s time to wash the towels, do so immediately. Throwing them in the laundry basket and waiting several days for them to be washed can make the horrible odor even worse.

Even though they seem to be dry, the dirty tissues already have germs that affect this problem. Even leaving them dirty for a long time makes them acquire a yellowish or percussive tone.

Use a moderate amount of detergent

Our first recommendation for removing wet towel odor is to use a moderate amount of detergent or liquid soap. Although these products facilitate their cleaning and disinfection, when used in excess they can actually deteriorate the fabrics.

Also, when soap residues remain on the towel fabric, they usually acquire a bad odor when used. In fact, the accumulation of soap is the reason why the towel loses its absorption capacity.

Baking soda for wet towel odor

Did you know that you can use baking soda to replace detergent when washing your towels?

It’s a great option, especially when towels have that horrible damp smell you just can’t get out. Thanks to its properties, it removes mold, eliminates bacteria, and leaves fabrics free of dirt.

In fact, it’s one of the products included in the publication “Homemade Household Cleaners” by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. It’s highlighted because of its effectiveness in disinfecting and eliminating bad odors when cleaning.

How to use it:

  • First, pour one cup of baking soda into a bucket of hot water.
  • Then, soak the towel for 20 minutes.
  • After this time, rinse as usual and let it air dry.
  • If the towel has difficult spots, apply the baking wood directly and rub it.
  • Also, if you prefer, add the product to the normal washing machine cycle.
towels without wet towel odor

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White vinegar

Another natural product that’s useful when removing the wet towel odor from our bathroom is white vinegar. This ingredient has the ability to neutralize odors. Furthermore, as highlighted by the study Functional Properties of Vinegar, published in the Journal of Food Science, it’s useful in fighting fungi and bacteria.

On the other hand, its properties help to keep fabrics in good condition and release the residues that cause stains. It’s also ideal for replacing conventional fabric softeners.

How to use it:

  • The first option you have to take advantage of this natural ingredient is to add it to the washing machine cycle.
  • However, if you prefer to use it when washing by hand, we recommend diluting it in hot water. Then, leave the towels soaking for 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Also, in case of difficult stains, rub the product directly on the towel.

Store towels well

After finally removing that wet towel odor, it’s time to keep them clean and fresh to avoid this problem from reappearing. As we already mentioned, the most important thing is that you make sure to store them dry.

Whether you dry them outdoors or in the dryer, you’ll have to make sure they’re dry before folding and storing them. Also, it’s best to check the storage places because many times they’re the focus of moisture (as it happens with some cabinets).

If you have moisture in the cabinets, make bags with salt, coffee, or rice and put them inside. This simple trick helps to absorb it and, in turn, prevents bad odor.

Do you notice that your towels have this horrible wet towel odor? Do you feel they’re dirty and smelly? Then write down these tips and make sure to start applying them!

  • Griffin, A. Cantrell, R. (July, 2014.). Homemade Household Cleaners. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Available in http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY144900.pdf
  • Budak, N. H., Aykin, E., Seydim, A. C., Greene, A. K., & Guzel-Seydim, Z. B. (2014). Functional Properties of Vinegar. Journal of Food Science79(5). https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.12434