Why Your Towels Smell Bad and How to Fix It

All you need are two natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar helps to eliminate bacteria and softens the material, while the baking soda neutralizes odors and disinfects. If your towels smell bad, keep reading!
Why Your Towels Smell Bad and How to Fix It

Last update: 04 September, 2020

Surely it has happened to you more than once: you go to grab a towel after a shower and notice that all your towels smell bad. Or, when you try to dry yourself your towel hardly absorbs anything. Even new towels can have this very typical problem.

So, your towels smell bad and barely absorb anything. How can you get your towels to always smell good? What tricks are there so that they are softer and absorb all the moisture off of your body?

In today’s article, we will give you some wonderful suggestions that are going to be very useful for you in your daily routine. Your showers and baths are now going to be much more pleasant.

The Natural Solution for Odorless and Absorbent Towels

Quite often when we purchase new towels or bathrobes we notice that they are rather coarse. Basically, this is due to the tinting dyes that are used in their fabrication. For this reason, many people prefer to put them in the washer with hot water first so that they come out a little softer.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what material was used to produce your towels. Whether they’re made of American curl cotton terry cloth or another type of fiber, at some point all towels smell bad and retain moisture.

However, that’s not all. There is also the risk that this moisture will allow bacteria to reproduce. What can you do then? Don’t worry, just take note of these simple methods.

What you will need

  • 1 cup (250ml) of white vinegar (or distilled vinegar).
  • 1/2 cup (125g) of baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate).
  • Hot water

How to do it

When your towels smell bad remember to use natural products such as baking soda

  • Use your washing machine. You can throw in new towels that you want to soften, or those you’ve had for a while that smell a little musty and that have stopped absorbing as much as they used to.
  • Set your washer to the hot water option and pour in the cup of white vinegar which you have already diluted in a glass of water. Then let the washer go through a complete cycle. It’s that simple!
  • Start a new cycle with hot water just like last time, but now you add the baking soda. It is important to not mix the two ingredients. Wait for the cycle to finish and then hang your towels up to dry. You’ll get great results!

Is it enough to make your towels more absorbent and smell pleasant?

Towels smell bad but fix it using white vinegar and lemon juice

Science can explain this simple remedy. At times we may trust more in commercial products such as detergents and fabric softeners, thinking that they are going to give us great results.

However, in reality, we get just the opposite. Too many chemicals and too many ingredients harmful to the fabric not only cause them to be less absorbent but also wear them out faster.

  • White vinegar: Contains acetic acid, which is fantastic for eliminating bacterium and the moisture retained in the cloth of the towels, at the same time softening the fabric.
  • Sodium bicarbonate: As you already know, sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a naturally occurring element that is perfect for cleaning, disinfecting, removing dirt and grease, and neutralizing odors. Its marvelous properties are, above all, due to it being a very effective alkaline, better than any detergent.

How to Take Better Care of Your Towels

Fluffy towels of many colors in a wicker basket towels smell bad

If you want dry and absorbent towels that also smell great, consider these suggestions. When your towels smell bad, you may just end up throwing them, which will cost you time and money.

Think about the moisture that can start accumulating in your towel and how that leads to an accumulation of dreaded bacteria. As a result, this bacteria causes allergies and unpleasant experiences that are worth avoiding.

Did you know?

  • Bacteria loves moisture, so each time that you shower or take a bath, hang the towel up to somewhere so that it will dry completely. You don’t have to wash it every time, but make sure it dries completely. If it doesn’t, bacteria and a nasty smell will appear.
  • Be careful not to use too much detergent when you wash towels. Detergents actually allow chemicals to build up in the fabric, which makes it coarser over time and prevents the fibers from absorbing water. Only use detergent as needed.
  • Use white vinegar instead of fabric softenersIt’s natural and softens the fabric much better without any negative effects. The towel will last longer, be more pleasant to the touch, and continue to absorb water as it should.
  • Keep in mind that you should be especially careful of clothing and towels used on infants and children. Instead of using chemical products like fabric softeners and detergents, use products with natural ingredients. You already know that baking soda, vinegar, and even the lemon are effective and great for cleaning.

When you use natural ingredients, you will save the environment from chemicals and avoid throwing old towels into a landfill. Ready to put it into practice?

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  • Fong, D., Gaulin, C., Lê, M. L., & Shum, M. (2011). Effectiveness of alternative antimicrobial agents for disinfection of hard surfaces. National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, 1-19.