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Towels Smell After Washing

What am I doing wrong? My towels smell after washing, when I leave them in the basket down in the cellar. Will those new detergent boosters work? Fabric softener sheets do not seem to work.

By Barbara W. from OH

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March 6, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vinegar is my solution for smelly towels and I have found that when I bought a front loading washer I was using way too much soap. I have cut way back and use the kind of detergent meant for front load washers but I still run all my washed clothes and towels through an extra rinse.

By the way, do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener on your towels. That may seem odd, but the dryer sheets and fabric softeners make the towels not as absorbent, so they don't dry you off as well. My husband read about this tip in our local paper and I tried it and my towels are much, much more absorbent, yet they still feel soft in spite of not using a dryer sheet in the load!

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October 18, 20110 found this helpful

I would guess that it's because of leaving them in the cellar. They are getting a musty smell from the dampness. I would rewash them with baking soda, maybe put white vinegar in the rinse (vinegar in the rinse softens things too, and doesn't leave a smell). Then when they are dry, get them out of the cellar. I could easily be wrong, but it's my experience with cellars and basements.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

It may be from soap residue in the towels. Try running them through a wash without any soap, and check during the agitation cycle to see if the water is sudsy.

Ask me how I know, lol! I had the same problem and a Google search led me to the suggestion. I did it, and was really surprised to see how sudsy the water was. I spent the whole weekend washing every fabric item in my house and some loads needed three washings to get the soap residue out.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

I had smelly towels too. I wash them then run a rinse cycle with 1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar. It removes all odors, leaves them soft and is a natural disinfectant too! But I would try not to leave them in the basement after taking them out of dryer. While you don't have to put them away right away, take them upstairs.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

I haven't had a bit of trouble with my laundry retaining a musty odor since I started using Boraxo with my detergent (I use a very small amount of detergent; the Boraxo softens the water and so very little is required. I use just enough for the water to feel somewhat slick (like soap does)). Then I fill the softener rinse cup with white vinegar, and voilà, it's all good. I've even forgotten my towels in the washer more than a day and no sign of musty. If I would need to get out a musty odor, I would just go through this cycle one more time. It's my understanding that the vinegar rinse assures that the detergent is all out. It's that residue of detergent that causes the smell. There is absolutely no vinegar smell in the laundry itself.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

I haven't had a bit of trouble with my laundry retaining a musty odor since I started using Boraxo with my detergent (I use a very small amount of detergent; the Boraxo softens the water and so very little is required. I use just enough for the water to feel somewhat slick (like soap does)). Then I fill the softener rinse cup with white vinegar, and voilà, it's all good. I've even forgotten my towels in the washer more than a day and no sign of musty. If I would need to get out a musty odor, I would just go through this cycle one more time. It's my understanding that the vinegar rinse assures that the detergent is all out. It's that residue of detergent that causes the smell.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Barbara

Somewhere along the line I learned to use minimal amounts of detergent when washing towels as they already have soap residue on them! I, like others have posted also add vinegar to the rinse water.

Nothing worse than ucky smelling towels.

Good Luck.

stormy from Ca.

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