A Page in the Life of A Mom / Housekeeping / Archives / 12-25-2010 / Smelly towels...

Topie: Smelly towels... Page: 1 2
June 25th, 2007 11:47 AM
virginiadawn Can any of you help? My towels stink. Not like mildew, not like they need bleach, not like they are dirty. They simply smell ... like some kind of fabric preservative or something. I tried "no scent" laundry soap, it only got worse. I am back to scented laundry soap but it barely made a difference. I tried bleaching them, they just smelled like bleach and the old smell too. (Really nasty :( )
I would just look the other way and ignore it but when my husband asked me how long ago I washed my face bc it stank lilke the towels... :( :eek: :angry: ugh.
June 25th, 2007 04:12 PM
daisydayz hey...i would like some answers to this too!
June 25th, 2007 04:22 PM
kaylouann I've smelled the mildew, I've smelled the dirty smell, I've smelled the 'new, fresh out of the store' smell (but that usually goes away after a washing or 2). I don't know WHAT smell you're talking about!!!! :)

I use Bounce... at least 1, sometimes 2, sheets in a dryer load. I don't have a washline (thankfully, cuz then I don't have to feel guilty for not using it!). They come out of the dryer smelling lovely!
June 25th, 2007 05:14 PM
blestmommy Could it be your water or the kind of scented laundry soap you're using?
June 25th, 2007 07:21 PM
daisydayz maybe my problem is they were wet too long after i washed them ....i don't know. but does it take 1-3 (or more) washings after that to get that smell gone, if that's what it is?
June 25th, 2007 10:03 PM
twofus I used to throw a load of towels in the washer before I left for school, then dry them after I got home at noon. They had an awful smell I couldn't get rid of even after several washings. Now I'll rewash them right away if they even sit an hour, because I think that's what was causing my problem.
June 25th, 2007 10:27 PM
ladybugzndaisies Try leaving the washer lid/door open when not in use. My mom's towels were smelly and someone told her to leave her door cracked (she has a front load). I tried that for my smelly towels and it seemed to help. I don't know what it is about it, maybe the dampness in the washer can't get the dampness washed out of the towels, if that makes sense. I have a top load, so I set my laundry baskets on top so things don't fall into the washer.
June 26th, 2007 12:05 AM
virginiadawn It is not that "I sat in the washer too long" kind of smell. (I had problems with that til we adjusted the feet so the front end was higher. Instantly all my problems with smelling bad if laundry sat too long was GONE!! ) I dont know how to describe the smell... Mike says they smell like they have been wet. That is the best I can come up with.
Blestmommy: Do you have any soap recommendations?
Kay: I just put some in the dryer and put in 2 Bounce sheets - before I checked this. :) I wish I had a clothes line bc I think that would help...
June 26th, 2007 10:50 AM
goingfortheprize I really do think hanging out towels, sheets, etc. gives them a really good fresh smell. I love the smell of my towels after they come off the clothes line. I also use fabric softener when washing them. I know I would really miss my clothes line if I didn't have it.
June 26th, 2007 11:58 AM
blestmommy I was thinking Tide and lots of Downy or Snuggle. I often think, when all else fails, use Tide. That's some good stuff! ( I don't use it regularly tho, cause of the cost)
June 26th, 2007 05:53 PM
virginiadawn I do regularly use Tide. (most others make my skin nasty :( )

Do any of you have problems with your towels not absorbing when you use softener with them?
June 26th, 2007 09:42 PM
ervro One thing that makes our towels smell wet is when they are wet too long before they are washed. We try to hang our towels up to dry before they ever go in the washer. I have noticed that when you put your towels in a basket or in the washer to store them (or whatever) until you wash them, that makes it a lot worse. Of course, another thing that makes that wet smell worse is when they are wet too long after they are washed. And, if your dryer doesn't dry them quickly, that can contribute to the smell as well. When my dryer wasn't drying properly (dryer vent was plugged), my towels smelled horrible!! I do like using scented laundry detergent, we prefer Tide (buy it on sale)...and I think that helps, too. During the summer it seems to make a big difference when I can hang my towels out to dry instead of using the dryer...

But somehow, in spite of trying to follow all the above, my dishrag still smells at times...[usually though it is after I discover a little person (or two) have wet it and left it on a pile... :) ], otherwise, I'm not sure what to do about that...
June 26th, 2007 11:15 PM
virginiadawn I found a help!!! :D Gottahavajava suggested HOT water. I was not sure what my washer was set on (it was warm) so when I came home from town I ran a load of towels with Hot water and my regular soap and a cup of baking soda. It helped. lots. I tested that by taking a clean dry washcloth and getting it wet and smelling. I also got mike to smell it to make sure it was not my hopeful imagination or twisted preggo nose. He agreed. They smell better.
You can buy baking soda in a 4 lb box in the laundry section and it really is pretty easy if it makes that much difference in the smell of my towels.
Maybe someday I will have a clothesline... :cool:
June 27th, 2007 11:15 AM
gotahavajava Hey Jess, I'm glad that worked for you! I laughed at what Mike said about your face smelling like the towels. No wonder you were fed up with the smell. [:
June 27th, 2007 11:19 AM
kaylouann Didn't even think of the hot water thing. I always wash my towels with HOT water. I have to make 2 loads, separating the dark and the light, so the white ones don't get colored. I've already made a couple of them pink. :(
July 4th, 2007 01:35 PM
rufusannie I had to stop using Dawn dishwashing soap because it dried my hands out so badly in the wintertime. I am now using Palmolive, and my dishcloths don't stink anymore! It also makes a difference, like was mentioned before, if your towels don't lie in a heap, but get hung up and dry. Also, I make sure not to use a dishcloth more than one day. I love scented fabric softener, too! =)
July 16th, 2007 11:57 PM
floridabreze Another thing to try if your towels get stinky from being wet too long, is add a cup of white vinegar to your load of laundry when you add the soap. It works for any clothes, too that get a nasty smell!
I am going to give that Hot water trick a try. My problem is, my washer stinks all the time...even after a load has gone through. Is there a way to "de-tox" your machine??
July 17th, 2007 12:57 AM
virginiadawn My "appliance man" said to try using lemonade crystals - sugar free - in a load of just hot water. Use lots. The citric acid is upposed to cut the "gunk" that causes the smell.
July 17th, 2007 11:15 AM
floridabreze I will give that a try! Thanks for the advice!!
July 17th, 2007 01:31 PM
jimmysgirl I use half white vinegar and half water as my fabric softener.....it leaves a "clean " smell. I don't care for scented fabric softeners. And it's alot cheaper, too!! :)
July 19th, 2007 09:08 PM
LoisAnn Is your washing machine old or new? Old washers can have a build-up of gunk in them that causes your clothes to reek. We use Conklin's Waush and it keeps the washer hoses and tub clean automatically. It's amazing the difference between that laundry detergent and something like Tide. Also I like to put a capful of Conklin's Sanox in the wash water. This is a germicidal. On rare occasions, I will fill the tub with hot water, put in some Clorox and swish it before adding towels to cut some particular bad smell, but that's usually not necessary with Sanox and Waush. YES, use hot water. And YES hang out on a clothes line in hot sun. All of those things are wonderful. If you don't have a clothes line, then I would opt to purchase a wooden folding rack from Lehmans at www.lehmans.com and they will ship to you. I purchased two of their largest racks 3 years ago and have never been sorry. Three years ago, I estimate a $ 40 savings every single month on our electric bill, which I'm sure it more than $ 40 today. THAT was worth it not to mention that the clothes smelled fresher even on a drying rack. You can move this rack outdoors if you like or on rainy days it can dry inside. If you are shy on moisture on winter days, it replenishes that too.
July 20th, 2007 11:15 AM
virginiadawn O ALA, I would love to hang my towels out. But certainly dont need any moisture in the winter. All it does here is rain!! As for teh new or old washer... it is new. I really like it. Vedry efficient, etc., BUT it is a front load and you cant "swish bleach water" and then put your stuff in. Some day I will have a bigger house and an older washer to go witht his one so that I can "play" in the laundry like you and I know how to do. ;)

Seriously though, Using the baking soda and hot water has taken care of the problem. I credit one just as mucha s the other bc the washer smells fresher too...
August 3rd, 2007 12:56 AM
innacanoe Doyou know what? I had bad towel smell in my laundry too for a long time and didn't know why. Well, one day the dryer gave out and we got a new one and after quite some time I suddenly realized the towels didn't stink anymore. I think the old dryer had a bad smell in it from a worn out bearing in the motor. It always smelled like hot grease. Maybe you could check that out if all else fails. (Though you don't want to chuck the dryer for that reason, I know.)
October 16th, 2007 02:42 PM
mamaswantz I have had that same problem, too.

For various reasons, some health related, I decided to stop using Tide and start making my own laundry soap. I love, love, LOVE this soap and I don't ever want to use anything else!! I still use Downy fabric softener, for the smell as much as anything, but vinegar added to any wash load will really brighten colors and soften it, too.

Now, for the smelly towels. I was puzzled at it as well, and couldn't figure it out, till my hubby told me that I was putting too many clothes into a load, making the tub too full. I cut back and did see a difference, but the change really came when I started using my homemade soap and also used hot water for the wash cycle, as hot as possible. I use warm for some things, but mostly hot. Bleach doesn't help, for some reason, to kill the smell. I think a strong vinegar wash would do more than bleach, actually.

The soap I make has three ingredients: washing soda (not to be confused with baking soda!!), Borax, and grated Fels Naptha bar soap. That's it. And it is the best stuff I have ever used. Tide does not compare, in my opinion. The colors are brighter and the jeans do get clean. The towels don't stink unless I forget to get them out of the washer! ;) For stains, I use Melalueca's PreSpot. I can say, for the first time in years, that I really enjoy doing laundry. :)
October 16th, 2007 02:47 PM
jimmysgirl I have also made my own laundry soap and it called for washing soda, but I couldn't find it anywhere!! Where do you buy it? I ended up just using regular baking soda, and I thought the soap worked ok. (Except for really dirty work clothes, I used store bought detergent.)
October 16th, 2007 04:00 PM
mamaswantz here in Iowa, I get it at Fareway. It's about the only store that has it, around here, although I am sure that if I went to other grocery stores and actually asked the store manager to get it, they would. I know you can buy it online, too. I will have to look up some links and post them on here, I guess.

I never used baking soda, but I know that baking soda is more of an... what is the word??... irritant, or it just cleans surface things. Washing soda is not as gritty and deep cleans better, also it oxidizes whereas baking soda does not.




There, that should be enough info to get you started. ;-)
At Fareway, I think I give around, oh, 4.50 a box for it, and it lasts quite a while.
October 16th, 2007 05:02 PM
rachi882 Monica,
I got washing soda at Kroger in Mount Vernon, or maybe Wal-mart.
One of the two. It was in the laundry detergent isle. It was a while ago, so maybe they don't have it any more. I made the same soap that mamaswantz makes. I really like laundry soap that makes my clothes smell good, and that's why I didn't keep using it. But it does cost a lot less. I figured out I could make this soap for $1.11 per batch. One batch equals 2 gallons.
October 16th, 2007 07:33 PM
mlt102002 do you want to post the recipe, mamaswantz?
October 16th, 2007 09:03 PM
Momof2 Shouldn't there be a way to add a good 'smell' to the recipe? I would be interrested in trying it too, if it cleans good. I am a Tide fan and can hardly use something else, but i'm also a 'thrift fan', so if i can save a little money, i might try it. :)
October 16th, 2007 11:01 PM
mlt102002 i googled homemade laundrey soap, and one place said if you want scented soap you could add your choice of essential oil. don't know from personal experiance. just what i read.
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