Soak your stinky towels in a bucket of white, distilled vinegar for 30 minutes to overnight with a tablespoon of detergent to help loosen body soils. Vinegar contains acetic acid that breaks up mineral deposits and dissolves the build-up of body soils on your towels. Rinse thoroughly.
If a towel continues to have a smell, it means that bacteria are still in your machine or on your towel. Run the washing machine again with bleach, or wash the towel a second time to remove the stubborn bacteria.
Wash With Vinegar and Hot Water
Wash your musty towels on the hot water cycle with one cup of distilled white vinegar. White vinegar is a natural cleaner and deodorizer, so it's an ideal solution to get mildew smell out of towels. Don't add any detergent, bleach, or fabric softener.
Use a laundry detergent formulated to remove musty odors, such as ARM & HAMMER™ plus OxiClean™ Odor Blasters Fresh Burst.™ Use the correct amount and type of detergent for your machine. Adjust your detergent amount for heavily soiled towels or if you have hard water.
So when you notice a musty or sour smell in your towels or they lose softness and absorbency, Forté recommends adding one cup of distilled white vinegar during the final rinse (for a standard top-load washer that fills with water) to remove the odor.
Mix half a cup of baking soda along with a normal detergent dose for fluffier and cleaner towels. Baking soda also naturally eliminates musty and mildew smells that come from towels remaining damp for too long.
If you have a standard washer machine, use 1 cup of baking soda and add it to the towels and then fill with water. DO NOT ADD SOAP OR VINEGAR, ADD NOTHING BUT BAKING SODA! Run a full cycle using hot water for the wash and rinse cycle. You will be absolutely amazed on how fresh the towels smell.
"A good thing to remember is to replace bathroom towels every two to five years and kitchen towels and washcloths every year or every two years, depending on their quality," explains Wischnia.
If you start to notice that your towels smell, and not in a spring meadow or clean mountain kind of way, it's a pretty good indication you have mold in your washing machine. The first plan of attack is to clean your washing machine.
What should I run through my washing machine to clean it? Once you're finished wiping down the inside of your front loader, you should run distilled white vinegar through it. Measure out two cups of distilled white vinegar and pour them directly into your washing machine's liquid detergent dispenser.
Vinegar doesn't sanitize or disinfect
Some limitations are that vinegar doesn't disinfect MRSA, STAPH and other nasty germs that can make your family sick. Vinegar DIY cleaners can leave behind as much as 20% of the germs that make families sick because it's not potent enough to kill all of them.
If your towels seem less absorbent than they used to be or have stubborn odors, skip the bleach and use vinegar instead. Use 1/2 cup of 5 percent white vinegar during your wash cycle. Vinegar helps remove odors and strips away detergent buildup to make your towels as fluffy and fresh as the day you bought them.
Towels can turn yellow over time, depending on the frequency of use. Factors such as the sauce contaminated from your hands while cooking in the kitchen, sweat from your face or skin, dead skin spilled from the skin, oil on the skin or hair play a big role in the yellowing of the towels.
Don't use vinegar and baking soda in laundry together.
That's because when they're used together, vinegar and baking soda in the laundry will neutralize each other, effectively canceling out the benefits of vinegar's low pH and baking soda's high pH.
For Extra-Clean Clothes
“It will help lift dirt and grime from clothing,” says Reichert. Don't put baking soda in your washer's detergent dispenser, however. Instead, sprinkle it into the empty drum of your washer, then add clothes and whatever detergent and fabric softeners you'd normally use.
Most hotels use peroxide-based laundry detergents to keep their sheets and towels bright. While these compounds are extremely successful at preventing white linens from greying or yellowing, they do necessitate some amount of knowledge. When used incorrectly, they might cause damage to your linens.
Baking soda can help remove pungent odors from laundry even when they linger after repeated washing. Baking soda also works as a laundry booster to help brighten whites and colors and generally freshen laundry by helping to remove odors.
White vinegar is a natural deodorizer. Add one cup to cold water and soak workout clothes for 15 to 30 minutes. Then wash as normal.
The Benefits of Using Vinegar in Laundry
To use it, soak the stained item for 30 minutes up to overnight in a solution of white vinegar and 1 Tbsp. liquid laundry detergent prior to laundering. Mold and Mildew Removal: Distilled white vinegar is also a powerful agent for removing mold or mildew from fabrics.
Washing Towels with Vinegar
Use about half the recommended amount of detergent while washing and add ½ to 1 cup of white vinegar to the water during the rinse cycle. The vinegar helps set the colors and removes excess detergent residue.