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Why do my towels and washclothes smell after washing.

I take them directly out of the wash and put them into dry. I use gain and snuggle fabric softner. I have tried bleach, no bleach, less of a load. They stink! HELP!

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:57 PM on May. 2, 2009 in Home & Garden

Answers (10)
  • If they sit or are thrown away wet, it can do this. I suggest you add some baking soda or vinegar to your laundry when you wash. My daughter's towels always smell like this, so I just add the above and it works!

    Answer by m-avi at 1:59 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • yep its a wet towel thing I add vinegar to the wash and don't worry they don't come out smelling like vinegar but it helps to deoderize, I've even used it on my son's sheets after he's peed the bed and they come out fresh.

    Answer by Rebeccaroe at 2:02 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • You can also use some Borax powder (they sell it at walmart).
    Just 1/4 cup in a load of towels leaves them smelling fresh.
    You could also hang them out on the line until they are mostly dry and toss them into the dryer at the end so they stay soft and fluffy.

    Answer by Nathskitten at 2:55 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • Use vinegar (1/2 to 1 cup) in with your towels. NEVER use fabric softener or dryer sheets with towels because it decreases their absorbency. The vinegar will sofen them too. I didn't believe it at first but it works.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 4:29 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • I add clorox surface cleaner to mine.. although it's not meant for laundry.. Mr. Clean works too.. something that kills bacteria, and it doesn't take a lot.. just a splash. If it's something that I'm concerned about the baby coming in contact with I either wash twice, rinse it very well, or do 2 loads and put the items I'm concerned about in the second load. It doesn't bleach the clothes and kills the bacteria.. and bacteria is the reason it smells. It's almost always towels or rags that are the culprit. I try to hang anything wet over the side of the laundry hamper to dry until we can wash, but DH is non-compliant with this lol... he's apparently raging against the washing machine.. so to speak.


    Answer by s.teph at 4:31 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • Can you use the vinegar with a front load high effeciencey washer? Just add it with the liquid deteregent?

    Answer by Buffie95 at 10:02 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • I add 1 cup vinegar to my washer when I wash clothes/towels that have odors like urine, mildew or sweat. It works great! There's no vinegar odor left after the clothes have been dried, and there's no need for fabric softener.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:29 PM on May. 2, 2009

  • I add about an 1/8 cup (a splash or two) of FeBreeze Laundry Deodorizer to the Softener section of my washer (so it's the last step in the wash cycle), and have never had a musty smell to any towels, bedding, or clothing.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 10:42 AM on May. 3, 2009

  • stop using the fabric softener,the fabric softener not only clings to the fibers to keep them soft it also locks in odors on thick absorbent towels. Wash your towels by themselves with hot water a couple times with little detergent and don't use fabric softener on them. The odors will eventually be released when all the residue comes off with the washings.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:16 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • Never use fabric softeners on towels because it will hold all odors and decrease how they absorb water - especially kitchen towels.
    To enhance, or boost, the cleaning power of your detergent, add Borax, OxyClean, or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda with your wash.

    When I take my towels out of the dryer as soon as it is done drying they come out nice and fluffy. Clean smelling, too!
    If you begin to notice that your regular laundry has smells or stains after washing then it is time to clean your washing machine. Pour about 2 cups of white vinegar into your washer and fill it with hot water. Allow it to run a full wash cycle on it's longest setting. When finished, run a plain water rinse wash cycle with nothing in it. The vinegar will clean off any deposits within your washing machine and the extra rinse wash cycle will flush them away.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 3:59 PM on May. 4, 2009

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