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how can I get the moldy smell out of my towels!!

I've tried everything I can think of, bleaching them, and washing them over and over, and sunshine. vinegar and baking soda!
maybe I'm not doing the right amount, I don't know.

anyway, is it possible to get the smell out and if so, how!!??

is there a product I should try, I'm desperate! this has been a problem for about a year now!

Answer Question

Asked by Imamom4sure at 1:39 AM on Oct. 30, 2010 in Home & Garden

Level 4 (39 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • wow, if all that has not worked, I think you either have a REALLY sensitive nose or you need new towels.

    Answer by Roadfamily6now at 1:48 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • wait, when to they smell? After the wash, after the dryer? The whole time?
    If you are washing and they come out smelling fine, I'd say you might have a problem with your dryer.
    Maybe your water is smelly? Do your other clothes smell?

    Do you notice the smell after you have used the clean towel? Perhaps you live in a really moist climate and need to wash after each use?


    Answer by Roadfamily6now at 1:51 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I do live in florida,

    I will use a clean towel right from the dryer, and it will not smell until it comes in contact with my wet body, and while I am drying myself off after a bath that I will smell this moldy smell. non of my other clothes smell. just the towels. my water otherwise smells fine, and this does not happen to my cloth diapers just the towels, sometimes they were not washed right away, and kids have let them on the floor and so I would put them in the wash, but once they got a moldy smell from hanging out, the smell would keep coming back, hmm, I suppose I could try ammonia, since the diapers don't get moldy (my kid is out of diapers now, but I never had a moldy diaper but I have had diapers I needed to 'strip" but I always could strip them, but the same method does not work on the towels)

    Comment by Imamom4sure (original poster) at 1:57 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • Sounds like a plan. I know my towels get smelly if left on the floor and I have to wash them even if they were only used once.
    If they get hung up they are good for 2 more showers. I live in Alaska, Anchorage,it is moist here too but nothing like Florida.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by Roadfamily6now at 2:02 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • My towels get a moldy sometimes so I wash them with Lysol all purpose cleaner (1- 2 cups) in hot water and then I run them through another wash with regular laundry detergent to get the Lysol smell out. But it did fade the some of the dark colors a little though.

    Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner 4 in 1 Liquid, Lemon Breeze


    Answer by DigiScrapperMom at 2:07 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I never thought to use lysol or ammonia on the towels, I am grateful for roadfamily asking me questions that got me to think about how the diapers never smelled musty or moldy. I'm liking the lysol idea even better than the ammonia idea because I don't like the smell of ammonia and tend to avoid the product, so I think I will try lysol first. I dont care if my towels fade, I used bleach on them and they didn't fade much at all.

    Comment by Imamom4sure (original poster) at 2:23 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I have another idea. Where do you store your towels once they're washed? Is it possible they're picking up mold spores in a linen closet or something? It's so weird that the moldy smell would survive bleaching, and other items that go through the same washer and dryer wouldn't have this problem.

    Answer by SWasson at 7:39 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • Ha, I have no idea but I live in FL and have this problem with our towels too. I make sure that all the towels are hung up after use, until they are dry, and wash after one use, and they still smell. We moved here less than a year ago, never had this problem in VA, with these same towels. Who knows. Glad I'm not alone.

    Answer by kksmomma1019 at 8:35 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • yep, I wash immediately and fully dry and have no problems with the other clothing and linens. they only smell when trying to dry off from a shower or bath. I moved here from CA and didn't have the problem there, in fact I could take a shower and let my towels hang and dry and re use them, I may have initially did the CA thing and then mold grew in them. my kids may have left wet towels on a floor or chair for a day, and they got smelly after just one day, so I immediately washed them. the thing is once they got musty, moldy they were never the same again, and I did lots of stripping like one would do with diapers, but thanks to this thread, I realize that I never tried ammonia or lysol or anything that is not specifically a laundry thing.

    I am really excited to get some lysol and see what happens, and if that doesnt' work I will do the ammonia thing, as soon as I do it, I will update! :)

    Comment by Imamom4sure (original poster) at 9:21 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I would say rewash-add some downy...then in the dryer add a dryer sheet.

    Answer by Queenofscrap at 10:20 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

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