Why Do Clean Towels Smell?

After you have washed your towels, you do expect them to smell better than before you put them in the wash, right? So why do clean towels smell?

There are a good number of reasons why this might be the case, and thankfully there are a good few solutions to this problem! Read on…

Why Do Clean Towels Smell?

The answer to this is a little bit disgusting, sorry in advance… Bad smells are generally caused by bacteria.

Every time we use a towel, microbes, dead skin cells and bacteria are transferred from your body onto the towel.

Washing towels generally gets rid of this, but in some cases the towels need a bit of an extra clean to make them fresh.

It’s pretty easy to clean your towels effectively, so don’t feel that you have to live with the smell of musty towels!

There are a few hacks you can try, before you completely clean out your cupboards and go shopping for new towels.

It can be as simple as washing them on a hotter cycle, or adding a few different things to your washing load.

Don’t panic, there are a lot of things you can do to make sure your towels stay as fresh, clean and fragrant as you are!

How Do You Get The Smell Out Of Clean Towels?

Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to get rid of the smell on towels that SHOULD be clean…

  1. Wash the towels a second time. You can just pop them back into the machine for a second go, if they are not clean and fragrant enough the first time.
  2. Add some vinegar. A cupful of white vinegar added to your wash will help with the cleaning, plus it will neutralise bad smells.
  3. Use baking soda. This effective cleaner can be added to your regular wash cycle, with or without detergent.
  4. Clean the washing machine. Your towels may come out smelling because the washing machine itself needs a wash!
  5. Wash on a hotter setting. It may be that your cycle just wasn’t hot enough to kill bacteria, so turn that dial up a little more.
  6. Make sure you dry them well. Musty smells can be caused by mildew because of not drying your towels well enough.
  7. Hang them out. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh laundry that has been allowed to air dry! Get those towels on the washing line in the sun.

Drying yourself with a towel that smells is not fun, plus it negates the cleanliness of the shower! Try a few of the above, to get sweet smelling towels.

Here’s a good article, which explains why towels smell, and how to prevent it.

How Do You Deep Clean Bath Towels?

Cleaning bath towels SHOULD be as easy as just sticking them in the washing machine and letting them go for it, right?

Well yes, but sometimes your bath and face and hand towels need a little more love than this, to make sure they are fragrant and properly clean.

In order to do a really deep clean of towels, you will need a few added extras and a bit of time – but it’s not really too much of a big thing.

Adding a cup of white vinegar to your normal wash cycle will do wonders for your towels’ freshness and smell.

You can also use baking soda – again, just popping a bit into your normal washing load will help to neutralise odours.

It is always a good idea to rinse the bath towels on a hot cycle after you have added extras to the wash, so that they are as clean as they can be.

Always ensure the towels are fully dry – damp towels are a breeding ground for mould and mildew, which cause that characteristic musty smell.

Here’s a good video that shows you how to refresh your towels, using a few extra products:

What Temperature Should Towels Be Washed?

There’s a lot of noise about the temperature we should be washing at, isn’t there? What’s best for the environment, what’s best for your pocket, what’s best for the washing, etc…

When it comes to towels, they take a lot of abuse. Towels are on the front line – they are the things that are the closest to our bodies!

As such, they should have a really good washing regime. You should always wash your towels at 40 degrees as a minimum.

You can wash them on a hotter cycle if you see fit; hotter will kill more of the bacteria so sometimes it’s a good idea if they are a little whiffy.

Washing at 30 degrees is definitely better for the environment, but if you need to wash your towels hotter then don’t feel guilty!

How Do You Freshen Up Towels?

Keeping your towels fresh and lovely is not a hard thing – you don’t have to make too much effort to make these bad boys smell nice!

  • Dry them on the line. This is a really simple method that will infuse your towels with the scent of fresh air!
  • Add a cup of vinegar to the wash. Despite what you may think, this won’t make your towels smell like pickled onions – it will actually help to remove odours.
  • Do a second wash. If your towels smell musty when they come out of the machine, you can just stick them in for another go!
  • Avoid fabric softener. Yes, I know, we all like fluffy towels – but the fabric softener can actually build up and prevent them from smelling nice.

Making towels smell nice can be as simple as letting them dry really well. Often, it’s the dampness that can make them a bit pongy!

Dry them really well, add some simple household ingredients to your was, and you will soon be enjoying lovely fragrant towels that do exactly what they’re ment to!

Final Words

It is very disheartening when your clean washing still smells even after you have thoroughly cleaned it.

Hopefully you now have some good ideas on how to stop this problem, and some tips on how to make your towels smell super fresh after being washed.