The Frugal Life Forum


Author Topic: Sour Smelling Towels  (Read 18942 times)


  • God Member Plus
  • God Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Sour Smelling Towels
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 07:15:25 PM »
I always put vinegar in the bleach compartment of the washer everytime I was towels.  Never had a sour smell before.  I would think if you combined baking soda and vinegar, you'd have a big bunch of foaming action!
A Natural Approach to Life for you and your Pet.


  • God Member Plus
  • God Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
  • Fantastically Frugal
    • View Profile
    • The Nature In Us
Re: Sour Smelling Towels
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 03:28:39 PM »
This house that we live in now is the first place I've ever had this problem.  I thought it was something in the water here in Virginia.  I lived in AL for 18 years and if it had anything to do with humidity (since we keep our doors and windows open as much as possible), it would've happened there.

My husband decided to dig around the web for an answer and found these possibilities below at  I decided to try #2 using more than a cup of vinegar and I let it soak for several hours before putting it through the washing cycle.  Then I did as it said to run it as a regular load with detergent.  I don't use fabric softener, but I do use bamboo dryer sheets:

It's been weeks now and that awful smell has not come back on the towels.  I'm very excited and ready to do the kitchen towels now.

1 (My note:  I've always washed towels every two weeks, so I did not think that was my problem)
Wash your towels. If you want fresh smelling towels, you can't limit washings to once a week. You should wash towels every two or three days, washing in hot water.

2 (My note:  This worked!)
Use vinegar to get rid of the mildew smell. If your towels get a mildew smell, use vinegar. For a large load, use cup vinegar. Add the vinegar to the water, and let it mix for a few minutes. Then add the towels. Do not add detergent to this washing cycle. Once the towels have gone through the complete washing cycle, wash as you normally do with detergent and fabric softener. Fabric softener is optional, but also helpful.

3 (My note:  I've never left towels in overnight)
Remove the towels from the washer and immediately transfer them to the dryer. Nothing causes towels to smell faster than leaving wet towels in a washing machine over night. As soon as the washing cycle is over, immediately transfer them to the dryer. Add a fabric softener sheet for extra scent and softness.

4 (My note:  I've never done this either, although I do enjoy hanging my sheets out)
Line dry your towels. Wash your towels and hang them to line dry. You can put them in the fluff cycle once they are dry to fluff them up. Avoid line drying, if rain is in the weather forecast.

5 (My note:  We have always done this)
Hang up used towels. Once you are done using your towel, hang it up so it can air out. Wet towels that are not air drying will get smelly much faster than towels that are hung up to air out.

6 (My note:  If #2 didn't work, we were going to try this next)
Use baking soda with your detergent. Add baking soda, along with the detergent to your wash cycle. Wash in hot water and follow with two rinses. You may also add fabric softener if you wish. Do not use vinegar with the baking soda and detergent as the baking soda and vinegar will cancel one another out.

If you try any of these ideas, let us know whether it worked or not - thanks!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 10:56:51 AM by Forum Admin »
The Nature In Us
Nature & Travel Photos

Forum Admin

  • YaBB Administrator
  • God Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 58
  • I love YaBB 1 Gold - SP1!
    • View Profile
Sour Smelling Towels
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 04:06:57 PM »

We have tried soaking in bleach overnight already and that hasn't helped.

Also, we have seen on the internet a reference to using baking soda and vinegar in combination to clean sour / musty smelling towels.  However, they never tell the amounts or the procedure.

We want to use natural ingredients so can someone tell us how to do this, and in what proportions?




With Quick-Reply you can write a post when viewing a topic without loading a new page. You can still use bulletin board code and smileys as you would in a normal post.

Note: this post will not display until it's been approved by a moderator.
Name: Email:
Type the letters shown in the picture Type the letters shown in the picture Type the letters shown in the picture Type the letters shown in the picture Type the letters shown in the picture Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image
Type the letters shown in the picture:
What is the most popular search engine?:
Enter the last three numbers in d71324gh: