How to Remove Mildew Smell from Towels


My dishrags had developed a horrid odor. I would take them right from the drawer and begin to wipe down the counters. I would walk away and my hands smelled of a soured rag. I would wash it again but discovered it still smelled bad. I couldn’t get the smell out. So, again, I turned to Pinterest.

Have you ever thought that Pinterest is like an online mom that you go to when you need to know how to do something?
Anyway, I found a method that worked and was right up my alley because it used vinegar! I love vinegar. I know, that sounds weird but the smell always makes me think of clean.

So, here’s what I did:
1. Put your towels in the washing machine, using the hottest water available. Add one or two cups of white vinegar. Do not add detergent, fabric softener, or any other products at this time. Run the washer.

Clean Smelly Towels!

2.Leave the towels in the washer and wash the same load again just as you would normally with laundry soap or baking soda. Again, use the hottest water available. Don’t use fabric softener or any other products.

3 .Dry the load in the dryer using a high heat setting.  Towels should be thoroughly dry when you pull them out. If they’re not dry, put them back in, or move them immediately outside and hang them in the sunlight.

It worked and my dishrags now smell like they should, clean!

Question: I know there are other methods to get the sour out of the towels.  What do you do?

4 comments found

  1. Throw them out and buy new ones, of course. Foolproof method. Except there is that verse about a fool and his money soon being parted…hmmmm.

  2. I am a weird vinegar lover too! I make my own kitchen cleaner from alcohol and vinegar. I also love food with vinegar. I had the towel thing happen to me too. I put half a cup clorox in every load of towels now. Fortunatly they are white. I have put in some with color when I didn’t care if they faded and they didnt, but I wouldn’t try it with colored towels I liked.

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