How to Get the Mildew Smell Out of Your Bath or Beach Towel

How to Get the Mildew Smell Out of Your Bath or Beach Towel

There's nothing quite as relaxing as wrapping yourself in a freshly washed towel after a shower or a day at the beach. However, sometimes towels can develop an unpleasant mildew smell that can be challenging to get rid of.

This mildew odor is caused by bacteria and mold that thrive in the damp and humid environment of towels. But fret not! In this blog post, we will explore effective methods to banish the mildew smell from your bath or beach towels, leaving them fresh and ready for use.

The Causes of Mildew Smell

Before taking a close look into the solutions, it's essential to understand why towels develop a mildew smell in the first place. Mildew, a type of mold, loves warm and damp conditions, making towels the perfect breeding ground.

Towels that are not dried properly after use or stored in a dark and humid environment are more susceptible to mildew growth. Additionally, using too much detergent or fabric softener can leave residue on the towels, providing a food source for mildew-causing bacteria.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As with many problems, prevention is always better than dealing with the aftermath. To avoid mildew smells in your towels, here are some preventive measures:

Proper Drying

Always hang your towels in a well-ventilated area after use to allow them to dry completely. Avoid folding or stacking damp towels, as this can trap moisture and lead to mildew growth.

Avoid Overloading the Laundry Machine

Overloading the washing machine with towels can prevent them from getting thoroughly cleaned and dried. This can leave behind moisture and detergent residue, creating an ideal environment for mildew growth.

Regular Cleaning: Wash your towels regularly, preferably after every few uses, to prevent bacteria and mold from building up.

Using White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural and effective way to eliminate mildew smell from towels. Its acidic properties help kill bacteria and neutralize odors. To use white vinegar:

  • Place the smelly towels in the washing machine and add one cup of white vinegar to the detergent compartment.
  • Run a hot water cycle with no detergent or fabric softener. The hot water helps kill bacteria and remove any residues.
  • Once the cycle is complete, inspect the towels for any remaining smell. If needed, run another hot water cycle with white vinegar.
  • Finally, dry the towels thoroughly in the sun or a well-ventilated area to prevent mildew growth.

Baking Soda for Extra Cleaning Power

Baking soda is another fantastic natural remedy for banishing mildew smell from towels. Its gentle abrasive properties help lift stubborn stains and odors. To use baking soda:

  • Start by washing the towels as usual with your regular detergent, but skip the fabric softener.
  • Add half a cup of baking soda to the washing machine during the rinse cycle.
  • Run the rinse cycle again, this time with hot water, to ensure the baking soda is well-distributed and effective.
  • Dry the towels thoroughly, preferably outdoors in the sun, to eliminate any remaining odor.

Essential Oils for a Refreshing Scent

Essential oils not only add a pleasant fragrance to your towels but also possess natural antibacterial properties. When washing your towels, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender or tea tree oil, to the final rinse cycle. This will leave your towels smelling fresh and clean.

Lemon Juice for a Citrusy Zing

Lemon juice is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate towels' mildew smell. Its acidic nature also helps break down residues and stains. To use lemon juice:

  • Squeeze the juice of two lemons into a bowl and dilute it with an equal amount of water.
  • Soak the smelly towels in the lemon juice solution for about 30 minutes.
  • After soaking, wash the towels in the washing machine with hot water and your regular detergent.
  • Dry the towels thoroughly in the sun or a well-ventilated area.

Tea Tree Oil for a Powerful Antimicrobial

Tea tree oil is well-known for its antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent choice for eliminating mildew smells from towels. To use tea tree oil:

  • Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of tea tree oil.
  • Spray the solution directly onto the smelly towels, focusing on the areas with the most odor.
  • Allow the towels to sit for a few minutes before washing them as usual with hot water and detergent.
  • Dry the towels thoroughly to complete the process.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Stubborn Stains and Odors

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizing agent that can effectively remove stubborn stains and odors from towels. To use hydrogen peroxide:

  • Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a bowl.
  • Soak the smelly towels in the solution for about 30 minutes.
  • Wash the towels in the washing machine with hot water and your regular detergent.
  • Dry the towels thoroughly to prevent any remaining mildew smell.

Sun-Drying for Extra Freshness

The sun is nature's best deodorizer and disinfectant. After washing your towels with any of the above methods, sun-dry them to add an extra boost of freshness. Sunlight helps kill bacteria and eliminate odors, leaving your towels smelling clean and rejuvenated.

Proper Storage and Care

To ensure your towels stay fresh and odor-free for longer, consider the following storage and care tips:

  • Fully Dry Before Folding: Always ensure your towels are completely dry before folding and storing them in your linen closet. Storing damp towels can lead to mildew growth and unpleasant smells.
  • Linen Closet Maintenance: Keep your linen closet clean and well-ventilated to prevent musty odors from transferring to your towels.
  • Use an Airtight Container: For beach towels or towels used less frequently, consider using an airtight container to protect them from moisture and odors.

Say Hello to Fresh and Fragrant Towels

With the methods and tips provided in this blog post, you can say goodbye to mildew smells in your bath or beach towels for good. Whether you choose natural remedies like white vinegar and baking soda or the refreshing scents of essential oils, your towels will be fresh, clean, and ready for use.

Proper storage and care are equally important to prevent future mildew growth and to keep your towels in pristine condition. By incorporating these strategies into your laundry routine, you can enjoy the luxurious feeling of clean, fresh-smelling towels every day.

Back to blog