What stinks?!!! (1 Viewer)


Nerf herder
Feb 5, 2004
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Buford, Georgia
Here's the story. I have a few towels that every time they get wet they stink to drive you outta the house....kind of a sour smell. What is that ? Moldy almost. None of my other towels or clothes, sheets, etc. smell like that, so what is it ? Yeah, they are very old and have been used a million times.

I am going to try soaking them in hot vinegar water this weekend to see what happens. This occurs even after I wash them, right out of the dryer. Heeeeeelp !

If the vinegar trick doesn't work, they'll go to that great towel rack in the sky.

Suggestions ?

We had some towels that retained a moldy smell too, no matter how many times they were washed and dried. The emphasis should be on "had".
It works that way with flooded out shoes and wet carpets too. Once you have the mold in them, every time they get wet I think the mold spores bloom again or whatever. I don't think there's a way to kill that stuff off permanently. You might yet 99.9% out, but there will be some left over no matter what. You can kill it until they get wet again, but if the sour smell is already in the towels after washing, you might try a fungicide, bleach, vinegar or whatever. But I bet it comes back.

Thanx TPS. I'll give the vinegar deal a try and keep y'all posted on my findings. I know I am not the only single guy on here with some things smelling bad ! LOL

Where are the female posters on this one? I'd have thought they'd be all over this........ They know everything, right ? J/K
i know enough to throw away towels when they stink.


If it's the woman's job to point out the totally obvious, though, i am not that woman. i'm gonna give you some credit that you've already thought that option over.
10% bleach solution for soaking in overnight should kill whatever is growing in them.

No guarantees on color retention though...

Sounds funny but I think sometimes the material is bad (poor quality/weird fibers) to begin with. I've tried the experiment you're doing now, RCS, and found that with some fabrics, there's just no winning. Same with kid's shoes. Some will wash clean, no problem. Others have that chemically-plasticy smell that just gets worse with age.

Besides vinegar or bleach, you might try soaking in Oxyclean.

If it doesn't wash clean with a good bleach soaking - hot water wash - toss it.
I bet the same stuff we used when our old cat peed on the rug will work. It had enzymes in it that broke down any organic matter that caused odors. Check in the pet section...

...Or buy new towels.
If you let anything sit in the washing machine after it's finished for a couple of days, they will stink after you dry them. Maybe this is the issue?
Just bleach the crap out of them. Bleach is the wonder chemical.

Who cares if they are colored, theyre just towels. Just soak em in bleach and detergent in the washer for 30 mins or so. Bleach kills everything!
I'll second Sharon's suggestion on the Oxyclean....it is good stuff. I will add a capful or two to the rinse water when I wash stinky dog blankets....works every time. There are detergents now with Oxyclean or similar products in them; you might try that and/or the regular Oxyclean added to the rinse water. Drying the towels in the sun might help, too.

But I also agree with Gami....I'm too busy/lazy to bother that much with some old towels. I'd probably use it as an excuse to buy new towels! :9:

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