How To Get Rid of Mildew Smells From Towels

It can be very annoying to get out of a fresh bath and use a towel that has mildew odor in it. Mildew smell is more often find in towels, as towels are usually moist. This is a perfect breeding ground for molds. It is the molds which cause the smell and hence the name given of mildew smell. Here are a few ways to get rid of the obnoxious mildew smell from your towel.


Vinegar is a good agent to kill the mold. Hence, it is one of the most efficient ways to remove the mildew smell from the towels. There are various ways you can use vinegar to get rid of the mildew smell from the towel One simple method is to add ½ cup of vinegar to the washing machine when you are washing the infected towel. Use the highest temperature water to wash the towel and then wash it once more this time with the normal detergent again with hot water preferably.

Vinegar Wash

However, putting too much vinegar may cause harm to the washing machine gasket. Therefore, do not use vinegar too frequently or you can even go for the second option. Boil a bowl of water, which is just enough to soak the towel. Add ¼ cup of vinegar into the water and keep the towel soaked into it overnight. Next day wash the towel in the washing machine the way you normally do and dry it in the drier and hang it to air it.



Adding one cup of ammonia while washing can be another way of washing towels to get rid of the mildew smell from the towel. You can either add ammonia to the washing machine while washing or soak the towel overnight in warm water with ammonia into it. When you are washing the towel, put half one cup of clear ammonia to kill the mold and remove the mildew smell. However, make sure that you have rinsed and washed the towel once more after washing or soaking it with ammonia. This is because ammonia can be harmful to you and hence must be removed from the towel after removing the mildew smell. Moreover, do not add bleach to the ammonia solution as it forms chlorine, which is poisonous and can be fatal. Also just like vinegar, ammonia is also harmful for the gasket of your washing machine but definitely can be an effective way of removing the mildew smell.

Wash your Washing Machine


This may sound strange but sometimes the source of that mildew smells from your towel is the mold hibernating in the washing machine. This is because usually washing machine has water and the door is closed. Therefore, air does not ventilate in the machine, which can be a perfect breeding ground for the mold. When you wash your clothes in the washing machine, your clothes are bound to have mildew smell in them. Front load washing machines are more prone to this problem as they have airtight compartments. One way to check if you have mold growth in the washing machine is to check the pie inside the compartment from where the water drains out. If it seems to be moldy then you may have to wash the machine before you wash your clothes. To wash your machine, put vinegar, ammonia, or baking powder and rinse the washing machine using hot water in an empty load. This should do the trick. However, please be careful in not mixing the three compounds as it may react chemically and form a poisonous substance. You can also use per carbonate solution and vinegar to wash your washing machine. Once you have washed, leave the door ajar so that air can circulate inside. It would be a good tip in future to leave the door of the washing machine ajar when not in use. This would prevent the compartment from getting moist and hence limit the growth of mold.

Dry in Sunlight

Dry in Sunlight

This is the most traditional method and one of the best ways to get rid of the mildew smell from the towel. Sunlight and air removes the moisture from the towel and hence the mold cannot breed. This would also save a lot of electricity and energy. However, do give your towel a general wash before you hang in the sun to dry. The mold grows on the towel due to moisture and hence if you dry it the mold automatically dies. This will remove the smell from your towel for sure. In future after using the towel, hang it in the bathroom to dry or if you can hang it in the open air nothing like it.

Baking Soda and Borax

baking soda

You can also use baking soda or borax to get rid of the mildew smell. However if you are using baking soda or borax be extra cautious before mixing it with any other compound or detergent as it may lead to a chemical reaction which may be poisonous. One such example is mixing bleach with ammonia can lead to formation of a poisonous gas for those who breath it.

Few Things you Should Avoid

There are a few things you should not do to get rid of the mildew smell One of them is using too much detergent. When too much detergent is used, it sticks on the clothes due to which you can get mildew smell. Use on the required amount of detergent. It is a myth if you think that more the detergent, better cleaning your clothes will have. Also, avoid using fabric softeners as this creates an outer layer on the towel due to which evaporation of moisture becomes difficult.